Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Jul 26, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Narangba – Thursday, 26 July 2018

Subjects; Narangba station, Labor’s Park and Ride fund, Emma Husar, by-elections, aviation safety

SUSAN LAMB: Well here at Narangba Station, I’ve spent week after week speaking with commuters about the challenges they face in trying to find a carpark here. We know the best way to bust some of those congestion problems on the Bruce Highway is to get the cars off the road and get them right here to Narangba Station and get people onto trains. Now today we have a great announcement. Under a Shorten Labor Government we’re investing $5 million for a Park and Ride facility here. A hundred more parks for the commuters to catch the train into the city. We welcome of course the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, to talk to us about this great announcement for our growing community.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Susan and it’s great to be back here in Longman. Susan and I actually caught the train from Brisbane Central to this very station one afternoon a few weeks ago and talked to commuters. One of the things that commuters were concerned about was the issue of parking at this railway station in this growing community.

We know that at the moment there are 387 parking spots at this station, but 559 cars on average park here every day for commuters travelling to work to the south, largely. The fact is that Park and Ride is a necessary component, consistent with Federal Labor’s commitment under Bill Shorten to deliver on public transport. We’ve got over $2 billion committed to the Cross River Rail project – a project that was identified as the number one priority by Infrastructure Australia way back in 2012, but which the Abbott Government cut funding for and the Turnbull Government has refused to recommit that funding that was ripped out of the Budget by Tony Abbott when he became the Prime Minister. We created some six weeks ago a Park and Ride fund of $300 million, seeking matching funding from the other levels of government for Park and Ride facilities in communities such as here and, last week, we had an announcement at Mango Hill station to the south of here.

What Cross River Rail will mean is increased capacity, more frequency of trains, more people being able to access public transport. But they need to have access to the train station as well, which is why Federal Labor’s commitment of $5 million towards an upgrade of Park and Ride facilities here at this station at Narangba is so important for the local community. We would anticipate matching funding at least from the Queensland Government who’ve identified this station as a priority for an upgrade of these facilities and who also have created a dedicated fund for just this activity. Park and ride is so important, public transport is so important and because Susan Lamb is in touch with her local community, she has been able to identify this as a priority.

JOURNALIST: How soon will you roll Bill Shorten if Ms Lamb loses this election?

ALBANESE: The fact is that Susan Lamb is on track to win this by-election. We’re determined to ensure that Susan is re-elected. She deserves to be, she’s been an outstanding advocate for this seat. Unlike Wyatt Roy who was more concerned with media stunts, Susan Lamb has been a strong advocate – Whether it be public transport facilities, whether it be the Caboolture Hospital, whether it be the schools in this electorate and what Saturday is about is an opportunity for the people of Longman to send a message on behalf of the people of Australia that they prioritise investment in education and health and infrastructure over tax cuts for the big banks,  over giving the big banks $17 billion. Malcolm Turnbull can’t find any money for the Cross River Rail Project but he can find $17 billion for the big banks, that’s not the priority of this community.

JOURNALIST: You said yesterday you were willing to be a team player. Can you a hundred percent guarantee today that you won’t challenge for the Leadership?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. What I’m concerned about is one thing and one thing only; being a Minister in a Labor Government, being able to deliver on infrastructure, being able to deliver on transport. I want to come back here with Bill Shorten as the Prime Minister and myself as the Infrastructure Minister and Susan Lamb as the Member for Longman and have a celebration of not just the beginning of works to upgrade this facility but the completion of works as well.

JOURNALIST: Just to be clear you absolutely there ruled out a Leadership challenge if Labor loses a by-election?

ALBANESE: Well that’s very perceptive mate, I’ve been asked –

JOURNALIST: I’m just giving you a chance because you dodged the question for five days.

ALBANESE: No I haven’t. No I haven’t.

JOURNALIST: You talk about being a team player but you haven’t said categorically yes or no.

ALBANESE: You haven’t been paying attention and you need to pay attention. You need to look at the transcripts, they’re all there. The only thing I’m interested in is being a Minister in a Labor Government, it will be led by Bill Shorten, that’s my only priority, my only concern and Labor’s not talking about internals. What we’re talking about is defeating the Turnbull Government because the Turnbull Government is having a devastating impact on families in areas such as this. Malcolm Turnbull might be okay looking after the people of Point Piper; he’s not good at looking after the people of Narangba and the people of Caboolture and the people of Morayfield and the people of this community.

JOURNALIST: You’re priorities may however change though, so can you give a definitive no that you will not challenge Mr Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t know how many times I can say it. Here’s this, I’ll say it really slowly – No. There you go. There you go in a word, it’s not hard.

JOURNALIST: It’s because you don’t have the support of Labor’s Right faction, is that it? Is that the reason why, you don’t have the numbers on the Right?

ALBANESE: My priority – You can ask the same question different ways if you like, you’ll get the same answer. You’ll get the same answer and it’s the same answer that I gave in Perth two days ago, it’s the same answer I gave on 5AA yesterday, on 6PR, it’s the same answer I give every Friday on the Today Show.

JOURNALIST: It must be hard though because you want a crack at it though, you want a crack.

ALBANESE: You should pay attention. What I want to do –

JOURNALIST: Isn’t it your time Albo? Isn’t it your time?

ALBANESE: I’ve had a great privilege of being a Minister in a Labor Government. And you know what I know the difference between? I know the difference between being able to put into practice your policies and I know the impact that this failure of a Government is having. Here we have on energy policy – We still don’t know where they want to go after five years. We’ve got a Prime Minister who likes travelling on trains and he’s prepared to take selfies on them he’s just not prepared to fund them. He’ll turn up to the opening of the Redcliffe Rail Line, he’ll turn up to the opening of the Gold Coast Light Rail, he just won’t fund Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Project. What we need is a government that actually looks after the people not themselves and their mates. What we have at the moment is a government that just looks after the top end of town.

JOURNALIST: Susan can you say what you think will be the key two or three issues that will determine the election?

LAMB: Easy – jobs, health and education. Top three that will be the key focus points, absolutely.

JOURNALIST: Susan when did you start organising your election campaign? There are reports you started in April, which seems a bit early for a Federal election.

LAMB: Well look when you’re dealing with a government like the Turnbull Government no time’s too early. It’s general campaigning. Who knows when we were going to an election. We’ve got a really unstable Government, we needed to be prepared nice and early for a general election and that’s what we were doing.

JOURNALIST: So you weren’t planning before the High Court ruling on Katy Gallagher thinking you might have some dual citizenship issues?

LAMB: We were planning to win the next general election from the third of July, from the day that I took office it was back into it. We might have won the seat, we didn’t win government and I was back in fighting to win in the seat again.

JOURNALIST: Albo can I ask you about Emma Husar? It seems that there’s been a lot of talk about allegations about her office that many people within the ALP and perhaps within Parliament have known for some time. There was an expert brought in to fix things up, there were 20 people apparently who complained. It has a bad stink to it. What do you make of the issue and how long ago did you know of problems?

ALBANESE: Well there’s an investigation taking place. I knew some time ago, I heard that that investigation was taking place.

JOURNALIST: Could you be specific Mr Albanese – Some time ago?

JOURNALIST: Was it a month, two months?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t know.

JOURNALIST: Certainly earlier than last Wednesday?

ALBANESE: Yes certainly. I knew at least a number of weeks ago, whenever the State Conference was people raised it with me there. I think that was in, I’m not even sure when that was. Seems like a long time ago we announced the Park and Ride fund, was a few weeks ago. So I knew at least then. I think I had heard something beforehand about the Administrative Committee setting up a process with Mr Whelan, the details of which I wasn’t aware. The only details I have are those that I’ve read in the paper, some of which may be accurate, some of which may not be.

JOURNALIST: So it’s a bit surprising that you’ve known for a few weeks, but Bill Shorten says he found out last week?

ALBANESE: Well I got asked a question and I gave an honest answer to you. That’s when I heard about it. I’m a member of the NSW Branch; you have a State Conference in NSW you expect people to be talking.

JOURNALIST: What concerns were conveyed to you?

ALBANESE: None, just the fact that, no one directly involved, I have no idea who some of the people are. I don’t think I’ve ever met, I might of in the corridors, met any of her staff. I don’t know any of the names that have been mentioned. The so-called expert who was put in there I’ve never heard of him, but that wouldn’t be all that surprising.

JOURNALIST: Should she be disendorsed if she’s found to have breached Fair Work laws?

ALBANESE: Let’s allow the process that has been established to take its course.

JOURNALIST: Obviously you have a personal opinion on the allegations?

ALBANESE: No I don’t. Because I don’t know whether they’re true or not. And so therefore, you know, let the process take its course. Emma Husar, my contact with her has been very positive as the local member. I’ve been to her electorate and met with the council with her over a range of issues related particularly to growth and development in that area. She is very concerned about the issue of jobs. I’ve been out there as well talking with her about roads. She’s a diligent local member who has taken leave and she should be allowed to do that. That is appropriate that the investigation take its course and that it not be pre-empted.

JOURNALIST: Did you raise it with Mr Shorten’s office?

ALBANESE: No.

JOURNALIST: Can I ask you about My Health? Will you be signing up to the online database of your own personal information for health reasons? Do you see any potential problems with it?

Would you be advocating for people to steer clear of it?

ALBANESE: I got asked this on Monday and I said that I had some time. If you read, so you’ve got to read my transcripts, if you did we wouldn’t get the same questions. I said then, that I’d have a look at it. I haven’t had time to have a look at it in the last couple of days in between going to Perth and coming here and doing things for the Republic movement yesterday and chatting with Christopher Pyne who I understand is up the road today. So I will have a look at it. My default position would be that it’s a good thing that there be electronic data, if you like, so people can get proper care and can get those details. But I’ll have a look at it and make a decision in conjunction with my family.

JOURNALIST: The latest inflation figures show that petrol prices have skyrocketed, what will a Labor Government do to bring those down?

ALBANESE: There’s a whole issue of petrol prices and – relating to motor vehicles, that myself and Mark Butler had a very successful roundtable on just a few weeks ago. We need to look at the issue of fuel security in this country – is one of the things that needs to be addressed. I think there’s some complacency about the issue of fuel security. We’ll continue to work on those policies. Mr Butler has responsibility for that. But it’s something that I know because I’ve participated, not from that perspective, but from the perspective of the growth that we can anticipate in electric vehicles. And the need to prepare for that change, that we’ve had discussions including with the fuel companies. I’ve had a couple of meetings with Caltex in recent weeks and we’ll continue to work on it. Mark Butler is busy preparing a comprehensive policy that we’ll announce in due course.

JOURNALIST: Labor has received $150,000 in donations in Queensland in the past month, mainly from unions. Would those unions consider this the best way to spend their money?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that working people know that they’re suffering under the Turnbull Government. We have real wages in decline. We have a Government that is prioritising not dealing with those issues, not dealing with occupational health and safety issues, not prioritising the needs of working people, including the needs of working people to get to work, which is what today’s announcement is all about. So it’s not surprising that the organisations that represent working people, the trade union movement, are busy campaigning to ensure that we get rid of the Turnbull Government.

JOURNALIST: Can I ask where you will be on election night, or by-election night?

ALBANESE: I haven’t made a decision yet, I’m not sure. I think Souths are playing at some stage. But I’m not sure even when they’re playing on the weekend. It’s a bit like your question about e-health. When you’re really busy, and it’s Thursday, I’m aware that it’s Thursday, it’s a long way to go to the weekend. I can confirm I will be on the Today Show tomorrow morning and then I have another commitment, media commitment, after that. Beyond that I haven’t finalised my itinerary for the weekend. But I appreciate …

JOURNALIST: An aviation question for you. Do you think the Civil Aviation Act should be changed to have a balance with the highest level of safety and air navigation and the need for an efficient and sustainable industry?

ALBANESE: Well read!

JOURNALIST: Thank you. Want to get the quotes right.

ALBANESE: (Inaudible) get the quotes right. The fact is, that I have said that we need to ensure safety needs to be an absolute priority and people would expect that to be the case when it comes to aviation. But we also need to make sure that there is an industry that is growing, an industry that’s supporting jobs, and economic activity. And the general aviation sector held a conference – just two weeks ago in Wagga Wagga that I went and addressed. My policies were outlined in great detail there. So you can take any of those quotes from the comprehensive policy we outlined. One of the things also that I said there, was that I sought a bi-partisan position with Michael McCormack. I sought that with Barnaby Joyce, I maintain that position. We cannot afford, in this country, to have aviation safety or security to become a partisan party political issue. It needs to be the national interest which is put first. I have always done that, I am confident that Michael McCormack will also do that.

We’ve had constructive discussions and it is beyond my comprehension, but not up to me, why people choose to disrupt those constructive discussions, which have taken place and which both of us agree we would meet with the representatives of that conference when Parliament resumes in August in order to map out a way forward.

JOURNALIST: Can I just bring you back to Longman? Given the Liberal Democrats have come out on top of the ballot is it time for a fresh look at banning party names that are similar and do you think that voters would find it confusing between the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal National Party?

ALBANESE: I think those issues have been dealt with, not just by the courts in recent times but there was a political party that kept us out of office for 23 years called the Democratic Labor Party. Now I appreciate not everyone here at this press conference would remember that but my mum certainly remembered it and as a good Catholic Labor supporter never forgave the splitters who kept us out of office and kept Robert Menzies there for all of that time. That was one of the things I was raised on. So your question isn’t new, there have been numerous legal cases over the use of party titles. I would just say this: that it is pretty hard to argue that anyone on Saturday in this by-election, which Malcolm Turnbull has shown his judgement yet again by having following the world’s longest election campaign in 2016 with the world’s longest by-election campaign this year, if people don’t know that Susan Lamb is the Labor candidate and what’s-his-name is the Liberal candidate, note the discipline there, but what’s-his-name is the Liberal candidate, then there’s something wrong. They haven’t been anywhere near the electorate.

JOURNALIST: What is your message to voters who might consider voting for One Nation on Saturday?

ALBANESE: One Nation vote all of the time on all the big issues with the Coalition. They stand side by side with Malcolm Turnbull for the big end of town and against the battlers in this electorate. If you want a representative who’ll stand up for you, someone of integrity, someone who will fight damn hard with every last breath that she’s got, Susan Lamb has shown in the time that she’s been in Parliament there is no one in the Parliament I would want fighting for me more than Susan Lamb. Thanks very much.

 

Jul 25, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes segment – Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Subjects: By-elections, polls.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: We will start with you Albo because the consensus, and we spoke to Phil Coorey yesterday and he is a dispassionate observer of Federal politics, the consensus does seems to be that the person who has the most to lose from the results on the weekend is your current boss, Bill Shorten. Do you think if Labor falls short in one or, God forbid for you guys, two of these seats, that the leadership will be a live issue?

ALBANESE: No. Look, what we are focused on is not our internals. We are focused on the needs of the Australian public. That’s what we are concerned about. We are worried that the people who have something to lose are those people who will suffer from health cuts, education cuts, cuts to infrastructure if this Government continues to sort of stumble its way through the show. What was interesting about your opening was that you said there were two seats in play. Well, there is Mayo in your great state of South Australia …

HOST: Not according to the most recent polls.

ALBANESE: …where the Liberals have written it off. It’s always been a safe Liberal seat forever.

HOST: But it’s not going to be a Labor gain though, is it?

ALBANESE: Certainly not.

HOST: We will get to that with Chris Pyne in a moment.

ALBANESE: We are contesting there, unlike in Perth and Fremantle, where I was over the last two days, where the Liberals aren’t even running candidates.

HOST: But if the Government, as you characterise, has been such a basket case of late Anthony Albanese, how can it be the case that you are in danger of losing two seats to a sitting government? It’s something that hasn’t happened once for 100 years.

ALBANESE: Well we are working very hard to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Bill Shorten is in Longman today. I will be in Longman tomorrow. We are campaigning very hard right up to Saturday. We think we’ve got very good candidates in Susan Lamb and Justine Keay. They have been good local members. They deserve to be re-elected.

HOST: Chris, just be patient mate. We will get to you in one second. We’ll just ask one more to Albo. Anthony, what did you make of the poll this week showing that if you were the Leader of the Labor Party none of these seats would be in play?

ALBANESE: Well, I mean polls, you know, come and go.

HOST: That’s a pollie answer mate.

ALBANESE: The interesting thing about all the polls that have been held is that they have consistently shown that Labor would win an election. Newspoll, I think it’s up to 37 in a row and I think that’s the key poll.

HOST: But the specific one I am talking about is the one involving you being the leader. You must have had some sort of reaction to it.

ALBANESE: Well of course it would be disingenuous to say that that wasn’t noticed. Obviously it was. It was splashed across the front pages of newspapers. But as I said, you know I am happy to be a part of the team that is led by Bill Shorten. He is the captain. I am happy to be a team player. I have always been that. I make a contribution, I think, to that team and it’s as simple as that.

PYNE: Anthony is like Where’s Wally. He is in every picture, every radio interview.

HOST: Well let’s talk seriously about Anthony Albanese for a minute. We’d have to find something else to talk about if he was the Leader of the Labor Party today on Two Tribes because he would wipe the floor with you guys in these by-elections. Does the prospect of Anthony Albanese as leader scare you?

PYNE: Obviously the Labor Party is riven by internal dissent about their leadership because Bill Shorten has not measured up. He is a person that nobody trusts and people have worked out that they can’t afford Labor. They have $270 billion worth of new taxes that they want to levy if they win the next election. The public are not stupid. They work out that that has got to come from them. And Bill Shorten is the guy that wants to do that. But Anthony is a part of that team. If Anthony is the Leader of the Labor Party, and he might well be by the next election, he would inherit a policy to increase taxes by $270 billion so nobody would be able to afford Anthony either. The extraordinary thing about the by-election this Saturday is that we are even talking about the Coalition being competitive. The Government has not won a by-election from the Opposition in 98 years. It would be a one-in-100-year event and that is where Bill Shorten has taken the Labor Party because he has boxed them in with high-taxing policies, out-of-date policies on energy and he is not keeping up with the current changes across the economy and the public know it.

HOST: Focusing on the local issue of Mayo, Chris Pyne, are you disappointed that with such a high-profile and cashed-up candidate that the Libs look like they are not a snowball’s chance in hell of winning that seat back?

PYNE: Well I wouldn’t say that we were a cashed-up campaign in Mayo. We are obviously spending what is required to make sure that we have a decent campaign in Mayo. Mayo is very different to the other by-elections because Bill Shorten is not running; he is not part of the contest. Labor is running dead in Mayo so Rebekha Sharkie is an Independent. It’s a completely different ball game. Georgina Downer has run a great campaign. She has returned from Melbourne and we want more people to return to South Australia. She is a good example of people who have come back to a great state that is growing again thanks to the Marshall Government.

ALBANESE: She’ll be leaving on Monday. She’ll be back over somewhere else on Monday.

PYNE: Her kids started school this morning.

HOST: She’s not the FIFO candidate then Chris?

PYNE: Her kids started school this morning in the Hills. She lives in Heathfield. I was campaigning with her this week up in Mount Barker. She is very well received. But Rebekha Sharkie is an Independent and I think it is a whole different ball game, whereas in Braddon and Longman it’s a much straighter contest between Labor and Liberal and the fact that Bill Shorten is in Longman is music to my ears. The more he campaigns the better.

HOST: What about the absence of Pauline Hanson in Longman, Chris Pyne? Is that hurting her chances, her holiday plans?

PYNE: Pauline Hanson has a candidate in Longman. She is not running for Longman. She’s not running for Longman but whatever they decide to do about their campaign style is really a matter from One Nation It’s not a matter for me. But they’ve got a candidate. He is working hard and good luck to him. It’s a democracy. Obviously, I don’t want him to win. I want Trevor – Big Trev to win – Trevor Ruthenberg and he’s doing a great job. I’m going to Longman tomorrow to make sure that we win.

ALBANESE: We’ll be there together.

PYNE: Well you are everywhere. You are everywhere man. You are the everywhere man.

HOST: Taking Two Tribes on the road. Watch out Queensland.

PYNE: You were in Perth yesterday. You dissed me on the radio there.

HOST: Is that right?

PYNE: He did. He threw me overboard. You threw me overboard. He said he was in the studio and it was great that Christopher Pyne wasn’t there.

ALBANESE: And guess what? Everyone agreed.

PYNE: I felt very unloved all of a sudden. The light went out of my world.

HOST: We will see what happens on Saturday. It could be a very different Two Tribes next week depending on how the results play out.

PYNE: Anthony might be the Leader next week.

HOST: Well who knows, watch this space.

Jul 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 6PR, Oliver Peterson program – Monday, 23 July 2018

Subjects: By-elections; WA infrastructure; general election; GST; asylum seekers; population; City Partnerships; Australian values; NRL. 

OLIVER PETERSON: Joining me in the studio is Anthony Albanese. Good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day, good to be here again Ollie.

PETERSON: Well, John sends me an email and he says, “Hi Ollie, if Anthony Albanese doesn’t want the top job, then why is he touring around the country and always coming to WA?”

ALBANESE: I love WA. And I’m here campaigning today with our candidates, Patrick Gorman and Josh Wilson. I was down in Canning doing a roundtable about infrastructure at the wonderful Byford Secondary College, with all the local councillors there – with Mellisa, talking about the Peel Region and growth in infrastructure and job creation. So it was a really good forum and I dropped in to where the polling booth is there at Perth and handed out for a little bit – did a press conference with candidate Patrick Gorman. And I’m – tonight have a couple of other things on and I like dropping into the studio here, it’s always better to be in the studio than on the phone.

PETERSON: Yeah, it’s good to have you with us at the studio.

ALBANESE: And we haven’t got Christopher Pyne here, so it’s even better.

PETERSON: And we haven’t got Bill Shorten here either, you’ve got the golden touch Anthony Albanese, at the moment. The polls say that you might be on the nose in Longman or Braddon, but if you were the Leader of the Labor Party you would be a shoo-in.

ALBANESE: Well, I’m part of the Labor team. So if people want me to be a Minister in a Labor government, then I’m part of that team. Bill Shorten is the captain. But I am very keen to be an Infrastructure Minister in his government, after the election.

PETERSON: All right, and that’s where it stops. What happens this weekend if the by-elections don’t go the way that they should for the Labor Party?

ALBANESE: We intend to win the by-elections. What we’re not doing is talking about internals, whether it’s the issue of the lead-up to the by-elections this Saturday, of course there’s five of them – we’re running in all of them. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen.

PETERSON: Well they’re not running here in Perth …

ALBANESE: In Perth and Fremantle.

PETERSON: No, are you surprised – particularly in Perth, are you surprised the Liberal party isn’t putting up a candidate?

ALBANESE: I think it’s incredibly weak frankly. The Liberal Party got 42 per cent of the primary vote, last time around. And they’re not running a candidate. I think that is a big let down to their supporters. We’re no chance of winning Mayo, I’ll give you that scoop, on Saturday.

PETERSON: Can the Liberal Party win it, or will that stay with the Centre Alliance?

ALBANESE: I think that Rebekha Sharkie will be re-elected on Saturday. We’ll wait and see. But you know, we’ll struggle to hit 20 per cent, it’d be a good result for us. But we’re still running. So you give your supporters someone to vote for.

PETERSON: So in Longman and Braddon though, over the next few days, are those electorates going to see the likes of you or your Leader, or Malcolm Turnbull, or Scott Morrison on the hustings?

ALBANESE: I think you’ll see frontbenchers from both sides. I’ll certainly be in Longman at the end of this week and campaigning with Susan Lamb – I’ve been there already. And I’ve been to Braddon twice and I’ve been to Perth and Fremantle twice. So I also am campaigning of course, for the next general election whenever it may be – so seats like Canning and others.

PETERSON: Do you think it’ll be next year?

ALBANESE: Look I think it probably will be, it should be. The Prime Minister has said it will be. So we’ll see whether he’s a man of his word. I think it would be a big breach of his word if an election was held this year.

PETERSON: Is there much chatter within the Labor Party around the leadership?

ALBANESE: No, we’re just busy getting on with the jobs that we have. I’m a bit old fashioned – do the job that you’ve got, do it to the best of your capacity and that’s what you have to do.

PETERSON: The Courier Mail reporting this morning that, and I quote: “Highly placed sources have told the paper that Mr Shorten is calling senior members of the Left to sandbag his supporting Caucus, signalling that he’s preparing for a showdown.” Any truth to that?

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t know who against or what for. I think the showdown that Bill Shorten has is against Malcolm Turnbull at the next election. And then the little mini, the entree if you like, is this Saturday.

PETERSON: All right, this Saturday. Are you confident though, that the Labor Party will win in Longman and Braddon?

ALBANESE: Look, I’m certainly confident but not overly confident. I don’t take it for granted. The polls show that they’re both pretty tight. They’re both difficult seats, they’re both seats that have – they’re not solid Labor seats. They were both held before the last election by the Coalition. They’re seats that we won. But in the two candidates that we have Susan Lamb and Justine Keay – I can’t think of more hard working, diligent, committed, principled representatives for those electorates, than those two.

PETERSON: Do you support the government’s GST fix?

ALBANESE: I certainly think it’s good that they followed Labor’s lead, Ollie. People talk about why do I come to WA. Well, we were here committing to the Morley to Ellenbrook Rail Line and the Byford Rail Extension and Midland Station Upgrade and the Mitchell Freeway Extension. All of those works that we committed to, to ensure that WA got a fair go, essentially, having the ceiling of 70 cents in the dollar. Now that’s precisely what the Government has adopted, which is our policy. My concern, is that they’re giving with one hand and might be taking with another. Because what we see in infrastructure investment is $1.2 billion from the Commonwealth this current financial year for WA infrastructure. That falls across the Forward Estimates of four years, to $411 million. So …

PETERSON: Do you think the Government might be a little premature, particularly here in WA?

ALBANESE: It drops into a third …

PETERSON: With the WA Liberal Party members more or less doing a victory lap – you know, deciding to raise their bat to the crowd at the moment saying: “We’ve solved it, it’s fixed, vote for the Liberal Party!?”

ALBANESE: They haven’t said where the money is coming from. And they’re cutting WA hospitals and they’re cutting WA schools – both public schools and private and independent schools. And they’re cutting infrastructure. So it’s a matter of WA getting a genuine fair go from the Commonwealth and that’s more than the GST.

PETERSON: It’s going to be your job and Labor’s job though to convince West Australia in particular that they’d be better off voting for Labor over Liberal federally.

ALBANESE: And we’re determined to do that. And just compare how often Bill Shorten or myself or Chris Bowen are here in Western Australia, compared with …

PETERSON: You’re here all the time.

ALBANESE: I am. This is my seventh visit I think this year, seven or eight, and Malcolm Turnbull’s been here I think once, maybe twice, not for that long, and hasn’t been sighted of course while these by-elections are going on. So I think – that’s the case also with Scott Morrison. You don’t see senior …

PETERSON: Scott Morrison was here last week, he was on the GST sell.

ALBANESE: But you don’t see them regularly here, like you see your good Labor team.

PETERSON: So when you’re Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, will you come to Perth as often as you are at the moment?

ALBANESE: I’ll come as the Infrastructure Minister after the election.

PETERSON: Just trying to slip that one in.

ALBANESE: That was subtle mate, that was subtle.

PETERSON: Absolutely. Couple of other issues obviously on the national agenda at the moment and in particular what you weighed in to, should we be turning back the boats?

ALBANESE: Well look, the fact is that it’s worked in terms of the Government’s overall policy on asylum seekers. The problem is that people have been on Manus and Nauru for five years and one of the things that I can say is – no one wants to see boats coming. How do you actually though, stop people smugglers but still maintain some humanity – you need to get those people settled in third countries. And the other thing you need to do is set up regional processing through the UNHCR, so that people don’t have an incentive to get on boats as well. And that is what is provided for in the Labor Party platform and it’s a platform I, along with other members of the Caucus, support.

PETERSON: All right, population policy, where do you sit on this?

ALBANESE: I think population policy is largely about infrastructure and quality of life, that’s what people mean. I don’t think there’s an ideal single figure that’s sort of magic and fixes everything. The question is, is infrastructure being rolled out in advance of population growth? And today down in Canning meeting with the Mayors from the Shires down there, from Murray and Serpentine and from the Peel Development Organisation, what they’re concerned about is making sure that with this massive population growth that’s going to come into the Peel region that the infrastructure’s there. The roads, the jobs importantly, they’ve got quite an exciting proposal for an agricultural, high-level, high-tech, high science-based industry there.

PETERSON: Sure, and when we have a population based discussion, particularly in a West Australian context, we need to be encouraging more people to actually move here to WA.

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

PETERSON: And I know that you’re bursting at the seams, if you like, in Sydney or Melbourne and we hear that, but there has to be some incentive for those who want a job or set up a family to come to WA.

ALBANESE: Well the key is jobs you know, and you need to have employment not just in the CBDs of the capital cities, but in the outer suburbs and in those growth areas. I’m a big supporter of the NGAA. Today we had as well Wanneroo Shire President was there – and from all of those outer areas, the areas where the growth’s happening, so they need good public transport. The State Government’s prepared to do that with Metronet. That’s why the Federal Government needs to kick in there. But we need to do other things as well, in terms of employment and one of the things that all of the Councils have come together is to support a unified strategy for – across, it’s 11 or 12 local government areas, for sporting facilities. I mean where do the kids get to play? Where do people get that community interaction?

PETERSON: Very important.

ALBANESE: So all of that is I think, what feeds into so-called population policy, but it’s really about the quality of life in our cities. We released a City Partnerships policy just a couple of weeks ago that’s aimed at addressing all of those issues.

PETERSON: All right, Australian values. Do we need an Australian values test that Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge was spruiking in the UK?

ALBANESE: Good old Alan Tudge, he’s always got an idea. He’s actually the Minister, he’s in a position to do things, but he’s always floating these ideas and he’s floating ideas overseas. What Ministers traditionally have done is go overseas and talk Australia up. I’m somewhat concerned that he went overseas and talked Australian down.

PETERSON: What would it be, an Australian values test, what would it be asking?

ALBANESE: Well exactly. I made a comment the other day that I saw Majak Daw and Aliir Aliir marking each other in a North Melbourne, Sydney Swans game just last week, where Aliir kicked his first ever goal in AFL to win the game for the Swans. You know these two guys have come from the most troubled area of Africa in Sudan there. Here they are, first generation, what can be more Australian than playing our Indigenous sport of Australian Rules Football. And to me you know, I think we should accentuate the positive, as that song goes, about harmony in our society. Yes there’ll be some issues from time to time and they need to be addressed and we shouldn’t sweep them under the carpet. But let’s acknowledge that we live in the most successful multicultural, harmonious nation in the world and we should celebrate it. I wish the world was as harmonious as Australia is, where people of different races, religions and backgrounds all live together side by side and all cheer for, or against each other at the footy.

PETERSON: All right, before I let you go, seeing as you have been able to segue into sport, Rabbitohs were first on the ladder going into last weekend, they’re now third. Is the season over for South Sydney?

ALBANESE: Only on percentage though, only on percentage.

PETERSON: (Inaudible) second.

ALBANESE: Only on percentage. Well you know, we won nine in a row. I was a bit worried that – you’re going to lose a game eventually, you want to lose a game in July rather than September.

PETERSON: Fair enough.

ALBANESE: That’s done now, we’ll see how we go versus Parramatta. I went to the game on Saturday night, it was not a great experience I’ve got to say, but the Tigers did play extremely well to give credit where credit’s due.

PETERSON: Well hopefully they recover, and hopefully from Labor’s point of view, Longman and Braddon are in the can or maybe not, we’ll wait and see this weekend. Anthony Albanese thanks for stopping by.

ALBANESE: Thanks Ollie.

Jul 23, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Perth, WA – Monday, 23 July 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure, Perth and Fremantle by-elections, polling, MyHealth, Braddon, Longman, Malcolm Turnbull.

PATRICK GORMAN: It’s fantastic to have Anthony Albanese – Labor’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for Tourism, here in the electorate of Perth. We’ve been at the pre-poll where thousands of people have already cast their vote. But there is still time; if you need to vote early, head on down to the Morley Markets and get your vote in.

Anthony is here because Labor has a long-term commitment to infrastructure in Perth. You only need to walk around the Perth electorate to know that it is Labor that builds this community. One great example is what is now Yagan Square; the Perth City Link, that Anthony led the charge on to fund and build as Labor’s Minister in the previous Labor Government. And again it is Bill Shorten and Labor that leads the commitment to build up this community. And here in Morley, where Labor will fund the Morley-Ellenbrook Rail Line, it’s fantastic to have Anthony talking about Labor’s plans to invest in our communities, to create local jobs and to build the community of Perth for the future. I will hand over to Anthony to say a few more words.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Patrick. It is fantastic to be here yet again campaigning in these by-elections that will be held now this Saturday. These by-elections are a critical test for Malcolm Turnbull and he has already failed in Western Australia by failing to be even in the field in Perth and in Fremantle. That’s typical of the contempt that we have seen from the Federal Coalition towards Western Australia. It is Federal Labor and Bill Shorten and I have visited these seats, and not just during the by-election, but have visited WA month after month, year after year, in opposition and in government, because we understand that Western Australia has unique needs.

And that is why here at Morley, the site of the Morley to Ellenbrook Rail Line, some $700 million – Federal Labor’s commitment – $200 million more than the Coalition have put on the table. But that is just one of the announcements that we have made. The Mitchell Freeway Extension, the Stephenson Avenue upgrade, the extension of the rail line to Byford, the Midland Station Upgrade with the extension to Bellevue, the Tonkin Highway, the intersection of the Leach Highway and Welshpool Road – all of these projects are critical infrastructure projects to create jobs and economic activity here in Perth and Western Australia in in the short-term, but to build productivity, sustainability and liveability here in Western Australia in the long term. It’s consistent with our approach when we were in government whereby every time I land in Perth I am reminded when I travel along the Great Eastern Highway or I look at the Gateway WA Project, or I go into the City and look at the Perth City Link, what we did when we were in government in delivering a more than doubling of infrastructure investment for Western Australia.

I am concerned that when you look at the Forward Estimates of the Coalition Government in this year’s Budget, it shows that there will be some $1.2 billion allocated to WA in this financial year, but that falls to $411 million over the Forward Estimates of four years. So it is due to be cut by a third and the Coalition have said that they want to address the issue of fair compensation for the GST, but what we are seeing there is a cut in infrastructure as well as of course the cuts to education and health. And that is why it is important that Patrick Gorman be sent to Canberra along with Josh to be a strong voice for Western Australia, to actually stand up for Western Australia’s interests. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: What do you make of the polling produced today that said Labor would definitely win all five by-elections this weekend if you were leader?

ALBANESE: The important thing about this Saturday is that Labor is successful in the seats where we are re-contesting. We are also running in Mayo of course, unlike the Coalition that isn’t prepared to even get in the field here in Western Australia. Longman and Braddon are challenges but we are working very hard. We have fantastic candidates, fantastic candidates in Justine Keay and Susan Lamb. They both deserve to be returned to the Parliament. They are working hard for their electorates. And we will be working each and every day this week to make sure that they are successful in the by-elections on Saturday.

REPORTER: But you can’t escape this latest polling which is suggesting that you are more popular than Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that I am part of Bill Shorten’s team.

REPORTER: But more popular than him.

ALBANESE:  I am part of Bill Shorten’s team and it is the team that counts and what we have seen from 37 Newspolls in a row is that Labor under Bill Shorten would be elected to Government if the election had been held last Saturday or the fortnight before that or the fortnight before that, or any of the previous 37 fortnights. That’s the critical message that I take from the polls because what I want is to be part of a Labor Government and to be the Infrastructure Minister again – to come over here with Prime Minister Shorten and actually be able to turn the first sod on projects that we have announced and to see them under construction.

REPORTER: But you are here today and Mr Shorten hasn’t done a press conference since last Tuesday. Are you hiding him?

ALBANESE: I think the idea that Bill Shorten isn’t available to the public …

REPORTER: Well he isn’t.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that he had a campaign launch in Longman. I know that’s the case because I saw it on the television last night. And the fact is that every member of Labor’s team has been out campaigning in all of the by-election seats, but not just the by-election seats as well. We’re campaigning to win government. So this afternoon I have an infrastructure forum in Canning with local councils with Peel Development, with other organisations looking at infrastructure for that regional community. One of the ways that they’ve missed out is that Canning has been defined – and the Mandurah area – as being not part of regional Australia. That isn’t good enough and one of the things that we will do is to change that so that it is once again eligible for regional funding as the outer suburban areas should be.

REPORTER: Labor might be ahead in the polls but Malcolm Turnbull is still ahead as preferred Prime Minister. Why do you think that is?

ALBANESE: Well we don’t elect a Prime Minister. What we elect is a government and the fact is that Labor is ahead in the polls as we have been for each of the previous 37 Newspolls.

REPORTER: Why is it, do you think, that you’re more popular than Bill Shorten though?

ALBANESE: I’m not going to comment on the specifics of polls, except the one that counts. The one that counts is the one that shows that Labor would be elected to government if the election was held last Saturday or this Saturday coming. That’s the critical factor. We’ll continue to campaign as a team. I’m happy to be part of the team as I always have been.

REPORTER: It must be flattering though to be the most popular? It must be flattering?

ALBANESE: Look, I just get on with my job that I’ve been given to do. And the job – I was raised with an old-fashioned principle, which is do the job that you’ve been given to the best of your capacity – be a team player and that is what I have been for Labor for now 22 years in the Parliament. I look forward to working in the lead-up to the election and to see an election of a Labor Government, but in the meantime, Labor having success this Saturday in these by-elections.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

ALBANESE: One at a time.

REPORTER: Is Labor really the underdog in Longman?

ALBANESE: Well the polls that have been published would suggest that it’s a very tight race. But I’m confident that when people think about whether they want $17 billion to go to the big banks or whether they want funding for education, funding for Caboolture Hospital, funding for public transport through the Cross River Rail Project that will lead to an increased number of trains due to the increased capacity on the rail network for South East Queensland, that will have an impact in Longman.

There’s no doubt that I think that Labor’s got a very good case to put. We’ve been putting it. We have a great candidate in Susan Lamb. Susan Lamb’s someone that I’d want in my corner. She’s a fighter. She has shown that. The courage that she’s shown; the speech that she gave in the Parliament when outlining the personal issues that she has had to deal with – that’s the sort of person you want in your corner, not someone’s who’s stood up for Campbell Newman’s Government and was quite happy to sit back and cheer on the cuts to health and schools and everything else that happened in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, and cheer on the cuts of Tony Abbott’s Budget in 2014, and cheer on the ongoing cuts that are entrenched in the Budget for education and health and the ABC and everything else that characterises the Turnbull Government.

REPORTER: Will you opt out of MyHealth?

ALBANESE: I have not given it a minute’s thought, I’ve got to say.

REPORTER: Well a lot of people are grappling with the decision.

ALBANESE: Yeah and I’m sure they will and when I get a chance to grapple with it I will look at all of that detail.

REPORTER: You’ve only got three months.

ALBANESE: But I have got three months, so I’ll let you know in the next three months. I’ll be back in Perth between now and then, so plenty of time.

REPORTER: Do you think that the Government has a good enough track record on digital projects to manage MyHealth?

ALBANESE: I certainly don’t think they have a good track record on digital projects. They stuffed up the census. We know that some previous records relating to health were made available to people when it shouldn’t have been. So certainly the Government when it comes to competence has stuffed up a whole range of things but one of the reasons why they do is that they can’t agree with themselves. You have circumstances whereby an energy policy still isn’t fixed, they don’t have one. They don’t have an infrastructure policy. I saw this morning Malcolm Turnbull’s in Tennant Creek, and good on him for visiting Tennant Creek, but to compare what’s needed for Tennant Creek to City Deals that should apply to big capital cities was one of the most bizarre analogies I’ve seen for a long time.

REPORTER: If Labor wasn’t to be successful in any of these by-elections on the weekend, what do you think it would say about Bill Shorten’s leadership?

ALBANESE: We intend to be successful. Each and every one of us is united in working for one objective – to be successful in these by-elections. And, then, to be successful at the election campaign and to make sure that Bill Shorten is elected Prime Minister and to make sure that the rest of the team are elected as Ministers.

REPORTER: Is there a danger for Labor in Western Australia if there’s a low turnout? Because it seems that analysts and pollsters are handing Fremantle and Perth to Labor already.

ALBANESE: Well that’s one of the reasons why I am here. And it’s no accident that I’m holding this media conference just across the road from where the early polling can take place – to remind people, with Patrick, that people do need to get out and vote. Voting is compulsory. A lot of people go through in different parts of the world, go through incredible trauma and struggle to have the right to put a piece of paper into the ballot box and cast their democratic ballot. It’s been fought for; it should be something that is cherished. We in Australia do have compulsory voting and that’s a good thing and people should vote. They can vote this week, they don’t even have to give up their Saturday.

REPORTER: I’ve got a question for Patrick if everyone is done with?

REPORTER: I just have one question – will you be spending much time in Braddon and Longman this week?

ALBANESE: I will be out and about. I certainly have a visit to Longman scheduled and I will be seeing about Braddon. It’s not scheduled at this stage. But I will be in Longman later on in the week. We obviously are coordinating visits so that everyone isn’t in one place at one time. But I’ve been to Braddon twice. I’ve been to Longman and I’ve been to Perth and Fremantle twice also. So I’ve been out there campaigning as I always do. This is my seventh visit to Western Australia this year.

You might want to ask Malcolm Turnbull how many times he has been to Western Australia this year and for how long. During the last Federal election campaign I know he flew in, headed south of Fremantle for about an hour and a half, and flew out. That was about it. I think you have to spend time in Western Australia to understand the needs of Western Australia and that’s what I do. I have a regular slot, to give a free advert, on 6PR every now and again and I’ll be talking as I do regularly to Oliver Peterson this afternoon on 6PR as well. Again, taking talkback calls and getting to know what the issues are here in Western Australia. Because it is a big nation as I found this morning when it took well over five hours to get across this great nation.

REPORTER: Have Susan Lamb or Justine Keay reached out to you to ask to come to their seats before Saturday?

ALBANESE: I talk to them all the time. And Susan Lamb and Justine Keay are both very good friends of mine. I’ve been campaigning with them, I’ve held functions with them that have been very successful. I even went – the last time I was in Longman, a couple of weeks ago, I got the train from Brisbane Central, up to Narangba with Susan Lamb talking to people all the way up about the issues that they’re concerned about. About the need to actually fund Cross River Rail and to get it done something that was the number one issue on the 2012 infrastructure priority list, that Malcolm Turnbull has refused to fund. I mean we have a Prime Minister who likes to take selfies on trains and trams; he just doesn’t like to fund them. And it’s about time that he actually funded the Cross River Rail Project:

REPORTER: Patrick, just one for you …

GORMAN: Just to – back off that though, while we’re giving plugs to radio stations, I will also give a plug to RTRFM who I spoke to this morning, based in the heart of the Perth electorate. Got to give the community radio sector a shout out as well (inaudible) of course I love the ABC.

REPORTER: I’m sure they asked you this question. How do you characterise the Liberal’s decision not to run against you in this seat?

GORMAN: Hugely disappointing.

REPORTER: You said it with a smile.

GORMAN: Malcolm Turnbull has been a disappointment in many ways. But yet again, to not run and therefore not to rock up – as Anthony said, we haven’t seen Malcolm Turnbull in the Perth electorate for more than two months. Now, that’s not just disrespectful to the people of Perth, not running a candidate, but it’s disrespectful to Western Australia, in not actually coming and talking to Western Australians about our infrastructure needs, about our health needs, about our needs for schools, hospitals – and of course, universities and TAFE. Why the Liberal Party made that decision is a matter for them. I think they probably would make a different decision if they could go back in time. It has been something that people have raised with me, when I’ve been out door-knocking. They say: “I don’t understand why they did this, it is hard to comprehend’’. There is a member of the Liberal Party who is running in this election, so obviously he’s got some institutional support behind the scenes from the Liberal Party. But it is a weird circumstance and they should have put a candidate up.

REPORTER: There is a couple of, I guess, so-called independent Liberals. Do you have anything to worry about there? Have you got any preferences?

GORMAN: Independent Liberal, independent whatever. My concern is there’s a few candidates that haven’t actually even completed the AEC’s citizenship forms. Now this was a new thing that was one of the reasons that we allegedly had the delay in this election. Some of those so-called independent Liberals haven’t even bothered to fulfil the basic paperwork that the AEC has asked for. That’s bizarre. I think it’s disrespectful to the voters of Perth, but I guess that’s what we’re seeing from the Liberal Party at the moment. It’s very disappointing and thank you all for coming.

REPORTER: Are you hopeful of an Albo bump after his visit today?

GORMAN: I hope we see more people at pre-poll because Albo has told everyone – that if you need to vote early, if you can’t make it on election day, go and vote at the Morley Markets. We’ve been blessed in this election with a range of Shadow Ministers and today is former Deputy Prime Minister day. I’ve got former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Later on we’ve got former Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan doing a phone bank with our volunteers. We have had a great turn out of people, we’ve had – Bill Shorten obviously launched my campaign nine days ago.

REPORTER: There’s still a few days left. Would you like him to come over even though he’s less popular than the man standing next to you?

GORMAN: I’ve had Chris Bowen here, Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Catherine King, Jim Chalmers, Madeleine King. I think Amanda Rishworth is here tomorrow. It’s been great to have support of the entire Labor team and as Anthony said, we’re a united team.

ends

Jul 20, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Tom Connell, SKY News – Friday, 20 July 2018

Subjects: ACTU, ALP National Conference, asylum seekers, multiculturalism, AFL.

TOM CONNELL: Joining me for more on this is Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, here in the studio. Thanks for your time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Morning Tom.

CONNELL: Interesting front page today on union – on this union push, what did you make of it?

ALBANESE: They’ve maintained the same position that they had at the last ACTU Congress and I expect the ALP Conference will maintain the same position that we had at the last ALP Conference so – much ado about nothing.

CONNELL: They’ve maintained their position but you haven’t?

ALBANESE: Yes we have. We’ve had our policy in place since 2015.

CONNELL: You had some quite strong comments to make recently though, about you know conceding that Coalition policies work. And obviously Labor’s had this policy for a while. I guess the next question is though …

ALBANESE: Well we set up, Tom, in 2013 Labor acknowledged that our policy had issues, wasn’t working. And we tried to, indeed before then – you might recall, with the legislation about Malaysia and the agreement that we’d signed there …

CONNELL: I do recall that, a very long debate in Parliament …

ALBANESE: That the Liberals and the Greens voted against. So the fact is, Labor did change our policy when we were in government, to try to stop the boats coming. The Liberals combined with the Greens to oppose that legislation. We then were able to change policy in 2013. We then, in 2015, had our National Conference.

CONNELL: And at National Conference you were opposed to the boat turnback policy. What are you going to do at the next National Conference, will you support the policy?

ALBANESE: I’ll support the policy that’s gone forward. The fact is you can be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity. And what people have seen is that on Manus and Nauru people have been there now for more than five years. That is far too long. These people need certainty. We’ve seen 12 people lose their life on Manus and Nauru. Now Australia has an obligation to these people, to have a duty of care if you like. The fact is, that five years is far too long the Government should have settled these people who’ve been found to be refugees in third countries and they’ve been far too slow at it.

CONNELL: Just on this though, the National Conference – you will no longer vote against the boat turnback party policy?

ALBANESE: There is no proposition at the moment before National Conference.

CONNELL: Well, It sounds like there will be with the unions …

ALBANESE: We’ll see what the unions actually do at National Conference. What happened last time …

CONNELL: You previously voted against the boat turnback policy …

ALBANESE: That’s true …

CONNELL: Will you do that this time?

ALBANESE: I did in 2015. I don’t expect that there’ll be a debate.

CONNELL: What if there is?

ALBANESE: I don’t expect that there will be …

CONNELL: Okay, but this is something that you voted against last time …

ALBANESE: I’m not dealing in hypotheticals. I support the existing policy as determined at the 2015 Conference. The fact is that the boat arrivals have stopped. The weakness in the Government’s position is that they haven’t provided permanent settlement in third countries, for those people who’ve been on Manus and Nauru for too long. So what the policy in 2015 was, to be very clear, was very different from the Government’s approach. It went to a doubling of the intake, it went to finding regional settlement so that people don’t have to get on boats. So that there is some hope of them being settled from the countries in which they have made their way to, without getting on boats. So we’ve provided for an increased funding of the UNHCR, regional processing, an increase in the intake in terms of asylum seekers, an end to temporary protection visas – there’s a whole framework adopted at the National Conference

CONNELL: I understand that obviously – the Government has since increased its own intake since the time of the Abbott Government. They’re working on a solution with the US. You say let’s go with New Zealand and I understand that …

ALBANESE: They are taking a long time.

CONNELL: Sure and that’s been a long held criticism and a lot of people would agree with you. But can I just clarify that position for you. Are you leaving open that you could vote against boat turn backs again at National Conference?

ALBANESE: No and there’s no proposition. There’s no proposition for that, and let me tell you Tom …

CONNELL: But there was last time and you voted against it.

ALBANESE: That’s right and that’s a fact. And I don’t expect that it will come up again. I think there is support for the policy. I think there is support for the existing platform. I support the existing platform. I can’t be more consistent than that, Tom.

CONNELL: But this is what happens, is that you have a big policy debate and this is the point of the National Conference everyone can really say what they want …

ALBANESE: And it gets resolved. I didn’t actually speak at the National Conference. Another thing that’s been written about – my speech at National Conference, I didn’t speak …

CONNELL: You stuck your hand up…

ALBANESE: … at all. Of course I did, I stuck my hand up with the Left as I have at every National Conference in which I have been a delegate. But one of the things that happened, Tom, is that some of those union delegates who voted one way at the ACTU Congress before the last National Conference, voted a different way – when they got to the ALP National Conference. So I don’t expect that – this is not a subject of major debate at the moment in the lead up to the ALP National Conference.

CONNELL: I did want to get on to the Australian values test that’s being spoken about today or was spoken about by Alan Tudge overnight. Is this a fair enough approach to continue our success story – that Malcolm Turnbull in particular likes to talk about?

ALBANESE: I find it pretty extraordinary that it would appear that Alan Tudge has gone overseas and talked Australia down, said that there are a whole range of problems with Australia. Normally what happens when Ministers and Shadow Ministers travel overseas, is that they talk Australia up. And one of the things we should talk about is the success of our multiculturalism, is the fact that we can be a bit of a microcosm for the world, when we see so much conflict, in the world. Here in Australia, we have people living side by side of different races, religions – different backgrounds and they’re living overwhelmingly in harmony.

CONNELL: Okay, so I understand your position on that and he should have talked Australia up. We’re nearly out of time, but just what about that Australian values test he’s talking about, does it have any merit?

ALBANESE: We have Australian values. We had a week ago …

CONNELL: Talking about a test for it.

ALBANESE: What’s the test?

CONNELL: I don’t know.

ALBANESE: I tell you what – well you’re asking me to comment on something that you don’t even know what the question is, with respect.

CONNELL: Well is there an idea that you could put in place – we’ve got the English language test – that there’s some sort of test where you ask people, I mean it might be, for example, the things that were mentioned – female genital mutilation, Sharia Law, women …

ALBANESE: We’re obviously against that, and we’re against …

CONNELL: But a test to just make sure people know what we stand for in Australia, as an example.

ALBANESE: We’ll wait and see what is proposed, but of course we support Australian values. Everyone supports Australian values. Every member of this parliament, no one would object to that.

But I’ll tell you what Australian values were on display a week ago: Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw marking each other in an Australian Rules contest. Two African recent – relatively recent arrivals, engaged in our unique Indigenous sport of Australian Rules Football. You know, the fact is that within a very short period of time people do settle. People do share those Australian values and we see it on display. Walk into any primary school in the country and what you’ll see is little kids of different background who don’t see colour, who don’t see religion, they just see other little kids.

CONNELL: You’re speaking to my heart now because it was a cracking game and unfortunately my mob are the Brisbane Lions, beat Hawthorn. But we’ll talk about that next time maybe, Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: Good on you.

Jul 20, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 20 July 2018

Subjects: Multiculturalism, asylum seekers, Emma Husar, Melbourne.

BEN FORDHAM: There’s a new push to have all migrants heading to Australia assessed for values and beliefs before they are granted permanent residency. The Government says there aren’t the same expectations on arrivals under the humanitarian scheme as under the migrant intake. For more we are joined by Christopher Pyne, from the Liberal Party, and Anthony Albanese, from the Labor Party. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Ben. Good morning Anthony.

FORDHAM: Christopher, do we need tougher measures?

PYNE: Well we need to make sure that the people coming to Australia are integrated well into our community. Obviously we have the most successful multi-cultural country in the world and that is a tremendous achievement of our nation, particularly since the Second World War. But we want people to understand that we support the rule of law, that we encourage equality between the sexes, we respect people’s choices, support democracy. They are the kinds of values that we want to make sure that all of our new migrants also adhere to and I think that’s fair enough.

FORDHAM: Albo, do you support this kind of thing or not?

ALBANESE: I think it is pretty odd that an Australian Government Minister goes to the UK and talks our country down. I have always talked our country up. That is what ministers and shadow minsters do and the fact is we have an incredibly successful multi-cultural nation as Christopher has said. You only have to look towards just a week ago there Majak Daw and Aliir Aliir marking each other for North Melbourne and the Swans respectively in an Australian Rules football game. First generation African migrants. And what we have in Australia, I think, is a bit of a microcosm for what the world should be – people from different religions, races and backgrounds living together in overwhelmingly in harmony.

FORDHAM: Hear, hear! Powerful union bosses have declared a list of demands for the Labor Party including an end to offshore detention and turning back the boats. Now Albo, you have recently had a change of heart on this issue.

ALBANESE: No, not at all. We actually had a national conference in 2015 that set our policy down. But I will tell you what, you can be strong on border security without giving up our national soul and the fact is there is concern out there in the community because people have been on Nauru and Manus for five years. That’s too long.

FORDHAM: Did I miss something Albo? Didn’t you toughen up your own personal position on the issue of turnbacks and also offshore detention?

ALBANESE: I said what I have said a number of times Ben, which is to acknowledge that what we did in government didn’t work, that there were issues, which was why we changed our policy towards the end of our period in government. And I have said on a number of occasions we need to be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity and the fact is the Government needs to find settlement and certainty for those people who have been in Manus and Nauru for too long.

PYNE: As usual Ben, the union movement have let people know that Labor will be soft on border protection if they get elected. They will turn back the policy that has stopped the people smugglers. We have always known that with Labor. That’s what happened last time they were in office. The Howard Government stopped the boats. The Rudd Government restarted them. The Abbott Government stopped the boats again. And if Labor is re-elected again the unions have made it very clear they will demand that the people smugglers are put back in business.

FORDHAM: I know he is saying he hasn’t changed his position, Christopher. Is that true? Has Albo not changed his position, or has he toughed up his personal position recently?

PYNE: Well Labor would have us believe, including Anthony, that they have the same policy as the Government on border protection. They don’t. They have people in their ranks like Ged Kearney and others who want to start the people smuggling contests again by weakening our border protection and the unions have just confirmed that and unfortunately Bill Shorten is a cat’s paw of the union movement.

ALBANESE: Christopher, you know full well that Labor changed our policy in 2013.

PYNE: But nobody believes you.

ALBANESE: We re-introduced offshore detention but what we think is, and you know in your heart Christopher, that five years is too long. We determined that policy at our national conference in 2015.

PYNE: And you spoke against it. Remember? You spoke against it.

ALBANESE: I didn’t speak at all in the debate. I did not speak in that debate at the national conference in 2015.

PYNE: You said that you wouldn’t be able to turn back the boats.

ALBANESE: We determined our policy then. You can be strong on border protection without giving up our national soul.

FORDHAM: Let me jump in, the Labor Party has launched an investigation into rising star Emma Husar over allegations about her staff. Her staff have accused her Albo of bullying, intimidation and verbal abuse. Is Emma a bully Albo?

ALBANESE: What I know about Emma Husar is that she is a single mum, works incredibly heard, represents her electorate very strongly. I find her a terrific person to deal with. I hadn’t met her frankly before she ran for Lindsay, but I find her a very good member of Parliament.

FORDHAM: Have you come across Emma Christopher? Do you share Albo’s assessment on Emma?

PYNE: Well I don’t really know Emma Husar. She is a new member. But if there is an investigation that the Labor Party is conducting into her workplace practices, the investigation should be allowed to see its course and then I assume that they will make an assessment. I am not obviously privy to what these complaints are and I think you’d be unwise to comment on them unless you have all the facts.

FORDHAM: What a pleasure to see both of you this morning, Hopefully next time you can be face to face.

ALBANESE: Maybe we can have dinner in Melbourne.

PYNE: That would be great, especially if Ben is paying.

FORDHAM: Thank you Christopher Pyne and thank you Albo – a bit of a nod to another discussion point this week where the Prime Minister suggested that maybe not everyone feels safe going out in Melbourne because of African gangs. Anyway we will leave that for another day.

Jul 19, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Two Tribes, FIVEaa Adelaide – Thursday, 19 July 2018

Subjects: Trump-Putin summit, MH17, Craig Kelly, Newspoll.

HOST: It’s a very special Two Tribes – Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese joining us. Good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: Good to have you back guys. We missed you both over the last couple of weeks. Now we are going to kick off with a question for both of you. Can we get your thoughts on the Trump-Putin Summit and also the comments made by the Liberal MP Craig Kelly that Australia should somehow forget about or move on from the MH17 atrocity in which 38 of our people were killed? Chris Pyne first.

PYNE: Well thank you. Well the Australian Government has a very clear view about the shooting down of the MH17. The evidence is overwhelming that it was shot down by a Russian missile fired by a Russian battery that had been given to Russian separatists in The Ukraine by the Russian Government and those responsible for the heinous action, that criminal act, need to be brought to trial and the Australian Government and the Netherlands Government for that matter, who led the investigation, are quite prepared to open negotiations with Russians about bringing those people to trial. There’s no doubt about that. President Putin has never repudiated the actions of those people and dissociated himself from them. Instead he has tried to blame the Ukrainian Government, which is bizarre, and the Australian Government has a very clear view about that and we aren’t changing our view.

In terms of President Trump and President Putin’s summit in Helsinki, the American Government has to make its own decisions about how it handles Russia and I am not going to criticise the Americans for the choices that they make. But there is no doubt that Russia meddled in the United States elections – whether they had an influence over them is another thing altogether – and seek to meddle in other elections around the world, most recently in France, and are responsible for the agent that that hurt the Skripals in London. So as governments go, the Russian Government is not exactly a supporter of the international rules-based order, nor is it a perfect global citizen, unlike countries like Australia and other countries that we associate with and we intend to continue to make those remarks to the Russians at every opportunity as we do though our Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister.

HOST: What did you make of it all Albo?

ALBANESE: Well I think that there is no doubt that President Putin is an authoritarian who has no respect for the norms of international order and I agree totally with what Christopher said about the tragedy of the MH17 in which 38 Australians lost their lives as part of that devastating act done without doubt with a Russian missile fired, as Christopher said, from a Russian launcher that was given to Russian separatists. So there is no doubt that Russia is complicit in this incident and the fact that that has been ignored. When Donald Trump looks back and when historians look back at the Helsinki Summit, I don’t think it will be a high point in foreign relations for the United States.

The United States historically since the Second World War has played a critical role in international relations. They are our most important ally but it is important to remember our alliance is with them and not with Donald Trump. It’s a nation-to-nation relationship that is stronger than the relationships between any individuals and that will endure. Mr Trump should have raised this issue with Mr Putin.

When it comes to Craig Kelly, I mean I just think this bloke is a bonehead. He is a bonehead who has caused enormous damage. The fact is that he was responding to a message from Anthony Maslin who is a father from Western Australia whose three children were killed as well as his partner on the MH17 and it is frankly beyond belief that in response to that he basically says: Oh well, it won’t make any difference if we condemn the MH17, we’ve got to overlook it. Well, for goodness sake. His apology today was pathetic. He is being challenged within the Liberal Party and I wish the people in the Liberal Party who are challenging his pre-selection well, because it would be a good thing for the Parliament if he was removed.

HOST: Chris Pyne, did you think that Craig Kelly’s apology was good enough his morning?

PYNE: Well he has apologised and he was right to do so. His views expressed on Sky Television yesterday are not the views of the Australian Government. I don’t know why he said the things that he said on Sky TV and I am glad that he has apologised. It was exactly what he should have done. Obviously, all of us, especially those of us who have children of our own, are completely shattered by what happened to the Maslin family. It is something that they will never get over and the Australian Government’s view is very clear about this. We have got to hold the people to account who were responsible for supplying the missiles and battery and then removing it from The Ukraine to try and cover their crime and the Putin Administration bears responsibility for bringing those people to trial or not as the case may be and so far they have shown no intention of doing so.

HOST: Albo, Let’s talk Newspoll for a moment. Can you win the election with a leader who is 19 points less popular than the Prime Minister?

ALBANESE: Well Newspoll shows that we would win the election if it had of been held last weekend as we would have on any of the previous I think it is up to 37 Newspolls in a row. What happens is that governments are formed on the basis of votes for the party and the fact is that we were ahead yet again in this Newspoll.

HOST: So you have no concerns about this being the widest gap for two years?

ALBANESE: Well what is important is the two-party-preferred vote and not other issues that come up that Newspoll has a look at.

HOST: It’s part of the Newspoll that you never bother looking at? You’re not interested in it?

ALBANESE: Of course people look at Newspoll. Any politician who says that they don’t isn’t telling the truth. But the fact is that it shows that we would have won the election if it was held last weekend, as we would have on any of the previous 37 fortnights.

HOST: That‘s even despite having the lead in your saddlebags that is Bill Shorten as Leader?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that from time to time opposition leaders have to be out there raising issues against the Government and putting the case rather strongly. And of course Bill Shorten has also had a whole section of the media being critical of him. But the fact is that he leads a team that is ahead in Newspoll yet again.

PYNE: Well Bill Shorten is about as popular as Voldemort at the Hogwarts Christmas Party and the reason is of course is that nobody trusts him and nobody can afford him and whether Bill Shorten is the leader or not, people still can’t afford Labor. They want to go to the next election with $270 billion worth of new taxes. The Australian public aren’t stupid. They are looking around, they work out that those taxes have got to come from somewhere. They are going to come from them. They are going to come from the Australian people and Australian businesses and retirees. Bill Shorten and his Labor team are hitting everyone and Anthony is part of that team.

HOST: The interpretation of Newspoll that so excites you though Christopher – if you reverse it, it says that everyone likes Malcolm Turnbull, they just don’t like the rest of you.

PYNE: Well 51-49 in the Newspoll is neither here nor there quite frankly. I have been to elections when John Howard was Prime Minister – who everyone now lauds as one of our greater prime ministers – when he was behind in the Newspoll when the elections were called. I remember when Mark Latham was the Leader of the Labor Party we were 58-42 behind in the Newspoll – 58-42 six months out from the election and went on to win it handsomely. The polls aren’t that important in terms of what happens before the election, but the thing about the leadership poll is that Bill is really hideously far behind Malcolm Turnbull whereas for the party polling it’s basically 50-50.

ALBANESE: I will tell you what he is ahead of – and that is not giving $17 billion to the big banks. That is something that the Government stubbornly continues to pursue, these tax cuts for the big corporations that we simply can’t afford if we are going to deliver on education and health and infrastructure.

HOST: All right guys, we are going to have to cut you off there. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese – always a good, rollicking stink. Thanks for joining us and we will do it all again next week.

Jul 18, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Mango Hill, Queensland – Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Subjects: Mango Hill park and ride, PFAS

CORINNE MULHOLLAND: Welcome here to the Mango Hill train station. We’re standing in one of the fastest growing communities in Australia. We know that the Australian Bureau of Statistics told us that North Lakes and Mango Hill are growing communities full of local families, commuters who want to get around, get to work or simply get their kids to school. I’ve been working really closely with our fantastic state members, Steven Miles and Chris Whiting. I’ve been working really closely with them to see this project come to fruition and I’m so glad to welcome Anthony Albanese here today to make a really special announcement.

I’ve been out over the weekend and the last couple of weeks talking to people who live here in Mango Hill and North Lakes and they’ve told me that they would love to utilise this train station, even more than they do, but they simply can’t find a park. And I don’t know about your experience today, but I certainly had a bit of car park rage trying to find a car park, so this will certainly be put to great use and I’m so glad to be part of a Federal Labor team who’s delivering for the people here in North Lakes and Mango Hill.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Corinne, and it is fantastic to be here at Mango Hill Station, a station that is of course a part of the new Redcliffe Rail Line. I came here as an Infrastructure Minister in government, partnering with the then Bligh Labor Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support the Redcliffe Rail Line – First promised in 1895, but delivered by the cooperation between Federal and State Labor Governments and the local Council. It was a part of our commitment to public transport, a commitment that saw us when we were last in office invest more in public transport projects than all previous governments combined since Federation. And of course here the Redcliffe Rail Line, further south, the other side of Brisbane, of course the Gold Coast Light Rail and here we want to partner with the Queensland Labor Government on the Cross River Rail project. That will of course increase the capacity of the rail network throughout South East Queensland. But of course we also have to consider the infrastructure around rail stations and Corinne and the State Members Chris and Stephen have campaigned very strongly to make sure that there is an increase in the commuter car parking here at Mango Hill Station.

We can see this morning that the car park here is already well over 100 per cent capacity and that’s why Federal Labor will contribute $4 million for the car park here at Mango Hill. We want to partner with state and local governments around the country to increase the number of Park and Ride facilities. We know that this has been identified by people in outer suburbs as being a real impediment to catching public transport and here this station is already over capacity. That’s why the $4 million commitment from Federal Labor will enable an increase in car parking here at the rail station to be brought forward in partnership with the Queensland Government.

It’s an important commitment. It’s a part of our $300 million national Park and Ride facility that was announced by Bill Shorten, the Labor leader, at the NSW ALP conference just a few weeks ago. We’ve identified, as we’ve gone around the country, this as one of the issues that people raise with Labor members and Labor candidates about what they want the Federal Government to be engaged with. It’s only Federal Labor that actually invests in public transport facilities.

Malcolm Turnbull quite likes taking selfies on trains and trams, he just won’t fund them. And he won’t fund the Cross River Rail project. He was happy to come to the Redcliffe rail station opening when it occurred, but he wasn’t happy to put in a single dollar to either that project or to the Cross River Rail project. That’s why it’s only Federal Labor that will deliver on public transport. We want people like Corinne to be elected, to be part of the Labor team, so we can continue to build on the legacy Labor has when it comes to public transport.

STEPHEN MILES: Well this is great news for Mango Hill locals. My family and I live not far from here and this is our train station. Fortunately we don’t need to drive; we can just walk down but as you can see many people do drive to here. Not just from throughout Mango Hill but also neighbouring North Lakes. The car park here is well over capacity and this investment if Labor is elected will allow us to increase the car parking here at Mango Hill.

It’s an excellent example of why our region needs a Labor Government, needs Corinne Mulholland to be our new representative. She will deliver for Mango Hill and for the electorate of Petrie where her opponent, Luke Howarth, has delivered nothing even though he is a member of the Government.

WHITING: Well we have a great lifestyle here in North Lakes and Mango Hill and with this $4 million investment in the car park, and Cross River Rail, this is going to be an even better place to live and once again, it’s only Labor that people can rely on here to deliver the infrastructure we need.

ALBANESE: Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: What are you actually going to do to improve the carpark? Increase the numbers, or simply seal it (inaudible)?

ALBANESE: We’ll work with the Queensland Government on the details of the proposal. Quite clearly there’s an unsealed area just to the right of us here today that could be used, but there’s a range of land around this station. It has been identified, when we’ve had discussions with Mark Bailey, the Minister in the Queensland Government, it’s been identified as the number one priority because it can be brought forward with this investment. So we’ll be working on that between now and the Federal Election. Corinne has campaigned very strongly for this and this is a great day for the people of Mango Hill and the people of North Lakes. It builds on our commitment.

JOURNALIST: I do have a question for the Health Minister which is separate to this, if you are happy to take questions. It’s just in relation to a PFAS story; what’s your reaction to the news that contamination could be more widespread than first originally reported?

MILES: Understandably there is a very high level of community concern about these pollutants. Queensland remains the only state that has banned their use. We have called upon the Commonwealth to ban their use federally. They continue to use them at sites that they regulate and that’s unfortunate. I’ve seen the reports today, I’ll seek advice from the Chief Health Officer to determine whether any further steps are needed from Queensland Health’s perspective.

JOURNALIST: Do you think there needs to be a national investigation given the potential risks?

MILES: Well I’ve said consistently, both during my time as Environment Minister and now as Health Minister that the Federal Government needs to do more to address these community concerns. They’ve failed frankly in managing the sites that they’re responsible for, defence sites and aviation sites primarily. They should do more, they should support Queensland’s ban, they should be more proactive in advising (inaudible).

 

Jul 17, 2018

Speech to the M1 Forum – Confronting the Challenge of Growth in South East Queensland – Loganholme – Tuesday, 17 July 2018

I’d like to acknowledge Labor’s terrific candidate for Forde, Des Hardman, for organising today’s forum and for his tireless advocacy for action on infrastructure for this region.

Good government is about planning and building for the future.

Indeed, central to keeping South East Queensland moving must be a commitment to delivering modern, well planned infrastructure.

In that respect there is no more important piece of road infrastructure than the
Pacific Motorway.

The Pacific Motorway – the M1 – connects Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, to the State’s second-biggest and one of its fastest-growing cities, the Gold Coast, and onward to northern NSW.

Each day 155,000 vehicles use the M1.

That makes it the busiest road in Queensland and one of the busiest in the country.

The M1 is also a vital section of Australia’s east coast freight and logistics network.

It is used by heavy vehicles needing to access the Acacia Ridge Intermodal, Port of Brisbane, Brisbane’s CBD and Brisbane Airport.

The road is set to become an even more important freight route, with heavy vehicle traffic expected to increase annually by between 3 and 4 per cent, compared to growth of between 1 and 2 per cent in overall traffic volumes.

And it is a key gateway to the Gold Coast for international and domestic tourists.

FEDERAL LABOR’S RECORD

Because of all of these reasons, the former Federal Labor Government had a clear vision: an M1 which supported, rather than hindered, Queensland’s economic development.

We backed that vision with real money for real projects that have made a real difference.

All up, we invested $455 million on the road, matched dollar-for-dollar by the then Bligh Labor Government.

As part of this unprecedented capital works program, we:

  • Widened from four to six lanes the section between Worongary and Mudgeeraba, as well as the section between Nerang South and Worongary;
  • Rebuilt the Coomera, Nerang South, Mudgeeraba, Robina and Varsity Lake interchanges; and
  • Upgraded the Springwood South to Daisy Hill section.

Collectively, these upgrades to the M1 eliminated choke-points, eased congestion, improved safety, and ultimately, helped to keep people and freight moving.

This investment was part of the $6.3 billion the former Federal Labor Government committed to major infrastructure projects across the South East corner.

That was more than what the Howard Government spent across the entire state of Queensland over a similar period of time.

Labor’s other transformative projects included:

  • A $2.5 billion investment in the Ipswich Motorway between Dinmore and Darra, an upgrade that remains South East Queensland’s largest-ever Federally-funded road project;
  • A $195 million investment in the Bruce Highway between Caboolture and Caloundra;
  • Construction of the Redcliffe Peninsula Link, a rail line first mooted more than a century ago in 1895;
  • Gold Coast Rapid Transit: A 13km light rail network connecting Griffith University to Broadbeach. Delivery of the $365 million investment was the most significant Commonwealth investment ever in light rail;
  • Construction of a new interchange at the intersection between Mains and Kessels Roads in Macgregor; and
  • The $1.5 billion Legacy Way: A 4.6 km tunnel connecting the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.

All up, we more than doubled annual Federal investment from $143 to $314 per Queenslander.

COALITION RECORD

Despite all their talk, it took the Liberals in Canberra more than an entire
term in government to commit anything meaningful to the M1.

We’ve had five wasted years, during which the pressure on this vital section of the National Land Transport Network has being growing and congestion has been worsening.

Despite all the hype that surrounded this year’s Federal Budget, the Budget Papers’ fine print revealed that only 10 per cent of the funding allocated to new Queensland projects will be available before 2022-23.

Simply put, Queenslanders hoping for the extra rail and road funding promised in the days leading up to the 2018 Budget will have to re-elect the Coalition not once, but twice more before the bulk of the money flows.

This is simply absurd. It’s investment on the Never-Never.

The situation with respect to the proposed M1 upgrades is not very positive either.

Of the $1 billion committed to widening the Motorway between Varsity Lakes and Tugun and between Eight Miles Plains and Daisy Hills, just 1 per cent will be available in the current financial year to advance those projects.

Eighty-five percent of the funding won’t be available until after the four-year Forward Estimates.

Again, if you are a motorist or a truck driver, you will have to wait for years before the Turnbull Government delivers the faster, safer, less frustrating driving conditions you require and deserve now.

A LABOR GOVERNMENT

Over the next few decades the population of South East Queensland is projected to increase by 2.2 million people.

Indeed, by the early 2030s, 5.5 million people – or almost one in six Australians – will be calling this part of our country home.

Managing that growth will not be easy.

But the business-as-usual approach of the Government is not an option.

Infrastructure Australia is forecasting that without action now, the cost of this traffic congestion within the region will increase  to $9.2 billion a year by 2031.

A significant proportion of that blowout will be the result of the increasing capacity constraints along key sections of the M1.

While it is of course the responsibility of the State Government to take the lead when it comes to identifying Queensland’s long-term infrastructure needs, it’s also the case that modernising the State’s infrastructure – including the M1 – is ultimately a task too big for it alone to achieve.

It will require a partnership between the State and the private sector.

And it will require a national government that’s prepared to play its part in the national interest.

That’s precisely what Federal Labor is offering.

We will work with the Queensland Government to fast track, as much as possible, the proposed M1 upgrades – Varsity Lakes to Tugun; Eight Miles Plains to Daisy Hills – and begin the necessary planning work on future upgrades.

As well as helping to tackle congestion, there is also an important safety dimension to these upgrades.

Each year there are 12,000 road accidents reported on the Motorway.

But as well as upgrading the M1, Federal Labor also understands that if we are to build productive, sustainable and liveable cities where communities can grow and prosper, governments need to invest in both their road and rail infrastructure.

That’s why the next Federal Labor Government will back Cross River Rail.

We will invest $2.24 billion of Federal funding to deliver the project in partnership with the Queensland Government.

This transformative project will unlock South East Queensland’s urban rail network and deliver more trains, more often for commuters, including to and from the Gold Coast.

This in turn will take pressure of the region’s major arterial roads, including the M1.

CONCLUSION

Let me finish by paying tribute to the Deputy Premier.

In her first Budget as Treasurer Jackie proved once again that when it comes to infrastructure, you can always rely on Labor to deliver.

We are the party of nation building. The others talk, we build.

Only Labor – both Federal and State – has a plan to keep South East Queensland moving.

It’s a plan that recognises that the difficult task of renewing and expanding this region’s transport infrastructure requires a genuine partnership between governments.

The long-term national interest demands nothing less.

 

 

Jul 13, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 13 July 2018

Subjects: Asylum seekers; energy policy.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, has this morning announced that immigration numbers are the lowest they have been since 2008. There has been a drop, in fact, of 20,000 in the past 12 months.

Joining me now we have Christopher Pyne from Adelaide and Anthony Albanese is right here. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

JEFFREYS: Anthony, I’ll start with you. You toughened your own stance on borders this week. What motivated that?

ALBANESE: Nothing at all, it’s the ALP policy. That’s been our policy since our National Conference in 2015. It’s as simple as that.

JEFFREYS: Well, you went ahead and said that Labor got it wrong in the past, Malcolm Turnbull has got it right?

ALBANESE: No, I didn’t say that. I said that in terms of the boat arrivals that occurred under us in government, we made mistakes. I’ve said that many times. So has Bill Shorten, so has Labor – acknowledged that.

JEFFREYS: You also went on to say that Malcolm Turnbull has stopped the boats and that there is truth in that, and that’s a good thing.

ALBANESE: The fact is, that we are not having boat arrivals coming to Australia now. That’s a simple statement of fact. What people want from their politicians is less partisanship, what they want is to acknowledge facts. I also was very critical though, of the ongoing detention of people on Manus and Nauru who aren’t being given any hope. We have seen suicides, we’ve seen a range of mental health conditions being identified and the Government has got that element of the policy wrong. And they need to find permanent settlement in third countries for those people.

JEFFREYS: So these figures out this morning, a drop of 20,000 in the past 12 months, is that a good result?

ALBANESE: Of course it’s a good result, if there is more integrity in the system. This is, bear in mind, a drop of 20,000 on the Government’s own figures last year. They have been in government for five years. If they have toughened up the system which they themselves were in charge of, to ensure more integrity in the system, then of course that’s a good thing.

JEFFREYS: The numbers peaked under Labor with 190,000. Going forward, and if Labor wins Government at the next election, are you personally in favour of boat turn backs?

ALBANESE: The fact is that’s a policy that’s been put in place. That’s a policy that’s in the Labor platform. I support the Labor platform. What we have on our side of politics is a process leading up to National Conference, where we determine our policies and then we go forward.

JEFFREYS: Okay, let’s move on to energy, that’s been the other big story around this week. The ACCC of course released a scathing review of our national energy market, along with a suite of recommendations to bring down prices for customers.

Christopher, will the Government subsidise the construction of new coal-fired power plants?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The ACCC didn’t suggest the subsidy of a coal-fired power station.

What it said was that the National Energy Guarantee, which is the Government’s policy, is the best chance we have to have affordable energy, reliable energy and fulfil our responsibilities under the Paris Agreement to reduce our carbon emissions.

The ACCC basically endorsed exactly what the Government is trying to do – not being ideological, being technologically agnostic, supporting all forms of energy production that produces despatchable power at lower prices. Not being ideological about picking one over the other. That’s what the ACCC has recommended and that’s exactly what the Government is doing. And can I say on the borders, the truth is that you can trust the Coalition on border protection and on immigration. What was proven in the past is you can’t trust Labor on borders and you still won’t be able to in the future.

JEFFREYS: Back to power, Malcolm Turnbull has left the door open to subsidies for new coal fired power plants. I think people want to know what the plan is, Christopher. How are you going to reduce their power bills?

PYNE: We have a plan and that’s going to the COAG meeting very soon, the Council of Australian Governments. It’s called the National Energy Guarantee. It’s already reducing prices, bringing more gas into the market, which we did last year, is reducing prices right across the eastern states, prices are starting to come down. We have actually turned the corner. What the ACCC said was that – with more support for the energy guarantee prices could come down by 24 to 25 per cent over the next few years. Now that is an amazing outcome. That can only happen with the Government’s policy of not picking winners, but supporting all technological outcomes that put more power into the system, more despatchable power. That will make it cheaper.

JEFFREYS: What about the tactics of the energy providers, the dodgy tactics, they were laid bare in this ACCC Report as well, is it time for a Royal Commission?

PYNE: Look, people reach for the Royal Commission far too easily in Australia. Royal Commissions have their place, but governments have got their policies. We have the right policy. We just need to see it being supported. Obviously the energy companies, if they have been behaving badly, that’s why we have the ACCC. It’s why you have ASIC. It’s why you have all these institutions that regulate them. A Royal Commission sounds great, but it actually slows down the process. Maybe there might be such a thing down the track, but we are focussing on the National Energy Guarantee. That will reduce prices and bring more reliability to the system.

ALBANESE: The ACCC report identified – there were 56 recommendations. What it identified was a concentration of market power. And it spoke about various measures you could do, to allow new entrants into the system. Interestingly, in spite of some of the public debate, what Rod Sims has said, is that no one mentioned to him new coal fired power plants. No one in the business community is interested. This is a fantasy of Tony Abbott and the far right of the Liberal Party. And it’s holding Malcolm Turnbull back from a sensible policy debate.

JEFFREYS: Okay, we have got to go. I want to know in one word, Anthony, yes or no, have you read the report, the ACCC report?

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the Report.

JEFFREYS: Have you read the report?

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the Report.

PYNE: His boss hasn’t.

JEFFREYS: Bill Shorten did admit to not reading that yesterday.

ALBANESE: I’ve read the recommendations of the report.

JEFFREYS: Well, you’ve got 400 pages to get through over the weekend, so a little bit of light reading for you. Anthony and Christopher thank you very much for joining us this morning.

[ENDS]

 

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