Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Jul 12, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – The Chris Smith Show, 2GB – Thursday, 12 July 2018

Subjects; Labor’s City Partnerships policy

DEBORAH KNIGHT: Anthony Albanese, Shadow Cities Minister, joins us on the line. Albo, hello to you.


KNIGHT: A big issue you’ve got here, trying to fix our cities.

ALBANESE: Look it’s an enormous issue and it’s one that impacts on every one of your listeners if they live in a city like Sydney. Right now they know that our roads are overcrowded, they know that there’s issues with community infrastructure, a failure to have enough schools, somewhere for the kids to play sport and that’s really a product of bad planning.

So what we’re proposing with City Partnerships is essentially that the three levels of government would work together to ensure that we not only avoid the mistakes of the past, but we get quality buildings. We get quality planning. We make sure that we don’t either do what has happened for a long time, which is outer suburban growth without proper community infrastructure, without thinking about where the jobs are going to come from, or infill (inaudible). That’s happening in places like Wolli Creek, which is very close to me you have considerable population growth but not a single new school, no increased health facilities at the local hospital, no additional parks for the kids to play. My boy played soccer for a number of years. Last year there were three or four shifts every night for training because there simply isn’t enough open space.

KNIGHT: Well it’s a huge issue and I think the encroaching cities are playing havoc with your phone in fact. So wriggle around a little bit because we’ve got a bit of a dodgy phone line with you. But we know that City Deals and urban planning is something that the Prime Minister has looked closely at and he introduced his City Deals program himself. Why is he failing? What’s so wrong with that plan?

ALBANESE: Look we think it’s a good thing that you have a Prime Minister that is interested in urban policy. But the problem is that the City Deals so far have essentially been in marginal electorates with commitments that have been about electoral politics. There’s no framework, there’s no guidelines for them, there’s no involvement from the bottom up of the communities that are represented. So, for example the Western Sydney City Deal, each of the Mayors was asked to sign the deal without knowing what was in it for the region and without the centrepiece of it, which is of course the Western Sydney Rail Line and there’s no funding from either level of government for actual construction for that rail line in either of the budgets that were introduced earlier this year.

KNIGHT: Albo, we’ve got a question from one of our listeners. Chris in Lilyfield what’s your question to Anthony Albanese?

CALLER: Mr Albanese I appreciate the way you think and it’s great and I like the way you discuss problems with everybody and that’s wonderful, but I think if you go to the root cause of why we’re having all of this incredible – I’m afraid 75 now, so I’ve seen a few years – It seems that most of the problems we are now faced with are due to too many people trying to do too much and the government requiring too much money to try to catch up with the amount of population we’ve got. How do we control it?

KNIGHT: What do you think about that Albo? Population growth…

ALBANESE: Well certainly population growth is placing pressure, particularly we can’t continue to have circumstances whereby you have all of the population growth concentrated in just a couple of cities, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. There’s no doubt that that is creating pressure and part of that is making sure that the planning happens in terms of where jobs are being created, so we grow our regional cities as well.


ALBANESE: One of the things that I mentioned last night was the Hunter Valley Councils who’ve all come together. They have a common first priority project which is the completion of the Glendale Interchange. Now what that’s about is essentially a piece of infrastructure that will transform that area around the old Cardiff industrial area.

KNIGHT: Well infrastructure is so key to it all and that’s what we need to see. But look it’s good that you’re tackling this issue. It’s sort of thing you’d assume with this policy, Albo, that an aspiring PM would be doing, so you know you’re obviously keeping Bill Shorten on his game.

ALBANESE: Well I’m doing my job as the Cities Shadow Minister and I’ll continue to do that job and work hard on policy. One of the things that the Opposition has done, under Bill Shorten, is we’ve put out more policy than any Opposition in living memory.

KNIGHT: All right.

ALBANESE: That’s a good thing. It means we’ll be prepared if we’re successful in forming a government.

KNIGHT: All right well we’ll see how you go in the Super Saturday by-elections coming up as well. Anthony Albanese thanks for your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on Deb.

KNIGHT: Anthony Albanese there.


Jul 10, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Wagga Wagga – Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Subjects: General aviation, Michael McCormack, Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub, Mark Latham.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s been a pleasure to be here in Wagga Wagga today talking about the importance of general aviation.

The entire industry is of course committed to safety but what they also want to make sure is that we have a sector that’s growing, that’s able to train pilots and other people in the aviation sector because of the importance of general aviation to Australia as an island continent. But also the potential that’s there for growth, even as an export industry.

It is indeed a tragedy that we have not enough pilots in Australia today at a time when we should not only be able to service our domestic needs, we should actually be an export country when it comes to training pilots in order to secure greater national income for the national economy.

What we’re seeing is this enormous growth in aviation in the Asian region and Australia has enormous potential to benefit from that in terms of jobs and economic activity here.

Today’s forum is a part of a constructive dialogue and I’m committed to working closely with the Minister, Michael McCormack, to ensure that the recommendations that come out of this conference for any changes that are required are dealt with in a bipartisan way, because aviation safety shouldn’t be a partisan political issue and I know that is a view shared by Minister McCormack.

JOURNALIST: It has been something that they’ve been campaigning on for about 30 years they say. Do you think Minister McCormack is doing enough? He’s only new to the role, but would you say that he is on it?

ALBANESE: Well he’s new to the role, but he has attended this conference. He has constructively sat down with me. I sat down with his predecessor earlier on, Barnaby Joyce. And I think Michael McCormack is committed to the same things that I am and that the people who are attending this conference are, which is aviation safety being critical, but also a growing general aviation sector.

JOURNALIST: What should he be doing? What conversations were had?

ALBANESE: What Michael McCormack should be doing is working with the Opposition in a constructive way to make any changes that are required to make sure that there’s not over-regulation; that regulation satisfies safety as a priority, but that also allows the industry to grow and to expand and to provide training opportunities.

General aviation is very important in this country. Quite clearly there are a number of other issues that have been raised with me today that I look forward to having discussions with the Minister about – issues such as the charging of airports on the activities of general aviation, making sure that we protect airports from non-aeronautical development so that aviation remains the focus of the airports, particularly secondary airports and regional airports around Australia. This is of vital importance and it’s one which I’m sure the Minister will work constructively with myself on.

I’m very positive about the discussions that we’ve had. We’re both committed to making sure that this not be a partisan political issue and today’s conference, getting the input from the sector is now something that they will submit to us jointly in coming weeks and we’ll sit down and work out how these issues can be addressed.

JOURNALIST: What do you think is the future of regional airlines?

ALBANESE: Well regional airlines are so important. That’s why we’ve ensured for example regional access to Sydney Airport. There was a proposal last week from TTF that would completely deregulate the activity at Sydney Airport, which would mean that regions such as Wagga Wagga were not able to have that access during peak periods into and out of Sydney. Now that’s critical for regional cities, such as Wagga Wagga. I flew here this morning from Sydney Airport. There are flights back this afternoon during that peak period, and it’s absolutely vital that we protect those regional slots at Sydney Airport for regional airlines.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, as Shadow Infrastructure Minister, do you think there’s a role for the Federal Government in getting the Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics Hub off the drawing board and into reality?

ALBANESE: Well certainly when we were in Government, this was an issue that was raised and Simon Crean as the Regional Development Minister was very supportive of the intermodal. This has been around for a considerable period of time and it should be progressed. It’s something that the Federal Government should look at – the business case for any proposal, because intermodal hubs can be really important in ensuring that there’s employment growth in regional centres. There of course is a major intermodal which will be at Parkes, where I will be next week in fact. But here in Wagga Wagga is a logical location given its proximity to the Hume Highway, given where Wagga Wagga’s located between Australia’s two largest cities.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, do you think with all the issues in general aviation and aviation more broadly that the sector would benefit from a Minister for Aviation (inaudible) … alone?

ALBANESE: Well there is a Minister for Aviation and it’s Michael McCormack. The issue of having a Minister for Aviation who doesn’t have other responsibilities is that will be a junior Minister. Michael McCormack is the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He is able to sit in the Cabinet. He is someone who is ranked number two in this nation and therefore I think that that gives him more influence than a junior Minister outside the Cabinet with the specific designation of aviation. So, whilst that might sound attractive what you’ve got to look at is influence and there’s no doubt that Michael McCormack, as someone who is the Leader of the National Party and the Deputy Prime Minister, has more influence that a junior Minister for Aviation would have.

It also is the case that aviation doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists in conjunction with other transport modes including road and rail. So when we look at the way that transport networks work, whether it be shipping, aviation, road or rail – they’re integrated in how they function and how we move people and how we move freight.

So, I think it does make sense to have a Transport Minister in a senior role in the Cabinet. But it’s also the case that perhaps, there is an argument to have a junior Minister assisting Minister McCormack, but I wouldn’t want to see aviation diluted in its importance from where it is now.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese you mentioned in your speech the Aviation White Paper a couple of times that was done in 2009. Is that paper going to form the basis of the ALP’s aviation policy going forward?

ALBANESE: Well it’s provided a basis of things that happened in Government. There were 34 recommendations, just about all of them were implemented in full, including the changes I spoke about – the increased depreciation, the prioritisation of aviation activity at secondary airports, a range of the other regulatory changes that were made including a restriction on the amount in which CASA fees could increase to CPI. There were a range of changes which came out of that Aviation White Paper to assist general aviation, they were all implemented.

But the truth is that that was in 2009, it’s now 2018 and things don’t stand still. So of course Labor will update our policies if we’re in a position to form Government. And today’s conference is a part of that, responding to the immediate needs of industry as indicated by them.

UNIDENTIFIED: Last questions.

JOURNALIST: Mark Latham potentially teaming up with One Nation, what’s your reaction to that?

ALBANESE: I make it a policy of not commenting on Mr Latham I think that his comments and his actions say more about him than any comment could add to and I think they speak for themselves and it’s up to him to justify his own actions and his statements. Suffice to say that Mark Latham moved on from the Labor Party a while ago. That’s a good thing.


Jul 6, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Today Show – Friday, 6 July 2018

Subjects: Tax cuts; foreign aid; China.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the show. Well, the big sell is on after the Government yesterday unveiled its bold plan to redistribute the country’s GST takings. It says all states and territories will be better off under the plan but not everyone agrees. Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton join us now. Good morning guys.

PETER DUTTON: Good morning Karl.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: How are you? Now Peter, you are absolutely, categorically, definitively – and any other L/Y words I can end with, certain, that no state will be worse off, right?

DUTTON: No state is worse off no doubt, Karl. Everyone gets a bit of extra cash and it’s a fair carve up of the GST. Don’t forget that WA went down to 29 cents in the dollar and you had – Northern Territory I think, over four dollars given back to them for every dollar they collected in GST. So this brings a floor and it makes it better for the eastern states as well.

STEFANOVIC: Could you kindly repeat after me. There will be no state worse off under a government I lead …

DUTTON: In our time.

STEFANOVIC: Can you repeat it for me?

DUTTON: Is that it?

STEFANOVIC: Because it’s always good come election time, those ones. Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, are a little bit shaky on this deal though, as you would know. And boy oh boy is it not a high cost to pay for keeping WA happy?

DUTTON: I liked the footage of Paul Keating last night. He said, you know, never stand between a bucket of money and a Premier on the march. It was true then, true now. But it’s the case, in my State of Queensland, we get half a billion dollars extra. Which means more money for health and for education, for roads …

At least Albo, I mean surely Albo – you would give us a tick of approval I mean a Shorten-Albanese Government would support it wouldn’t they?

STEFANOVIC: Peter, I don’t know if you’re new to this but I’m the one who is asking questions this morning.

DUTTON: Sorry Karl.

STEFANOVIC: That was a very good question though.

ALBANESE: He’s always trying to take over. He’s trying to take over from Malcolm TurnbullI, he’s trying to take over the show.

STEFANOVIC: I like the look of him, I like the question too. You’ll support this won’t you?

ALBANESE: What we’ll do is look at the full detail. But we do welcome the fact, that the Government has adopted Labor’s position, that we’d already announced and campaigned on, of a floor for WA of 70 cents in the dollar. We’d already done that with our Fair Share for WA. One of the things we are concerned about though, Karl, is that – where is the $7 billion extra coming from?

STEFANOVIC: Back to you Pete, where will it come from?

DUTTON: It comes from getting 700,000 people off welfare and into work. So instead of taxpayers paying for their dole payments and whatnot they’re now paying tax and contributing themselves, so we’re cutting back on waste. And at the same time, the economy is growing. So the economy is doing well and there’s more tax revenue coming in, so it helps us to pay off Albo’s debt as well mate …

ALBANESE: You can’t keep spending the same dollars. You can’t have income tax cuts, big business tax – including for the big banks, $17 billion, an additional $7 billion here.

Our concern is that what the government will do if they get back in. They will say whoops, we’ve got to do something about the debt.

STEFANOVIC: But you won’t wind this back?

ALBANESE: And have a massive cut like we did in 2014 to education and health.

STEFANOVIC: But you won’t wind it back if you come into power?

ALBANESE: We’re looking at the detail, Karl. What we’re saying is the Government needs to say where the $7 billion is coming from.

STEFANOVIC: Okay Pete, let’s move on quickly. Today a big deal is being done with the Pacific Island nations on security. Is it about security or wedging China or both, do you think?

DUTTON: Well, it’s a continuation of an existing agreement. And it’s important for us that the good relations continue with our near neighbours. We want to make sure that from a security perspective, economic perspective, aid and development perspective, we’ve got a continuing good relationship and that’s what it’s about.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is Pete, you know full and well that they are having their beaches paved in gold, some of these island nations. The aid money from China is huge. How do you combat that? It’s big influence.

DUTTON: Well obviously China is reaching out across the world, including into our region, and we have a very good relationship with China. They’re a good partner, economic partner with us. We have good relationships – in relation to my portfolio for example and we want all of that to continue. But in our neighbourhood we have a responsibility to work with our neighbours and we’re doing that and that will continue.

ALBANESE: The lesson here is that foreign aid does play a role in international relations and it’s why we shouldn’t be cutting back on our foreign aid. We should continue to play a leadership role in the Pacific. We don’t want to see a militarisation in the Pacific, a military presence from China or Russia. We want to be the leaders, as we have been for many decades.

STEFANOVIC: Albo you’ve had a very quiet week. I was worried…

ALBANESE: I don’t know about that. I’ve been in Mackay, I’ve been in Cairns.

STEFANOVIC: You weren’t going around counting numbers were you or anything?

ALBANESE: I’ve been out there campaigning for the Labor Party against Peter and his mob.


DUTTON: He’s been counting numbers mate. He’s been absent for five days, because to get to 12 it takes Albo, you know, a little longer than the average bear. So one thing I’d say is don’t trust Albo with the numbers. He’s just told you to cut (inaudible) savings and then he’s spent money on aid in the next answer. So Albo, you would be a true, traditional Labor leader. You’d spend and tax like crazy mate.

ALBANESE: You’re the bloke promising tax cuts for business, for individuals, for even the big banks and you’re going to spend it by giving more money to the states as well.

STEFANOVIC: Alright guys, have yourself a great weekend.

DUTTON: Thanks Carlos, see you Albo.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you. What’s he done to Christopher Pyne?

STEFANOVIC: Wouldn’t you like to know.

ALBANESE: He’s probably locked him up somewhere.

DUTTON: He’ll be back. Don’t go there, don’t go there Albo.

ALBANESE: That’s his speciality.

DUTTON: Don’t go there.

STEFANOVIC: I wouldn’t mind seeing where Christopher Pyne is, actually, might be interesting.


Jul 3, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Mackay, Queensland – Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Subjects: Bruce Highway; Cairns Airport; QLD infrastructure; Federal Election; Senator Leyonhjelm; Sydney Metro West; Andrew Constance.

ELIDA FAITH LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT: Good morning, welcome everybody. Today I’m here with Anthony Albanese.

The Bruce Highway is part of the national highway. It takes us from Cairns, right down the beautiful Queensland coast to Brisbane and back. This community’s wish list for a very long time has been to have the Bruce Highway extended to the Cairns Airport. It ticks all the boxes – It’s going to provide us with much needed employment. Currently, we have big trucks driving straight through our CBD so they are going to be diverted. Which means that we are going to have safer school crossings and a much better CBD shopping experience.

The Cairns Airport is an integral piece of infrastructure. It is a gateway to millions of tourists coming in and out of Cairns every year. And it’s also our export hub. This extension of the Bruce Highway to the Cairns Airport is going to be fabulous for our community and I’m really proud to be part of a Labor Government that, if successful at the next Federal Election, is going to deliver exactly that to our community. I am now going to hand you over to Anthony Albanese.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Elida. It’s great to be back here in Cairns. And today we’re backing up the announcement that Labor has made for $40 million to assist to take the Bruce Highway from the edge of the CBD – Essentially through it, to the airport.

This is a common sense position. At the moment the M1, which begins way down in Melbourne and goes right up through the New South Wales and Queensland coasts, stops at the outskirts of Cairns. It needs to go to the airport because it’s the airport that is the international gateway for Far North Queensland and for so many international visitors – the international gateway to Australia. More than 300,000 people visit this region and use the airport each and every year and the numbers are increasing. We want to see that increase even more. And later today I’ll be addressing a meeting of the Tourism and Transport Forum, the peak National Tourism Organisation, which is meeting here in Cairns. (Inaudible) invited me and Elida to come along and to talk about how important tourism is for Far North Queensland and to engage with tourism operators.

This project builds on what we did last time when we were in government. Where we invested around about $700 million in the southern approaches to Cairns on the Bruce Highway. Where we of course put together the Cape York Roads Package, of just over $200 million. That’s done so much to improve accessibility and to promote tourism in the region. This is vital for Cairns, vital for Far North Queensland but also vital for the nation.

Labor is the party that builds the nation. That builds roads and that builds the infrastructure that we need to grow the economy and to grow jobs.

REPORTER: The Federal Government says you’re promising a roast without the meat because you still require State Government approval to redesignate this road.

ALBANESE: The fact is, that the Federal Government can designate the national highway in cooperation with the State Government. The State Government has welcomed our announcement. The fact is, that this is necessary.

We have a Federal Government that’s asleep at the wheel. They have relied upon investments that were already in the Budget at the time they were elected – such as the Cape York Roads Package, that was re-announced even though it was already in the Budget – by Warren Entsch, over and over again, before they finally started construction on that package. The fact is, that there hasn’t been any significant infrastructure development – not just in Far North Queensland but throughout North Queensland since the change of Government in 2013, that wasn’t already in the Budget. This is a Government that is asleep at the wheel. That has taken regional Queensland for granted, and that hasn’t delivered infrastructure investment.

REPORTER: (Inaudible).

ALBANESE: Not at all. What we’re doing today is backing up that announcement, and guess what, we’re going to announce it again and again and again, until we’re in government. And then we will be here to turn the first sod, and then we will be here for the milestones for this construction project. That is what we intend to do, we intend to have a lot more to announce as well, between now and the election campaign.

The tragedy is that there’s nothing that the current Government have done. We did the southern approaches to Cairns, we did the upgrade of the Cairns CBD. We did a range of projects right around the country but particularly here in Far North Queensland. And those projects have made a difference.

REPORTER: So just to confirm. You just got up the Federal Government for re-announcing stuff, and then just committed to re-announcing stuff yourself?

ALBANESE: No, let’s be very clear here. They re-announced projects that we funded in the Budget in 2013. They’ve had no new announcements. This is a Labor commitment, and when you have a Labor commitment, what you don’t do is come along and announce it once. We continue to remind people of the difference – at the next election campaign, is that Labor will do this. Our conservative opponents have said that they won’t do it. They’ve criticised this announcement. We’ll continue to engage on this between now and the election campaign.

REPORTER: The State Government hasn’t agreed, at least publicly, to fund the 50 per cent project cost, have they told you otherwise?

ALBANESE: Well, the fact is that we’ll continue to engage with the State Government. We’re showing national leadership on the issue of the national highway. The national highway, the M1, is a national responsibility. Last time around we invested in the southern approaches to Cairns. We invested in that – some of which were finished after the 2013 election. But there’s no new dollars whatsoever in the recent Budget. Indeed, the fact that the infrastructure budget declines from $8 billion in this current year, to $4.5 billion across the forward estimates up to 2021-22, shows that there won’t be new money forthcoming. This is a government that has cut funding, not added funding as we did in each and every Budget, in which we were in office.

REPORTER: If a 50-50 split isn’t the norm, why would the Government cough up half in this case?

ALBANESE: The fact is, that we are committed to this project. The state members in this region have certainly supported this project as well. And this is a project that will take traffic away from the CBD. It will take trucks away from the congested area of the CBD and it is a project in which – we have supported 50-50 funding across the board for a range of projects, including this one.

When it comes to infrastructure investment, you can rely upon Labor to get it done.

REPORTER: It’s only a half-job though, why don’t you extend the highway the whole way through to Smithfield so that there’s no break in the link?

ALBANESE: There has been proposals for that as well. What we do is make real announcements, with real dollars attached, with real timelines, and that is the way that you get infrastructure built. Obviously the next stage, that would be under consideration, further proposals, as Cairns and the region grow. Particularly in that northern beaches region.

REPORTER: (Inaudible) within a year of you guys winning the election?

ALBANESE: We would get on with the business of ensuring – we don’t know when the election is yet, whether it’s this year or next year. But we would get on with it as a matter of urgency, as a priority for this region.

REPORTER: Just on a different subject, there’s calls for Senator Leyonhjelm (inaudible) some of the comments that were made to Sarah Hanson-Young, do you (inaudible).

ALBANESE: Senator Leyonhjelm’s comments are reprehensible. They’re offensive, they’re offensive not just to Senator Hanson-Young, they are offensive, I think, to all Australians. And particularly to all women. People shouldn’t have to put up with that sort of nonsense in a workplace. If people want to have political criticisms about members of other political parties, they’re quite prepared to do that and they should be able to do that on a political level. There’s nothing political about a sexist attack and a slur and quite clearly defamatory comments against Senator Hanson-Young. I have rung Senator Hanson-Young. She’s someone who I have had a range of political disagreements with, but who I personally respect and we need to respect all women. These comments have no place whatsoever.

REPORTER: Should he step aside from the Senate?

ALBANESE: Well, it’s a matter for him to really consider why he’s there. If he’s there just to make comments such as this, then certainly it has no place, in my view, in public life in Australia.
REPORTER: What does Cairns have to do to get a performance from DJ Albo?

ALBANESE: Anything is possible. I tend to do events from time to time to raise money for charity. So if there was a charity here who Elida wanted me to help out, or who made an approach, I’d give it some consideration. It’s just been a bit of fun. A few weeks ago I did a fundraiser for a women’s refuge in my electorate and it raised over $10,000 for that refuge. So it was for a good cause and I think all of us in public life should do what we can to help out when we can.


There were reports today that Andrew Constance (inaudible) from New South Wales, has actually opposed receiving federal funding for the Western Metro in Sydney. A vital project that’s been identified as the number one priority for Sydney. And yet he doesn’t want to support Bill Shorten’s announcement of $3 billion that was made at the NSW ALP Conference.

Mr Constance needs to put politics aside and not only welcome the funding commitment from the Labor Party and Bill Shorten, but needs to call upon the federal Coalition Government to match that funding. So that this project can go ahead and go ahead earlier than the State Government has scheduled it.


Jul 2, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – Triple M, Mackay – Monday, 2 July 2018

Subjects: Dawson, Belinda Hassan, infrastructure, tourism, State of Origin.

HOST: Anthony Albanese is coming to Mackay for an event. He is joining us this morning. Albo, hello mate, how are you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

HOST: You are coming to Mackay. Why are we kicking off the campaign here in Mackay?

ALBANESE: Well I am kicking of the campaign because we have got a fantastic candidate, Belinda Hassan, and she is born and bred in Mackay. She has been active in the community there her whole life. She has raised her four kids there. She works in a local business and I think that it is about time that Mackay and the whole region had a candidate who had the respect of people in Canberra and she would do that and be able to deliver.

HOST: Obviously it is important thing to have candidates for whatever party you are running in to be in the town that you are actually residing in and trying to fight for I guess, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: Absolutely and Belinda is a true local. She is someone who is not a career politician. She is someone who has had a career, not just in business, but also helping out in the local community. She is active in Lions and a range of other community organisations and she has decided to put herself forward. I will be very proud to launch her campaign there tonight with some locals and of course for Mackay and the region my portfolio is particularly important – Infrastructure, Regional Development and of course Tourism – that’s critical for the Whitsundays and the entire region.

HOST: I think the big question for a lot of people is: When can we see the tide sort of turning when it comes to tourism and infrastructure because, as you know, I don’t think you need me to tell you, our region has taken a really hard hit over the last couple years.

ALBANESE: Absolutely, particularly in the aftermath of the devastation that occurred there and it is important that that be turned around. It’s such an important employer of locals and a generator of economic activity. That’s one of the things that I will be keen to talk to people about while I am in Mackay. Today I will be meeting the Mayor of Mackay. We’ll be having a media conference with Belinda about the importance of the Ring Road Stage II. It was myself as the Infrastructure Minister funded the first stage of the Ring Road and it will be good to be there today talking with locals.

HOST:  Now if you want to go along and see Albo and of course Belinda, who is a good friend of the Breakfast Show here as well, at Souths Leagues Club, pop along – 6.30 tonight to 7.30 – and if anybody has any question they can ask you on your thoughts on where we need to go tourism-wise and infrastructure.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. I am looking forward to tonight.

HOST: It should be good.

ALBANESE: I am a Souths fan of a different variety of course, a bit closer to where I live. But when I saw the event was at South’s Leagues Club, I thought:  Oh well, that is a natural home for me.

HOST: Speaking of the sporting side of things, game three State of Origin next Wednesday – not this Wednesday, the following Wednesday – I know the Blues have already got it. What do you think is going to happen in that instance?

ALBANESE: Well I think that Inglis being out is a big blow. I think he has been Queensland’s best player in the first couple of games. Indeed, in the first game I thought he was the best player on the park. Every time he got the ball he made yards. He was obviously inspired by having the captaincy. But it will be Billy’s last game of course and he may well be captain of Queensland for that last game and the Queensland side always lifts at Suncorp and I have no doubt that they will again. I hope it is a great game.

HOST: Fingers crossed. We will find out the result on the team line-up for that game coming up later today and we will have the details of that on our website. I know we got off topic there for a second but I always love talking football as well.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having us mate.

Jul 2, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC, Richard Perno Program – Monday, 2 July 2018

Subjects: Mackay, tax, Labor Party, High Speed Rail.

RICHARD PERNO: Anthony, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon Richard. Greetings from Mackay.

PERNO: Oh beautiful Mackay – cane fields. Beautiful. Lovely.

ALBANESE: I am ringing you from the council chambers at Mackay. I have been up here with Belinda Hassan, who is our candidate up here for Dawson, and I have just had a meeting with the Mayor and all the councillors. So I am talking to you from the council chambers.

PERNO: Very good. You didn’t bump into my mate Graeme Connors, the singer, up there did you? That is where he lives.

ALBANESE: I haven’t as yet but who knows? I might bump into him tonight.

PERNO: You never know. Do you like polls Anthony?

ALBANESE: Which ones? Icy poles?

PERNO: Paddle Pop poles or poles that you dance around or flag poles. They are good and telegraph poles or power poles are pretty good. But Bill Shorten has slipped to the lowest he has been for a little while. Hey did you stuff up last week or did your party stuff up or did he stuff up? Who is to blame for the flip-flop, backflip, somersault thing?

ALBANESE: Oh look, what it important is that we got it right.

PERNO: In the end, yes. In the end.

ALBANESE: Well the Shadow Cabinet met on Friday. Bill and the economic team made the announcement. I think it is a good announcement. It provides for certainty moving forward for businesses with a turnover between $10 million and $50 million and that’s a good thing. We can now get on with the other issues and the concerns that we have about, for example the big banks getting a $17 billion bonus with a reduction in their tax rates. Certainly the good people of Mackay and other people in regional Australia who are looking out for infrastructure and looking out for education investment, who can’t get a doctor who bulk bills and want more support for Medicare – they are the issues that people are focused on and our priorities are very clear, which is not to give support to the big end of town but to give support to education investment, health investment, infrastructure investment.

PERNO: So there are no more challenges for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party, Anthony?

ALBANESE: The fact is that what we are concerned about is policy issues. Our whole team is committed to ensuring that a Labor Government is elected at the next election, Bill Shorten becomes Prime Minister and I become the Infrastructure Minister. The worst thing about my title – it’s the word shadow. That is what we all want to get rid of.

PERNO: Yes you can get rid of that. While we are on shadow stuff – infrastructure Anthony Albanese: big chatter it’s raised again, I have been talking about it and we have been talking about in on 2CC – what about this tilt train? We want the tilt train. Forget about the very-slow-train or the almost-very-fast-train or the not-so-fast or the not-so-slow train. We want the tilt one mate.

ALBANESE: Well I think there has been a great deal of technological breakthrough.  I met with the Japan Railway Company head in Canberra just last week and there is no doubt that a regional city; our largest inland city; the great capital city of Canberra;  if it was well under an hour from Sydney’s CBD, it would transform it as an economic powerhouse.

PERNO: All right. So you become Infrastructure Minister when Bill Shorten becomes Prime Minister. So we are looking at, you know, sort of something sort of hypothetical perhaps, will you give us the money to do this train?

ALBANESE: I can’t make announcements on 2CC.

PERNO: Oh come on Anthony, why not?

ALBANESE: Because as you are aware from our previous discussions, we have proper processes and make sure that …

PERNO: But you will look at it for us won’t you? All right?

ALBANESE: Look I did the study into High Speed Rail for Brisbane right through to Melbourne via Sydney and Canberra. I am an unabashed big supporter of it. I have a bill before the Parliament now to create a High Speed Rail Authority and we put money in the 2013 Budget to do that. Unfortunately, the current Coalition Government, when Tony Abbott became Prime Minister, cut that money out.

PERNO: Okay.

ALBANESE: But I remain a big supporter and advocate …

PERNO: Train fan.

ALBANESE: … of High Speed Rail.

PERNO: Can I suggest if it happens can we get Tim Fischer to cut the ribbon?

ALBANESE: Well, Tim Fischer was one of my appointments to the High Speed Rail Authority. He’s a true advocate of it.

PERNO: He is.

ALBANESE: And Tim and I are absolutely on the one page on this issue.

PERNO: All right, well that’s good. We’ve got Anthony Albanese.  He’s going to pay for our fast train. You’re going to get Tim Fischer to flag it off with a toot and a whistle and a nice little cap. Couple of quickies Anthony Albanese: Longman, can you win?

ALBANESE: Of course we can win, we’ve got a very good candidate in Susan Lamb and she’s campaigning very hard and Labor’s got a good story to tell and we’ll continue to tell it each and every day.

PERNO: Okay, all right. Braddon – a little tighter, one per cent. Can you win that?

ALBANESE: Of course we can win that too. Justine Keay has been a very effective member since she took over. The bloke that they rejected last time is running again, just a couple of years later and I think they know that they were neglected when he was the member in spite of the fact he was a member of the Government. Justine Keay has actually been delivering for the electorate down there and she deserves to be re-elected in a few weeks’ time. I’m very hopeful that she will be.

PERNO: Anthony Albanese, enjoy the cane fields of Mackay, beautiful place, nice beaches and you got away from the chilly old minuses in Canberra. Anthony Albanese, Federal Member for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Transport, Infrastructure (inaudible). Good to catch up with you Anthony, enjoy Mackay.

ALBANESE: Thanks mate, we’ll catch up again soon.

PERNO: And listen, don’t get too messy, I don’t want to see ugly Anthony on Facebook doing strange things all right?

ALBANESE: (laughs) I’m working too hard, I’ve been from meeting to meeting to meeting …

PERNO: Yeah, whatever.

ALBANESE: … and I’ve got an event tonight too.

PERNO: All right, enjoy it, don’t disgrace us.

ALBANESE: See you.

PERNO: Thank you Anthony.



Jun 29, 2018

Transcript of Television – Today Show – Friday, 29 June 2018

Subjects: Company tax cuts, Coalition’s deals with One Nation

GEORGIE GARDNER: Welcome back. Well is Bill Shorten about to perform one of the biggest u-turns of his political career? He is facing a divided Shadow Cabinet this morning over his captain’s call to repeal company tax cuts. We are joined now by Labor’s Anthony Albanese and, in Adelaide, Christopher Pyne. Good morning and welcome to you both.


CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Georgie.

ALBANESE: On the front desk here in Melbourne.

GARDNER: Well you’re looking very comfortable.

ALBANESE: Karl better watch out.

PYNE: He might be looking for a new job.

GARDNER: Is he the only person who needs to look out?

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GARDNER: You sure?

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GARDNER: Tell me Anthony do you support Bill Shorten’s captain’s call to repeal company tax cuts?

ALBANESE: Well he has a right to exercise his judgement as the Leader. He’s done that in making that statement. We’ll have more discussion about what we do for the figure between $2 million and $10 million and we’ll make that announcement at some future time.

GARDNER: Did he consult with you?

ALBANESE: Well he made the decision and he has a right to do that as the Leader. I’m not part of the leadership group and my understanding is there was consultation, discussion over a long period of time. The Leader has the right from time to time to make policy announcements based upon his judgement. It’s consistent, it must be said, with exactly what Labor did, every Labor member in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. So it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise.

GARDNER: But you know it’s created tension. You know that there’s a ruckus over this. Is he going to back down?

ALBANESE: Well he’s made the announcement. Labor will have more discussions about what we do about the rest of the package.

GARDNER: Is he going to back down?

ALBANESE: That’s a matter for him. But I think what we’ve done is, he’s made the announcement about the figure between $10 million and $50 million. That’s consistent with what we did. Every Labor member of the House of Representatives and the Senate voted against these tax cuts because it is about priorities. Labor’s priority is investing in education, investing in health, investing in infrastructure and needing the funds to do that.

GARDNER: But there’s backlash and you can’t afford that in the lead up to the Super Saturday by-elections, can you?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that we are well-positioned in these by-elections. We have very good candidates, we’re running a good campaign, we’re ahead in the polls. We’ve been ahead in the polls for some time, for more than 30 consecutive Newspolls.

GARDNER: That being said though, never has his leadership been under greater pressure. It’s your time, isn’t it, now for a tilt at the leadership?

ALBANESE: My time is do to my job as the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. I’m doing that. I’ll be doing that later today. I’ll be doing that over the weekend in New South Wales. I’ll be doing it on Monday in Mackay and Tuesday in Cairns.

GARDNER: But you made it pretty evident, didn’t you, last weekend with that manifesto? You want the job. Now’s the time. I mean apart from not having this weekly spot on the Today Show, what is stopping you from having a tilt at the leadership?

ALBANESE: Because I’ve always been loyal to leaders of the Labor Party. The Labor Party’s determined what our leadership position is. What I’ve been doing for the last five years is continuing to do the job I have to the best of my capacity. And I’ll continue to do that.

GARDNER: Christopher Pyne you have been trumpeting Albo’s leadership virtues for some time, for ages. What are your thoughts?

PYNE: Well Georgie, Bill Shorten’s bad decisions are catching up with him. He wants to put extra taxes on retirees. New housing tax. He wants to hit small businesses with a higher company tax. And hardworking Australian families with higher personal income taxes. And now these decisions are catching up with him. The public have worked him out. They’re in real trouble in these by-elections. And Anthony Albanese, of course, is a person of consistency of approach and policy. And a lot of people are looking to him and thinking maybe he’s going to be the answer because Bill Shorten has put us in a position where he wants to go to the next election giving 94,000 small businesses a motivation to campaign against Labor and $270 billion of new taxes to then be spent like confetti on whatever the Labor Party’s latest thing is. So I think Bill Shorten’s really boxed Labor into a bad position. There’s clearly rumblings in the Labor caucus that Anthony Albanese is the likely beneficiary of that should Bill Shorten’s leadership fall over. And I think that’s where we are. I’ve seen it before.

GARDNER: Well be careful what you wish for because he’ll be tougher to beat than Shorten.

PYNE: Oh we’ll see about that.

GARDNER: Really?

PYNE: We’ve got the best leader in Malcolm Turnbull. I think Anthony is a more consistent person in terms of policy than Bill Shorten, there’s no doubt about that. What you see with Anthony is what you get. People don’t trust Bill Shorten and they can’t afford Labor. But Malcolm Turnbull is the right guy to be the Prime Minister and we’ve got the right policies. We’re seeing that with growth, with jobs. Over a million new jobs created in the last four and a half years. Growth at 3.1%. People are a lot happier because the economy is growing and that’s the most important thing any Government can do along with national security. And today we’ve announced the $35 billion frigates project going to BAE and ASC Shipbuilding here in Osborne. That’s another big win for industry and the economy and capability.

GARDNER: The reality is though you’re pretty stymied with these company tax cuts. Have you done a deal with Pauline Hanson to get them through?

PYNE: Well one of the good things about the way we handle the crossbenchers is we don’t do it through the media. We talk to them individually. We’ve done very well in the last fortnight, passing major personal income tax cuts, $144 billion, which Bill Shorten wants to rip out of the hands of hardworking Australian families. With the company tax cuts, well Mathias Cormann announced yesterday that we won’t put them to a vote this week. We’ll see what happens over the winter break and we might try again when we come back in August.

ALBANESE: Australians have a right to know if there’s been a secret deal between Pauline Hanson and the Government to defer this decision until after the by-elections.

PYNE: Well it’s time Bill Shorten…

ALBANESE: The Government should to come clean about what the secret deal between Hanson and the Government is to pass these business tax cuts after the by-elections. They want to pretend before the by-elections that Pauline Hanson is against big business. The fact is she’s done another dirty deal with the Government. And Malcolm Turnbull wouldn’t answer the question yesterday in Parliament.

PYNE: It’s time that you asked Bill Shorten to reveal his secret deal with the CFMEU that he made for the Labor Party leadership, which stopped you becoming leader in the first place, when you first ran.

ALBANESE: Nonsense.

PYNE: There’s a secret CFMEU deal which Bill Shorten refuses to reveal. I think his caucus wants to know what it is as well and I’m sure you’d like to know what cost you leadership in first place when you were the peoples’ choice but not the caucus’ choice.

GARDNER: Christopher, if you do do a deal with Pauline will you take her preferences at the by-elections?

PYNE: Look that’s not a matter for me. There isn’t any kind of discussion around preferences or deals with One Nation.

ALBANESE: Come clean Christopher, now’s the time.

PYNE: The truth is that Labor are running scared in Longman and Braddon because they’ve got a leader that people don’t trust and they know that they can’t afford Labor to be in office. They can’t afford their increases in taxes. Just when the economy is growing, just when people are getting jobs, Bill Shorten wants to come along and mug them.

ALBANESE: Well if you’re confident of your policies, if you’re confident of the deal with Pauline Hanson just tell people what it is prior to the by-elections.

PYNE: Well I’m not aware of any deal with Pauline. I’m not aware of any such deal.

ALBANESE: Oh come on Christopher. You would have been in it mate.

PYNE: I’m not aware of any such deal.

ALBANESE: You’re talking yourself down here. You would have been in the room.

PYNE: That’s just rubbish.

ALBANESE: Nothing happens in the Government without this bloke.

PYNE: Not a leaf falls in the forest.

GARDNER: What he is aware of is that you would make a better leader than Bill Shorten.

ALBANESE: Well we have a leader. We have a team. I’m part of the team and I’m a team player. I’m halfback, five-eight, I run around the field, do my best.

PYNE: He’s campaigning all over Australia. Townsville, Cairns, Mackay, Braddon. He’s running for Leader. He’s all over the country.

ALBANESE: I’m out there campaigning against you guys.

PYNE: In every local newspaper, telling his colleagues, ‘Look at me I’m popular, don’t have Bill in your electorate have Anthony Albanese’.

GARDNER: This is like being back at school.

ALBANESE: Something you’ve never been able to say Christopher.

PYNE: He’s like a grey nomad, he’s like a grey nomad, he’s on the road all the time.

GARDNER: That’s enough, that’s enough. You’ve got your winter school holidays now so you enjoy. You can go and put your feet up. Good to have you in, thank you Albo.

ALBANESE: Good to be at the desk.

GARDNER: Thank you Christopher.

PYNE: Thank you.

GARDNER: See you soon.

PYNE: See you.


KARL STEFANOVIC: Can we get him off the desk, he looks way too comfortable there.

ALBANESE: I’m staying.

STEFANOVIC: You’ve got to go to the Lodge and all that.

ALBANESE: I’m staying.

GARDNER: He’s in charge.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: He is the whole team.

STEFANOVIC: Yeah, yeah nothing but the team.



Jun 27, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes – Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Subjects: Tax, Labor Party.

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Will.


HOST: We will kick off with you if we can thanks Albo. Now last Friday, in a very widely reported speech, and a pretty well received speech , you talked about how it is important for Labor to maintain a strong working relationship with the business community. Fast forward five days and we have seen Bill Shorten unilaterally embrace a tax position which reportedly does not have the support or the endorsement of caucus or indeed even Shadow Cabinet, which could see businesses – very small businesses – with a turnover as low as $2 million – being stripped of tax relief. Is Bill Shorten’s position an example of exactly what you were warning against?

ALBANESE: No. Labor is engaged with business, including small business. One of the things that we did when we were last in Government of course was do the instant asset write-off that was opposed by the Coalition at the time and indeed when they came to Government they abolished it. Then they brought it back and pretended it was their policy, having said it was a bad idea. It was good policy and it is good that it is there now and one of things that we have also said for businesses of whatever size is the investment guarantee for investment of a 20 per cent discount for investment above $20,000, excluding only passenger vehicles, so it would apply for utes and capital equipment and that sort of investment to encourage that support.

HOST: What about current policy? What about this policy and particularly what about the way it has been handled by Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well, we opposed of course these changes in the House of Representatives and in the Senate when they were debated and dealt with on the floor of both of those chambers over the last year and a bit.

HOST: But are you surprised and troubled, as other shadow ministers reportedly are, that Bill Shorten could be advocating a threshold as low as $2 million for taking tax cuts away from very small businesses?

ALBANESE: Well, what Bill said yesterday is that Shadow Cabinet will consider the issue of businesses with a turnover between $2 million and $10 million and that will be a decision that we’ll make at an appropriate time and announce.

HOST: No-one has yet, as far as I understand, given you the opportunity to have your say about what you think about the tax cuts being wound back for businesses between $10 million and $50 million. Bill Shorten came out and made the announcement yesterday without consulting. What would have you said if he asked?

ALBANESE: Well I think that Bill Shorten has got a right to announce Labor policy. He did that. He did that consistent with the way that Labor had voted in the House of Representatives and the Senate when these changes were considered.

HOST: So if he asked you, you would have said yes?

ALBANESE: Well, it is a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of whether the priority is for education or for health and or for infrastructure for that matter and Labor has clearly said that our priority is education, is health, is infrastructure, is paying down the debt, is making sure that we’ve been fiscally responsible so we have had a number of policy announcements, indeed more than oppositions in the past have done, and that is a good thing – the fact that we have so much policy out there.

HOST: Albo, your speech last Friday was widely reported as you putting yourself out there in the leadership context and saying I am available for the top job. Is that a valid analysis of your speech?

ALBANESE: No it is not. If you look at speeches I have given for similar occasions in the past few years, be it the Light on the Hill function that is held in Bathurst, the Earle Page lecture that is done in Armidale at the University of New England, the Eddie Graham Lecture, which is done in Wagga Wagga in rural New South Wales, on each of these occasions I always give a considered speeches –  not about what happened in Question Time that day. I mean for goodness sake, the Whitlam Oration, and I make no …

HOST: They key criticism of Bill Shorten right now is that he is too anti-business. The key point you made in your speech is that Labor needs to be more pro-business.

ALBANESE: Well that wasn’t the key point. That was one of a range of points that I made, was that Labor has to appeal to not just members of trade unions, but we have to appeal to small businesses, to people who are contractors, to people who are professionals and aren’t in any union and that’s just common sense. And that’s what Labor Governments do. That’s what I did and Bill did and others all did as members of the Ruddand Gillard Governments. That’s what Hawke and Keating did. That’s what Whitlam did. That’s what modern Labor is about.

HOST: Or should be about?

ALBANESE: No. That is what modern Labor is about and Bill Shorten, Chris Bowen, we all have extensive relationships with the business community. We are sitting in Canberra this week, I have a business lunch on Friday which is all about that engagement that we have with the community and indeed the New South Wales state conference of the Labor Party is being held on the weekend. There will be business observers there and I have a range of meetings with them on Friday and indeed on Saturday.

HOST: So Albo, if you are comfortable with the manner in which Bill Shorten, as you are saying, he is well within his right to make an announcement repealing those tax cuts, make the case to small business owners listening right now about why they should pay more tax and will pay more tax under Labor.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that a number of – you’ve got to look at the policy as a whole and I think the support for the investment guarantee that we are putting forward will be worth more than the tax changes which come in over a period of time of course, for businesses between $10 million and $50 million and that will be of significantly more benefit for them. And that is something that the current government opposes and all businesses know that we need a strong economy and that having a strong economy means making difficult decisions in terms of investment in education and training and skills for example, something that businesses say to me they are suffering from as they can’t get a skilled workforce.

HOST: Chris Pyne, you’ve been very polite and very patient. I’m going to bring you in now.

ALBANESE: I thought he wasn’t here. I thought he hadn’t turned up.

PYNE: I thought you were doing a lovely job trying to dig yourself out of a hole there. So I thought I would let you keep doing it.

HOST: Now Chris, you’ve been an MP since the early 1990s.

PYNE: Since the early 1890s.

ALBANESE: He’s a very old man.

HOST: You’ve seen a lot of leadership dramas in that time. Does what’s happening in the Labor Party now look to you like a leadership battle?

PYNE: Look there’s absolutely no doubt that Bill Shorten has said he’s going to have a war on business. He wants the unions front and centre of Labor Party policy-making. He wants the CFMEU to be involved in every forum. And he’s repudiated the aspiration of Australians, that the Hawke-Keating Government understood, that Keating’s actually criticised modern Labor for, because Hawke and Keating got that Australians are aspirational. It’s why they were a successful Labor Party. And Bill Shorten says he’s not going to do that. He wants to increase personal income taxes at the next election by $70 billion. And yesterday he’s about to kick small businesses in the teeth and South Australia is a small and medium enterprise state.

And yet Anthony Albanese on Friday last week said that they had to remember that the unions are small part now of the workforce. It’s not 1950 anymore, he said. He said that Labor needed to be close to business and cooperate with business and that they should remember the Hawke-Keating legacy and that Australians are aspirational. So, Anthony stated a very, very clear contradiction to Bill Shorten. And that’s why the speech has had such a great run over the last few days, because everyone can see that Bill Shorten is now a man on borrowed time.

And yesterday he reacted under pressure, announced without consultation with his party room or his front bench, that Labor would roll back the company tax cuts for small businesses. So now 94,000 small businesses across Australia have a motivation to campaign against Labor because if Labor gets elected they’ll have their company taxes increased. If Labor gets elected people’s personal income tax will increase.

And Bill Shorten’s saying people on $95,000 a year are the top end of town. He’s now saying that small businesses with a turnover of more than $2 million are the top end of town. He’s boxed himself in because he lives day to day. And what Anthony said last Friday was that Labor should stop living day to day and look at their history and have a vision for the future and that’s why we’re talking about Labor Party leadership.

HOST: There will be more to come on this over the coming days, we’re sure.

ALBANESE: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, thanks so much for joining us this morning for Two Tribes.

PYNE: It was a great pleasure this morning.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you. I’m glad Christopher got a crack.

PYNE: It was a good crack.

Jun 21, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – SKY News with Ashleigh Gillon – Thursday, 21 June 2018

Subjects: Tax cuts; by-elections.

ASHLEIGH GILLON: Here in the Canberra studio with me, is the senior Labor front-bencher Anthony Albanese. Good to see you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you Ash.

GILLON: Drama. A few fiery scenes this morning, in the House as well as the Senate.

ALBANESE: There has been indeed. The Government has not been prepared to actually defend its position. They came into Parliament this morning in the House of Representatives and crunched through debate – move that motions be put, before they even put their case for tax cuts and that’s because their case is so weak at the top end. What they’re wanting to do here, is to give tax cuts to the 20 per cent at the top of the income scale in – not this term, not next term, but perhaps the term after that. And it will have an impact of some 12 per cent on the Budget on an ongoing basis. This has real consequences for the future responsibility of the Budget. But they haven’t been prepared to debate it which was quite extraordinary.

GILLON: Is it really fair, though, to accuse the Government of not being prepared to debate this? We’ve seen this topic being pretty much all you lot have been talking about since Budget night. We’ve had this debate.

ALBANESE: Well, they haven’t been introducing the debate. They crunched it the first time in the House of Representatives – didn’t allow everyone to speak and now they’re doing it again today. It’s now before the Senate and they’re attempting to stop anyone to speak who doesn’t agree with them. And that’s not the way a democracy works and you can get really bad outcomes.

What we saw in the Senate last night, was that the Senate firstly voted to remove part three of the tax cuts, if you like, those really at the wealthy end from 2024. But in doing that they ended up with no income tax rates at all. They removed them from the schedule. So Labor moved a proposition to put back the schedules, as common sense would indicate should have happened. The Government voted against that, because they were just in – ‘we’re voting One Nation no matter what’s put up here’. So you had the farcical situation whereby the legislation that went from the Senate to the Reps, actually didn’t have any income tax rates at all in it.

GILLON: But what matters to people at home is the fact that it looks very likely now that, with the support of the cross-bench, this full income tax cut package will be passed. Which is a huge win for the Government because that seemed to be a pretty unlikely outcome from Budget night, when these tax cuts were first announced, and some of these key cross-benchers indicated, very early on that they wouldn’t have a bar of it. Especially those high income earner tax cuts that you were talking about.

You talk about the impact on the Budget’s bottom line but surely this is a good day for the economy, billions of dollars will be flowing back into the Australian economy. Australians are getting tax cuts. This is something that most people around the country will be cheering, today.

ALBANESE: We support the tax cuts in stage one. Those that are aimed at low and middle-income earners and we’d vote for it today. They could get it through with the support, I’m sure, of the entire Parliament. What we’re talking about here, is the Government that – just six months ago they were arguing for a $44 million dollar increase – billion dollar, sorry, increase in income tax. Now they’re arguing for a $140 billion dollar cut. So that is a $184 billion dollar turnaround in, what they themselves were arguing at the beginning of this year, this year. That’s been the change in six months. And now they’re suggesting that in 2024, all of their assumptions about economic growth, about what’s happening in the global economy, including the potential for significant trade disputes that would have an enormous impact on Australia’s bottom line and our fiscal position, that in 2024, we can determine now what will happen. Now I make this prediction, Ashleigh, there will be income tax debates between now and 2024. As sure as the sun will come up tomorrow.

GILLON: That’s a very bold prediction by you, Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: And the Liberal Party and the National Party will not have the same position in 2024. Between now and that day, each and every day between now and then.

GILLON: Well, we’re focused more on some by-elections that are coming up shortly. Do you see these by-elections as a litmus test on the tax policies between you and the Coalition?

ALBANESE: It certainly is on fairness, not just on tax, but right across the board. On fairness in terms of education, whether schools should be properly funded. On fairness in terms of health, whether healthcare should be properly funded. A test when it comes to the agenda that both political parties have.

Labor – that’s committed to fairness, committed to a strong economy, with a plan to ensure that future employment growth happens, through infrastructure investment, skilling Australians, giving people good educations.

And a Government that, once again is showing itself to defend just the top end of town. Including, of course, with their ally and Federal Coalition partner, One Nation, through Pauline Hanson.

GILLON: If the by-elections are a litmus test on policy, are they also going to be a litmus test on leadership?

ALBANESE: They are about the vision for the nation. And it’s a chance for people to cast their vote. There’s no doubt we obviously will have an election some time in the next 12 months. And we are putting forward a very bold vision. We are an Opposition …

GILLON: Sure, but again, if Labor does lose some of the by-elections, the by-elections that you’re running in, is that seen as a litmus test for Labor to look at reworking policy because it didn’t go down well at the by-elections and perhaps also looking at leadership issues?

ALBANESE: No, what it is, is a test of our Party as a whole. And our Party as a whole is united. Bill Shorten is showing strong leadership again this week. Being prepared to be out there with a strong plan. Not trying to just be an Opposition that hopes to sneak into Government, without putting an agenda out there.

GILLON: So you’re not waiting in the wings? Waiting to sneak into the leadership position if the by-elections don’t go well?

ALBANESE: What I want to be is a Minister in a Labor Government. And I’m focused on my portfolio. I’m also focused on doing what I can to assist Susan and Justine and Josh to return to the Parliament, and Patrick Gorman to be a fantastic new Member for Perth.

GILLON: But you are going to these by-elections telling some Australians that you’ll be taking a tax cut away from them, if you get elected at the next Federal election. Do you really think that’s a smart strategy?

ALBANESE: No, what we’re telling them is that people in the top 20 per cent bracket …

GILLON: Sure, which are Australians, they’re still Australian tax payers.

ALBANESE: Absolutely, and people like myself will be putting the case that people who are on $200,000 a year, that they have an interest in a strong economy. They also have an interest in things other than just themselves and their hip pocket.

GILLON: Those are the people already paying the bulk of the tax anyway, in this country.

ALBANESE: They have an interest in a good education system. In a good TAFE system. In a good health system, should they get sick. When Kerry Packer had a heart attack and needed to be revived, he went to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in the Inner West of Sydney. To a public hospital to get that care.

We all rely upon a good society and a good society is one that recognises that we prioritise, unashamedly, tax cuts for low and middle-income earners because they spend it.

That creates jobs. That creates economic activity that benefits the entire economy as a whole.


Jun 20, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Subjects: tax cuts, Lucy Gichuhi.

HOST: It’s time for Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning, the full complement back today – Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning. You are back from hiding Christopher.

PYNE: I’m always hiding.

ALBANESE: She was pretty good Anne Ruston, I thought. You know you might be …

PYNE: She’s very good. She’s very, very good. That is why she should be re-elected to the Senate.

ALBANESE: That is your preselection issue. Well, compared with Lucy Guchihi, she is going well.

HOST: We will be getting to Senator Gichuhi very shortly Albo. But first Chris Pyne, what is your read on another senator – Pauline Hanson – who this morning it appears has restated her position to support your three-stage tax cut plan. Is that your read?

PYNE: Well I hope that all the crossbenchers support the Government’s tax plan because what it delivers is $140 billion of tax cuts to all Australians and they deserve tax relief. We have put the Budget in a strong position. The economy is growing. Revenues are up because of that. We have cut unnecessary spending and that means that we can return some of the people’s own money to them and let’s not forget the tax cuts are not a savings measure, tax cuts are giving people back their own money. So the full $140 billion should be provided to them, not the bottom half of the hamburger, which is what Labor wants.

HOST: That’s the argument for the tax cuts. Are you any closer this morning than you were yesterday to them being passed do you think?

PYNE: Well I think Mathias Cormann is the point person in the Senate for negotiations with the cross bench. He has proved to be very adept in the past so I hope that he will be as successful in the next fortnight.

HOST: Albo, you guys have suggested that you would pass the first stage. Two and three not so, even going so far as to say that you’d repeal those. For people who would benefit from stage two, that earn between
$90,000 and $120,000, tell them why they don’t deserve a tax cut.

ALBANESE: The fact is what we are saying is that the priority is low and middle-income earners. That is why we support the first stage and we indeed will give more money to those people who most need it on low and middle incomes. That is our plan and our plan is to deliver a bigger tax cut to those people who most need it, sooner. So we have an alternative plan. The Government’s plan relies upon the view that you can decide today what should happen in 2024. Now, with due respect to our political system, it’s difficult to know what is going to happen in a month, let alone in 2024, and that is why the Government’s proposals aren’t believable and shouldn’t be supported and why our plan is a better plan.

PYNE: I just don’t think people on $90,000 a year are rich. But Labor does. I think they are middle-income earners and I think they should get a tax cut. And people on $200,000 a year; sure they earn a lot more money, but they pay 13 times more tax than people on $40,000 a year and that is the way it should be. But they only get five times the income, yet they pay 13 times more tax. That is what a progressive tax system is.

HOST: Is that fair Albo? Is that Labor’s position, that once you hit the magical $90,000 figure you are sort of on your own, that you are rich and you don’t deserve support?

ALBANESE: No, of course that is not our position. Our position is though that when you are in government it’s about priorities. This Government’s priority is to deliver first of all an $80 billion tax cut to companies including big multinationals, including those corporations including the big banks. It’s to prioritise giving tax cuts to those people on incomes like mine who frankly don’t need it on incomes like mine, or Christopher’s for that matter. He is on more than I am. He is on almost as much as you two blokes probably.

PYNE: Not that much Albo. Come on.

ALBANESE: I said almost.

PYNE: Almost.

ALBANESE: I said almost.

HOST: It’s hardly Chris’s fault that the people of Sturt keep returning him.

PYNE: Well, I am a humble servant.

ALBANESE: Haven’t they suffered enough?

HOST: Just on the timing of all this, and we are focusing in on that $90,000 to $120,000 group – the stage two of the income tax cuts, that comes into effect July 1, 2022, just about four years away.

ALBANESE: That’s three terms away. It’s not this term. It’s not the next term. It’s at least the term after that. Politicians making decisions for governments …

HOST: Four years?

ALBANESE: Yes, that’s right.

HOST: It’s not a decade away. Surely that’s a reasonable …

ALBANESE: It’s three terms away. It’s not this term. It’s not the next term. It’s the term after.

PYNE: People want to plan.

HOST: Isn’t that an indictment on how stuffed our political system is, with our three-year national terms, that we regard four years’ time as a bridge too far in terms of planning for our future?

PYNE: Well Labor does.

ALBANESE: But it is three terms away. There are two elections between now and then.

PYNE: But David, Labor does. The Coalition is saying that we have a seven-year plan and I think the public are really, really welcoming a seven-year plan. Labor says: “Oh no, we can’t decide anything from month to month”.

ALBANESE: This Government struggles to have a seven-day plan in between their caucus meetings, where they blue over energy policy, over economic policy, over everything else.

HOST: We are going to change tack now guys. Hey Chris Pyne, when Malcolm Turnbull was like the cat who got the cream a few months ago when he announced that Lucy Gichuhi had been wooed over to the Liberals’ side. Do you think he might have been less thrilled about that this week when it emerged that she has been playing fast and loose with her entitlements?

PYNE: Well Lucy Gichuhi, (correcting pronunciation) rather than Gichuhi, – Lucy Gichuhi –

HOST: Sorry.

PYNE: … is a very valuable member of our team and I don’t think it is fair to say that she has been playing fast and loose with her entitlements. Sure, if you publish the travel of any MP, you can make it look bad. The truth is that she says that all of the entitlements have been within the rules for her normal travel to go to Sydney to do electorate business or committee business.

HOST: What is her electorate?

PYNE: Well when you travel as an MP and as a Cabinet Minister, you don’t just stay in your city or your state. You might well travel to learn about things that are informing yourself in the job of being a senator. That is part of the electorate business. It doesn’t mean you sit in your electorate all day because obviously you’ve got have jobs to do elsewhere. Where she says that there was grey area, she has paid it back. Lucy Gichuhi was for quite a long time entirely on her own as an Independent and as an accidental senator because of Bob Day going under the chariot wheels. And now she is a member of the LNP team, she will get a lot more support. And of course when a new person comes into the Senate without any party backing, it is often very, very difficult to work these things through, but if she feels that she has made an error, she has paid it back, which is the honest thing to do. In the other areas where the media might be saying this looks bad, it is actually within her job as a senator to travel and learn about the world around us.

HOST: Just finally Chris in the context of the tax debate, you just said that you thought that $200,000 was actually quite a lot of money. She doesn’t seem to think so though because that is her salary and she has complained about it on African television.

PYNE: Well the context of that, I understand it now, is that she was being asked to compare how MPs in Australia are paid with Kenyan MPs, who are apparently paid a lot more and that was the context of those comments. So I think that has been taken out of context. Lots of things can be taken out of context. The reality is that she is making a great contribution. She is the first African woman who is an Australian now to be elected to the Senate. I think that is a great achievement. She brings a perspective to our Parliament that nobody else has and I think that is the reason why she should be re-selected on the Senate ticket.

HOST: Well do you reckon Albo? Has she given you all a collective black eye with the way she has conducted herself?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s a couple of things about Christopher’s comments. Firstly, write down the date on which Christopher spoke about how tough it is to be an Independent or a Family First person. It’s the first time I have heard him defend people on the crossbenches.

PYNE: They are all valued colleagues.

ALBANESE: He is desperate to get their vote for things, so that’s all that is about. Secondly, she hasn’t been elected to anything. She didn’t get elected. She got appointed after the Family First person hit the fence and had to resign and then so she’s number two on a Family First ticket and somehow she ends up then as an Independent and then ends up as a Liberal. I think this game of people changing political parties without reference to actual voters, like it is some game, is farcical.

PYNE: You could say the same about Cheryl Kernot, your star recruit though.

ALBANESE: No. Cheryl Kernot, be very clear, resigned from the Senate and then ran as an ALP candidate and got elected.

PYNE: What about Peter Slipper?

ALBANESE: She did the right thing.

HOST: I think there are examples on both sides.

ALBANESE: Peter Slipper was swapping around everywhere as well.

PYNE: You are the one that got him into the Speaker’s chair.

ALBANESE: He was never, ever a member of the Labor Party. Never, ever a member of the Labor Party.

HOST: As long as you two guys stay solid and we know where everyone stands. We have got to have something to depend on these days. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, Two Tribes on a Wednesday morning.


Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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