Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Dec 8, 2017

Transcript of television interview – SKY News

Subjects; Marriage equality; Sam Dastyari

KIERAN GILBERT: Back to our top story now. With me is senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, someone who has argued for legalisation of same-sex marriage for a long, long time and you are even offering to DJ weddings?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, I am available. It will be fantastic. Weddings are great. A couple of weeks ago Alan Griffin got married and I was down there with him and Gabrielle.

It was such a joyous occasion and it’s a celebration of a commitment between two people in front of their family and friends and won’t it be a good thing that more people can now do it?

GILBERT: You said earlier this morning and something that resonated with me was there were only a couple moments over the last few decades that really stand out. The Apology was one.

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GILBERT: And then this one. It was just extraordinary, the jubilation, but also a sense of relief I think for many of those affected.

ALBANESE: We’ve got to remember that in 1978 when the first Mardi Gras happened – celebrating 40 years next March – people marched not to cheers. They marched for basic, fundamental human rights and they marched into a police cordon that assaulted them, arrested them.

We have come such a long way as a country and for so many people who have directly felt, for them and their families discrimination, not in any academic sense, which you and I would be sympathetic to, but in a real personal sense.

For them you could just see a burden lifted off them and last night the Kingston Hotel was the place to be and just seeing the sheer joy on people’s faces was just great.

GILBERT: If you look back over the years back to Bill Hayden I think it was in the late 60s …

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GILBERT: He started, well within Labor he started, he was really pushing for decriminalistion and better treatment.

ALBANESE: Yes, when it was really tough.

GILBERT: That would have been very tough.

ALBANESE: As a former Queensland policeman who saw that real impact of discrimination and raised it. People like him were trailblazers.

In New South Wales, Frank Walker made an enormous difference as the Attorney-General in the in the Wran Government. Right around, wherever you look, people have taken big steps. I spoke in the Parliament …

GILBERT: But even in your party, you and Penny Wong and others have had to fight …

ALBANESE: It wasn’t always a consensus view Kieran, let me tell you.

GILBERT: I remember it.

ALBANESE: It was pretty tough. But people like Paul O’Grady who was the first MP in Australia to come out, who had a lot of vilification as a result of that. I told that story in my contribution this week.

I think for all of those people it’s a fantastic thing and what we have seen is just over a period of time people get on board, people think about it and I think for those people who have changed their mind – even in 2012 we had a vote in the Parliament.

Many people have said to me over the recent weeks: “Gee, why didn’t you put it to the Parliament when you were in Government?’’ We did. It didn’t have a majority. Forty-two members. So many people who voted ‘no’ then voted ‘yes’ yesterday in the Parliament.

That is a good thing – that people are prepared to think through these issues and change their mind and I give credit to all those who did that. I respect those who disagree as well.

GILBERT: Because there were millions who did – who voted no.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And their views have to be respected. But I think what will happen over a period of time – we have seen it already – so many people have said to me “I used to not support marriage equality; now I do’’. No-one has ever said to me the phrase: “I used to support marriage equality; now I don’t’’.

GILBERT:  We spoke of the Apology and both occasions really, a fairness is at the heart of both of those occasions.

ALBANESE: That is right.

GILBERT: What do you think it is that sees the Parliament at its best like that? In your view, as you reflect on it as a veteran of this place now, how do you reflect that?

ALBANESE: I think yesterday was a historical moment in the Parliament. I argue as a progressive that history does move forward. From time to time, conservatives will argue for the status quo and reactionaries will try and push it back.

But progress is made in human rights. The march toward equality isn‘t easy and it takes people to make it happen. It takes activists to make it happen. But it does happen over a period of time.

If you think about in our lifetime we have seen – well in my lifetime I’ve seen – I was too young to remember it of course – but the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders wasn’t even there. We’ve seen changes in attitudes toward gay and lesbian people.

The sort of racist attitudes that might have just been taken for granted decades ago are now unacceptable. We are talking about ways to recognise the First Australians in the Constitution. All of these issues are important.

My predecessor as the Member for Grayndler, Jeanette McHugh, was the first woman elected from New South Wales to the House of Representatives.

Eighty three years, not a single woman elected from the biggest state to the House of Representatives. Yesterday follows the 84 pieces of legislation we amended to remove discrimination against same-sex couples and people who happen to be LGBTI.

GILBERT: This is the final bastion of it?

ALBANESE: This is it.

GILBERT: Alright. We’ll just do a quick one on another matter given the big focus on that historic moment yesterday but Sam Dastyari could be in a bit of trouble here with a Privileges Committee referral from the Attorney.

ALBANESE: Well, I am not aware of what happened in the Senate.

GILBERT: It happened late last night.

ALBANESE: I was at the Kingston Hotel by then Kieran, celebrating the outcome.

GILBERT: But Senator Dastyari – it must be so frustrating for senior figures in the party to sort of have to mop this up?

ALBANESE: Senator Dastyari concedes that he made mistake. He has paid a price for it. The idea that we will have an ongoing attacks on Senator Dastyari – I think the Government needs to get on with governing and one of the things that they need to do is less politics and more governing. If I could give them that bit of helpful advice for 2018, that would be it.

I think people are sick of the tit-for-tat and one of the things that happened yesterday, I think, was that people look at the Parliament acting as it should, not trying to play politics or score points, but trying to get reform done. That’s what happened.

GILBERT: But it’s a big criticism of Senator Dastyari, acting against the national interest. I mean that is not an everyday political scalp.

ALBANESE: One of the things that I am concerned about with this issue is how some of this information got out there. It seems to me that Senator Dastyari is accused of talking about national security to someone but the Government, including the Attorney-General have been talking about national security to everyone, including on your television program.

GILBERT: Mr Albanese, appreciate your time. Thanks.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 8, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Marriage equality, citizenship.

DEB KNIGHT: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us now. Good morning to you fellows.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

KNIGHT: Christopher, just incredible scenes. Have you ever seen anything like it?

PYNE: No, I haven’t actually Deb and that is saying something because I have been in Parliament for 24 years. I have seen some very happy days, days with the Apology, for example, to the Stolen Generation, but I have never seen such an outpouring of joy as I saw in the Chamber yesterday and I am not surprised. It was a very historic day to be part of a Chamber where 146 people sat on one side of the Chamber and four sat in the other to usher in marriage equality in this country is a very, very exciting time for Australia.

KNIGHT: And Anthony isn’t it amazing what you pollies can get done when you stop fighting and you work together and you achieve something. Why can’t you do it more often?

ALBANESE: Look, absolutely and we should. This was the Parliament at its best. I do think there have been two great days in this Parliament in my 21 years. The apology was the first, that I will never forget, and I will never forget last night, I’ve got to say last night at the celebrations where Magda was as well …

KNIGHT: You were there I am sure?

ALBANESE: She was on earlier. I certainly was. I think that Penny Wong was the happiest I have ever seen any individual in my life and it was just such a great thing to see the joy that was there in the galleries. The patience that they showed I have got to say, in sitting there all day, being very disciplined was remarkable and it was just a great thing. This now will unite the nation and it just says we are a country that accepts people, that is diverse, that it stronger because of it.

KNIGHT: Now Christopher this change is something that the country wanted but is it what the PM needed. How crucial was this to shore up Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership?

PYNE: Well we’ve ended the year on a very, very positive note Deb because we said we would have a vote of the Australian people. A lot of people voted against it, didn’t want to have the plebiscite. But it went ahead because of Malcolm Turnbull. Eighty percent of people voted in it, 62 per cent wanted marriage equality. Now Malcolm Turnbull has achieved it. So we have finished the year on a very positive note by actually showing that we can get on with the job whether it is creating 371,000 jobs in the last 12 months …

ALBANESE: Oh, today is not the day for talking points Christopher.

PYNE: … or whether it is a major social change like marriage equality. We are showing that the Turnbull Government can get things done and is getting things done.

KNIGHT: And Albo have you had any requests yet to DJ any gay weddings?

PYNE: He will.

ALBANESE: They are queueing up in my electorate I’ve got to say It will be a great thing for the economy as well.

KNIGHT: Yes.

ALBANESE: Lots of activity will occur, both domestic weddings but also Australia will be a great destination. And I think next year is the 40th celebration of Mardi Gras. It’s important to remember that those 78ers didn’t march getting cheered down the street. They marched into a police line, were arrested. And my thoughts go to those courageous people – men and women – who really stood up for their civil rights at a time where it was really, really tough.

KNIGHT: Yes, well said.

PYNE: We have come a long way.

ALBANESE: This was unfinished business. Christopher did predict of course earlier this year, got in a bit of strife in his party for predicting, that it would happen sooner rather than later. He played an important role. So did so many people in the Parliament. But most importantly the people who played a role were those out there in the community. Well done.

KNIGHT: Good to see credit is being given where credit is due. And just quickly, one issue though where there is absolutely no co-operation of course is the ongoing citizenship fiasco. Christopher, why not refer anyone with any question mark over them to the High Court and let that independent umpire sort it this out once and for all?

PYNE: Well Deb, we will refer anyone who has a cloud over their citizenship. The people who are in that position right now are the four Labor MPs and Rebekah Sharkie. We’ve already had ours referred – Fiona Nash, Matt Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, John Alexander. We’ve actually done the right thing already, whereas Labor is harbouring people who they know are UK citizens. Susan Lamb is still a UK citizen, the member for Longman.

ALBANESE: That’s nonsense.

PYNE: She’s never had a renunciation …

ALBANESE: Because she wasn’t a British citizen. That what is says.

PYNE: …of her citizenship and she is still sitting in the Parliament now as a UK citizen.

KNIGHT: We’ve had the love with marriage equality and now we are going to have more of the debate into the New Year. We are out of time fellows.

ALBANESE: How about a bit of maturity? Just flick them all to the High Court and let them deal with it. That is what should have happened.

KNIGHT: Let’s hope we get it sorted into the New Year. Albo and Pyne thanks for joining us.

PYNE: Pleasure. Thank you.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 6, 2017

Transcript of radio interview -FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes segment

Subjects: Cricket, citizenship, Sam Dastyari, lobbyists. 

HOST: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day.

HOST: Now Chris, I’ve got to say, you picked a bad week not to be in Adelaide. Day Five of the Test today. There’s been quite a bit of sledging out in the middle. It’s felt a little bit like an episode of Two Tribes at times out there.

PYNE: Anthony and I are always on the record so we can’t be too unpleasant to each other.

ALBANESE: And we’re good humoured.

PYNE: And we like each other deep down. Very, very deep down.

ALBANESE: Don’t tell anyone that, we’ll both get into trouble.

HOST: You’ll lose your acts.

ALBANESE: What’s the story with this South Australian trumpeting for the Barmy Army?

HOST: We’re going to find out soon, Albo.

PYNE: That’s very Dastyari-level behaviour.

ALBANESE: Now, now.

HOST: We’ll see if he gets accused of treason like Sam has. Hey the big story is citizenship at the moment. There’s apparently 10 Labor MPs who are under a cloud. What’s the status there, Chris, of whether the Government will be referring them to the High Court or not?

PYNE: Well let me be very clear about this. Bill Shorten demanded that the Government establish a register for people to declare their citizenship or otherwise. We’ve done that and we have John Alexander facing a by-election in Bennelong because he did the right thing. We have Barnaby Joyce who faced a by-election in New England. Bill Shorten said there were no Labor MPs at any time who would be caught up in the same net.

Now as it’s turned out, there are at least four Members of the House of Representatives who were UK citizens from the Labor Party when nominations closed for the 2016 election. They are all dead cert candidates to be referred to the High Court. Either Labor can do it or the Government will do it but they will be referred to the High Court. They are Justine Keay in Braddon, Susan Lamb in Longman, Josh Wilson in Fremantle and David Feeney in Batman. And Katy Gallagher, the Senator from the ACT, Labor, will also be referred by the Senate to the High Court. So there are five MPs, about whom there’s no doubt that they need to be referred to the High Court and Bill Shorten said there were none.

HOST: He’s also said this (inaudible) that David Feeney would be sent to the High Court. Albo, will there be any others that you guys will send for a look?

ALBANESE: Well there’s only one Labor MP, and David Feeney has been clear about that, who hasn’t been able to obtain the documents that he needed. He says that he did renounce his UK citizenship but hasn’t been able to find, essentially, the documentation either here or from the British Government and what he’s said is that if that doesn’t occur by tomorrow, then he will ask Tony Burke to refer him to the High Court for that matter to be considered.

As for the others that Christopher has mentioned, all of them took the reasonable steps that are required under the law. All of them applied to have their citizenship renounced, paid their fees, put in the necessary documentation. If it is the case that the completion of the process by another Government is the determining factor, then what that would leave open is for some bureaucrat in the UK or anywhere else to sit on documentation, not process it and therefore to determine whether or not someone could be in the Australian Parliament and that’s why the High Court, when they have considered these matters, have spoken of, and determined, indeed, that it is the reasonable-steps test that would be considered.

Now we’re looking at these issues, we’re also looking at the failure of Government MPs like Jason Falinski and Julia Banks, Alex Hawke and others to provide the documentation …

PYNE: Desperate smokescreen.

ALBANESE: …that is required. Well the documentation hasn’t been provided…

PYNE: Rubbish.

HOST: But can’t you say the same about Steve Georganas?

PYNE: And Maria Vamvakinou that’s going to go down that track or Mark Dreyfus for that matter.

ALBANESE: No…

HOST: Because some of them, with respect, I don’t want to sound like a cynic, heaven forbid, some of them seem to be using the, I-had-it-but-the-dog-ate-it excuse, don’t they?

ALBANESE: No what  ….

PYNE: Nobody in the Coalition

ALBANESE: That’s not right. What some of them have done is say that, Nola Marino for example, says that she’s got legal advice but hasn’t provided it.

PYNE: Nola Marino’s husband wasn’t even an Italian citizen when they got married.

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t know whether that is the case or not.

PYNE: Labor just has made things up and still making things up.

ALBANESE: Clearly what needs to happen is that the Government and the Opposition need to sit down. If people need to be referred to the High Court, then that should happen.

PYNE: We will not be referring any Coalition MPs to the High Court. We have done that. We’ve got John Alexander in Bennelong in his by-election. We’ve had Barnaby Joyce dealt with. We referred him. We will not refer any Coalition …

HOST: So no more Chris, even if they are possibly under a cloud?

PYNE: Well, none of them are under a cloud. Now Labor is pretending because they have found themselves in this embarrassing situation …

ALBANESE: Well, what about Julia Banks?

PYNE: Julia Banks has been cleared by the Greek Government of not being a citizen, never being a citizen and Labor is just making things up to hide their embarrassment that they have at least five …

ALBANESE: That’s not right.

HOST: We are changing tack to another topic. Hey Albo, we mentioned Sam Dastyari in passing at the start of this segment today and last week you were particularly strident in your defence of the Senator, in fact, more so than Bill Shorten, who later that day came out and slapped him. Subsequent to our conversation though, more information came out including that tape of him contradicting the Labor Party policy on the South China Sea. Is your position changed on Sam Dastyari?

ALBANESE: Well clearly the documentation that came out, that wasn’t available when I spoke …

HOST: Yes.

ALBANESE: … indicates that Sam Dastyari, you know, whether advertently or inadvertently, wasn’t correct when he characterised the nature of those comments at the press conference that was attended by Mr Huang. Clearly, the tape indicates that he made comments that I believe are quite inappropriate. He has of course been sacked from the positions that he has held and he now sits as a backbench MP.

HOST: Should he leave politics in total, Albo?

ALBANESE: Well he has been elected mate. He has been elected by the Australian people.

HOST: I know but the Libs yesterday were saying that you had said to journos in the Gallery that he should just go.

ALBANESE: No. What Malcolm Turnbull was trying to do was to verbal comments that certainly weren’t mine.

HOST: They certainly weren’t yours on 5AA last week.

ALBANESE: No, no. What I do is I say my views on the record. I said them on 5AA last week. I’m saying them today.

PYNE: But the truth is, I mean I’ll give Anthony a break. He has had quite a run. The truth is that Bill Shorten …

HOST: You are a generous man, Chris.

PYNE: Bill Shorten seems tied to Sam Dastyari in a way that I haven’t seen two people tied together in politics in a very long time and I think the issue here is that Sam Dastyari had a lot more to do with the election of Bill Shorten as the Leader of the Labor Party in 2013 than we actually understand. Now there have been calls for an investigation in New South Wales into the rorting of the leadership ballot. I’m sure Anthony doesn’t want to comment on it and I understand that. The rorting of the ALP leadership ballot where 50 ballot papers went to Dastyari’s office rather than to the homes of the people who were members of the Labor Party, or purported to be members of the Labor Party. None of these questions have been properly dealt with or investigated by the New South Wales Labor or the Federal executive of the Labor Party and there has to be a reason why Bill Shorten feels so compromised by Sam Dastyari.

HOST: Chris Pyne, how do you respond to the criticism of your policy response to this Dastyari situation announced yesterday regarding foreign agents or agents who do the bidding of foreign states ostensibly to undermine Australian policies? Your former colleague Andrew Robb described it as a political stunt. What do you say to Andrew Robb?

PYNE: Well, Andrew Robb is a terrific guy and I wouldn’t be criticising him and in fact I never have and I don’t think he is criticising the Government. I think if you look at what the Government has done we have said that we want transparency. Now people are very welcome to get jobs with overseas companies or overseas governments for that matter as long as it is transparent and if you’ve got no reason to hide, nothing to hide, then you would be more than happy to register yourself as a lobbyist. These days there’s so much lobbying going on in politics that the more transparency the better. And if you are worried about the transparency then you shouldn’t be doing whatever it is that you were going to do.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, always great to catch up. We will do it again next week. Thank you.

PYNE: Thanks.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 5, 2017

Transcript of television interview – SKY Newsday with Laura Jayes

Subjects; Milo Yiannopoulos, Citizenship, Manus Island

LAURA JAYES: Let’s go back here to Parliament where Milo Yiannopoulos has been today. The Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese joins me here in the studio. Let’s not spend too much time on this guy…

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good idea.

JAYES: Labor staffers turned up to this event. What do you make of that?

ALBANESE: Well you know, the bloke’s a tool and I wouldn’t have wasted a second on him myself.

JAYES: What do you say to some of those Labor staffers though, and the Greens protesters that turned up and made this into an event.

ALBANESE: That’s what he wants.

JAYES: Ok, well let’s move onto the High Court then. Katy Gallagher, she won’t refer herself. Labor says they won’t be doing that. Why not?

ALBANESE: Well what Katy did, of course, was to make the effort, put in best endeavours to renounce her citizenship and that’s what the precedent is, that you have to make that effort to do just that, to be just an Australian citizen. See, if the High Court was to rule that that wasn’t good enough, what they would be opening up is the opportunity for another country to determine who could sit here by simply sitting on an application for a period of time. And that’s why the High Court has made precedents when it has looked at this matter; have people tried to denounce their citizenship? And that’s why we think that, because Labor has those processes in place, that all of the Labor people will be eligible to be in the Parliament.

JAYES: That’s great your processes can be iron-clad, but your process is only as good as the information being fed into it and as you say the High Court needs to see that effort being put in. It is reasonable steps. But that’s not for you to decide, that’s for the High Court to decide isn’t it?

ALBANESE: But the reasonable steps have been made.

JAYES: You think they’re reasonable, the High Court might not.

ALBANESE: We certainly do think they’re reasonable and the High Court has precedent. I mean the people who got knocked out, Barnaby Joyce and others, argued essentially ignorance. They argued that they didn’t know and that therefore they weren’t responsible. The High Court clearly says …

JAYES: So you’re essentially saying the Sykes and Cleary precedent remains for this case for Katy Gallagher…

ALBANESE: Yes, absolutely.

JAYES: And that the Malcolm Roberts was such an outlier it doesn’t matter because he’s emailing the wrong person?

ALBANESE: Well Malcolm Roberts emailed nobody. He sent an email that didn’t go anywhere to an address that actually didn’t exist. He didn’t pay a fee, he didn’t do what was necessary to renounce and indeed pretended he’d made efforts that simply weren’t there. And, indeed, the High Court judges you might recall, got very cross with his legal representation for the way in which they tried to turn the High Court processes into a circus. Everything Malcolm Roberts touches turns to dust.

JAYES: Is Sam Dastyari becoming a problem?

ALBANESE: Sam Dastyari has paid a price for the mistakes he made.

JAYES: What price?

ALBANESE: Well he’s now a backbench Senator.

JAYES: He was Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate. Is that really a punishment that fits the crime? Not a crime, but you know metaphorical crime.

ALBANESE: It’s not a crime. He was a Shadow Minister and he lost that Shadow Ministry. He’s now lost it, essentially over the same issue, he’s lost the Deputy Whip’s position.

JAYES: Sure, but he’s becoming a political problem for Labor is he not?

ALBANESE: Well he’s a backbench Senator. This has been an issue.

JAYES: A very influential one.

ALBANESE: It’s been an unfortunate issue, but it’s been dealt with strongly by the Leader in asking for Sam to step aside from his duties. He remains an elected Senator. I think Sam is a young man who has made mistakes. Other people have made mistakes in the past. He’s been punished for that. He has paid a price and I think people should really move on.

JAYES: To say this is unfortunate really undercuts how serious these allegations are though doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: There’s a range of issues here. The recent issue is; is it the case that Sam Dastyari, the allegation is that Sam Dastyari somehow used information, that he didn’t have by the way, in terms of national security, to relay that to this gentleman in Sydney. The fact is that the Government has been out there talking about national security issues – about that very issue – to the whole world. So the allegation is that Sam Dastyari might have told someone. The reality is that we do know the Government’s been out there talking about surveillance of people and national security issues for anyone who wanted to hear it.

JAYES: So are you concerned that Sam Dastyari might have been under surveillance or still is?

ALBANESE: Well we don’t know. That’s the point. The point is here that the Government and in particular the Attorney-General have been quite happy to be out there in an unprecedented way talking about surveillance of people and the results of surveillance. It’s quite extraordinary and the Government needs to, I think, explain how this information got out there. We asked about it in the Parliament yesterday and got no answers.

JAYES: OK. Well if I can move on to the Parliament, the Government lost another vote on the floor of the House yesterday. Now this is probably not such a huge deal because it happened six months ago, so, you know, it didn’t break a 50-year precedent. But this is a stunt from Labor isn’t it?

ALBANESE: No it wasn’t. It was a return of a motion from the Senate that had been adopted that the Government brought on for debate. And so the Government knew it was coming. It was carried in the Senate in the morning about calling for an important issue that Australians are discussing about what happens to the men on Manus and whether Australia should accept the offer of New Zealand to settle 150 people there. Now we had a debate.  I spoke in the debate and made a contribution to the debate.

Then the vote was held.  I thought that it was possible that maybe one or two of them had found their conscience and needed to actually act like the Government and provide a partial resolution to providing a future for these men.

It turned out that wasn’t the case and Steven Ciobo in particular, I think, used unfortunate language when talking about the indefinite detention of people on Manus when he said he was detained. We don’t know why he was detained, but he was detained from voting. I was the Leader of the House in a minority Parliament where towards the end we had 70 Labor members on the floor of the Parliament. We didn’t lose votes. This mob lose votes. They lost them within three days of the election and they’ve lost them earlier this year and now they lost a vote yesterday again on the floor of the Parliament. They simply aren’t capable of governing. They should just give up and go to an election.

JAYES: That goes a bit far doesn’t it? Incapable of governing.

ALBANESE: Well, they are not governing. They act like they are the Opposition. They cancelled Parliament last week because it was too hard for them. They lose votes on the floor of the Parliament. They still, with regard to the Manus issue, say: Oh well, Labor did, Labor was …

JAYES: Labor did.

ALBANESE: They are in their fifth year. They are an Opposition in exile on the Government benches and that is the way that they behave, rather than providing real solutions to issues. They have responsibilities to settle people who are on Manus and they are not doing it.

JAYES: OK, that’s a longer conversation we will have another time Anthony Albanese. We’ll leave it there. Thank you for your time.

ALBANESE:  Happy to do so. Thanks Laura.

Dec 5, 2017

Transcript radio interview – 6PR Perth Live with Oliver Petersen

Subjects; Citizenship; marriage equality; Newspoll; foreign donations.

OLIVER PETERSEN: One very senior Liberal Cabinet Minister, the other part of the set-up of course of the Opposition frontbench, who has been a Cabinet Minister in the past. Christopher Pyne, first to you. Good afternoon. Welcome to Perth Live.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good afternoon. It is marvellous to be with you for the first time in a coupling with Anthony Albanese in Western Australia.

PETERSEN: And Anthony Albanese, thank you very much for making sure that we got the two of you together – The Odd Couple once again.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Absolutely. I look forward to continuing to have these discussions next year.

PETERSEN:  Indeed we do. Let’s start first of all with the citizenship declarations that have been made today. And I will ask you first Anthony Albanese, David Feeney has become the first Labor MP who has says he is prepared to refer himself to the High Court. Now, should the others do the same?

ALBANESE:  David Feeney has said that he is prepared to do that in terms of if there is a doubt, if he can’t find some of the documentation or the evidence of it by Thursday then he would be prepared to do that.

I haven’t had the opportunity to examine all of the documents obviously that have been put in place just this morning, but it’s clear that there are some issues from people across the Parliament and no doubt the Parliament will be considering this once we get through the marriage equality issue in the next couple of days.

PETERSEN: OK. Does this put egg on the face of Bill Shorten and Labor, because he certainly and constantly said that all Labor MPs had crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s on the citizenship issue?

ALBANESE: Not at all. What we have argued for very clearly is for transparency and for the process that is happening. We argued that this should happen from the very beginning.

It has been difficult clearly for some people who have just said, my understanding is, some people have said from Christopher’s side of politics, that we have renounced our foreign citizenship but haven’t been in a position to produce any documentation.

So I think there is a need to look at this objectively. Where there is genuine doubt as to eligibility then of course people should be referred.

PETERSEN: Okay. Christopher Pyne, we also saw here on our home front West Australian Labor MP Josh Wilson might have a few questions around his citizenship. How do you view the way that Labor has handled the declaration process?

PYNE: Well there are a few grey areas. There’s no doubt about that and between now and Thursday they’ll be considered.

But there’s no grey areas when it comes to David Feeney, your own Josh Wilson from Fremantle, Justine Keay, who is a Labor MP from Tasmania and Susan Lamb, who is a Labor MP from Queensland.

So there are four Labor MPs, all of whom were citizens of another country when they nominated for the 2016 federal election.

Bill Shorten has been harbouring these people for the last six months. We did the right thing. Barnaby Joyce has had a by-election and been spectacularly re-elected in the best result since 1911 for a Government.

John Alexander is currently involved in a by-election in Bennelong. He resigned. He did the right thing. I think Bill Shorten thought he could skate under the radar and nobody would notice that these people had this problem.

He has been shouting from the rooftops like an angry rooster every morning about the failures of the Government but in fact it has turned out he has got quite a canker in his own side with these four MPs all of whom are London to a brick heading for by-elections.

PETERSEN: Yeah, well the reset button Barnaby Joyce, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as well said was set on the weekend with Barnaby Joyce’s by-election.

Do you feel that the mood is changing there in Canberra, both Anthony Albanese and Christopher? Do you think that the Government is starting to get the upper hand?

ALBANESE: The fact is that the polls showed this week a 53-47 lead for Labor. It does say something that the Coalition was celebrating getting to 47 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

PYNE: We’ve had a bit of a messy month and the Labor Party …

ALBANESE: You’ve had a messy term.

PYNE: The Labor Party should be miles ahead and yet we gained two points two-party preferred in the Newspoll and Malcolm pulled further ahead of Bill Shorten as the preferred PM. The truth is, as we all know it, and as your listeners know it, Bill Shorten is toxic in the electorate.

PETERSEN: Interesting you say that Christopher Pyne because if you look at the Ipsos poll yesterday it does indicate that on the two-party preferred question here in Western Australia, it is actually the Coalition that leads Labor 57-43.

When we polled Perth Live listeners here yesterday on 6PR, on our talk-back number, 92211882, eighty-two per cent of 6PR listeners said they would prefer to vote for Malcolm Turnbull over Bill Shorten.

So there certainly is a problem in Western Australia, Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese that Labor in particular is not cutting through here in WA at a federal level.

PYNE: Bill is about as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue and Anthony Albanese quite frankly is going to be the big winner from that and it is not going to last on the Labor side. They’ve got real problems with Bill Shorten because people just don’t trust him. They think he is shifty.

ALBANESE: Well it’s very brave of Christopher, with respect here. He has raised the issue of synagogues. I mean, talk about chutzpah. You have Coalition chaos here. You’ve got people openly defying the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

You’ve had the New South Wales Deputy Premier call for him to go and give Australia a Christmas present. You’ve got absolute chaos on their side.

We can never take WA for granted. WA historically has been very difficult terrain for Federal Labor, particularly since Kim Beazley left the leadership.

That’s why I am a regular visitor to WA. That’s why I was very pleased to be able to get a regular spot on your program.

PETERSEN: Well I was too, Albo and it was great to see you here standing here opposite us a few weeks ago.

ALBANESE: I’ll be back there in January.

PYNE: Albo thinks WA is difficult, I think it is quite nice.

ALBANESE: I think it is lovely.

PYNE: I quite like it.

ALBANESE: Well, you should visit it more. Malcolm Turnbull should visit it.

PYNE: I do.

ALBANESE: During the last campaign he dropped in for about five minutes.

PYNE: You should go down to Henderson where we are building all these ships. You’ll find I am actualy quite popular down in Henderson.

PETERSEN: You would be, Christopher Pyne, if you –

ALBANESE: Well you’ve got to be popular somewhere, Christopher. You know the chances are if you pick random areas there has got to be somewhere in Australia, in our vast country you’re popular.

PETERSEN: Now, gentlemen let me ask you this afternoon as well, foreign donations will be banned by the Prime Minister and I see he used Question Time today to attack Anthony Albanese. Your colleague Sam Dastyari saying that he sold Australia out. Should Sam Dastyari resign?

ALBANESE: No, he shouldn’t. He should resign from the positions that he’s held and we should ban foreign donations.

That’s been Labor’s position for some time and we shouldn’t have people from overseas political organisations donating – essentially trying to influence Australian political parties. That’s my view. It’s the Labor Party’s view, and I’m pleased that the Government has now come on board.

PYNE: If you look at the register of foreign donations, of donations to political parties, Labor has had twice as many foreign donations in terms of value than the Liberal Party in the last election. So if any political party is getting foreign donations, it’s the Labor Party.

So we are banning foreign donations. Labor had a completely inadequate bill. We have we have fixed it and put in a real regime around foreign donations and goodness knows who is going to pay the Labor Party .

ALBANESE: You haven’t even introduced the legislation yet.

PYNE: Who is going to pay the Labor Party’s personal accounts now because that’s what Sam Dastyari had donors doing in NSW before he resigned for the first time.

The only way that Bill Shorten can prove that he is not in hock to foreign donors is to say to Sam Dastyari you can’t sit in the Labor Caucus and until he does that he’s not really serious about foreign donations just the same as he’s not serious about getting the union movement like the CMFEU out of politics.

PETERSEN: The same sex marriage debate is obviously on in the House of Representatives. Christopher Pyne, I see that you just spoke to it a short time ago.

Will any of the amendments that are being moved by some of your colleagues in regards to religious freedoms have any chance of passing the lower house of the Parliament?

PYNE: Well that’ll be a matter for whether the people who are opposing the amendments can gather the numbers on a private member’s bill which is a conscience vote on our side of the House to actually agree to those amendments.

I’ve just spoken in the House of Representatives. I made it clear and I think the protections in the bill as they stand now for religious ministers for Defence pastors, for religious institutions are quite adequate. I don’t believe in putting superfluous amendments into a bill.

I think the bill should reflect what they need to reflect and they shouldn’t be based on what I think is a misnomer that somehow religious freedoms are not protected in Australia. We have other laws in place to protect religious freedom.

We don’t need to put those in this bill and I won’t be voting for any amendments to this bill. I’m quite satisfied that the the protections that came down to us from the Senate in the bill will do the trick in protecting the religious freedoms in this country that we’ve cherished since Federation.

PETERSEN: I see Fairfax is reporting this afternoon that with your statement today it does appear as though the numbers are there to block any of these changes so the bill should go through the lower House as it is proposed by obviously Senator Dean Smith.

ALBANESE: I hope that that is the case. This is an area where Christopher I agree and it is very clear that.

PYNE: We both agree on Bill Shorten too I’m sure you know.

ALBANESE: I voted for Bill Shorten as Prime Minister. You voted for Malcolm Turnbull.

PYNE: That’s true.

ALBANESE: But with regard to this issue, it’s important that people know that the Dean Smith bill, of course a WA senator, went through a whole process in the Senate, so already compromise has occurred. The protections were included in the bill. Indeed the title of the bill is about marriage and religious protections.

Because of that I think Christopher’s quite right and I’ll also be opposing amendments – both sides. All sides of Parliament have a conscience vote on these issues.

But I think Dean Smith deserves a great deal of congratulations for getting this right and I think once this occurs as well people will really wonder what the fuss was about because for most of your listeners it will have no impact of course on their lives, on their marriage, on their relationships, on their family.

All it will do is just give some people who currently don’t enjoy what myself and Christopher did with our respective wives, Carmel and Caroline, the opportunity to celebrate that relationship in front of their family and friends.

One of the things that will happen – I’ll put my Tourism Shadow Minister hat on here – this is a huge boon for the economy. There will be a big economic boost for Australia as an international destination.

So I would hope that WA will certainly get more than their fair share of that because it is such a fantastic tourist destination. We’ll see people coming.

PYNE: Anthony and I love a wedding. It’s the only place that my children are prepared to allow me to dance on the dance floor. Anywhere else would be completely unacceptable.

ALBANESE: I was MC at a wedding a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic.

PYNE: You would have been boogieing the night away.

PETERSEN: Were you DJ as well?

PYNE: Anthony loves the DJing.

ALBANESE: I did a whole range of things as well. It was actually for someone who Christopher knows, Alan Griffin who was a minister.

PYNE: I thought he married again. Yes.

ALBANESE: Married just a week ago and it was a fantastic celebration. I mean it really is an occasion when people come together and just are able to celebrate essentially a couples relationship but also you run into people who you – this wedding was in Melbourne I ran into people I hadn’t seen for years. It’s a great thing.

PETERSEN: It certainly is. Anthony Albanese, Christopher Pyne we will wrap up our first edition of The Odd Couple here on Perth Live on 6PR.

PYNE: Great to be with you.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having us.

PETERSEN: There you go. Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne on 882 6PR.

Dec 4, 2017

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show

Subjects: Banking Royal Commission, Sam Dastyari, national security

DEB KNIGHT: I tell you what, a week is a long time in politics. Just over a week ago the PM said categorically, on this show. there would be no Royal Commission into the banks, but here we are. The Government’s Christopher Pyne and Labor’s Anthony Albanese join me now. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Deb.

KNIGHT: Christopher, to you first. How humiliating – the least worst option is what the Treasurer is calling it. You have been forced into this inquiry which no-one it seems in the Government wants.

PYNE: Well Deb, as you say, a week is a long time in politics and the banks asked us yesterday I think, or the night before, to put an end to the banks and the insurance companies and the super funds being used as political footballs in the Senate.

KNIGHT: So you did the banks’ bidding?

PYNE: No. Well, the Labor Party were trying to undermine our financial system which means undermining our economy. The banks had become a political football in the Senate. Clearly we had reached a stage where the Government had to take charge of the situation. When the banks themselves said things had reached a situation which was beyond tolerable, the Government decided that we were going to act and deal with it. We will now have a Royal Commission into the entire financial services sector, including industry super funds and general insurance and banks and that will hopefully produce recommendations that the Government can adopt.

KNIGHT: Which the super industry is not happy about also. But I mean, be upfront with the voters here Christopher – this is not about fixing the economy is it? It’s about politics. You’ve lost your numbers. You had no option but to act because the Nationals were going to force an inquiry.

PYNE: Well Deb, the Government has made it perfectly clear that we think we have been getting on with the job of dealing with issues surrounding the banking sector. We have the four, four in fact five, of the largest banks in the world. We have a very robust banking system. But there has obviously been a lot of political pressure. Labor wanted to make this a political football. They did nothing about it of course for six years in government. Now suddenly they have discovered grievances over the banks. We’ve acted. That’s what sensible governments do. We are getting on with the job. We move on to the next issue, which is marriage equality next week.

KNIGHT: Well big backflips, that’s for sure, Albo, put it to you, Labor, you’ve been calling for this. Are you going to still swipe from the sidelines or are you going to get on with this inquiry?

ALBANESE: The Government has been leading from behind. It has been arguing that there is no need for this and this week we have seen an utter humiliation of the Prime Minister, who has no authority within his own political party, let alone within the Parliament and this is an extraordinary humiliation for the Government.

KNIGHT: Will you back this inquiry though?

ALBANESE: Well, we will back the inquiry. We have been calling for it.

KNIGHT: With the current terms?

ALBANESE: We have been calling for it. The terms aren’t what we would like. But we will support the inquiry. We think that it should be much wider and we think it should be much more centralised on the victims. We are concerned that the victims’ groups weren’t consulted about the terms of reference. And that says it all. The Government’s saying “oh well we could do this now that the big four banks requested it”. It just shows who is in charge of the show. It certainly isn’t Malcolm Turnbull and it’s not the Government.

PYNE: How is Sam Dastyari going there Anthony? Who is in charge of him?

ALBANESE: Good distraction.

KNIGHT: It’s not a distraction though at all. Why is he still in the Parliament?

ALBANESE: Well, let’s talk about Sam Dastyari and the banks. What Sam Dastyari has been doing on the banks over a long period of time is talking to victims …

PYNE: No. We didn’t ask about Sam Dastyari and the banks. We are talking about Sam Dastyari and the Chinese.

ALBANESE: … is talking to victims and representing them …

PYNE: No. Not about the banks.

ALBANESE: And representing them because of the Government’s failure to so do.

PYNE: Stay on the issue Anthony.

KNIGHT: Why is Sam Dastyari still within the Labor Party and still within Parliament, because I don’t give my eight-year-old son as many chances as Bill Shorten has given Sam Dastyari?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that the allegation against Sam Dastyari is that he told someone that they were a security issue. That’s the allegation.

KNIGHT: And that he also countered Labor policy, and he also took funding from the donor, the Chinese donor. It’s not just a single incident here.

ALBANESE: Hang on. The Government is still taking funding from this donor.

PYNE: Not for personal expenses.

ALBANESE: This person has donated to the Liberal Party as much as they have donated to the Labor Party.

PYNE: Hang on. That’s not the issue.

ALBANESE: … it is the Government has been out there exposing national security interests just like over the Michaelia Cash issue it was the Government staffers that alerted the media.

PYNE: You can’t just talk over everybody until the segment runs out of time.

ALBANESE: It is you who has lost control of the Government Christopher.

PYNE: The issue is about Sam Dastyari having his personal bills being paid.

ALBANESE: You are the Government Leader in the House of Representatives and you have completely lost control.

KNIGHT: It has been a fiery week for both sides.

ALBANESE: And that’s unacceptable that that happens.

PYNE: What is unacceptable is telling Chinese people potentially who could be people of interest …

ALBANESE: You have told them.

PYNE: … not to use their phones because they could be being listened to by the security agencies. That is the serious issue.

ALBANESE: The whole of the Government has gone out there and has been talking about national security interests and I think that is a serious issue …

PYNE: You are outrageous. He had his personal bills paid, …

ALBANESE: … the role in which the Government, including the Attorney General, has done that.

PYNE: … he contradicted party policy and Government policy and then he warned this person …

KNIGHT: All right all right, this is going to be fireworks in Parliament.

ALBANESE: You know, the more he shouts, the more the Government is in trouble.

PYNE: … not to use his phone because of the security agencies. He could have been interfering with national security.

KNIGHT: OK. Wait until Parliament comes back and we will discuss it further. Lots to discuss. Fireworks – we’ve got them. Good to see you.

PYNE: Thanks Deb. Nice to see you this morning.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 1 DECEMBER, 2017

Nov 29, 2017

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes Segment

Subject: Sam Dastyari, Coalition disunity, Banking Royal Commission, marriage equality, Murray-Darling Basin.

HOST: Two tribes go head to head. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Will.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: Albo, we might start with you this morning because the Sydney Morning Herald has carried a pretty extraordinary story about the conduct of your colleague Labor Senator Sam Dastyari and it tells the tale of just a couple of weeks after he was forced to resign from Shadow Cabinet given his dealings with a Chinese businessman and accepting donations from him, he met with that businessman, a Mr Huang, in his home in Mosman at which, according to the Sydney Morning Herald article, he gave Mr Huang counter-surveillance advice, saying they should leave their phones inside and go outside to speak. He said that, according to the article, the meeting came just a couple of weeks after senior political figures, including those in the Labor Party, were briefed by ASIO that this Mr Huang was a person of interest to the Australian intelligence agency. At a time when we are considering divided loyalties in Parliament and dual citizenship is grounds for people to have to resign, why should Sam Dastyari still get to sit in Parliament?

ALBANESE: Oh look, what an absolute beat-up this is and of real concern is the apparent laissez faire attitude that the Government has towards using the security agencies to try to make a partisan political point.

HOST: So you have no concerns about Sam Dastyari’s conduct whatsoever?

ALBANESE: I have no concern about Sam Dastyari’s loyalty to Australia. If anyone looks on social media this morning they will see photos of Mr Huang with Malcolm Turnbull, with Tony Abbott, with Barry O’Farrell, with Mike Baird, with all of these Liberal Party leaders, state and federal. And what we have here is a whole lot of innuendo basically. They say that this occurred. On what basis is that knowledge out there? The allegation is there were two people as part of the conversation – Senator Dastyari and Mr Huang. And it purports to know as fact what happened in that conversation. I just find it extraordinary.

HOST: What do you think he would have wanted to say to Mr Huang that he wouldn’t have wanted the Australian Government and intelligence agencies to know?

ALBANESE: Well I wouldn’t have a clue because I wasn’t there. Nor were you and nor was anyone else at this alleged meeting.

HOST: What is your assessment of this Chris? What do you think?

PYNE: Well I think there’s three points to make arising out of what Anthony just said. The first is of course is there’s absolutely no suggestion that our security agencies have anything to do with this story whatsoever and for Anthony to say that we used the security agencies is really a very wild allegation. The first the Government knew about …

ALBANESE: The article says that it does.

PYNE: … the story was when a journalist approached us on Monday afternoon and asked us for a comment so the idea that the security agencies have got something to do with this is a wild claim by Anthony and he really should withdraw it. Secondly …

ALBANESE: It’s in the article Christopher, in The Herald.

PYNE: I didn’t interrupt you.

ALBANESE: But it’s in the article.

HOST: One at a time guys please.

PYNE: Secondly, there is a huge difference between being photographed with a donor at a party function or fundraiser, which as we all know happens millions of times a day, and having a conversation and a meeting with Mr Huang and for some reason wanting to not have anybody able to hear what was being said in that conversation. I think Will hit the nail on the head when he asked Anthony what were the comments that Sam Dastyari wanted to make to Mr Haung that he didn’t want anybody to hear.  That is the question Sam Dastyari needs to answer and it is a very serious matter and Bill Shorten brought Sam Dastyari back onto the frontbench within months after the last time he was sacked because he was having people pay, donors pay, his personal bills. And Sam Dastyari’s at the centre of Bill Shorten’s apparatus that will form government if he wins the next election.

HOST: Changing tack now guys, and we are going to throw this one first to you Chris, but we will get to you shortly Albo. Chris Pyne, how is Malcolm Turnbull going to manage the prospect of having a bank Royal Commission that he clearly doesn’t want to hold?

PYNE: Well we don’t think there should be a Royal Commission because we are getting on with the job right now of protecting consumers’ interests by some of the measures that we have introduced that have been supported by most political parties and that a Royal Commission, while it might satiate some people’s views about the banks, will actually slow down the process of mediation, of compensation, of getting people who have been wronged by the banks righted again because it will take years, it will cost probably hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and the biggest winners out of it will be the lawyers.

HOST: So should the National Party MPs who are agitating for one pull their heads in?

PYNE: Well the Government doesn’t have a policy to hold a Royal Commission.

HOST: But some Government MPs do because you are in Coalition with these people.

PYNE: That’s right and the thing about Coalition is that unlike the Labor Party, we don’t take a Stalinist approach to these kinds of matters …

HOST: Maybe you should start.

PYNE: No, I mean, part of our democracy is allowing people to have their own views. Of course, as I said yesterday, this kind of display of disunity is only helping the Labor Party. But it will pass, as all things do.

HOST: Hey Albo, we know what your views are. You guys are in favour of a bank Royal Commission obviously …

ALBANESE: As are all of your listeners.

HOST:  Well probably a lot of them. I don’t know what the exact figures are. The human barometer. Are you guys on an election footing right now in the ALP? Do you think that this Government could fall over before Christmas? Are you guys ready to hit the button and start campaigning?

ALBANESE: This Government could fall over today. They are an absolute rabble. They have stopped governing. I mean it is no accident that in amongst all of this chaos the Sam Dastyari sort of story emerges as a look-over-here concept.

HOST: It’s a pretty good story Albo, with respect. You have spent your life fighting against these questionable New South Wales Right characters. I reckon over a beer you might have a different view about Sam Dastyari.

ALBANESE: No. Of all the things from time to time I have been critical of the New South Wales Right for, this is just absurd, this example. But what we have is a Government that doesn’t know what it is doing on the banking Royal Commission, is tearing itself apart over marriage equality, isn’t showing any leadership. Yesterday in Bennelong they came up with a $100 million pork barrel announcement because a by-election happens to be on, having cancelled a $2.1 billion fund to build a rail line, something real, between Parramatta to Epping, when the change of Government occurred in 2013.
This is a Government that just doesn’t have a narrative, doesn’t have a sense of purpose, is fighting within itself and where I read today that a whole lot of Government members have essentially given up. They cancelled Parliament this week.

HOST: Chris Pyne you’ve got a chance to right the ship of state next week. How important is the final week of Parliament and what can you guys do to get control of the agenda again?

PYNE: Well we haven’t lost control of the agenda to start with. But next week we have to do two things. We have to resolve the issues around dual citizenship because there are two Labor members and the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie who have serious questions to answer about their citizenship when nominations closed in the election last year. So we’ll have to resolve that. And we also have to deal with marriage equality because the bill will come from the Senate down to the House of Representatives and most of our week next week will  be dealing with the marriage equality debate. I am sure there will be amendments moved and debate had about that. It will be the Parliament doing its job and every vote will be a conscience vote, although I understand Labor has withdrawn a conscience vote from its members.

ALBANESE: That’s not right.

PYNE: It’s bizarre.

ALBANESE: Well, it’s just not right.

PYNE: Well in the Senate, in the Senate, not one Labor Senator, in spite of there being about half a dozen who are very opposed to marriage equality, have voted for any amendments to the Bill in the Senate.

ALBANESE: That is because the amendments are crap Christopher. They are tactical.

PYNE: That’s the technical term for it.

HOST: Albo, can I just quickly ask you about a local issue that you may have some insight on?

ALBANESE: They will be voting against marriage equality. They will be voting against the bill because we have a conscience vote but they recognise this for what it is – conservatives trying to stop the vote.

HOST: Albo, I want to get your take on the South Australian Government’s move to hold a Royal Commission into upstream rorting of the Murray-Darling Basin, given it affects New South Wales. What do you make of that measure taken by SA?

ALBANESE: It’s a terrific idea. The Parliament voted for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan with a few exceptions – one Green, a couple of Libs, a Nat, all voted, and Bob Katter, there were about half a dozen votes I think from memory voted against the plan. Overwhelmingly it was adopted by the Parliament and what we have seen in New South Wales is real concern with bureaucrats being involved in activities that essentially result in South Australia suffering because they are at the end of the basin.

HOST: Chris Pyne, you’ve come out and described it as a stunt. Are you concerned that Steven Marshall has agreed to it?

PYNE: No. There are five inquiries into the Murray-Darling Basin on at the moment. This is the sixth inquiry. What I said was that we all know that Jay Weatherill was hoping that the Federal Government would oppose the Royal Commission because he wants to have a fight with Canberra. His whole political strategy for re-election is fighting with Canberra, so he keeps raising issues that he can try and have a fight with. We are not going to give him a fight because if he wants to have State Royal Commission that doesn’t have powers interstate to compel anybody to do anything, that’s really a matter for him. We all know everything with Jay Weatherill and his Government is about politics. So this is just more politics about the election campaign. But he is quite welcome to have his Royal Commission and whatever it finds we will look forward to getting its findings.

HOST: Christopher Pyne, the Member for Sturt; Anthony Albanese, the Member for Grayndler, always great to catch up. We’ll do it again next week.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER, 2017

Nov 27, 2017

Transcript of Television Interview – Sky News Patricia Karvelas Program

Subjects: Queensland election, Bennelong by-election, Manus Island, Turnbull Government.

PATRICIA KARVELAS: Welcome to the program.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good evening Patricia. We of course we should be sitting this week. It’s a fact that it has been in the schedule for some time and it is quite extraordinary that the Government has put its hand up and said: We don’t have anything worth discussing as an agenda for this week. We’re going to wait for the Senate to deal with the issue of marriage equality and then and only then will we bother to convene the House of Representatives.

KARVELAS: Well, let’s start by analysing the Queensland result first. This isn’t a good result for either of the major parties. Of course, no doubt you are going to focus on the LNP and of course it has been not great for the LNP. But it’s not a great result for Labor either. In fact I think it shows that the electorate is quite grumpy with the major parties. Isn’t that still the case?

ALBANESE: Patricia, this is an extraordinary result for the Labor Party and for Annastacia Palaszczuk and her team. What we have seen is that Labor has increased the number of electorates that they will hold in the Queensland Parliament. They are likely to be in a position to form a majority government. They have won seats like Redlands in the east of Brisbane. They have held on against a One Nation push in places like Ipswich; against a Greens Party push in places like Brisbane’s south where the Greens concentrated all their efforts on trying to get rid of Jackie Trad. I mean, every effort was concentrated. People came in from interstate to try and remove a progressive minister and indeed Deputy Premier in the Queensland Government in Jackie Trad.

And of course for the LNP this is a debacle and they deserved the thumping that they got over issues like Scott Emerson – we’ve seen the Shadow Treasurer probably lose his seat. He’s one of the people I signed an agreement with the build Cross River Rail way back in 2013 and they went to this election saying that they would scrap Cross River Rail that is so important for Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, that will expand the capacity of the network. So I think this is a good result for Labor. Any election where you win is a good result, I assure you.

KARVELAS: OK, but there is a disruption in politics. You can see it too. I mean, you know, the numbers don’t lie. There has been a swing against Labor and you might say that it is better than any other alternative if Labor can form Government, but either way we are seeing a very significant vote for the Greens, also for One Nation. There is a splintering of the vote, isn’t there?

ALBANESE: There’s no doubt that the major parties would both try to lift their primary vote and certainly Labor will certainly continue to concentrate on that, whether it is at the state level or at the national level. We want to see people going for the Labor Party. But the truth is that Labor didn’t lose any seats to the Greens in this election. The truth is that this comes off the back of remember, we’ve had a minority Government under Annastacia Palaszczuk over the entire period in which she successfully defeated Campbell Newman’s Government after one term. So we had a few factors there. One, they went from not being able to form a cricket team into forming a Government. That has meant that many first-time Members have had to fill the Cabinet positions. Now those people will be far more experienced in their second term.

Annastacia Palaszczuk ran an extraordinary campaign. Her confidence is building. It’s the first time that we have seen a female Premier re-elected in this nation. She has now successfully won two elections from essentially a start of almost oblivion when she took over the leadership of the Opposition.

And you have some outstanding people coming through. I spent some time in Queensland and there’s no doubt that you’ve got some very, very good ministers there – people like Jackie Trad and Cameron Dick and Kate Jones and others in key portfolios. But you have also got, I think, people who, having had the experience of a term under their belt, will really step up in the second term. So I think that Queensland is in a position to really nail it in this term. It has been difficult in their first term. They didn’t have the numbers to do things that they wanted to do like deal with the land-clearing issue.

KARVELAS: OK. Let me take you to another election I know you are watching very keenly. In fact I saw you right there this week and that is Bennelong. Malcolm Turnbull was campaigning today and he pointed out that Kristina Keneally wrote an article for The Guardian advocating Australia take the Manus Island refugees and he says that it is going to lead to the people smuggling trade opening up. Isn’t this potent argument against Labor, that the issue of the boats restarting and divisions in the Labor Party on this issue of asylum seekers. I mean, this is a genuine issue in the Labor Party.

ALBANESE: You know what the potent issue is out there – the failure of the Government to even pretend that they are governing. Here you have Malcolm Turnbull, who has been part of the Government now for more than four years, essentially acting like an Opposition Leader. What is he doing to provide security and certainty for the people who are on Manus and on Nauru? Manus was opened up as a processing centre on a temporary basis. That is, that people would be processed and then settled in third countries. More than four years later you have a human rights catastrophe going on there. You have I think a great deal of concern in the national community, but also I think internationally people are looking at Australia and are wondering what is going on here when the Government seems oblivious to the crisis that is going on in Manus. They need to come up with a solution.

KARVELAS: Peter Dutton has attacked Labor for saying that the New Zealand plan, the offer of 150 refugees a year, should be adopted. He says that that is basically going to be marketed by the people smugglers. Now Labor has been in this position before. Are you wary about that? Are you worried that it could be used and marketed by people smugglers?

ALBANESE: You know who has been in this position before Patricia? John Howard, the former Member for Bennelong when he was Prime Minister. People from the Tampa were settled in New Zealand. They stayed there. They are still there today. That was what John Howard did. He also of course brought people to Australia. That is what the Howard Government did, in spite of all of the rhetoric about these people wouldn’t settle anywhere and wouldn’t be dealt with. The fact is that people were brought to Australia and in particular, relevant here, is they were brought to New Zealand.

So this sort of nonsense campaign from the Government once again forgetting that they are actually in a position of authority here, acting like they are part of an Opposition. They have the power. They also have the responsibility to provide solutions and what do we see from them? We see from them every time something is asked of them they speak about Labor. Well, we are in our second term of Opposition, unfortunately. But what we have with the Government at the moment is behaving like an Opposition in exile; like they have no responsibility for anything that is going on and they are not coming up with solutions. And very clearly the situation on Manus is unacceptable. It needs to be dealt with by the Government and the Government is simply failing.

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese, thanks for joining us tonight.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you Patricia.

[ENDS]

SUNDAY, 26 NOVEMBER, 2017

 

Nov 24, 2017

Transcript of Doorstop Interview with Stephen Mullighan MP – Adelaide

Subject: South Australian infrastructure

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s great to be back in Adelaide and it’s fantastic to be here with Steven Mullighan, the Transport Minister who I look forward to working with after the next federal election with a different title.

Indeed today it is 10 years since the election of the Rudd Labor Government and what that saw was a historic legacy when it came to infrastructure investment here in South Australia from the Commonwealth.

Nowhere was that more significant than here on South Road with the construction of the Superway. We had the funding of the Northern Expressway. We had the Goodwood to Torrens rail freight projects. We had the Noarlunga to Seaford extension of the rail line.

We had the Gawler Line electrification begun before the Commonwealth under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull withdrew their funding.

We were a government that increased per capita expenditure on infrastructure from the Commonwealth for each and every South Australian from $109 to $272. And we want to do more.

Since the change of government we’ve seen a decline in the amount of infrastructure investment in South Australia that has been committed to by the Commonwealth, but even worse they haven’t spent the money that they themselves said they would invest here in South Australia over the first three budgets.

There’s a $355 million dollar gap between what they’ve said in those budgets they would spend and what that actual expenditure is. Now, you could have made a real start on the next section of the South Road upgrade.

We know that the South Road upgrade has a benefit-cost ratio of $7.40 return for every dollar that is invested in it. That’s why we didn’t just do the Superway. We began the construction on the Torrens to Torrens section.

That’s why we did the planning on the entire route in conjunction with the South Australian Government. We believe that that’s not all. As a result of that cut of $355 million, not only have you not seen next sections of the South Road progressed, but you’re seeing cuts to important programs like the Black Spot Program, like the Heavy Vehicle Safety Program.

We need to do better. Investing in infrastructure creates jobs today but create future jobs by boosting economic productivity and it also of course upgrades road safety, making roads safer for all of our motorists.

We want to partner with South Australia not just on roads but on rail and indeed on light rail – the extension of the light rail here throughout Adelaide. We want to work with the South Australian Government on infrastructure and we think that the current government could start by just living up to its own commitments. Spending the money that it’s put in the Budget for projects.

STEPHEN MULLIGHAN, SA MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Thanks very much. Well, it’s great to have Anthony Albanese here in South Australia once again and as you’ve heard, no one has done more for infrastructure in South Australia than he has at the federal level, and that’s why we are so keen to work with a Commonwealth government that puts infrastructure first in South Australia.

We know it means construction activity and jobs while it’s being built, but we also know it boosts the productivity of the economy on an ongoing basis and that long list of projects that Mr Albanese raised earlier is something that we can continue.

We’ve got projects in front of the current Coalition federal government that need to be funded and these projects need to continue the pipeline of work that the civil construction industry is looking for, it needs to continue the pipeline of work that South Australian workers need, and it needs to give our economy a boost while we wait for the improvements in jobs and construction activity from the future shipbuilding contract – another contract of course which was promised by the former Federal Labor Government.

This is absolutely critical for us to maintain the momentum of major road projects and major public transport projects in South Australia and the time is up for the federal government to stop the excuses, to stop the delays and to stop the blame with not putting their money where their mouth is, and start funding some infrastructure projects here in South Australia.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2017

Nov 24, 2017

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show

Subjects; Cabinet leaks; Turnbull Government chaos; 10 Year Anniversary of the election of the Rudd Labor Government; John Howard religious freedoms comments

KARL STEFANOVIC: Gee, hasn’t it been a big week in politics and it only gets worse doesn’t it? Fresh Cabinet leaks, a call for tax cuts and more turmoil on Manus Island. There’s plenty to talk about. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join me now. Good morning guys.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning!

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl. Thanks for the new time.

KARL STEFANOVIC: It is a new time.

ALBANESE: We’re moving to prime time.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah, you’re in prime time. You’re in prime time. Christopher, to you first of all. Have you been leaking again from Cabinet?

PYNE: Well, ‘again’ is a little bit defamatory Karl but I’ll let you go because I know you don’t mean it. No, I don’t discuss what goes on in Cabinet. It’s a confidential room and on the tenth anniversary of the election of Kevin Rudd we know what a chaotic government looks like. It was called the Rudd Government and it was followed by the Gillard Government and we’re certainly not in that state at the moment.

STEFANOVIC: Well you are, because you’re leaking like a sieve. Julie Bishop has called for an investigation. Do you support an investigation?

PYNE:  Well, I’m happy for there to be an investigation. If they want to have one that is absolutely fine with me. Often those investigations unfortunately don’t go anywhere because people who do this kind of thing you know usually cover their tracks pretty well. But I can tell you right now that I’m not going to discuss what goes on in Cabinet. I don’t discuss it. The Cabinet needs to be tight and united which it has been. We’ve been a good solid methodical government and we’re going to keep doing that right through to the next election.

STEFANOVIC: You’re not now though. I mean, as soon as Cabinet starts leaking then it’s the end.

PYNE:  Every now and then these these kinds of things happen and they’re certainly not the end of the world. What we are doing though is getting on with delivering income tax cuts, 371,000 jobs, keeping inflation and interest rates low, doing things around electricity and energy that mean that people’s prices can come down. That’s what the public care about, protecting the borders, not all of this static.

STEFANOVIC: I’ll come back to you because the static is consuming the government and it is eating away at you. Okay, Albo for you. You would know what leaking from Cabinet does to a government. Your thoughts on that first of all.

ALBANESE: This is a chaotic government. This is a government at war with itself. They’re so bad they have to stop Parliament meeting. I mean this is quite extraordinary, that next week Parliament should be meeting and discussing the future of the nation. It’s a government that’s put it’s hand up and said ‘we’ve got no legislation worth discussing, we’ll just wait for the Senate to deal with the marriage equality legislation and then we’ll reconvene as a Parliament’. They’re scared of themselves. They’re scared of getting the Liberal Party in a room because of what it might mean. And it is absolutely chaotic.

STEFANOVIC: They’re calling Anthony Albanese. Anthony Albanese, your plane is about to take off. Christopher, between us Christopher – we’re just going to wind that audio down just for a fraction. Christopher, you must know – you must know who it is. You don’t have to share who it is, but you must know who it is. Are you on to them?

PYNE:  Karl, I have not wasted one moment thinking about that issue.

STEFANOVIC:  Of course you have.

PYNE: I’m focused on what the public focused on. I know that Anthony and the media generally want to create this sense of crisis and chaos. It sells newspapers. It gets the ratings. You’re all competing with social media. But we are just getting on with it. Today, the Prime Minister and I will make an announcement with Marise Payne about another very significant defence investment in Australia. That’s good stuff. That’s what the public are interested in. They’re not just interested in the commentariat wondering about what’s happening at the end of another political year. I call this part of the year the silly season where all these kinds of comments get written, all these big columns about the end of the world. We’re just getting on with it.

STEFANOVIC:  Can I just break it to you.

ALBANESE:  Others call it the killing season.

STEFANOVIC: Okay. Okay. Anthony?

PYNE: Well you did.

ALBANESE:  And you did when you when Turnbull knocked off Abbott, before that when Abbott knocked off Turnbull.

PYNE: How did you go with that, Gillard and Rudd? Simon Crean. Kim Beazley.

ALBANESE:  The fact is that the Rudd Government we celebrate today, we celebrate today one decade since taking office and the fact is –

STEFANOVIC:  You are both as bad as each other.

ALBANESE:  In spite of the internals, we kept governing. We kept governing. We dealt with the global financial crisis.

STEFANOVIC:  Really quickly Christopher, John Howard says Malcolm Turnbull’s argument that religious freedoms will lead to Sharia law is a disgraceful fear campaign. John Howard has not been quiet about Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership.

PYNE: Well, that’s not true. John Howard has been very supportive of Malcolm.

STEFANOVIC:  Not today.

PYNE:  Well, he’s not talking about Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership. I haven’t seen those comments so it’s hard for me to actually comment on them Karl, but what I’m concerned about –

STEFANOVIC: It says Malcolm Turnbull’s argument that religious freedom will lead to Sharia law is a disgraceful fear campaign.

PYNE: Well I think we have to be very careful in trying to enshrine religious freedoms in say, a marriage act, that we don’t do something inadvertent which we didn’t mean to do. So that’s why we have to proceed with caution. Now, next week the Senate will debate the marriage equality bill, the following week the House of Representatives will do that., and it’s passed by Christmas, which we assume it will be. That will bring marriage equality. Then, in a separate process we have announced that Philip Ruddock will review religious freedoms in Australia to make sure that there are no inhibitions on religious freedom. We’ve got to be able to act. That’s a methodical process.

ALBANESE: You didn’t announce it, Christopher. Sharri Markson announced it on the front page of The Telegraph, that’s who announced it.

PYNE:  There he goes again.

STEFANOVIC:  We’ve got to go, gentlemen. Gentlemen. We have got to go. Thank you for your time today. That’s your plane leaving, Albo.

ALBANESE:  I’m coming to Adelaide, Christopher. Look out!

PYNE:  My vote will go up again. Every time you come it improves.

STEFANOVIC: We’ll see you guys soon.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2017

 

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Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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