Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Dec 28, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Brisbane – Friday, 28 December 2018

Subjects: Geebung Park and Ride, High Speed Rail, Andrew Broad, Government dysfunction, environment, Angus Taylor, gender balance, Craig Kelly.

ANIKA WELLS: Welcome to the electorate of Lilley. I am so pleased to have Anthony Albanese here with me today to announce another part of Labor’s National Park and Ride Fund. I love Labor’s National Park and Ride Fund and I will tell you why. I have door-knocked or phone called more than 15,000 people now in the electorate of Lilley since I was pre-selected earlier this year, and when you ask people generally what they want to see from politics or what would actually help them on a day-to-day basis, what they say is they want more time. Everybody is feeling more and more busy. Everybody feels they have less and less time to do both the essential things that they need to get done and also to spend some time with their loved ones. And so what this fund actually does is give some time back. Because the last thing you want is having to trawl side streets two times a day every work day to get a park to be doing the right thing – to be taking public transport to find your way in and out of work. So what our Park and Ride Fund does is give money to extend our Park and Ride services and in Lilley this is the second one we are doing now. Our first one was $7 million for the Northgate Park and Ride, which is a magnificent announcement that has gone down very, very well here.

And today we are announcing Geebung, which is where we are, and we are announcing that we are giving $4 million to expand Park and Ride here. At the moment there are between 30 and 35 parks here at the Geebung Park and Ride. The State Labor Government announced in November that they would expand the services here to include 70 more parks and today Federal Labor is coming to the party with another $4 million so we can expand those parks even more and we can double our capacity again. So I am really pleased to be here. I am really pleased that Albo understands what people want here in Lilley and what is actually going to make our lives easier on a day-to-day basis and I think it draws a very sharp contrast between us, who are looking into those things, who are concerned about these things and are trying to make tangible differences for the people of our community, and the other side who are focused on themselves, who are fighting amongst themselves and really have nothing to say for us or our community’s future. So with that I will hand you over to Albo.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is terrific to be here once again with Anika Wells for what is a very exciting announcement. It’s good to be back at a railway station here in Brisbane, here in Geebung, for this announcement which would see a doubling of the increase that the State Government have already said they would commit to earlier this year. The provision of an additional 70 parking space from our Park and Ride Fund is just the latest announcement. It follows announcements at Northgate, at Narangba and at Mango Hill here in Brisbane because what we want is to support public transport.

Now there are two ways you can do it. Firstly you’ve got to invest in the infrastructure and Federal Labor will put back the funds that were ripped out by the Abbott Government and that cut maintained through Malcolm Turnbull and through Scott Morrison to Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Project. This was identified way back in 2012 as the number one infrastructure project for our nation and yet the Federal Government has failed to provide a single dollar for that project. What Federal Labor will do is partner with the Queensland Labor Government to deliver the Cross River Rail Project. But we will also increase the accessibility to these railways stations, particularly on the Northside of Brisbane. This comes from the feedback to our candidates like Anika Wells campaigning here to replace Wayne Swan as the member for Lilley and other candidates up and down this rail corridor.

Public transport is the key to dealing with urban congestion. Federal Labor has a plan for public transport. It is a plan that is about infrastructure, but it is also about increasing Park and Ride facilities, which is why we created the $300 million fund which, when matched with state and territory governments, will produce well over half a billion dollars of additional infrastructure to improve the accessibility for commuters who want to use public transport. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: On another subject …

ALBANESE: Have we got any on this? Or do you all believe that it is a great project?

REPORTER: I’m not sure we do.

ALBANESE: Away you go.

REPORTER: On another subject, there has been a submission put to the Federal Government from a Los Angeles-based company about another Hyperloop proposal. Do you support that?

ALBANESE: Well the Hyperloop is hypothetical of course at this stage. What I support is proven technology. We have proven technology available for High Speed Rail here in Australia, particularly down the east coast, from Brisbane through Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. What that will do is reduce the commute time to under three hours between Sydney and Brisbane. Now I flew up from Sydney to Brisbane this morning. It took me more than three hours door-to-door even though I live virtually under the runway at Kingsford Smith Airport. The fact is High Speed Rail is competitive. My view is that we need to advance that project, which is why I have a Private Member’s Bill to advance that priority

REPORTER: A Hyperloop would cut that down by a third. You are looking at an hour or so to get to Sydney, nine minutes to the Gold Coast. (inaudible).

ALBANESE: Well we want to see it operating anywhere in the world and at the moment it is a hypothetical technology. Certainly new technologies can be very exciting. But they need to be proven. Early in January I will be travelling to the United States, to San Francisco and Seattle, looking at some of the new technologies in transport that are available that have been developed on the West Coast of the United States. So I look forward to receiving briefings while I am there in the United States during January, but we need to be cognisant of the fact that technologies are available right now that would reduce times for travel not just between Sydney and Brisbane, but importantly from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and to regional areas like Lismore and really open up that regional economic development along that corridor which would take pressure off our capital cities.

REPORTER: Why do the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister need to say what they knew about the Andrew Broad scandal and when they knew about it?

ALBANESE: Well the problem here of course is that every day there appears to be contradictory stories from the day before about what the Prime Minister’s office knew, what the Deputy Prime Minister’s office knew. Today we have revelations that the Prime Minister’s office was aware of the Andrew Broad issues a fortnight before apparently, they say, they bothered to tell the Prime Minister. Now this goes to dysfunction in the Government.

Now Andrew Broad’s personal issues I have no comment on, but what I do have comment on is the fact that this Government is dysfunctional. This Government is too concerned about itself, about its internal issues, to be concerned about the needs of the Australian people. Here I am today with Anika Wells announcing a really practical project that will make a difference to people’s lives in the electorate of Lilley. That is what we are doing. The Government has stopped governing some time ago and they are behaving more like an Opposition in exile on the Government benches. It seems they would be more comfortable with being in Opposition, and I think frankly that the sooner they call the election the better because the Australian people want a say in who their Prime Minister is because at the moment of course Scott Morrison is an unelected Prime Minister and it appears from today even his own office don’t tell him what is going in the Government.

REPORTER: On that scandal, what do you think that matter is of public interest and what do you think has happened?

ALBANESE: I make no comment about what happened because I don’t know. What I do think should occur through is that the Government should just put it all out here about who knew what and when they were informed of it. And I think frankly the Australian public could have done without ever knowing what the term “Sugar Babies’’ meant and I think they would much prefer to go back to watching the cricket and being engaged in their summer holidays. But what they continue to get is issues – and you have raised it with me today so I would suggest that you are interested in it – so we need to, I think, just be clear and clear this issue up once and for all.

REPORTER: Do you believe that the Prime Minister’s staff would have known about it without alerting the Prime Minister?

ALBANESE: Well it’s a long stretch to say that that is the case. Certainly my office wouldn’t have behaved that way when I was a minister because something that is clearly of interest – even when I was the Government Leader of the House of Representatives, I would have thought that I would have been informed of these issues, given that they had been referred to the Australian Federal Police. But that is a matter for Mr Morrison to explain the internal workings of his office. But really I think it comes down to the fact that this Government is so divided and dysfunctional they are incapable of just carrying out normal activity on a day-to-day basis.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, the seats of Brisbane and Ryan were recently added to a Labor watch list for next year’s election. How confident are you of a strong election campaign here in South East Queensland next year?

ALBANESE: What we are doing is campaigning for every vote in every seat in the country. And Queensland is always important when it comes to Federal elections. I am a regular visitor here in Queensland, whether it be South East Queensland or up and down the Queensland coast or indeed into Western Queensland. Obviously Brisbane historically was held by Arch Bevis as a very good Member for a long period of time and Ryan of course was won famously by Labor in a by-election.

What is very clear as I travel around this great city of Brisbane and South East Queensland is that people are very frustrated. They are frustrated because they have a Government that is more concerned about their internal issues – about bickering and fighting and who is arguing with who than they are about concerns of people here in Brisbane. This is a city under pressure with the growth. That is why they want practical answers. They want funding for the Cross River Rail project. They want funding for commuter carparks. They want funding for their kids’ schools to be done properly. They want their youngsters to be able to have access to early childhood education at ages three and four. They want proper health care with Medicare at the centre of the health system. They want all of those things. They want a Government that is concerned about improving their day-to-day lives and at the moment they haven’t got that and that is why Labor is campaigning in every seat right around the state of Queensland but indeed right around the country.

REPORTER: There is a split though between the South East and central and northern Queensland over things like Adani and other mining projects. Is that going to be difficult for Labor to balance?

ALBANESE: Well Labor is only talking about the issues that people are concerned about, whether it be infrastructure, education, health or the environment. And we continue to put our case. We have just had a very successful ALP National conference whereby what we were concerned about was what a future Labor Government, if we are successful in receiving the confidence of the Australian people at an election, would be able to put forward. We have put forward a comprehensive policy plan for government and that contrasts I think very markedly with a Government with all the bureaucracy and assistance they have, with the overwhelming advantage of staff and advice that they have, who don’t seem to have a plan for anything. When you ask a Government minister a question, the response usually begins with: “Well what Labor are going to do …’’. I find it quite remarkable that two terms into office they simply have run out of puff. After two terms, three prime ministers, three deputy prime ministers, nine infrastructure spokespeople, they don’t know what they are doing and I think the Australian people are increasingly coming to realise that.

REPORTER: But back to the question, how do you balance Adani and the Galilee Basin and the needs of those communities with the environmental concerns of the South East?

ALBANESE: What we do is put out comprehensive policy plans and we do that. We have a plan to deal with climate change. We have a plan that is not about picking winners and losers. It is a comprehensive plan to deliver the sort of changes that we need to reduce our emissions, to actually meet our Paris targets. This Government has gone out there and said that they are on track to meet their targets. We know from their own reports that they dumped out on the eve of Christmas that that simply isn’t true; that they are going to miss it by a very long way. It’s just another example of a Government that simply isn’t up to the job.

And when it comes to Angus Taylor, I mean, he was a failure as the cities spokesperson when I shadowed him. People would go along to conferences and they would hear him speak about value capture and all this voodoo economics – a project could be built for free – and after a while they came to realise that there was no substance there. Now that was a problem when he was in charge of cities. But it is a disaster when he is in charge of energy. This Government has no energy policy and they are nearing the end of their second term. It is quite remarkable.

WELLS: Lilley shares a border with the seat of Brisbane and we have doorknocked all along that border now and I can tell you when it comes to talking with people on the doors and at mobile offices, they are interested in the environment. But what they want to know is which major party has that as a priority and which party has a plan to save the environment, to do more for the environment, to do more for our energy policy and to make things more efficient. And they are so far very pleased with the emphasis that Labor has placed on that to date, whereas by comparison the Prime Minister and the local LNP have nothing to say on that subject.

And the other point I wanted to pick up about the seats of Brisbane and Ryan from earlier on is Ryan is yet another example of where the LNP have knocked off a sitting woman MP to put in another bloke, whereas here on the Northside for Labor we are running four women across four our seats. I am here in Lilley, Corinne Mulholland is in Petrie, Ali France is in Dickson and Susuan Lamb is the current sitting MP for Longman. We are running four women in a diamond of four seats, whereas just next door in Ryan yet another woman, Jane Prentice, is being knocked off for the LNP to put in another bloke.

ALBANESE: And they saved Craig Kelly it might be noted and did nothing, did not lift a finger, to save Jane Prentice. And when you look at the contribution that Jane Prentice has made, my view is she should be sitting on the frontbench of the Coalition. She is someone who does know something about cities and urban policy. Craig Kelly only knows about going on Sky late at night, during the day. Whenever you turn it on, there he is spouting his rubbish on behalf of Tony Abbott and the people who have wrecked the Liberal Party from within. And he was rewarded for that wrecking and rewarded for saying he would be sitting on the crossbenches by being rescued.

I was asked before about the South China Sea. Can I say that when it comes to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, the International Treaty on the Law of the Sea applies. It allows for freedom of navigation and that is important. But it is also important that we recognise that the United States has an important role to play in our region but also that Australia stands prepared to work with our regional partners and that we encourage a cooperative relationship between the big two superpowers in the United States and China. That is in Australia’s interests. It’s in the globe’s interests as well. Thank you very much.

[ENDS]

 

Dec 19, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Sky News – David Speers Program – Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Subjects: ALP National Conference, trade unions, nuclear disarmament, infrastructure. 

DAVID SPEERS: Anthony Albanese thanks very much for your time this afternoon. Let’s just pick up on the Labor conference. A lot of concern amongst employer groups about where the party has landed on industrial relations. Will there be industry-wide bargaining under a Labor Government?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well one of the things that Bill Shorten has said is that he will get together, in the first week he is talking about, with employers, with unions and actually work on a consensus model rather than the antagonistic model that has been pursued by the Coalition Government. The truth is that the current bargaining system isn’t working. That’s why we are seeing record profits but real wages actually in decline. The Reserve Bank and every economist in the country has identified low wage growth as being a real problem for our national economy.

SPEERS: Sure, but you’ve got to spell out before the election what you are going to do with industry-wide bargaining.

ALBANESE: And we will be spelling out all of our policies before the election. But what we are saying is that the current system quite clearly isn’t working. That is what the Reserve Bank is saying.

SPEERS: But is more union power the answer here? Giving them greater access to work sites, industry-wide bargaining, getting rid of the ABCC, these sorts of things?

ALBANESE: Well it is very clear that the decline in union membership is a part of the explanation for the decline in real wages. If you have circumstances whereby unions aren’t able to bargain and represent workers, what we know is that the power relationship between an individual worker and an individual employer is not an even one. That’s why trade unions exist.

SPEERS: You are quite open about the fact you want unions to be bigger and more powerful in Australia?

ALBANESE: I think unions play an absolutely critical role in civil society and I think a strengthening and growth of unionism would be good for our national economy.

SPEERS: Let’s deal with a couple of the other things that were decided late yesterday. You were involved moving a motion on the Nuclear Ban Treaty. Would a Labor Government sign this UN Nuclear Ban Treaty?

ALBANESE: Well what we have said is that we would sign and ratify after considering a range of factors including the effective examination to make sure that the structures were in place, to make sure that it was happening, to make sure that it was consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

SPEERS: So you would want the nuclear states themselves to agree to this as well? None of them have.

ALBANESE: Well what we want to see is a pathway and one way in which you encourage people to join a collective organisation is to join yourself and part of the problem that we have seen with the Nuclear Ban Treaty is that Australia, like in so many areas, has withdrawn from the process, didn’t participate. We are on the sideline.

SPEERS: But would we sign up if the US doesn’t?

ALBANESE: Well the truth is that the US was very reluctant to sign up to past global agreements, such as banning land mines. Does anyone today say that that was a bad thing? That was a very ambitious proposal when it was put forward.

SPEERS: So we would sign this without the US?

ALBANESE: That’s a matter for a future government decision. But like all of the Labor Party platform, what we do is set out our principles and then Labor governments make decisions based upon advice.

SPEERS: That’s the same with Palestine too.

ALBANESE: It’s the same with all of our platform. That’s the way it works. The platform sets out the principles to guide Labor in government and I think yesterday’s adoption of support for what began with ICAN, began with people 10 years ago in Melbourne forming the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, they won the Nobel Peace Prize 10 years after they were formed in 2017, and this year I think it is a significant step forward and it is not surprising that over 80 per cent of Australians say they support eliminating nuclear weapons. I can’t understand anyone who would say, I’ve got to say, “I think nuclear weapons are a great thing’’. I think everyone wants to see …

SPEERS: Sure, but you’d put a lot more pressure on the Americans if you say we are going to sign it with or without you.

ALBANESE: Well, we have declared Australia’s position in terms of where Labor wants to see the world going.

SPEERS: With respect, you have said you will work with allies and take advice.

ALBANESE: Of course and we always do. But that doesn’t mean that we have a subservient relationship. I mean, I think our US alliance is absolutely critical and the resolution recognised that yesterday. But at the same time what we don’t do is give any other nation a right of veto. We have had very clearly differences with the United States as we do for example as a party when it comes to the embassy in Jerusalem issue and that is not a bad thing.

SPEERS: A final one in your portfolio area. It seems as we head into the election neither side is going to dramatically cut the migration intake right? So dealing with congestion in Sydney and Melbourne comes down to more infrastructure?.

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

SPEERS: What would Labor do to ease these congestion pressures?

ALBANESE: It comes down to not just better infrastructure but how you do it as well – the quality of it. What that means, in effect, is the quality of planning. The problem that we have had in our cities is that we have had housing growth without considering how people will get to work, what the social and community infrastructure is – education and health – and around that how we create a 30-minute city. We have seen also a failure to invest in public transport.

SPEERS: Will you do a lot more on public transport?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. We committed more to urban public transport between 2007 and 2013 than had been committed in the previous 107 years. We changed the way that the Federal Government deals with public transport. The Howard Government – zero. Not a dollar. Not a public transport anywhere in the country.

SPEERS: Are you going to give it priority over roads?

ALBANESE: The truth is if you are going to deal with urban congestion, you need to do both, but the priority has to be public transport. You can’t solve it with just roads, with just private motor vehicles. What you need to do if you are talking about moving large numbers of people, then you need public transport to do it.

SPEERS: Anthony Albanese. Thanks you very much for joining us and throughout the year – a very Merry Christmas.

ALBANESE: Merry Christmas to you David. Thanks you for having me on the program throughout the year. I will see you in 2019.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 19 DECEMBER, 2018

Dec 14, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Today Show – Friday, 14 December 2018

Subjects: Federal ICAC; religious freedom.

DEBORAH KNIGHT: I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne who is in Adelaide with us this morning. Gentlemen, good morning to you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Deb. Nice to be with you.

KNIGHT: Why the change of heart, Christopher?

PYNE: Well there hasn’t been a change of heart. The reality is that we haven’t adopted Labor’s Salem witch trials model for an Independent Commission Against Corruption. And that’s what I and Scott Morrison were being asked about when we both said that we weren’t going to go down that track. We’ve been working for months on a Commonwealth Integrity Commissioner. I was part of the Cabinet when Malcolm Turnbull was Prime Minister where we initiated that work, and we announced yesterday the result of that, which is bringing together, really, what exists now within the Commonwealth but very disparate, in groups like ACLEI (Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity) and IPEA (Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority): creating an integrity commission which fills in the gaps and makes sure that we can ensure that our law enforcement agencies and our public service, including our politicians and their staff, are all behaving with integrity.

KNIGHT: Well, why not then ensure that if the politicians and the bureaucrats, because that division as part of this investigative unit, there won’t be public hearings, there won’t be public rulings. Why not, surely, sunlight is the best disinfectant here?

PYNE: Well, not necessarily. I mean we’ve seen what ICAC in New South Wales has become in many respects, which is a star chamber.

KNIGHT: It’s been very effective at rooting out corruption.

PYNE: Well, in some cases it has. In other cases its ruined people’s reputations who’ve turned out to have not been guilty of anything whatsoever. And yet ICAC has such extensive powers and public hearings that their reputations are ruined just by being investigated by ICAC. So there is a better way of doing it. There are other models in Australia besides ICAC, by the way. There’s one here in South Australia, which operates effectively, which doesn’t have public hearings. And we propose to do the work that needs to be done to fill in any gaps that exist now without trashing and traducing people’s public reputations through public hearings where they are ruined from the first moment they are accused of wrongdoing.

KNIGHT: Albo, this is something Labor and the Greens have long campaigned for. There must be an election wind if you’re seeing parties stealing each other’s ideas, hey?

ALBANESE: What we’re seeing, once again, is Labor leading from Opposition. We’ve been arguing for a National Integrity Commission for some time in the Parliament, and Christopher himself just weeks ago described this as a distraction. Scott Morrison did the same thing. We’ve continued to put our case. Who knows, maybe they’ll adopt our policy on housing affordability next week the way that it’s going.

KNIGHT: Will you be supporting then this body the way it is in this form?

ALBANESE: We’ll have a close look at the model that’s been put forward. We want to make sure that we get the balance right, between ensuring that it’s a strong body that can achieve its objectives without any consequences which aren’t intended. So we’ll look at the detail of what the Government puts forward. But the fact is, we do need a National Integrity Commission because we do need to shore up that public support. I don’t believe there’s a great deal of corruption in Australia …

PYNE: I’m not aware of a lot of corruption either, quite frankly.

ALBANESE: But what you’d need to have is a body that gives the public the confidence it can have in its elected officials and importantly in its bureaucracy and in its public service more widely.

KNIGHT: No argument from the public there. We need to root it out and ensure it doesn’t occur if it is there in the first place. Now in another announcement from the Prime Minister, the Coalition plans to make it illegal to discriminate based on a person’s religious beliefs. Christopher, are there any cases that you are aware of, of people who have been discriminated against based on their religious beliefs?

PYNE: This is not an issue that I’ve been closely following, I have to say. But we asked Philip Ruddock to conduct a review of whether the laws in Australia protected people’s religious freedoms. He has made 20 recommendations, 15 of them seem very obvious to us to repair old legislation, if you like, that is out of date. We would also like to remove any exemption for religious schools or for institutions on the basis of people’s sexuality. But it’s quite complicated, because we also want to make sure religious institutions can maintain their religiosity and so we’ve asked the Australian Law Reform Commission how to draft that. I think we could have resolved it in the last few weeks in Parliament but unfortunately Bill Shorten wanted to weaponise the issue for the election. I think that’s a great pity. We have a conscience vote on our side of the House over issues to do with sexuality. And I would like, and most of my colleagues would like, to remove the issues to do with the school students and teachers being discriminated against. An exemption, by the way, that was introduced by Labor when they were last in office, but that wasn’t able to be done and Labor doesn’t have a conscience vote on it, which I think is very unfair on their members.

ALBANESE: It’s an absolute nonsense what Christopher has just said. We had marriage equality delayed because they didn’t have a conscience vote on marriage equality. They bound everyone on that issue. When it comes to freedom of religion, of course we need freedom of religion. I think, frankly, we have it in this country. What we’ve seen is the Government dealing with their internal differences by establishing these inquiries because the Abbott forces and the Turnbull forces continue to be at war.

PYNE: Try and be nice, Anthony. It’s Christmas time.

ALBANESE: I am. I’ve even got my Christmas tie on.

PYNE: I know, I’ve heard.

ALBANESE: Which might resemble the South Sydney tie, but it’s a Christmas tie, I’ve made an effort.

KNIGHT: Well, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you very much for your contribution over the course of the year.

Dec 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Subjects: Christmas; defence; ALP National Conference; Leadership spill; Russell Crowe.
HOST: I think they promised Christmas carols, or carolling at least, last week. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen and happy Christmas to your listeners.

HOST: That’s very kind of you, Chris. Happy Christmas to you as well. G’day Albo, how’re you going there mate?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning, I’m going very well. It’s the slow end of the year. I’ll be in Adelaide Friday, until next Tuesday.

PYNE: You sound like a three-toed sloth. Why are you speaking so slowly?

HOST: You’ve got to be careful coming to Adelaide at the moment, Albo. You guys were going to put the Space Centre in Canberra weren’t you?

PYNE: They were, that was their announcement. That was Kim Carr’s announcement. It was going to Canberra.

HOST: We’re space mad this morning – Kim Il-Carr.

PYNE: Kim Il-Carr.

ALBANESE: Space mad.

HOST: Have you got space fever, Chris?

PYNE: I’m very excited, there’s another hive in South Australia, the Australian Space Agency coming to Lot 14. We worked closely with Steven Marshall, of course, and the Federal Government to achieve that. Comes on top of a Centre for Defence Industry Capability based in Adelaide. Again, something that I delivered as the Minister for Defence Industry. Tomorrow we’ve got big announcements about the ships and the submarines, two of the biggest projects in Australia’s history. The offshore patrol vessel started its construction in Adelaide more than a month ago. First Pacific patrol boat delivered to Papua New Guinea and the two joint strike fighters landed on Monday, so I’m having a great week.

HOST: Christmas has come early.

PYNE: Christmas has come early. It’s going to keep coming if you re-elect the Liberal Party.

ALBANESE: Well, he’s certainly had jam for breakfast.

PYNE: What did you have? Did you have Valium? He’s just looking forward to the ALP National Conference on the weekend.

ALBANESE: It’s breakfast radio, so I’ll leave it there.

HOST: So Albo, are you coming over for what? This is the ALP Conference. My mail is apparently business observers are falling over themselves to see you guys in action.

ALBANESE: They are, actually.

HOST: Strange way to spend your money.

ALBANESE: It’s pretty full. People want to chat to us. Why wouldn’t you when there’s a rabble on the other side?

HOST: Are you going to be on your best behaviour?

ALBANESE: Well it makes a change to the interruption. I mean, yesterday we had news that Craig Kelly was actually going to join the National Party in order to avoid having to face a Liberal if he lost pre-selection and that’s why Scott Morrison intervened. I mean this is just bizarre stuff.

HOST: On a serious note though, for you guys, partly because they’re so open in their structure, Labor Party national conferences, and I would have gone to about five I reckon, they can become a bit unruly. There’s often an opportunity for the Leader to be embarrassed by members of the party not singing from the same song sheet. Is there a chance that might happen, particularly on the question of border protection? Are you lock-step with Bill Shorten on that issue?

ALBANESE: Look, the party, in three days, 400 delegates, will always be a little bit untidy. That’s the truth. That’s the benefit though of being transparent about the fact that we’re a party of ideas. People who’ve been elected are accountable to the people who voted for them. We now have direct elections so people will have run on a platform from their particular electorate that they’d raise an issue in a certain way, and they’re entitled to do so. But what will come out of the process is a platform that unites the Labor Party, that everyone then can get behind and – that’s not the policy, of course, but that’s the basis of the values that we take forward and the Parliamentary Party makes up the specific policies that we take to the election. And of course we already have more policies out there than any Opposition in living memory ever has.

HOST: Being our final Two Tribes for 2018, it’s time to get a little bit wistful. Christopher Pyne, what were your highs and lows of the year?

PYNE: One of the highs of the year was Steven Marshall getting elected in South Australia in March. That was definitely a high. Getting the biggest ship building and submarine building projects underway in Australia’s history has been a high, it’s going very well. And if the worst happens and Labor wins, it’s going to be hard for them to undo it, given that they did nothing in six years. I am very pleased to have locked that in. And the lows, well, I never see any lows. I only see happy sides.

HOST: That is a cop out.

PYNE: Silver linings to every cloud.

HOST: Would you like us to nominate a couple for you?

ALBANESE: The Government falling apart?

PYNE: I’m a glass half-full man. One of the lows, of course, was Labor ending the year dismantling the offshore processing. Which is going to let the people smugglers back in again.

HOST: What about that little period where the Prime Minister vanished again?

PYNE: When was that? when did that happen? I can’t remember that. I block out anything unhappy. I’ve got my happy face on like the mother in Strictly Ballroom.

HOST: What about you, Albo? Your low would probably be the excellent result Bill Shorten got in that by-election earlier in the year, wouldn’t it?

ALBANESE: Not at all, I always support the Labor team. I think it is the case, though, that one of my highs is having the benefit of listening to Christopher’s extraordinary optimism, as all around him goes to absolute rubbish.

PYNE: Absolute nonsense. We’ve got you right where we want you.

ALBANESE: It’s quite extraordinary, how you get on 55 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote.

PYNE: You’re not on the ropes, you’re on the canvas.

HOST: It’s only a flesh wound, Albo.

PYNE: They’re going to have to help you up at some point, I think.

HOST: It’s like a rumble in the jungle, a parallel universe. The Scott Morrison rope-a-dope. He’s just going to lunge any minute now.

PYNE: You’ll be surprised.

ALBANESE: It’s going so well.

PYNE: I wouldn’t get overconfident, Anthony. You’ve lost from here before, I’ve seen it.

ALBANESE: It’s gone so well.

HOST: Hey guys we’ll wrap it up. But can we just say, this is our last segment for the year, so to you, Chris, and to you, Albo. It’s not always the easiest segment to manage but we really do appreciate the candour that you bring in your discussion of national affairs, and the good humour. It’s a lot of fun catching up with you every week. You’re two of the genuine heavy hitters of politics and you know it’s great having you on. Our listeners appreciate it and we appreciate it too. So have a great Christmas.

ALBANESE: You know what I think a high was? When, after one of our segments, Russell Crowe Tweeted out: “That’s what politics should be, people having disagreements but being respectful’’.

HOST: That was pretty cool.

ALBANESE: A whole lot of retweets and coverage, and I think that’s what Christopher and I try to bring.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 12 DECEMBER, 2018

Dec 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Adelaide with Leon Byner – Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Subjects: The Overland Great Southern Rail.

LEON BYNER: Anthony Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

BYNER: Anthony, interesting we had a conversation recently and you said: “Leon, the Vics aren’t going to save the Overland. They’re not going to do that. Why would they do anything for South Australia?’’

ALBANESE: Well, what we have here is a humiliation for Steve Marshall. It’s quite extraordinary that Daniel Andrews’ Government effectively are subsidising the South Australian Government as well as their own. And I just thought at that stage the Victorian Government hadn’t made the decision. They obviously have been put in a position whereby, because of South Australia’s intransigence on this issue, the route would have fallen over had someone not picked up South Australia’s share of the tab. And they’ve done it. And good on Daniel Andrews for doing it. And every South Australian should be happy about this today because it’s really important for those regional economies.

BYNER: Well, it’s interesting that the Victorian Government are expanding their regional rail network. We seem to be going in the other direction where we’re selling off rail stock. There’s a line for example to the Barossa, but we’re not interested in doing anything to try and make that work. There’s a point here that I should raise. A couple of people have had a go saying: “Oh Leon, what are you talking about, the train wasn’t viable so why should we put in money?’’ I thought: Hang on a minute. Okay, I’ll accept that if that’s the game. Then I found out that we are spending, in South Australia, $300 million a year on buses and rail, right. But the subsidy for that is most of that $300 million. So if it’s about viability and you’re using that argument, what do we do about the transport services here that lose a heap more than the Overland does?

ALBANESE: Look, public transport, by-and-large nationally, no matter what state you look at, or what city, or what region; contributes around about between 20-25 per cent of the cost of operation and maintenance is made through the fare box. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad economics because the benefit isn’t direct. The benefit is to those jobs that are created. The benefit of people being able to get to work, get to recreational activities, get from A to B.

That’s why governments operate public transport networks. And it’s just absurd. It’s a bit like arguing that roads run at a loss in South Australia because of the maintenance costs that council, the State Government and on the major roads, the Federal Government contribute. I mean it’s an absurd argument. And the fact is that railways are absolutely critical. And the 21st Century is the century of rail. It’s back, whether it’s High Speed Rail, regional rail, suburban rail networks, light rail. We know that is how you can move people around for their everyday lives and that’s how the economy runs.

BYNER: All right, so just from your perspective, why is it good for South Australia that another government has picked up the $300,000 or so, to make sure the train keeps going? What’s the benefit?

ALBANESE: Because places like Murray Bridge and other places along the route will get jobs created. Because people who live in those regional towns will be able to travel to Adelaide or to Melbourne, to see family, to do work or to engage in recreational activities. As the Tourism Shadow Minister, this route provides an absolutely vital connection and it’s particularly important in terms of regional development. The fact is, that many people rely upon this route. It also works to connect people up from Victoria who want to travel on the Ghan or on the Indian Pacific and that adds up. So that has indirect benefits along the route there as well. This is absolutely vital, this service. And good on Victoria for kicking the can for South Australia. But I do find it is astonishing that the South Australian Government for the sake of $300,000 is put in this position as if they can’t afford it. It is a matter of priorities. And I think it’s quite sad the way that Liberal governments seem to have in common not being prepared to fund rail projects in our cities and in our regions.

BYNER: Anthony, thanks for coming on this morning.

 [ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 12 DECEMBER, 2018

Dec 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide with Leon Byner – Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Subjects: The Overland Great Southern Rail.

LEON BYNER: Anthony Albanese, good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

BYNER: Anthony, interesting we had a conversation recently and you said: “Leon, the Vics aren’t going to save the Overland. They’re not going to do that. Why would they do anything for South Australia?’’

ALBANESE: Well, what we have here is a humiliation for Steve Marshall. It’s quite extraordinary that Daniel Andrews’ Government effectively are subsidising the South Australian Government as well as their own. And I just thought at that stage the Victorian Government hadn’t made the decision. They obviously have been put in a position whereby, because of South Australia’s intransigence on this issue, the route would have fallen over had someone not picked up South Australia’s share of the tab. And they’ve done it. And good on Daniel Andrews for doing it. And every South Australian should be happy about this today because it’s really important for those regional economies.

BYNER: Well, it’s interesting that the Victorian Government are expanding their regional rail network. We seem to be going in the other direction where we’re selling off rail stock. There’s a line for example to the Barossa, but we’re not interested in doing anything to try and make that work. There’s a point here that I should raise. A couple of people have had a go saying: “Oh Leon, what are you talking about, the train wasn’t viable so why should we put in money?’’ I thought: Hang on a minute. Okay, I’ll accept that if that’s the game. Then I found out that we are spending, in South Australia, $300 million a year on buses and rail, right. But the subsidy for that is most of that $300 million. So if it’s about viability and you’re using that argument, what do we do about the transport services here that lose a heap more than the Overland does?

ALBANESE: Look, public transport, by-and-large nationally, no matter what state you look at, or what city, or what region; contributes around about between 20-25 per cent of the cost of operation and maintenance is made through the fare box. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad economics because the benefit isn’t direct. The benefit is to those jobs that are created. The benefit of people being able to get to work, get to recreational activities, get from A to B.

That’s why governments operate public transport networks. And it’s just absurd. It’s a bit like arguing that roads run at a loss in South Australia because of the maintenance costs that council, the State Government and on the major roads, the Federal Government contribute. I mean it’s an absurd argument. And the fact is that railways are absolutely critical. And the 21st Century is the century of rail. It’s back, whether it’s High Speed Rail, regional rail, suburban rail networks, light rail. We know that is how you can move people around for their everyday lives and that’s how the economy runs.

BYNER: All right, so just from your perspective, why is it good for South Australia that another government has picked up the $300,000 or so, to make sure the train keeps going? What’s the benefit?

ALBANESE: Because places like Murray Bridge and other places along the route will get jobs created. Because people who live in those regional towns will be able to travel to Adelaide or to Melbourne, to see family, to do work or to engage in recreational activities. As the Tourism Shadow Minister, this route provides an absolutely vital connection and it’s particularly important in terms of regional development. The fact is, that many people rely upon this route. It also works to connect people up from Victoria who want to travel on the Ghan or on the Indian Pacific and that adds up. So that has indirect benefits along the route there as well. This is absolutely vital, this service. And good on Victoria for kicking the can for South Australia. But I do find it is astonishing that the South Australian Government for the sake of $300,000 is put in this position as if they can’t afford it. It is a matter of priorities. And I think it’s quite sad the way that Liberal governments seem to have in common not being prepared to fund rail projects in our cities and in our regions.

BYNER: Anthony, thanks for coming on this morning.

Dec 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Subjects: Christmas; defence; ALP National Conference; Leadership spill; Russell Crowe.

HOST: I think they promised Christmas carols, or carolling at least, last week. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen and happy Christmas to your listeners.

HOST: That’s very kind of you, Chris. Happy Christmas to you as well. G’day Albo, how’re you going there mate?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning, I’m going very well. It’s the slow end of the year. I’ll be in Adelaide Friday, until next Tuesday.

PYNE: You sound like a three-toed sloth. Why are you speaking so slowly?

HOST: You’ve got to be careful coming to Adelaide at the moment, Albo. You guys were going to put the Space Centre in Canberra weren’t you?

PYNE: They were, that was their announcement. That was Kim Carr’s announcement. It was going to Canberra.

HOST: We’re space mad this morning – Kim Il-Carr.

PYNE: Kim Il-Carr.

ALBANESE: Space mad.

HOST: Have you got space fever, Chris?

PYNE: I’m very excited, there’s another hive in South Australia, the Australian Space Agency coming to Lot 14. We worked closely with Steven Marshall, of course, and the Federal Government to achieve that. Comes on top of a Centre for Defence Industry Capability based in Adelaide. Again, something that I delivered as the Minister for Defence Industry. Tomorrow we’ve got big announcements about the ships and the submarines, two of the biggest projects in Australia’s history. The offshore patrol vessel started its construction in Adelaide more than a month ago. First Pacific patrol boat delivered to Papua New Guinea and the two joint strike fighters landed on Monday, so I’m having a great week.

HOST: Christmas has come early.

PYNE: Christmas has come early. It’s going to keep coming if you re-elect the Liberal Party.

ALBANESE: Well, he’s certainly had jam for breakfast.

PYNE: What did you have? Did you have Valium? He’s just looking forward to the ALP National Conference on the weekend.

ALBANESE: It’s breakfast radio, so I’ll leave it there.

HOST: So Albo, are you coming over for what? This is the ALP Conference. My mail is apparently business observers are falling over themselves to see you guys in action.

ALBANESE: They are, actually.

HOST: Strange way to spend your money.

ALBANESE: It’s pretty full. People want to chat to us. Why wouldn’t you when there’s a rabble on the other side?

HOST: Are you going to be on your best behaviour?

ALBANESE: Well it makes a change to the interruption. I mean, yesterday we had news that Craig Kelly was actually going to join the National Party in order to avoid having to face a Liberal if he lost pre-selection and that’s why Scott Morrison intervened. I mean this is just bizarre stuff.

HOST: On a serious note though, for you guys, partly because they’re so open in their structure, Labor Party national conferences, and I would have gone to about five I reckon, they can become a bit unruly. There’s often an opportunity for the Leader to be embarrassed by members of the party not singing from the same song sheet. Is there a chance that might happen, particularly on the question of border protection? Are you lock-step with Bill Shorten on that issue?

ALBANESE: Look, the party, in three days, 400 delegates, will always be a little bit untidy. That’s the truth. That’s the benefit though of being transparent about the fact that we’re a party of ideas. People who’ve been elected are accountable to the people who voted for them. We now have direct elections so people will have run on a platform from their particular electorate that they’d raise an issue in a certain way, and they’re entitled to do so. But what will come out of the process is a platform that unites the Labor Party, that everyone then can get behind and – that’s not the policy, of course, but that’s the basis of the values that we take forward and the Parliamentary Party makes up the specific policies that we take to the election. And of course we already have more policies out there than any Opposition in living memory ever has.

HOST: Being our final Two Tribes for 2018, it’s time to get a little bit wistful. Christopher Pyne, what were your highs and lows of the year?

PYNE: One of the highs of the year was Steven Marshall getting elected in South Australia in March. That was definitely a high. Getting the biggest ship building and submarine building projects underway in Australia’s history has been a high, it’s going very well. And if the worst happens and Labor wins, it’s going to be hard for them to undo it, given that they did nothing in six years. I am very pleased to have locked that in. And the lows, well, I never see any lows. I only see happy sides.

HOST: That is a cop out.

PYNE: Silver linings to every cloud.

HOST: Would you like us to nominate a couple for you?

ALBANESE: The Government falling apart?

PYNE: I’m a glass half-full man. One of the lows, of course, was Labor ending the year dismantling the offshore processing. Which is going to let the people smugglers back in again.

HOST: What about that little period where the Prime Minister vanished again?

PYNE: When was that? when did that happen? I can’t remember that. I block out anything unhappy. I’ve got my happy face on like the mother in Strictly Ballroom.

HOST: What about you, Albo? Your low would probably be the excellent result Bill Shorten got in that by-election earlier in the year, wouldn’t it?

ALBANESE: Not at all, I always support the Labor team. I think it is the case, though, that one of my highs is having the benefit of listening to Christopher’s extraordinary optimism, as all around him goes to absolute rubbish.

PYNE: Absolute nonsense. We’ve got you right where we want you.

ALBANESE: It’s quite extraordinary, how you get on 55 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote.

PYNE: You’re not on the ropes, you’re on the canvas.

HOST: It’s only a flesh wound, Albo.

PYNE: They’re going to have to help you up at some point, I think.

HOST: It’s like a rumble in the jungle, a parallel universe. The Scott Morrison rope-a-dope. He’s just going to lunge any minute now.

PYNE: You’ll be surprised.

ALBANESE: It’s going so well.

PYNE: I wouldn’t get overconfident, Anthony. You’ve lost from here before, I’ve seen it.

ALBANESE: It’s gone so well.

HOST: Hey guys we’ll wrap it up. But can we just say, this is our last segment for the year, so to you, Chris, and to you, Albo. It’s not always the easiest segment to manage but we really do appreciate the candour that you bring in your discussion of national affairs, and the good humour. It’s a lot of fun catching up with you every week. You’re two of the genuine heavy hitters of politics and you know it’s great having you on. Our listeners appreciate it and we appreciate it too. So have a great Christmas.

ALBANESE: You know what I think a high was? When, after one of our segments, Russell Crowe Tweeted out: “That’s what politics should be, people having disagreements but being respectful’’.

HOST: That was pretty cool.

ALBANESE: A whole lot of retweets and coverage, and I think that’s what Christopher and I try to bring.

 

Dec 7, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Adelaide with Leon Byner – Friday, 7 December, 2018

Subjects: The Overland Great Southern Rail.

LEON BYNER: Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese – Anthony, Merry Christmas and thanks for coming on today. Can you shed any light on this?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Merry Christmas to you, Leon. Unfortunately I don’t think that information is correct. What the Victorian Government are saying to me is that they are doing more than their bit, which is a fair statement. They have a million-dollar-a-year subsidy. They have had that for some time. They’re saying that unless South Australia will continue with that subsidy – they’re not asking for anything new here. So that’s $330,000 a year the South Australian Government puts in. It gets more than that back if you take into account the fact that it’s taking cars off the road – off local roads that require maintenance and upkeep. If you think about the jobs that are created because of the stops at Murray Bridge, at Bordertown, Horsham and all along the route in both South Australia and Victoria. And it is quite an extraordinary decision. About 30,000 people take this journey every year. Why the South Australian Government have had such a hostile response from the Liberal Government, reminds me of Tony Abbott’s hostility to trains that he had when he was elected to government.

BYNER: Well, again I can tell you that the public sentiment, Anthony, in Adelaide – judging by the very big response we’ve had – is that we need to keep the Overland.

ALBANESE: It’s beneficial for the economy, it’s important for tourism, it’s important for those regional communities. It’s a no-brainer. I just can’t understand why the State Liberal Government is so hostile to it. Particularly if you look at the sort of people who take the journey as well, which is another factor, plenty of them are older – from South Australia, from Victoria. People who for various reasons want to take the train rather than drive. Many of them aren’t people who live close to the airport. They take it from one of the regional destinations or to one of the regional destinations along that route. Once train services cease to operate, this is the experience everywhere, if you look at (inaudible) once they stop it’s very hard to get them back. And they’re due to stop at the end of this year 31 December , when it is scheduled to make its last journey. And that of course is right in the middle of the holiday season.

BYNER: I noticed yesterday there was a flurry of enthusiasm from a number of very dedicated rail groups saying that this is imminent and it will happen. But you’re saying at this point not so?

ALBANESE: You need dollars for this to operate. The Marshall Government have withdrawn their funding, or are saying they will. They made that decision very recently on 28 November, so just last week. And what the Victorian Government are saying to me is that they can’t do it on their own. It’s very much proportionate – they’re doing the heavy lifting at the moment. Of course the Commonwealth stopped its subsidy in 2016 under the Coalition Government. If you have circumstances whereby it is only Labor Governments that will fund these rail lines and when there is a change of government, then you have a withdrawal. Then what you will have is a decimation of our rail system particularly in regional communities.

BYNER: Anthony, thank you for joining us. You may want to stay on the line. Just quickly let’s talk to Steve. Steve, what’s your latest on this?

CALLER: Well, the information that I’ve gathered from transport related – transport people both in SA and especially in Victoria, is that is exactly what’s going to happen. The Great Southern Rail are promoting a new rail experience from Brisbane through to Adelaide via Melbourne. It will take about three nights their campaign says. It takes coach transfers to go and visit the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road and all that sort of stuff along the way. That can’t happen if the Overland is not there, and the people that I have been liaising with on social media from Victoria, are very confident. And these people have been pressed quite a lot by a lot of other people, including myself, as: ‘Is your information correct?’ And they are most adamant that it is, that there will be an announcement shortly. But whether it maintains the name The Overland remains to be seen. But a service will more than likely continue by the sounds of it. And there seems to be a feeling that there’ll be an announcement probably today or over the weekend, maybe Monday, along those lines. And it will come under the ownership of the Victorian Government i.e. B Line.

BYNER: Okay. So you’re pretty sure of this. Let’s talk to Shadow Treasurer Steve Mulligan. Steve, can you add anything to this?

STEPHEN MULLIGAN: Well it’s absolutely imperative that Stephan Knoll does his job as the Transport Minister and maintains these regional rail services. This is not the commuter service. This is an important tourism service. It delivers a huge economic benefit to South Australia. There are tourists who travel over from Melbourne to Adelaide, either a holiday in Adelaide or even to catch it again up to Darwin. So it’s an important tourism link and of course it provides all those other services that both Shadow Minister Albanese and your caller Steven have spoken about, providing benefits to towns along the route. I think there are eight or nine stops along the road in regional South Australia and Victoria. It is a mere pittance. We are talking, the Government subsidy of between $330,000 and $350,000 a year, which is one senior public servant executive salary. In fact it’s less than that Leon. It’s the decision that needs to be made and if Mr Albanese is correct, for the sake of a few hundred thousand dollars, in a $1.5 billion transport budget in South Australia, we lose this service. And Victoria doesn’t bump up their money because they’re getting sick and tired of doing the heavy lifting while South Australia is not putting any money in. Then this is going to be a disaster for our tourism industry, for rail service and those communities that rely on this service along the route.

BYNER: Steve Mulligan stay on the line. So, Steve Lucas, are you sure this is not connected at all to the Indian Pacific? I just want to clarify something here, that this is definitely a Melbourne-Adelaide service.

CALLER: Completely a Melbourne-Adelaide service because of B Line. I don’t know whether you’re aware, B Line line run an extensive country rail network, both with their rail and also coach services under the B Line banner. And we’ve even got B Line coaches that come to Adelaide. And in conjunction with their new – I think it’s called the Southern Experience or something, they’re going to call it – is they will utilise their B Line coaches to transfer people down to the Twelve Apostles and various other places around for that experience. Like Mr Mulligan has just said, the Overland is part of the rail experience, just like the Ghan, just like the Indian Pacific and numerous other rail journeys around Australia, most of them on the eastern seaboard. And the Overland, whether it remains under the name Overland, I’m fairly confident a service will still remain because the people that I’ve been speaking to on social media are being pressed: ‘Are you sure it is?’ And yes they are most sure. So they haven’t backed away from it and a couple of their sources are a bit like mine. We’ve got people in certain areas, in the area of business and around the place. And from a Victorian level say, and they’re [inaudible] and that new service that they’ve been starting to promote, that’s from Brisbane, Melbourne to Adelaide – can’t happen unless you actually have the passenger rail link from Melbourne to Adelaide.

BYNER: Alright. Well, Steve it’s interesting because yesterday we had Alex who rang in and said virtually the same thing, it was one group, we’re getting this all over the place. Now Anthony Albanese – election next May. What is the Federal Government, if it’s Labor, what’s their attitude going to be on trains?

ALBANESE: Well, we fund rail. That’s why we did the [inaudible]. That’s why we have for the last two elections, campaigned with Steve Mulligan to actually deliver on expanding light rail there in Adelaide. The fact is, with respect to Steve, talking to people on social media, I’ve just spoken directly to the Victorian Government. And the idea …

BYNER: Yeah.

ALBANESE: Just think about this, the idea that Victorian taxpayers should fund things in another state, I reckon would be a triumph of hope over experience. The South Australian Government unfortunately have to come to the party or else I can’t see the circumstances whereby Victoria will say yes: ‘We all operate this system and provide all of the subsidy for another state’. I just can’t see the circumstances in which that happens. And that’s why the South Australian Liberal Government there really have a responsibility. Steve Mulligan said this is not a huge amount of money in terms of the state transport Budget. And the Marshall Government should walk back from what was, a real error of judgement.

BYNER: Anthony Albanese, thank you.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 7 DECEMBER, 2018 

Dec 5, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Riverina – Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

Subject: High Speed Rail.

HOST: We’ve been seeing in the news an announcement from the State Government saying that they can’t afford to wait for the Federal Government to fast track the much discussed High Speed Rail project. Four routes were proposed and announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, including one to Canberra via Goulburn. But that is about as close as it got to our region. Meanwhile the Federal Government’s proposed routes from Sydney to Melbourne do include stops in Wagga Wagga and Albury-Wodonga. So are the two governments getting in the way of each other? And what about this new feasibility study from the State Government? Anthony Albanese is the Shadow Transport Minister and I spoke to him earlier.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well we’ve actually had the study and the New South Wales Government worked with that study into High Speed Rail when we were in government. It was a two-part study. It was at a cost of $20 million. It identified Wagga Wagga as one of the stations for High Speed Rail on the route between Sydney and Melbourne and one of things that it found was that it would really stimulate economic activity where there were stops in Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga – they would be the two stops from Canberra through to Melbourne and then there would be another one in Victoria at Shepparton. Wagga Wagga was identified as an appropriate stop. It is the capital if you like of the Riverina there and the study was done. The route has been identified. What we need to do is to get on with advancing the project.

HOST: So on that route does that mean that the fast rail would go from Sydney to Canberra and then around to Wagga? There wouldn’t be any skipping of Canberra?

ALBANESE: That’s right, yes. It would be Sydney, Southern Highlands, potentially a stop in south-west Sydney, but then Southern Highlands, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga, Shepparton, Melbourne.  And one of the things that it found was that that would produce a benefit of almost $2.50 for every dollar of investment. One of the things that lifted up the economic benefit case was the economic development of regions, particularly Wagga Wagga and other places along the route, also the route between Sydney and Brisbane. We had a vote yesterday in the Parliament which was supported by 73 members and opposed by 72 Coalition members. So it went through, but it didn’t have support of enough, an absolute majority of Members of Parliament, because some people are away. So it didn’t get to 76. But that indicated that there was the support thanks to support of independents including Cathy McGowan, who seconded my motion in the House of Representatives, for this project to proceed.

When we had the study I set up a High Speed Rail Advisory Group to make recommendations on how to advance the implementation and that included Tim Fischer, of course the former member for Farrer, who is very familiar with the Riverina region and he, along with Jennifer Westacott from the Business Council and other experts, all recommended that what you need is an authority to firstly preserve the corridor – so purchase of any properties that are needed along the route, to then go to market and call for expressions of interest for construction of the project because there are many international consortia who have been involved successful in building and operating High Speed Rail projects in every continent on the planet except for Australia and it is time that we got it done.

HOST: So what would the potential difference be between a new feasibility study from the State Government and the studies that have already been done?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t think anything will come out of this State announcement except for a press release. I mean, they have appointed some individual to look at it. We had Aecom do the oversight of the study. It involved an 18-month process. It was comprehensive. It even had the design of stations included in it. So this is a bit of a thought bubble for different parts of New South Wales, excluding the Riverina interestingly. But one of the things that the study showed is that you need to have High Speed Rail on the route where the population is and there is no doubt that Sydney to Melbourne is the biggest of those and not just in terms of those two capital cities that will grow to eight million people each over coming decades, but the major regional centres that areas along the route that would grow including of course the national capital here in Canberra.

HOST: How does a potential set of routes that we saw put forward by the State Government yesterday affect the Federal Government plan?

ALBANESE: I don’t think it will have any impact on anybody frankly. The State Government were clearly just looking for an announcement. There are improvements that could be made to existing rail routes such as down to the Illawarra that have been identified by the Government’s own departments. There are improvements that could be made on the western route. But the idea that this will amount to anything I think is very optimistic indeed. The routes that have been identified – the major routes between Sydney to Melbourne and Sydney to Brisbane, clearly if you look at High Speed Rail around the world that’s the sort of distance that really makes it economically viable, that 800km to 900km, because that is what is competitive in terms of time and in terms of experience.

People would much rather spend under three hours on a train doing work, not with the lost time of hanging around waiting for the plane to board and then boarding and sitting on the plane and waiting for bags – all of that means that effectively it would be more efficient to catch the train rather than air travel and that is the thing that drives High Speed Rail and that is why we looked at the international examples right around the world for the most effective way in which to proceed.

South America, North America, Africa, Asia and Europe are all building increased numbers of High Speed Rail routes. Australians are great travellers of course and Australians who travel from London to Paris by train or Rome to Milan or, in our region, Tokyo to Osaka or Beijing to Shanghai, all come back saying: “Why aren’t we doing it here in Australia?’’ And that is why I sought bipartisanship. That is why I appointed Tim Fischer, a former member of the National Party, to make these recommendations. He is a genuine enthusiast for rail, but he is also a practical bloke as well. And that is why I appointed Jennifer Westacott to make sure that there was a signal out there that the business community was serious about the improvements to our national economy that could come with High Speed Rail.

HOST: So you don’t think any action from the State Government at this stage could affect the way ultimately that High Speed Rail is built? For example, their route suggested that it could only go to Canberra via Goulburn. Couldn’t the Federal Government just say: “We will deal with the further bit that goes to Melbourne?’’

ALBANESE: Well there’s no money behind the State Government announcement. There is no money. There is no plan.  There is no timetable. What they should do is go back, just have a look at the work that has been done. There is a great deal of cynicism about new studies because it has been studied over and over and over again and what we need is actually some practical steps to drive this plan. And the State Government, what they should be doing is lobbying the Federal Government to say let’s get on with how we preserve the corridor and let’s provide some funding from the different levels of government to do that step because unless we do – Infrastructure Australia produced a report just last year to the Federal Government that said the cost increase of not preserving the corridor now but delaying for ten years down the track or some period down the track and then deciding to get on with High Speed Rail would be $22 billion of additional costs.  So it’s time that we dealt with this in a bipartisan way. You can’t build High Speed Rail in one term of government. It will take many terms and no doubt changes of government which occur of course from time to time and that is why it needs that bipartisanship and that is what my High Speed Rail Authority is aimed at doing upon the recommendation of Tim Fischer and Jennifer Westacott and the Australasian Railway Association and local government. You need a mechanism to drive this project.

HOST: That’s Anthony Albanese there, who is the Shadow Minister for Transport speaking to me earlier.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 5 DECEMBER, 2018

Dec 5, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 5AA Two Tribes – Wednesday, 5 December, 2018

Subjects: Liberal leadership; climate change; encryption.

HOST: I remember the good old days when Two Tribes were just that little bit more tribal. We could toss out leaders easily. Now it’s all so, need consensus, it’s all too difficult. You guys have sanitised this whole thing. Good morning to you Albo and Christopher Pyne.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning.

HOST: So Chris walk us through the logic behind the meeting on Monday night. Obviously you guys are trying to draw a line under the leadership merry go round.

PYNE: Well I think that’s what the Australian public want us to do. And Labor did it a few years ago by introducing rules that made it very hard to remove the leader in a Parliament. And we adopted ourselves on Monday night a rule that would require effectively a two-thirds majority of the party room to change the rules that the Prime Minister once elected can serve an entire term without facing a challenge.

So I think that gives a lot more certainty to the public that they could vote for Scott Morrison and when he’s elected Prime Minister he would remain in that role for at least the term that he’d been elected to. And I think that’s what the Australian people are crying out for. We’ve changed the Prime Minister every Parliament for the last four Parliaments. I’ve been in nine Parliaments, that’s almost half of them and Labor and Liberal have both done it. It’s time to put an end to it.

HOST: What’s your assessment of it from the Opposition benches Albo? You were actually sort of part of the new rules on the Labor side when you were the members’ choice as Leader. But the caucus vote held sway and Bill Shorten got the job. What do you think of what the Libs have done?

ALBANESE: Well I seconded the proposition to change our rules in the Caucus to provide some certainty and to ensure that there was more stability and that was what it was aimed at. That is what it has achieved. The problem for the Government, is that they have their fourth choice as leader as the current Prime Minister. I mean a majority actually supported Malcolm Turnbull. Peter Dutton was the second choice. Julie Bishop was the third choice and Scott Morrison was the fourth option. And the problem that they have made is that …

PYNE: That’s made up quite frankly.

ALBANESE: Well it’s not. Julie Bishop ran and people like you engaged in a WhatsApp exercise of putting moderate voters who supported Julie Bishop on to Scott Morrison so she would be eliminated and Morrison would be elected. So, we have a disaster in the Coalition. The problem they’ve got is that whoever leads them, they’re voting for a rabble of a team who we’ve seen this week — former Prime Minister Turnbull out there saying what a majority think which is that they should be taking action on climate change. They should be supporting their policy of a National Energy Guarantee …

PYNE: We are.

ALBANESE: And they’re just a joke at the moment, frankly.

HOST: Let’s give Minister Pyne a chance to respond to that.

PYNE: Well we are taking action on climate change because it’s absolutely vital that we do so. And that’s why we’ll reach the Kyoto targets, the Paris targets by 2020-21. By 2030 the extra target, the 26 per cent cut in our emissions. We are doing the right thing. We have reduced our emissions per head by 50 per cent since we began the measures that the Government has instituted to reduce our carbon. It is the right thing to do.

Labor would have us believe there’d been nothing happening at all on climate change in 10 years. It’s completely false. It’s just one of the myths that Labor puts around. It’s not true. And I and most of my colleagues are very actively engaged in supporting policy that will reduce electricity prices like the Big Stick Legislation that we’ll be introducing today, that will allow us to make energy companies divest assets if they don’t do the right thing. They’ve had a great run, the energy companies, for a long time. The consumer has been a loser from that. We are taking the action to allow us to divest the assets and Labor should support it. If they did it, we could do it. We could pass it this week. But Labor is not supporting it. And that is why it’s not passing this week. If Labor changes their mind,  the energy prices could be coming down even further than they already have.

HOST: Minister Pyne, the Labor Party has moved on encryption law and it looks like an agreement’s been struck there. Can you explain to our listeners what the laws regarding encrypted communications will mean you can do in the future that you can’t do now?

PYNE: Well, it means that the Government legal agencies will have the power to obtain warrants issued by either the Attorney General or by myself, depending on the agencies involved, to effectively intercept encrypted messages that they have not been able to do before because of the technologies that are used to protect those messages. And that means that we will be able to catch would-be terrorists, paedophile rings that use WhatsApp or Telegram or other encrypted messages to communicate with each other, organised criminals. So the technology has changed but the laws allowing our legal agencies to pursue them have not changed and we’re updating them. And I’m glad Labor’s supporting that finally.

HOST: What was your issue with them Albo? And why have you swung around to back the Government?

ALBANESE: Well, the issue was protections. Under the law as it was drafted there weren’t enough protections in there. You could have had mine or your messages  — information intercepted by any of, for example any of the ICAC-type agencies that are there around the state, and you wouldn’t even know about it. So what has happened as a result of some mature negotiations by the Attorney General and the Shadow Attorney General to get an outcome, is an oversight by a Judge, a former Judge and a technological expert, a step in-between so that it’s not just a free-for-all. What we want to do is to target, of course, terrorists or people who would do us harm or are engaged in the sort of activity that Christopher spoke about, paedophiles, et cetera, whilst at the same time not destroying the freedom of people to engage in everyday activities. So we wanted to ensure that there were protections built in. Labor’s now satisfied that has occurred. So we’ll be supporting the legislation as amended.

HOST: Good stuff. Rare outbreak of consensus in what’s been a fairly divided couple of weeks in Canberra.

ALBANESE: The divisions are all on their side. We’re just watching with popcorn. We got the popcorn out.

PYNE: [Inaudible].

HOST: It is Christmas time.

PYNE: Christmas cheer Anthony.

ALBANESE: Maybe we could sing next week for being the…

HOST: Last one for the year. Maybe you can play your favourite carols and you can do a rendition.

ALBANESE: That would be terrific. We’ll go and practice after Question Time.

HOST: Do a duet.

PYNE: We’ll practice in the courtyard, they’ll by trying to shut us down.

ALBANESE: And the clicks you’ll hear all over Adelaide will be radios being turned off.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes. The last one coming up next Wednesday.

HOST: That’s right.

HOST: The carol edition. Yes the Two Tribes edition you didn’t know you had to have.

HOST: They can’t do Baby it’s Cold Outside though, because that’s been banned and more importantly, it would just be weird.

[ENDS]

WEDNESDAY, 5 DECEMBER, 2018

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