Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Jul 28, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – RN Breakfast, ABC Radio National

Subjects; Citizenship; NSW Labor conference; family trusts; inequality; recognition of Palestinian state.

FRAN KELLY: Anthony Albanese is the Federal Labor member for the inner western Sydney seat of Grayndler. He’s the Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and he will be at the NSW Labor conference this weekend. Anthony Albanese, welcome back to Breakfast.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

KELLY: First things first, every politician’s being asked this practically at the moment, Albanese, your father was Italian, have you checked your citizenship rights?

ALBANESE: My status is out there for all to see in a book by Karen Middleton available in all good bookstores with a new edition, so I’ll get that little ad in there for Karen. My background was made very public.

One of the reasons why was to avoid questions like this. I had a single mum. I was born in Darlinghurst. I certainly have never been a citizen of another country and so my status is very clear.

KELLY: Do you need to check, though, because Matt Canavan thought he’d never been a citizen of another country and section 44 of the Constitution says and I quote, anyone who is a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power is banned from sitting.

ALBANESE: Fran, you should read the book. It’s very clear.

KELLY: I actually did read the book, I just can’t remember this element of it.

ALBANESE: I had a single parent. There’s a dash next to father when it comes to my birth certificate.

KELLY: Okay.

ALBANESE: I had a sole parent. Single mum, fourth, fifth generation Australian. That was my legal status. I was supposed to be adopted out and so my birth certificate has a dash, literally.

KELLY: Alright, that’s clear for you. Do you support calls for some kind of audit of all MPs and senators to clear all this up?

ALBANESE: What I support is certainly clarity being achieved. The Labor Party has in our platform actually, reform of section 44 as a position that we took at the last national conference. I think uncertainty over people’s employment provisions.

But you know, we’re careful. People have to present their birth certificates or have to produce if they were born in another country evidence at the time that they nominate. So we’re very confident that no Labor members or senators have issues.

KELLY: Let’s talk about the NSW Labor conference on the weekend. One of the stars of the show will be federal Labor leader Bill Shorten on Sunday announcing Labor’s policy to change the way trusts are taxed. It’s all part of Labor’s plan to introduce quote a one tax system for all Australians. Don’t we already have that?

ALBANESE: What we have is a system whereby if you’re a nurse on $50,000 a year you can be paying more tax than someone who earns a million dollars a year due to various tax minimisation schemes which are out there.

Labor’s already announced of course a plan to reform negative gearing and to reform capital gains tax when it comes to investment properties.

We’ve announced a plan to reduce the level in which people can claim deductions by paying accountants to minimise their tax. We want to look at the system to make sure that it’s fair, that you don’t have circumstances whereby ordinary PAYE taxpayers who can’t avoid or minimise their tax are paying more than people who earn many times more their salary.

KELLY: It’s complex, of course, everything about the tax system is complex, how many pages is it? But farmers and small businesses are worried. We heard there from Tony Mahar, farmers are big users of trusts as a way to manage fluctuating incomes, they say, and succession planning and they say there could be unintended consequences. They also point out that Labor hasn’t really spoken to them about this.

ALBANESE: Fair dinkum, Fran, if you’re the NFF you should be worried about the Four Corners program on Monday night with regard to water. What we’re talking about here is one year out from the last election, Labor having policy discussions and debates.

It is quite frankly, it says something about the state of politics in Australia today, with Labor leading from opposition, with a government that doesn’t have a plan for anything, that they’re concerned about what Labor is debating we would do.

We’ll see Bill Shorten’s speech on Sunday but what Labor will do is consistent with appropriate, sensible, mature economic policy. Australians know that inequality is rising. We’ve had this week the absurdity of Scott Morrison pretending that none of that’s happening out there. Nothing to see here.

KELLY: Well, he quotes the indicator that shows that it hasn’t happened. He did it again yesterday.

ALBANESE: He quotes nonsense, Fran. People know out there that the top end of town are getting more and more increases in terms of their wages. They know that wages are not even keeping pace with inflation.

You hear the Reserve Bank Governor speak about real wages threatening economic growth. You have penalty rates being cut with the support of the government.

You have people like the cleaners who clean the offices of parliamentarians getting screwed over for their wages and conditions, and then you have Scott Morrison pretending that there’s nothing to see here.

It just shows how out of touch he is. He should go and talk to some real workers.

KELLY: Well, what he has done is he’s looked obviously at who pays the tax in this country and yesterday he gave a speech. He’s called Labor’s plans an envy tax. He’s called it ‘blatant ideology’.

He’s pointed out the top 10 per cent of income earners in this country pay almost 50 per cent of the personal income tax bill which he says is a pretty fair share already.

ALBANESE: Fran, the wealthiest two Australians own as much as the bottom 20 per cent. The fact is that we do have increasing inequality in this country. That’s recognised by all the serious economists out there.

We know that rising inequality is actually bad macroeconomic policy because people who are on lower and middle incomes tend to spend their money creating jobs, creating economic activity whereas people at the top end, I don’t know what they do with some of their money, but tend to certainty save a much higher proportion of it. So good, more equal economic policy is actually good macroeconomic policy for the entire economy.

KELLY: You’re listening to RN Breakfast. It’s seventeen minutes to eight. Our guest is Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. At the NSW state Labor conference on the weekend where you’ll be, middle east policy threatens to cause a bit of a split.

A motion will propose that the next Labor government recognise Palestine, which is not federal Labor Party policy. Former NSW premier and former foreign minister Bob Carr is leading the charge on this. Is it going to be a damaging or dangerous split in your ranks?

ALBANESE: No, not at all.

KELLY: What do you think of the policy as it will be proposed to recognise Palestine?

ALBANESE: Labor supports a two-state solution. One of those states is Israel. The other state is Palestine. That’s Labor’s position. And Labor’s position at the last national conference said that there needed to be progress in terms of a two-state solution.

What we’re seeing Fran, and what concerns me, I’m a strong supporter of Israel existing within secure borders, but I’m also a strong supporter it being in Israel’s interests as well as the interests of the Palestinians in having a Palestinian state.

Living side by side, that has to happen with negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but common sense tells you that two-state solution needs to be advanced and that settlements are causing a major issue when it comes to the potential for a two-state solution.

My concern is that as Israeli settlements grow, a two-state solution won’t be possible and then you end up with one state but with a set of laws which should be anathema to Israelis as well as to Palestinians.

KELLY: Can I just ask you a quick question, this is very much a Sydney issue at the moment but the Westconnex, a 33 kilometre tollway, one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country, is going to cost upwards of $16 billion, they say. Possibly twice that by the end of it. If Labor is elected next year federally you would be the federal transport minister. Would that road be built?

ALBANESE: It’s a state road, Fran.

KELLY: There’s federal money in it.

ALBANESE: It’s all been forwarded, Fran. Notwithstanding the fact that the Greens have pretended that it’s not, it’s a state road, there is no federal money outstanding for that road. At the time of the last election there was $300 million that was forwarded immediately after that election.

There’s not a dollar, nor is the state government asking the federal government for a dollar. It will be studied as an example of appalling planning. It’s been changed about 13 times. I think there’s been contempt in many cases for proper community consultation when it comes to that project.

KELLY: 33 kilometres, $16 billion minimum. That’s a lot of money per kilometre.

ALBANESE: I think you might find that it increases in costs even further.

KELLY: Anthony Albanese, thank you very much for joining us.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

KELLY: Anthony Albanese is the Federal Labor Member for the seat of Grayndler in Sydney and Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and he’ll be at Labor’s NSW Conference this weekend.

Jul 26, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – FIVEaa Two Tribes Segment

Subjects: Murray-Darling Basin Plan, Matt Canavan

PRESENTER: We tend to think of the war in Two Tribes as divided along party lines, but this morning I think we kind of figure it might be along state lines. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to you both.

PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ALBANESE: Good morning.

PRESENTER: Can we start with you Christopher? We’ve got the Greens calling for a Senate inquiry. We’ve got Jay Weatherill in this state calling for a judicial inquiry. He’s written to your leader Malcolm Turnbull with regard to Four Corners’ report on the alleged rorting of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the allegation that the NSW Government was fully aware that this was going on. What is the appropriate response?

PYNE: Well Will, I don’t think there’ll be any kind of split between Anthony and I because the bottom line is if the law has been broken then whoever has broken it should have the book thrown at them. No-one is trying to pretend otherwise so some of these hyper-ventilated calls for various different inquiries – what we need is the inquiry that the NSW Government has announced to get to the bottom of these allegations and then to respond to those recommendations from that review, that report. If somebody has broken the law; if somebody has tried to get around the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and benefit certain people, well then they should face the full force of the law.

PRESENTER: So it is good enough that they are going to investigate themselves?

PYNE: Well the appropriate investigating authority is the NSW Government because it occurred in NSW. Now everyone has to try and be sensible about this. If the law was broken in South Australia, the South Australian Government would be investigating it. If it was in Victoria, it would be the Victorian Government. It happened in NSW. It happens with the NSW Government. There’s no need to have Senate inquiries and the Parliament looking at this. The appropriate authority to look at it is the government who is responsible. And let’s not forget that we have actually delivered the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in full. All those basin states and the Commonwealth have achieved the  2100 gigalitres of water being returned to the Murray-Darling Basin, which is great for South Australia but it’s also great for the envirionment.

PRESENTER: Do we definitively know that in light of this report?

PYNE: Of course we do. There is no suggestion that because of these allegations being made about one of the 30 – one of the 30 – catchment areas in the Murray-Darling Basin, that somehow any of those statistics are in doubt. There is no suggestion of that.  If somebody has broken the law they should face the full force of the law. But that doesn’t means that South Australians should think that the Murray-Darling Basin Plan has not been delivered in full. It has been delivered in full and if Jay Weatherill wants to play politics with this, well I say shame on him, because we should be sticking with the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and following the full force of the law and not trying to pretend it is anything else.

PRESENTER: Anthony Albanese I put the same question then to you. What is an appropriate response or means of inquiry following Four Corners’ report?

ALBANESE: Well that is a fairly stunning statement from Christopher Pyne. Standing up for NSW against South Australia is something I wouldn’t have thought he would have done. If the Four Corners Report is correct then the NSW Government has turned a blind eye while irrigators steal from the taxpayers – one –  of Australia – so from everyone. And that’s the allegation here. But secondly of course because South Australia is the downstream state then it is ripping off South Australia in particular. I support totally Jay Weatherill’s call for a judicial inquiry through the COAG process. That would be appropriate. You’d get that national oversight. This is an agreement that goes beyond just one state and has implications that the upstream states can essentially rip off those who rely upon them doing the right thing, honouring the agreements and delivering water down into South Australia. So I certainly think that it’s a reasonable thing to do, to ask for the judicial inquiry. It can be done quickly and efficiently and can get to the bottom of these very serious allegations.

PRESENTER: The State Opposition in New South Wales Anthony Albanese is calling for an ICAC inquiry. You are a bit closer to it there in NSW than we are. Is that appropriate?

ALBANESE: Well that would be appropriate as well because it would appear that some of the bureaucrats in particular in the NSW Government have questions to answer and ICAC is the appropriate body to look at that.

PRESENTER: Now gentlemen, I’ve got my pocket Constitution, which I do actually have, on me and I am looking at Section 44.

ALBANESE: Haven’t we all these days?

PRESENTER: I know. But you fellows might start reading it. But Senator Matt Canavan – here’s some free advice, or let’s mark this down and see if I am right, and I am, is that if he is a citizen of Italy, then he is disqualified, even if what he is saying it true, he had no knowledge of it. What do you think about that?

PYNE: Well Alex the truth is that if somebody can go along and make somebody else a citizen of another nation …

PRESENTER: I’m not saying it is fair, Christopher. I’m not saying it’s fair.

PYNE: … and  is able to apply for that citizenship, not get that person to sign any documents despite them being an adult and the government of that country doesn’t think that it should check with the person who is being made a citizen, then I think that is a pretty wrong situation. I think common sense tells us that is ridiculous.

PRESENTER: I agree it is but a don’t think, the Constitution is not giving you much choice.

PYNE: Well let’s see what the High Court says.

PRESENTER: I’m just picking it here. It’s like picking the Crows winning the grand final.

PYNE: Well you are a marvellous lawyer but I’m not sure you can speak for the High Court yet.

PRESENTER: Well I speak for the majesty of the law. Anthony, what do you think? It’s not like it’s a criminal penalty. So it’s not like he is going to get in trouble for it. But I think he would actually …

ALBANESE: He could well lose his Senate spot.

PRESENTER: Yes. Well that’s trouble. I agree with that.

ALBANESE: It’s interesting that this happened at the same time that we had Italy change its electoral process so that they actually have members of Parliament elected from Oceania and Africa to sit in the Italian Parliament around the time that these applications were made to be citizens. So I don’t know what the motivation was.

PRESENTER: What are you suggesting it is?  That he wanted to run for Parliament there?

PYNE: But he didn’t even know about it.

ALBANESE: No. I don’t know.  But his mother or what have you, after all that time to apply for citizenship, I don’t know what her motivation was.

PRESENTER: I don’t think it’s malicious but we’ve got a document which one of our listeners sent to us. It is the application for citizenship which will be the point. That’s why I’m by no means clear that he will be found he is actually a citizen. But it is written for convenience in English and Italian and the applicant signs. So we couldn’t see, thinking about it here, that somebody else could actually make you a citizen. As Will said, it would be a great way for Malcolm, for the Prime Minister, to get rid of Tony Abbott – just make him a citizen of something.

ALBANESE: No doubt the details will all come out as part of the High Court process.

PYNE: Exactly, The High Court can rule on it.

PRESENTER: I know it is but the Constitution does seem absolute doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: It’s pretty clear.

PYNE: The High Court might find that he was never a citizen of another country because he never signed the form.

PRESENTER: Yes that’s the best outcome for him. Because, there’s no joy in that result, really none of them. This all seems a bit disappointing.

ALBANESE: I do find it extraordinary that someone could be made a citizen of a country without applying.

PRESENTER: It’s how you get rid of your enemies. It’s how you get rid of them.

PYNE: I hope the High Court will find – it’s a matter for them of course – but I am sure the High Court will ask what steps did he take to renounce his citizenship – because that is kind of the test – and as he never knew that he was a citizen, I don’t know what steps he could have taken to renounce it.

PRESENTER: Yes extraordinary times. Christopher Pyne, Anthony Albanese, thanks for your time.

PYNE: Pleasure.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Jul 25, 2017

Transcript of doorstop – Perth

Subjects; WA Infrastructure; Budget; GST.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It’s great to be here at the Perth City Link project. This was funded with $239 million of funding from the former Federal Labor Government. It is a great example of an urban project that is changing the face of Perth. The first stage, the sinking of the rail line; the second stage, here, the bus interchange; and of course the third stage that we can see happening around us, which is development on top of where the railway line used to go. This is uniting the Perth CBD with the Northbridge entertainment area and also of course with important areas like the new Perth Arena.

This is a great example of urban policy in action and it was also a great example of the federal, state and local government combining to improve the liveability of this great city of Perth. On the way here I travelled along the Gateway WA project – the largest ever road project here in Perth. I then went along the Great Eastern Highway, which of course was also funded by the former Federal Labor Government. And it is also the case that we funded projects right around the state – the North West Coastal Highway; the Swan Valley Bypass, renamed the NorthLink Project; the upgrades to the Tonkin Highway; the Leach Highway; the upgrades to the Great Northern Highway, the Esperance upgrade. WA Grain Rail was funded to the tune of $135 million.

So when we were in government we partnered with WA. Indeed we lifted up the per capita infrastructure spend for each and every West Australian from $154 to $260. But now WA is getting a dud deal from the Commonwealth. You are not getting your share of GST, with some 34 cents in the dollar. You are also not getting your share of infrastructure funding – even funding that is committed.

The Budget papers last year indicated that WA should get $842 million spent on infrastructure in 2016-17. When the Budget came out in May it indicated that that spending had fallen to some $616 million – a more than $200 million cut to what the Government itself just one year earlier had promised would be spent on infrastructure here in Western Australia.

I’ll be having meetings with the WA Government today as a regular visitor to Western Australia, meeting with my infrastructure counterpart, Rita Saffioti about the needs of Perth and indeed the great state of Western Australia. But what we know is that the Commonwealth needs to step up and provide WA with its share. WA is doing the heavy lifting in terms of the national economy by contributing so much to exports and it is up to the Commonwealth to recognise that and to provide that support for the economy here in Western Australia. And this project is a great example of what can happen when you have the Commonwealth in partnership with the other levels of government providing that national leadership.

JOURNALIST:  Do you know what the ratio is now, the spending ratio that you mentioned before that had dropped (inaudible)?

ALBANESE: The spending ratio has fallen in recent times and what we know is there is not a Commonwealth Government-funded infrastructure project under way in Western Australia now that was not funded by the former Labor Government. So when you look at projects like the Swan Valley Bypass; when you look at projects like the Great Northern Highway upgrades; when you look at this project here, they are all legacy projects. What we have had is laziness from the Commonwealth Government and that fall in investment. Of course in the 2014 Budget they came out with the freight link proposal. That was a flawed proposal. It didn’t even take freight to the port. And as a result of them taking funds away from projects that were in the Budget and giving it to that project, which of course didn’t get very far, then we have had four wasted years as far as Commonwealth involvement is concerned.

JOURNALIST: You said we’re being dudded on the GST. What would a Shorten Labor Government do to fix that?

ALBANESE: Well of course you need in terms of the GST, in order to change the rules, you need national agreement by all the state and territory governments. We’d be prepared to sit down over those issues, but also to look at how it is that WA can get its fair share. When we were in government we created the Western Australian Infrastructure Fund, for example. We made sure that the money was there for large projects like Gateway WA and Perth City Link here. This project is the first rail project funded by the Commonwealth here in Perth.

We had in the 2013 budget, $500 million set aside for rail. So projects like the Forrestfield Rail Line, that have been funded to the tune of $498 million – that was simply taking the money that was cut in the 2014 Budget and then giving it back. It wasn’t actually additional investment in infrastructure. So we made a range of commitments during the last election campaign, but we’ll continue to talk to the WA Government, to local government, and to local communities about making sure that WA gets its fair share.

JOURNALIST: It’s not the case that you need the agreement from the other states to change the GST distribution. The federal Treasurer can do that at the stroke of a pen.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that you do need some agreement in terms of the Commonwealth of the way that it works in terms of the state arrangements. What we’ve said, of course, the current distribution is unfair. What WA’s looking for is for agreements to happen now, is to get change now. They haven’t had that, we’re not the Government now, so it’s not possible for us to change this year’s formula.

JOURNALIST: You don’t have a policy to improve it either.

ALBANESE: What we have is a policy to help out WA. We did it when we were in government by almost doubling the infrastructure investment, and we’re prepared to sit down, those matters are a matter for the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, and the Leader, Bill Shorten, will be sitting down, and I know they’ve had constructive discussions with Mark McGowan about those issues.
I’m responsible for infrastructure investment, and what I can commit to is consistent with not just what we’ve said, but what we’ve done. If you look here, the jobs created in the short term that are improving the sustainability, liveability and the economy of Perth and WA for the long term.

JOURNALIST: How can West Australians have any faith that the GST rip-off will be fixed under a Shorten Labor Government if what you’re just saying is that you’ll just sit down and have a talk about it? It’s not offering much hope is it?

ALBANESE: Well what you can’t do in 2017 is pretend you are the government and provide a precise response. The truth is that Chris Bowen and Bill Shorten have been having discussions with Mark McGowan. You can’t change things from opposition. What you can do is commit to things in government. We’re not about to hold an election this month. Those discussions will take place, but what we are doing also is planning to make sure that we get WA its fair share.

JOURNALIST: So would you restore infrastructure funding in WA to the levels that the Commonwealth had set, that $200 million, or would you go above?

ALBANESE: Well what we’d do is make sure that WA got its share. And what it got when we were in government is more than just to make-up in terms of population. What we gave was additional funding to WA in recognition of the contribution that WA was making to the economy. That’s why you had that record investment, that’s why you had investment in projects like Grain Rail, here in WA, $135 million. You had $900 million for Gateway WA. You had the funding of the Swan Valley Bypass, renamed NorthLink, but that doesn’t make it a new project. You had the upgrades in terms of the Tonkin and Leach Highway.

One of the things that is clear from Infrastructure Australia’s work on urban congestion is that Perth will have more of the congestion spots than anywhere else in the country. The top ten, more than half of the most congested roads and intersections will be right here in Perth by 2031.  Now in order to address that you’ve got to invest, and the sooner you invest the less cost there is to the taxpayer and the better the productivity improvements.

JOURNALIST: So what is a fair share for WA in terms of investment? Can you put any sort of specifics on a funding ratio or a funding injection?

ALBANESE: Well what we will do is consistent with what we’ve done. We’ll make all of our finance arrangements during an election campaign and those commitments, as we did at the last campaign. And I’ll tell you what – sometimes you can lead from Opposition. If you look at projects like the Wanneroo projects, Perth Metronet. These were projects that were committed to by Labor when we were in government. They’re now happening as a result of the diversion of funds from the Perth Freight Link project and they are now happening as a result of the election of the McGowan Government and the pressure that’s been placed on by Federal Labor.

Jul 21, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects; Inequality, housing affordability, asylum seekers

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: Good morning to you. Bill Shorten will today outline the Opposition’s plans to right the economy, declaring he is willing to go to the too hard basket to repair the budget. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join me now. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Sylvia.

JEFFREYS: Too hard basket can only mean one thing, Anthony Albanese, and that’s taxes. But the GST is being spoken about this morning, the Herald Sun is discussing it in particular. Is the GST going to be raised by Labor?

ALBANESE: No. What Bill Shorten will be talking about today is the issue of inequality and the fact that inequality is at a 75 year high. Whilst payee taxpayers are paying a disproportionate share of the tax take a whole lot of corporations and, indeed, individuals are able to evade paying their fair share of tax. We want to open up the discussion about fairness in the system. One of the things that we have already put on the table of course is Capital Gains Tax and negative gearing issues. People said that was too hard as well but we need to address it in terms of housing affordability.

JEFFREYS: Increasing the tax rate though for the highest bracket is still on the table for Labor?

ALBANESE: Wait and see; today you will see Bill Shorten’s speech outlined, clearly issues like housing affordability need to be addressed. Labor is prepared to do that. We have already shown that’s the case. We want to do be in a position whereby we are leading from Opposition, because someone has got to lead this country.

JEFFREYS: Christopher, a warning from the Prime Minister, in the meantime this morning, in the papers around rate rises. How soon do you think we can expect to see the first rise?

PYNE: Well Sylvia, what we found out this week is two things. We found out that Bill Shorten wants to increase the GST, increase taxes on housing, increase taxes on individuals, increase spending. Now this is no formula for economic reform in Australia. We’ve also found out that if Kevin Rudd had remained Prime Minister he would have reopened the people smugglers’ business model and brought everybody from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia to be processed and live in Australia.

So we have got major splits in the Labor Party. They believe in a tax and spend budget, which we can’t afford and that will push up interest rates in Australia. And they also believe in reopening the people smugglers’ model. Next week there is the National Conference, the Left from NSW, Anthony Albanese’s faction, want to pass motions to stop the turn backs policy and bring everybody from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. So they have got real problems.

ALBANESE: I hate to break it to you Christopher, but the National Conference is in July 2018.

PYNE: Well, it might be a State Conference then but answer the question.

JEFFERYS: It’s well away from the point anyway, but if I could bring you back to the question, Christopher, around interest rates. The Prime Minister is asking for the banks to show compassion to customers when things get tough, and when rates start to rise and they can’t repay their mortgages. Do you really honestly expect the banks to listen to the Prime Minister after Scott Morrison picked a fight with them?

PYNE: Well the most important thing we can do is have the policies in place that help keep interest rates low. That is what this Government has done, and we’re not going to do that by increasing taxes, increasing spending and blowing out the budget deficit and debt, which is what Labor would do.

Bill Shorten believes that he can win an election by throwing money at every interest group in Australia. That’s old politics. What the Australian public want is good stable government that delivers low interest rates, growing employment, as we saw yesterday, more good economic figures in Australia. We’re seeing higher growth in employment, we’re seeing higher growth in the economy and that’s because we’re getting the economic fundamentals right.

ALBANESE: We do want stable government but we’re not getting it from this mob. They have a conference on the weekend where Tony Abbott is going to try and roll Malcolm Turnbull. They have people being paid to go along, they are getting their fees paid by Tony Abbott’s FEC. It’s a cage fight and it’s taking Australia down with it.

JEFFREYS: Something about glass houses there, Anthony. I think that we will move on to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a super ministry; Christopher, of course, this new Home Office, so-called Home Office, to fight terrorism. Peter Dutton will oversee this of course. Christopher, what are the current failures of the current system?

PYNE: What we have seen over the last ten years, is a shift in the way that terrorists are behaving. They are using, in many respects, our own technological breakthroughs on the internet, in communications, against us. That is why we need to keep moving with the times. This, of course, is a policy that Labor adopted sixteen years ago, when Kim Beazley was the Leader of the Labor Party, and it surprises me that Bill Shorten and his team haven’t been able to come to a support for this policy this week.

What we want to do is to make sure that our excellent agencies and security apparatus are even better. Bringing them together under the same umbrella in a Home Affairs Department, we believe will give us the heft that we need to keep protecting Australians from terrorism, from threats at home and abroad, and I think it is a very sensible move.

JEFFREYS: All right, we are running out of time. Just quickly Christopher, the Prime Minister told Karl earlier this week that he catches up with Tony Abbott, quote, irregularly. It makes me wonder, when did you last speak with Mr Abbott?

PYNE: Well, in fact, the last parliamentary sitting fortnight I spoke with Mr Abbott because I am friends with everybody on our side of politics Sylvia.

ALBANESE: He doesn’t speak highly of you mate.

PYNE: How often does Albo speak to Bill Shorten? How often does Albo speak to Bill? Albo gave a speech this week which is the opposite to Bill Shorten’s playbook. It was all about how negative politics was out, and Albo of course is well on his way to campaign against Bill Shorten.

JEFFREYS: Well you’re officially out of favour, Christopher, with our executive producer because you have just spoke well beyond our time limit.

ALBANESE: He does that; it’s the greed that defines the Liberal Party.

JEFFREYS: We’re talking about love this morning, can we just say the three little words to one another this morning, just to set the tone?

ALBANESE: No, that’s just not going to happen.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Do it!

ALBANESE: That would be a YouTube sensation I know!

PYNE: I love Today. Is that what you meant?

ALBANESE: I love everyone here in the studio.

PYNE: I love Today.

JEFFREYS: All right guys I appreciate you loving Today.

ALBANESE: I love Australian Ninja. It’s fantastic.

PYNE: I wake up with Today and I give you my ten thousand dollars…

ALBANESE:  When are me and Pyne going to get to go on Australian Ninja? We would be sensational as a comedy segment.

JEFFREYS: All right that’s happening don’t worry about it. Love is everywhere this morning Karl, all around.

STEFANOVIC: That is something the world needs to see; Christopher Pyne doing Australian Ninja. Wow.

PYNE: You wouldn’t last five minutes with me Karl.

Jul 21, 2017

Transcript of television interview – AM Agenda, SKY News

Subjects; Inequality, family trusts, education funding, Medicare, infrastructure, asylum seekers 

TOM CONNELL: Anthony Albanese, thanks for your time. Bill Shorten giving a speech today, now he’s talking about tax subsidies, including reforms that in the past we might have dismissed as too politically difficult. Is this going to be another bold move such as negative gearing?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: What Bill Shorten will be talking about today is the fact that we need to deal with inequality. Inequality is at a 75 year high in Australia. We know that the richest two people in Australia have the same wealth as the bottom 20 per cent.

The fact is that because of issues with the tax system, PAYE earners, ordinary working people struggling to put food on the table for their families are paying more than they should.

Bill Shorten will be outlining today our plan for a fairer tax system in order to deal with the issue of inequality.

He’s shown that he’s prepared to adopt bold measures such as he already has on capital gains tax and negative gearing reform in order to deal with the issue of housing affordability.

CONNELL: What about another sacred cow, family trusts? If you look at these, they benefit those on more than half a million dollars to the tune of 51 per cent of the benefits of family trusts, it costs the budget $3.5 billion, is that something you’re willing to look at?

ALBANESE: Well, Bill will be outlining the detail today and it’s appropriate that he has that opportunity rather than me trying to preempt what is in his speech but I can say that Labor has been prepared to lead from opposition on a range of policy issues.

I mean, we have policy paralysis in this country due to the ongoing brawl between the Tony Abbott forces and Malcolm Turnbull that will be played out again at the NSW Liberal Convention this weekend. Because of that paralysis, someone has got to lead in this country and Labor is leading from opposition.

CONNELL: Alright, well fair enough. You don’t want to totally spoil his speech. What about one of the speeches you gave earlier this week.

Now, you’ve doubled down on something you’ve mentioned before, talking about the adoption by the government of Labor policy such as needs-based funding, saying it should be a source of pride for those who have been long-term advocates, and that you should move on from that.

Are you at all disappointed that the rhetoric coming out of other members of Labor is that we want to fight this still, the so-called Gonski 2.0 all the way to the next election?

ALBANESE: No. What I said in my speech, the Earle Page Lecture up at the University of New England this week is consistent with what I’ve said in politics for a very long time, which is that if you want to inspire particularly the next generation to engage in social change, you need to be positive in your outlook.

The fact is that Labor has been winning a range of arguments, whether it be historically, issues like Medicare, compulsory superannuation, these are issues that began as radical issues when they were first proposed.

They received the support of the public and they became part of the Australian ethos. Now, in recent times Labor reforms such as ensuring that needs-based education, be the principle on which education funding is based.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, the provision of universal health care, support for public transport and engagements with our cities; these are all propositions that Labor has put forward over a long period of time.

Take in my portfolio the issue of public transport and cities.

It is a good thing, and it is a source of pride, that over a period of time there appears to be acceptance that the Commonwealth should be engaged in urban policy, cities, dealing with urban congestion that will cost the economy $53 billion by 2031 if it’s not addressed.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t then also argue that on substance and the problem with the government is it has adopted some of the rhetoric that’s consistent with Labor.

It hasn’t adopted the substance. So on the needs-based education funding, it’s adopted some of the rhetoric.

It says it supports the Gonski principles but it hasn’t put the dollars that are required in order to deliver that needs-based funding on the table.

There’s the $22 billion of cuts that was part of their package. It’s a bit less than that now but they still haven’t provided that support. When you look at the detail of Northern Territory funding for example, some of the most disadvantaged schools are going to be worse off whereas some of the wealthiest schools in Australia will be better off as a result of the government changes.

Similarly, in terms of the issue of universal health care. They’re still not increasing the Medicare rebate for a couple of years. They’re still not providing the support for public hospitals that’s required.

Just like in the area of infrastructure and public transport funding, the only new project funded with grant funding in the Budget was $13 million for an obscure road near Nowra in the marginal electorate of Gilmore and they’re undermining Infrastructure Australia by setting up a separate Infrastructure Financing Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department.

So you can have pride that you’re winning the framework and able to frame the debate whilst still challenging, as Labor will continue to do the record of this government and the program of this government that simply isn’t good enough.

CONNELL: Part of the reason they’re not spending as much on schools is Catholic school funding. What’s your view on what sort of deal the Catholic schools are getting?
ALBANESE: My view is that you need needs-based funding and that needs to be sector blind. That is, every child is worthy of support and the support that’s necessary in order to give them the opportunity to have the best chance in life that they should see as a right in a country like Australia that has the wealth that we have.

I went to my local Catholic schools. I was provided with an opportunity there but the truth is that those schools struggled with support.

Now, the inner city of Sydney’s changed a bit these days in terms of the makeup of students. It’s reflected the gentrification that’s gone on in our inner suburbs but the truth is that funding is required that supports disadvantaged people from whatever background so that kids don’t get left behind.

CONNELL: But doesn’t this end that special deal on the Catholic element in particular? Is this really that strong a campaign Labor can run?

ALBANESE: Well, Labor will be continuing to campaign on education. Education in the form of early childhood education. I spoke about in the Earle Page Lecture, we know is more and more critical.

Those early years of life and investment there can lead to much greater opportunity and the need for less investment later on if you take on early childhood education as something that is required.

Education funding in terms of school funding we’ll continue to campaign on.

We’ll continue to campaign on VET which has been a disaster by this government. TAFE needs to be put at the centre of our vocational education and training system. There’s been far too many rorts allowed in recent years that’s distorted funding.

So it’s gone away from providing proper vocational education and training and of course our universities. The idea that people will be hit with more and more debt is no doubt a disincentive from people for going to university who don’t have mum or dad to pay their fees for them.

CONNELL: Just finally, because I do know that you need to go, you were of course deputy to Kevin Rudd the second time around, would you have allowed him to resettle asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Australia a year after he said that was not going to happen again?

ALBANESE: The policy that we had is clear but I think people are missing the main point here which isn’t about Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott or Malcolm Turnbull or even Peter Dutton.

The main point here is that there have been people left on Manus and Nauru for four years because this government – for more than four years – because this government has simply failed to deal with settlement options in third countries.

That is what we proposed. It’s absolutely correct to say that it was a 12 month proposition that was put forward because it wasn’t seen as something that should be permanent.

It was something that people should then be settled in either PNG or in third countries of settlement and people have been left there for far too long.

 

Jul 21, 2017

Transcript of television interview – ABC Lateline

Subjects: Inequality; Home Affairs Department; immigration; Greens Political Party.

DAVID LIPSON, PRESENTER: First tonight, it’s been a week it seems of clear winners and losers in politics. Just days after Greens Senator Scott Ludlam stood down because of his dual citizenship, his colleague and fellow party deputy Larissa Waters followed suit.  Peter Dutton, on the other hand, has received a major promotion after being named head of a new super ministry for Home Affairs. As for the general public, well, the Prime Minister sounded a warning about the likelihood of an interest rise in the future.  Speaking at an economic and social outlook conference in Melbourne, Malcolm Turnbull said, it is important for all of us to be prudent. At the same conference the Opposition Leader today sounded a different note – one that seemed a little like he was gearing up for the next federal election campaign. Bill Shorten said tackling inequality would be a defining mission for a Shorten Labor Government. To discuss the week in politics, I was joined earlier by Industry Minister, Arthur Sinodinos and Shadow Infrastructure Minister, Anthony Albanese for our late debate. Gentlemen, welcome to Lateline. We heard what Bill Shorten thinks about inequality today. He’s outlined the problem. Anthony Albanese, what do you think could be some of the solutions?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, what we know is that before you get to a solution, you have got to identify the problem and we have certainly done that as a party in recent times. What we’re saying is that we need to address the current taxation system, whereby PAYE taxpayers, ordinary working families, earning money to put food on the table of their families, are paying more than their fair share. So, we need to look at ways in which we can address that. We’ve already put on the table the capital gains tax and fringe benefits tax reforms. We’ve already put on the table the fact that people should have a limit on how much they can claim as a tax deduction for their accountant, and there are other measures …

LIPSON: So should those sort of measures go further? I mean should we go further on negative gearing, capital gains, family trusts?

ALBANESE: I think we have got it right when it comes to the housing affordability package. But we will look at a range of other measures and make announcements at the appropriate time. Inequality is at a 75-year high and we know that. The direction of this Government, that has seen big tax cuts essentially for people on my income, whereas people at the lower and middle end have missed out, let alone people who have lost, for example, their energy supplement. We know that the system isn’t working for the majority of people at the moment and it needs to be addressed.

LIPSON: Minister, do you think we have a major problem with inequality?

ARTHUR SINODINOS, INDUSTRY MINISTER: Well, all of us in Australia want people to have a fair go and have a go and we want people to have as many jobs as possible. If you want to have an economy where goods and services and incomes are equally spread or more fairly spread, the most important thing is to get people into work. So, the focus has got to be on equality of opportunity – removing the barriers to people getting into the workforce, helping to educate and train people for the workforce, helping them now with the pace of change accelerating, be able to train and retrain for the jobs of the future. So I think it’s about equality of opportunity. Bill Shorten, to me today, seemed to focus too much on divvying up the existing pie, rather than how we grow the pie and make sure everyone has a fair go in getting an increased share of the pie. Otherwise, what you end up doing, you make it sound like a zero sum game and that’s what he does. It is almost like you have to keep putting taxes up, you’ve got to be very careful how you do that, because you can run out of people at the top end to keep putting taxes up on. You start raising more taxes on the middle, and then you get into the situation where you are actually deterring people from wanting to work longer, because they feel every extra dollar they are going to be paying half of that to the taxman. So we have got to have incentive. He has to talk more about incentive and risk taking if he wants the motivate people to grow the pie.

ALBANESE: Well, David, the nurses out there, earning $50,000 a year, know that they are paying more tax than many people who earn 10 times or 20 times…

LIPSON: I will stop you there because Bill Shorten actually spoke about the nurses today and he was referring specifically to family trusts. Have a listen to what he had to say.

BILL SHORTEN, OPPOSITION LEADER: Almost all of this is perfectly legal but when a nurse on $50,000 asks why someone who earns 20 times more than they do pays less in tax, saying it is legal is not satisfactory.

LIPSON: So specifically on family trusts, $3.5 billion a year is lost in taxation that could be gathered through these loopholes. They are perfectly legal and in many cases appropriate but do you think we should be getting more tax out of family trusts?

ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly what I think is that the current tax system isn’t fair enough and that there are people who currently…

LIPSON: Are you talking specifically about that area of family trusts?

ALBANESE: I’m talking about high income earners using various mechanisms in order to minimise their tax in a way so that when you have people, if you earn a million dollars a year, and you are paying less than the nurse earning $50,000 a year, then there is something wrong with the system and a fair society is an inclusive society. The other thing is that Arthur, to take up what Arthur said, with respect, we’re not talking about just maintaining the existing pie and carving it up differently. What we’re saying is that greater equality is also good economics because people at the lower end and middle end of course, don’t save their income, they spend it. They spend it. They create jobs, they create that economic activity.So there is a lot of evidence, from economists, that shows that good equality is also good macroeconomic policy, as well as good policy in terms of social justice.

LIPSON: Arthur Sinodinos?

SINODINOS: I’m a bit of a veteran of the tax wars. In 2001 we looked at taxing trusts as like companies and there was a huge backlash and where did it come from? A lot of it came from small business, and from family farms and the like. So, these structures are quite widespread throughout the economy and they’re not being used for tax dodging, often they are used as a way of saving, saving income for later of whatever.

LIPSON: It is skewed towards the wealthy. They are the ones getting the most advantage out of this.

SINODINOS: You can say that of almost anything in the tax system, that if you’re better off you may have more of an opportunity to take advantage of the provisions of the tax law. The important thing here is that this is the thin end of the wedge. Labor talk about how they are going to crack down on just one part of town, because politically they think that will sound great. But ultimately if you keep spending money and spending keeps going up, you will be taxing people more and more and more of that burden falls on particularly low and middle income earners.

LIPSON: We saw this week the announcement of the creation of a Home Affairs department, a super department. Dennis Richardson is very well respected by both sides of politics and probably more credentialed than anyone around at the moment. This is what he had to say about it.

DENNIS RICHARDSON, FORMER ASIO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: There is a reasonable argument in respect of immigration and bringing immigration closely together. But I think beyond that, it is primarily presentational.

LIPSON: “Primarily presentational”. Arthur Sinodinos, what do you think he meant by that?

SINODINOS: Well, you would have to ask Dennis what he meant but I’ll tell you what the Prime Minister meant …

LIPSON: Well, I can tell what I think he meant which is that he is talking mostly about optics, ie politics.

SINODINOS: Well, I reject that because after the election the Prime Minister was briefed by his department about options around something like this. He asked for work to be done on it over the subsequent period, without interfering in the normal day-to-day work of those agencies. And he’s done due diligence, including talking with officials overseas about this, and came to a considered view that given the way the war on terror and everything else is evolving, having our structures evolved to reflect that, having a central department of Home Affairs, which coordinates these agencies. The agencies continue to all report to the minister, none of them are cut off from ministerial contact, having the Attorney-General now with a clear line of responsible for oversight and for integrity, I think is a much cleaner way to go.

LIPSON: We have had silence, though, from those on the front line this week. The Federal Police, ASIO. I mean they are not people who normally comment on day-to-day but this is such a big change you would expect them to be standing beside the Prime Minister. Was that silence somewhat unsettling?

SINODINOS: Well, I don’t think I would reading anything into the silence. As you say, it is not their role to be going out there providing public commentary and remember, at the end of the day, this is a Westminster system. The Prime Minister takes responsibility for the machinery of government and the structures of government and I’m satisfied from the work I have observed that he did due diligence on why it was necessary to go down this route.

LIPSON: Labor has blamed this move on politics but you are not opposing it as such. So which is it because you can’t have both?

ALBANESE: Well, we’re waiting for a full and proper briefing. I mean, my concern frankly, is that if this was about substance rather than about appearance then that briefing would have occurred beforehand. There would have been a briefing, for example, of myself as the transport shadow minister, the office of Transport Security which importantly as an agency that is connected up with airports and aviation, will now be taken away from the Transport Department, put into this new department of Home Affairs, not have that line of sight to the Transport Minister but to someone else, I assume Peter Dutton. That is of some concern but we will examine the detail. We want national security issues to be bipartisan. So we will look at the detail but we will look at it in the light as well, I think of, I was concerned to see Malcolm Turnbull out there with military personnel, with masks on, with guns, for an announcement the day before. That seemed to me to be completely inappropriate frankly.

LIPSON: One of the things that Laura Tingle pointed out this week is that this announcement actually puts immigration further into the realm of security rather than economics. What do you think about that, Anthony Albanese?

ALBANESE: Well, certainly immigration has been an important element of economic policy as well. We need to look at the intergenerational issues that are there, the ageing of the population. We need to look at skill sets and migration departments and ministers historically have played that role, rather than just the national security element. Of course, we need to have those checks on people who come here under whatever category but I think it’s a legitimate point to ask, as part of briefings that we get, for what are the implications for immigration policy and its oversight of removing it from what’s been its traditional space.

LIPSON: Is the Government sending a signal here that it believes immigration is more of a security issue than …

SINODINOS: No, no, I don’t believe so but it is more complicated than it used to be and immigration issues, citizenship issues, have all gotten caught up more in the whole security frame in which we find ourselves. Dutton will be supported by two ministers, one on the justice side, and one on the, more on the immigration side. But he’s an experienced Immigration Minister, and I think he was keen to retain that overall policy setting responsibility for immigration. Malcolm Turnbull, strong believer in the nation-building role of immigration, always trumpets our success as a multicultural society. So I think he will certainly continue to take a strong interest in the nation building aspects of immigration.

ALBANESE: But it shouldn’t have been about, to take up the point that you just said there, it is about him, you are suggesting, as the reason why immigration is in the Home Affairs department.

SINODINOS: No, I’m saying he has got the experience to provide continuity for that.

ALBANESE: It should be about the right structure and then you look at the personnel.

SINODINOS: Yeah, sure.

ALBANESE: I think the concern of the public is this has been about Peter Dutton being placed …

SINODINOS: No. My only response to that is government structures continue to evolve and they will.

LIPSON: We saw this week another Greens senator drop off the political perch. This was Larissa Waters announcing it.

LARISSA WATERS, FORMER GREENS SENATOR: I just want to apologise to my party and to all of the wonderful Queenslanders that I have been so proud to respect in the last six years. It’s been a real honour to speak for them and to stand up for things that I’m really passionate for.

LIPSON: Arthur Sinodinos you work with both Scott, worked with Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters in the Senate. Is this fair, what’s happened to them?

SINODINOS: Well look, I know both of them quite well. I think they are quite sincere. I don’t necessarily agree with a lot of what they went on about clearly. But where there are rules, there are rules and we are all subject to them.

LIPSON: Are those rules outdated, do you think?

SINODINOS: Well, that’s a debate we can have. The danger with having that debate now is it can look a bit self-serving, if we suddenly do it off the back of a couple of cases like this. I think it is better if the debate is in a, maybe in a slightly broader context and in fact, plays into the issues we were just talking about, about what is the concept of citizenship today and how do you assess that. And there is a lot of common ground and where possible we should focus on the common ground in this area, because the signal we don’t want to send to our fellow Australians is, you know, they see a lot of stuff out of Canberra which always looks like it is just narkiness. A bit of emphasising what we have in common I think would be really good going forward.

LIPSON: Anthony Albanese?

ALBANESE: Well, I think this is a failure clearly of the Greens’ political structure that has caused them other problems as well, with Lee Rhiannon being one out against nine Greens senators wanting to go one way and it would appear that after being excluded from the party room, the one has been more … stronger than the nine.

LIPSON: You are not suggesting that she had anything to do with …

ALBANESE: Well, who knows? It is quite clearly that you have had within the Greens a great deal of turmoil. I certainly had a fair bit to do with Scott Ludlam. I regarded him as a person of integrity, who was good to deal with but, you know, it is pretty careless as well…

LIPSON: And just really briefly on the Constitution. I mean what do you think about that? Is this an outdated section? Not that it’s easy to change.

ALBANESE: Well, the Constitution, it is what it is and what’s more, you sign a form saying that you don’t have other allegiances. So it’s not like they haven’t made a personal declaration as well.

LIPSON: Gentlemen, we are out of time. Thanks for joining us.

SINODINOS: Thank you.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

[ENDS]

Jul 19, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – ABC News England Breakfast Program

Subjects: Barnaby Joyce; Earle Page Political Lecture. Armidale Council election.

PRESENTER: Former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will visit Armidale tonight to deliver the Earle Page Political Lecture. He is currently the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and the Shadow Minister for Tourism and I will be interested to hear from you. I was reading the GQ profile on Barnaby Joyce last night and he said that one of the politicians that can really compete with him is Anthony Albanese. Mr Joyce thinks Mr Albanese can speak to his people so I will be interested to feel if this hits a chord with you or you feel it misses the mark. This is Anthony Albanese and his topic tonight for the Earle Page Political Lecture will be Positive Politics in the Age of Disruption.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: What the lecture is about is the need to have a positive outlook at a time where, I think, there’s a lot of disillusionment with politics. We’ve seen, I think, outcomes that weren’t expected in a range of elections, results from the right, the left, and the centre. President Donald Trump is something that wasn’t anticipated even while the election was being conducted in the United States. In the United Kingdom Jeremy Corbyn came within a very small margin of being elected Prime Minister. In France, Emmanuel Macron was swept into office as the President, but also with a new party, just formed, won an overwhelming majority of seats. We’ve seen the Brexit event. And here in Australia we’ve seen record votes for parties that aren’t either of the governing options here in Australia. So what tonight’s really about is why that is occurring, and I argue that it is inequality, both of power and of economics that is causing that disruption – that people don’t feel like they’ve benefited from economic globalisation, and that presents a challenge to the major political parties in this country. And that challenge must be met with a positive vision and that the ongoing negative politics of which we’ve seen too much of in recent years, I think, helps reinforce that disillusionment with mainstream politics.

PRESENTER: Interesting when you talk about the disruption, fairly young parties coming to the fore overseas, and likewise. I know you’ll also be launching the campaign for the Armidale Council election’s Labor candidate, Deb O’Brien while you’re in town as well. Is part of the reason Labor is becoming more active in Armidale and in this space because of that disruption? Do you see an opportunity in what has for a long time been National Party heartland?

ALBANESE: There’s no doubt that there is. Of course historically, seats like Northern Tablelands have been held by the Labor Party in the State Parliament. I think we saw in the Orange by-election last year, the election of the Shooters and Fishers party to the lower house. We’ve seen in seats like Lismore, become three-way contests and there’s no doubt that traditional allegiances have been broken down, that whereas often nationally in the past you could see how both parties would be on above 40 per cent, and it would be a matter of fighting for that middle ground, that 10 or 15 percent that was up for grabs. These days, it’s very different and traditional allegiances have gone out the door, we’ve seen traditional Labor-held seats be lost to Labor, and the same thing has happened with the National Party and the Liberal Party. So I think no doubt, Labor has been historically, of course, under Bill Mckell, formed his majority based upon rural and regional seats, and if you look at the objective factors, then you’ll see that, I think, there’s enormous political opportunity for Labor.

PRESENTER: And you think this locally, and further abroad, is driven by a sense of dissatisfaction, disempowerment, economically?

ALBANESE: Yes, and a feeling that people don’t want to be taken for granted. Tonight I’ll be talking about a range of challenges that are there for the long term – dealing with climate change, dealing with infrastructure including the National Broadband Network, dealing with inequality. And political parties that come up with real solutions will be able to gain support from that great mass of the population who aren’t wedded to any particular ideology. Hence we’ve seen internationally and indeed in Australia of course, we’ve seen in the New England region, considerable representation both at the Federal, State, and local level from people like Tony Windsor, who have risen to prominence promising to make strong, local representation, rather than on the back of a national political backing.

PRESENTER: So this sounds like, I wouldn’t go so far as to say a declaration of war, but maybe we can expect to see more visits, announcements and the like from the Labor Party in this region.

ALBANESE: Well that’s right. We, I think, have a pretty good record in that region to stand on. Armidale was the first place on mainland Australia that got the National Broadband Network switched on. And that was switched on on the basis of fibre to the premises, not the second-rate copper network that a lot of people in my electorate are complaining about at the moment. We had upgrades to important projects like the New England Highway, the Bolivia Hill project that Tony Windsor took me to see first-hand, and once you drove along the highway and had a look at that death trap, then I knew something had to be done about it, so we provided that funding. The Hunter Expressway has made a big difference in terms of access to Sydney for people in New England. So there’s a range of things that we did that I am quite proud of, whilst I was the Minister for Infrastructure or the Minister for Regional Development. Even the upgrades of the saleyards there at Armidale have made a big difference for the workforce there, and also for the people who use the saleyards.

PRESENTER: The Earle Page Political Lecture, taking place at a university. I imagine you’ll have quite a young audience as well. What message do you want to give to young people while you’re in the region?

ALBANESE: I want to give them a message of hope, that there’s a need to be positive. Part of what I’ll be talking about tonight is that often people even who classify themselves as progressive have a romantic view of the past, and can be negative about what’s going on at the moment, and our future. But I think history does move forward. I talk tonight about the gains that have been made in terms of women’s representation in the Parliament, in terms of removing discrimination on the basis of people’s sexuality, the advances that were made in terms of reconciliation – proposals that were radical when they were first raised that are now accepted as part of the mainstream. We now accept that Medicare and universal healthcare is absolutely critical. The recent debate about education, I saw as positive in the extent that we had an acceptance that needs-based funding needed to be the principle. Now there’s a debate about what the level of funding should be. We don’t think its adequate, but nonetheless, the adoption of that principle is, I think, a good thing.

PRESENTER: You talk about this air of negativity in the world these days. How much you think social media contributes to that, stirs it up, magnifies it?

ALBANESE: I talk about that a bit tonight as well. I think there’s no doubt that social media does add to some of the negative politics and the environment, because it by definition, Twitter, with 140 characters, makes it very difficult to have a sophisticated debate. Much of politics is about nuance. It’s about things that aren’t simply black and white, yes or no, right and wrong. The world’s a bit more complex than that, and that combined with the pace of the media, where there are less and less journalists who have the capacity to research articles for a week, or two, or three, let alone a month, which used to happen a lot more. You still have, thank goodness, the ABC, and programs like Four Corners. But a lot of the time if you look at the press gallery in the two decades that I’ve served in Canberra, has changed. There’s a need to get an article first up online, and to do it in an immediate way, and hence often that will be done superficially. One of the reasons why I’m attracted to doing events like the Earle Page lecture, is it gives you an opportunity to really outline a philosophical view, and to present an argument in a way that is more complex than the opportunities that you get a lot of the time, when you’re just giving a grab on media or when you are trying to portray something on Facebook or through social media.

PRESENTER: That’s Anthony Albanese, former Deputy Prime Minister, travelling to Armidale tonight to give the Earle Page Political Lecture.

 

Jul 19, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes segment

Subjects: Greens Political Party; negativity in political debate; Finkel report.

PRESENTER: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good morning to the both of you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Greetings from Armidale.

PRESENTER: Armidale, New England? You must be cold up there Albo?

ALBANESE: It is a bit chilly, let me tell you.

PRESENTER: It’s the coldest part of Australia. It’s unbelievable up there. Gentlemen can we start with the whole Greens fiasco and ask the same question to the both of you and it is two-barrelled. The first question being if they are disqualified, and they have been disqualified – they’ve been made to resign from their positions in the Senate – should they repay the money that they have been paid by the taxpayer? And the other part is does this law still make any sense in a country that is proudly multicultural like we are here in Australia? Chris Pyne, you are in the Government, you can go first.

PYNE: Well the Constitution is pretty specific, Will, and the bottom line is whether it is New Zealand, Canada, Bangladesh, India or any other country in the world, if you are a citizen of another country you cannot be a Senator or Member of Parliament. It’s very, very specific in the Constitution and what is incredibly remarkable is that two out of nine of the Greens Senators, so almost a quarter of them, couldn’t have organised their citizenship properly. I mean, it’s hardly a secret that’s the Constitution – and by the way this has happened before over the years in decades gone past, so  everybody knows in this building – you must get your citizenship sorted out.

PRESENTER: Should the repay what they have been paid?

PYNE: Well there is a process for that. There is an administrative process that people go through and I’m sure that that will be looked at in the same way as it has been looked at with Senator Bob Day and the very briefly Senator Rod Culleton. But that is Scott Ryan’s portfolio, not mine, so I will leave that up to him.

PRESENTER: What do you think Albo?

ALBANESE: I think that it’s hardly an onerous duty to ensure that you are a citizen of Australia and nowhere else and I find it remarkable frankly. When you nominate for preselection in the Labor Party certainly you have to provide your birth certificate and if that’s the birth certificate of another country, then you have to provide your proof that you have renounced your citizenship of that country. That‘s just sort of Politics 101 and it is amazing that these two people have been pretty careless about it and they have paid a price.

PYNE: There’s obviously some pretty serious ructions going on in the Greens because we have had this big issue with Lee Rhiannon, the NSW Greens Senator, who has been under the pump within the Greens and I am wondering whether these revelations about Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters are all payback, not necessarily from Lee Rhiannon of course – I wouldn’t make that allegation, I don’t know – but payback within the Greens for the fight that is going on.

ALBANESE: Well Lee Rhiannon could be the leader by the end of the week the way it is going.

PYNE: Lee could be leader. You might end up the Leader of the Greens. That might be the only party you end up leading.

PRESENTER: Finally we might see the Senate ushering in a five-year Stalinist plan.

PYNE:  A great leap forward.

ALBANESE: I think that Lee Rhiannon’s leadership of the NSW Greens – long may it be maintained. I’ve always found my local Greens candidates to be great assets when I am seeking re-election.

PRESENTER: Hey Albo, I want to ask the next question to you and it is about the fact that you are in Armidale up there in the beautiful northern tablelands of NSW. You gave a speech last night – because I know how to party I read it yesterday at home – you gave a speech at the University of New England where you talked about, you lamented the fact that the major parties in Australia have developed a habit of using negativity to win elections. I want to ask you two questions. Firstly was this a leadership speech? And secondly, is it a bit rich to lament negativity when we do hear so much of it in the course of any given day? Even in terms of the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday of the new Home Office structure, you know, Labor was trying to spin that as being some sort of factional deal organised by the PM. Is it a little bit hypocritical given that negativity seems to be the order the day?

ALBANESE: Part of what the speech was of course was lamenting the idea that a debate about policies inevitably gets drawn back into a debate about personalities. I think that part of the problem is the 24-hour media cycle and giving the Earle Page lecture here at the University of New England was an opportunity to give a serious speech that frankly quite often, you know, in an era whereby politics is run with 140 characters, you are not able to get into that serious discussion. So it was an attempt – I hope people do have a read of the speech; it certainly wasn’t a partisan political speech – it was an attempt to put forward some thoughtful ideas.

PRESENTER: It was quite self-critical I thought because the big passage in there where you talk about the idea which Labor pretty much invented  seven or eight years ago – seven years ago – about knocking off sitting prime ministers has been one of the worst things to have happened in politics in the modern era.

ALBANESE: Well it was and we suffered for it. That was a mistake which I think helped to contribute to the negative nature of politics and I was certainly critical of Tony Abbott, but I also think that him being knocked off has led to the instability that is there in the Coalition Government at the moment that is damaging policy outcomes because of that internal focus that is there. I mean, one of things that I spoke about as well of course is that Labor has learned the lessons and is putting forward ideas. I gave as an example the fact that we were brave enough to put forward the reform of negative gearing and capital gains tax on housing affordability. Bill Shorten deserves credit for that.

PRESENTER: You’ve obviously got a country to run Chris Pyne, but have you had a chance to catch up with some of the points that Albo made last night in his speech?

PYNE: Well David, I’m looking forward to reading it but it is very clearly a staking out of leadership ground by Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: It indeed is a critique of that sort of nonsense.

PYNE: Now you had a very good run Anthony, you had a good run. I didn’t interrupt you once while you laid out your manifesto for leadership. What we very clearly have seen, because Bill Shorten is a full-on negative politician, that’s his model, his model is to be against everything the Government raises. Sometimes he pretends that he is going to support it, but he never does. We had the Mediscare campaign in the last election, which was a base lie. And what Anthony is doing, which I think is very sensible, is laying out a different agenda for the Labor Party and saying if you want to do something different to what Bill Shorten is doing, which is this constant negativity and attacking the Government and never being able to find anything good in what the Government does, here’s an agenda that I am laying out. And I think it will be very popular with the public and with the Labor Party which of course is why he was the people’s choice of the Labor Party grassroots in the leadership ballot.

PRESENTER: I think you will like the speech too Chris because as someone who copped it a few weeks ago for a few off-the-cuff remarks, everything being seen through the prism of factionalism is something that Albo tries to skewer a bit.

PYNE: Well I look forward to reading it.

ALBANESE: Someone has got to back you up Christopher.

PYNE: I am going to read it, study it and do a critique on it.

PRESENTER: We’ll look forward to that next week. You can report next Wednesday morning.

ALBANESE: I also used in the speech, I mean the Finkel report is an example of an opportunity that is there whereby Labor has been constructive. Let’s get on and implement the review on energy policy, provide that investment certainty that is necessary.

PRESENTER: Good stuff. Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese.

Jul 14, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – The Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 2GB

Subjects; Infrastructure; proposed F6 toll road; water infrastructure, Badgerys Creek rail.

ALAN JONES: I’ve been wanting to speak to Anthony Albanese because this to me is one bloke in the federal parliament who actually knows about infrastructure. Or put another way, seems to know what he’s talking about.

He grew up in public housing in the inner city suburb of Camperdown. He’s often said he was raised with three great faiths; the Catholic Church, the South Sydney Football Club and the Labor Party.

He made a speech in April which I thought was a significant speech and that’s the reason I’ve been wanting to talk to him and he said, and I quote, if you ask business people to nominate Australia’s biggest economic challenge, you might guess they’d name tax rates or the budget deficit. But you’d be wrong.

According to an Australian Institute of Company Directors survey of 833 directors in July last year, the problem that most worried business people is Australia’s low level of infrastructure investment.

He said that 85 per cent of company directors believe that current levels of infrastructure investment, particularly in regional areas, which is what I liked about the speech, regional areas – think of dams, for god’s sake – were too low and this topped the list of concerns ahead of the budget deficit, the ageing of the population, education and tax reform.

And he made the valid point that the Reserve Bank has made repeated calls for additional investment in railways and roads to generate economic activity and jobs and to take pressure off housing affordability, and you’ve heard me say many times, if we for example had a very fast train that linked Goulburn to here, you could live at Goulburn, buy a house for $300,000, it’d be terribly affordable.

And we don’t have the means of communicating Goulburn with Sydney. Anthony Albanese quoted Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing public sector infrastructure investment fell by 20 per cent in the Coalition’s first two years in office. Not his figures. Bureau of Statistics.

And he argued that more recent Bureau of Statistics figures, and this was in April, showed that in the 12 quarters in which the Coalition has been in office, total quarterly public sector infrastructure investment has been lower than it was in every single quarter under the previous Labor Government.

And as he says the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund created two years ago has not funded a single project. And the government’s now proposing to create an Infrastructure Financing Unit which you’ve heard me say on this program is a waste of space within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Anthony Albanese says none of this is needed. Infrastructure Australia already exists to assess projects and provide advice on funding models. So we won’t be able to cover all this ground but he’s with me here in the studio. Anthony, good morning. Thank you for your time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Very good to be with you, Alan.

JONES: How big an issue is this in terms of the capacity to grow the economy and of course, grow jobs?

ALBANESE: This is an enormous issue. This is front and centre because what infrastructure investment does in the short term is create jobs and economic activity but in the long term it produces a return.

It’s an investment in our nation. It’s an investment in people. It produces increased revenue to government but it also reduces the cost of the private sector of doing business which is why those company directors were almost unanimous in identifying this as the number one issue.

But the tragedy is, its going to get worse, Alan. Because last week the Parliamentary Budget Office, an independent organisation, produced a report that showed on the government’s figures in the recent Budget, over the coming decade, infrastructure investment as a proportion of our national economy, as measured by GDP will fall from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent. Will halve. That will have a devastating impact on our economy.

JONES: Just to interrupt you there. Therefore what people listening to you are saying, what is the role of government as opposed to the private sector in all of this?

ALBANESE: Well the role of government is to show leadership. There is certainly a role for the private sector in providing some finance for projects.

But it’s also the case that if you have a view of infrastructure which the Infrastructure Financing Unit that’s been set up in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has, that it will examine projects that will produce essentially a return to government, then what you’re talking about there is distorting the market so that all you have is investment in toll roads.

Now, just today we find out that there was a report that the NSW Government have sat on which is that if you invest in upgrading the rail line from Wollongong up to Sydney…

JONES: Yes, this is a big story.

ALBANESE: …if you invest in that..

JONES: Much, much cheaper.

ALBANESE: $2 benefit for every dollar that’s invested, but what’s the government looking at? An F6 that will demolish houses, that will go through the Royal National Park, that will put another toll on those roads. A disastrous proposal.

JONES: That’s the next point I was coming to because the Federal Government has announced a stack of projects.

Western Sydney Airport, which I’ll come to in a moment, $5.3 billion. $844 million for the Bruce Highway. $1.6 billion for West Australian infrastructure including road access to the Fiona Stanley Hospital. We go to Western Australia, people are listening to this. $1 billion for Regional Rail in Victoria. A $10 billion National Rail Program, etcetera.

Now, where is the business case? Shouldn’t there be a business case for all of these? You just mentioned the Wollongong to Sydney railway line as opposed to another tollway. Where are the business cases for these projects and how important are they?

ALBANESE: The Government has sidelined Infrastructure Australia. We set up that body under legislation in order to have arms-length advice to government, so that the public could examine documents that showed, if we want to increase the amount of people who can travel from the Illawarra to Sydney, what’s the best way to do it?

Infrastructure Australia’s job was to do business cases on the proposals, to make it transparent, to publish those cases, so that you could see that, this is the cost of building the F6, but this is the alternative of the railway line.

Now, we know that the rail line is what makes sense. We know that because of a leaked document today but that is what Infrastructure Australia’s job was to do.

JONES: Well therefore, let me ask you then about Badgerys Creek and I know you support this airport and everybody does, but here’s an outfit that is 46 kilometres west of Sydney.

You’d need half a million litres of fuel a day. So do we have dozens of tankers on the road, or do we move it by rail, and which rail, do we build a pipeline? Where’s the money for all of this?

To get to Badgerys Creek to the city if you went by taxi it would be 250 bucks. If we have a rail link we’ve got to find two and a bit billion dollars.

Where is the business case, which I haven’t seen, for Badgerys Creek other than we think it’s a great idea to have an airport, but I’m worried that we might have a Montreal on our hands here because as you know they built Mirabel, the second airport there and it became a white elephant.

There are people who say there’s further capacity at Kingsford Smith. How do you answer all those questions about the fact that Badgerys Creek is there, 46 kilometres west of Sydney, we’ve got to get people and fuel to and from?

ALBANESE: We did a joint study when we were in office into the aviation needs of Sydney and what it showed was that Sydney Airport was nearing capacity and that with the amount in which people fly and people would increase substantially.

I mean, I went on my first flight when I was in my twenties, to go down to Canberra when I got a job with Tom Uren. These days my son goes to the local high school here, all of his mates have all been on planes. They’ve all travelled, it’s the local public high school, the world has changed.

the Badgerys Creek Airport isn’t about getting people to the city. It’s about servicing the now-2.2 million people who are listening who live in Western Sydney.

JONES: Now what about fog and fuel? Forget about people, you’ve got to get fuel.

ALBANESE: There needs to be a pipeline of fuel there.

JONES: So where is the business case that says how much would the pipeline cost? I haven’t seen any of these figures.

ALBANESE: Well, that’s why some of those figures were certainly in the joint study that was done between the Commonwealth and the state.

One of the things that’s needed, for example is the public transport linkages. What we’ve advocated is a north-south line for the Macarthur region; connecting up Campbelltown and around that region, up through Badgerys Creek, up to St Marys and then connecting up to the north-west line at Rouse Hill.

One of the reasons why Sydney doesn’t work is that it’s a hub and spoke with the hub in the CBD and with our beautiful geography here, it makes it difficult to get around.

JONES: Always when water is the other side of the CBD, everyone’s got to go back in and come out again.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. Which is why you need that north-south public transport corridor. Not just about the airport. This would make sense even if an airport wasn’t there.

But what the airport is doing is providing a catalyst for jobs with projects like, I’ll give you one Alan. The Science Park.

JONES: I’d love to talk to you about the Science Park, I just want to raise two issues before we go because it’s not everyday we’ve got you here.

Firstly, dams. Now, we’re talking about infrastructure. We’ve been talking about transport here for the last eight minutes. West of the Great Dividing Range if tomorrow 50 per cent of the water was cut off from the Sheraton Hotel, you’d have to reduce 50 per cent of the beds. Water is so critical to regional Australia.

We never harvest it, it rains like hell, floods everywhere, and nothing happens. What’s your proposal for damming some of this water?

ALBANESE: We certainly should be harvesting more of the water, whether it be through major dams or whether it be in smaller projects down to harvesting the rain that falls on our roofs. That can make an enormous difference. It is something that..

JONES: I’m talking about regional areas. If you could guarantee a water supply to people in regional areas you could decentralise the population.

ALBANESE: There’s a few things we need to do to decentralise. One is water. The second is energy. In regional areas that have more space it’s obviously much easier to have solar and other projects.

There’s a fantastic project up in Queensland, the CopperString project, but also of course what you’ve identified of High Speed Rail could transform the way that the east coast works, take pressure off Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, deal with housing affordability, it’s a project that ticks all of the boxes.

JONES: And you can’t get anyone to move on it, including Gladys Berejiklian here. We’re running out of time, I wanted to ask you one other thing. Is this Inland Rail freight link between Brisbane and Melbourne, is this designed to support mates?

What are we going to say about the route, is this because I thought the former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson said in 2015 that revenue generated by this rail line in its first 50 years would not cover the cost of its construction.

ALBANESE: He did certainly say that in a report to this government. And what the government’s done with its obsession with getting things off-budget is say that it can all be funded without any government actual investment.

JONES: But is the route right?

ALBANESE: The route is right that’s been identified, except that it stops short of the Port of Brisbane. Some 38 kilometres short and unless it goes to the port then it doesn’t make sense.

JONES: Look, it’s good to talk to you. I think this is a very, very big issue and so I think we should talk to you again. This bloke knows his stuff but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, what we’ve discussed today. There’s a stack of it. Thank you for your time.

ALBANESE: Great to be with you, Alan.

 

Jul 14, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects; Energy, proposed encryption laws, Abbott and Turnbull BFFs

KARL STEFANOVIC: There has been plenty of heat this week in politics again. Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join me now, good morning guys.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

CHISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Karl, good morning Anthony.

STEFANOVIC: Talking of heat, energy ministers get together today, the states threatening to go it alone. You can’t stop them, can you Chris?

PYNE: Well look, the states and territories need to do a lot of things to help put downward pressure on energy prices, and they could start by removing the moratoriums on the exploration for gas on the mainland.

Because that is one of the main reasons why gas prices have tripled in the last few years, and that is fuelling higher energy prices, pardon the pun.

In those states, where there isn’t a moratorium on gas exploration, they are doing better. The states can’t try and push this off onto the Commonwealth, we are doing our bit.

We are stopping gas companies from being able to export their gas until they have provided enough here for domestic users. But we need more gas being created, and that means we need more exploration.

STEFANOVIC: What I’m saying though, is that you can’t really stop them going it alone.

PYNE: Well, they are sovereign governments. If they want to make their own decision that is a matter for them. But we have a considered, calm approach to this, we’re working through it, we’ve directed the Australian Energy Market Operator to do certain things.

We have introduced a new mechanism to stop gas producers from exporting gas, until they have guaranteed supply here in Australia, and we are starting to make the kinds of decisions that will give relief to consumers.

STEFANOVIC: Okay. Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly said that people will die this winter due to high power prices. He’s right, isn’t he?

ALBANESE: He’s not right. What he’s right in doing is trying to lift his own profile, at the expense of sensible policy outcomes. We know that renewables are the future.

STEFANOVIC: Aren’t Aussies worse off?

ALBANESE: Craig Kelly might want to go back to the 1950s with Tony Abbott, but he shouldn’t ask all Australians to go back and keep him company. What the Finkel Report said.

STEFANOVIC: Renewables will lead to higher prices though.

ALBANESE: What the Finkel report said very clearly, done by Australia’s Chief Scientist is that renewables would be the cheapest form of energy as we go forward. That’s why they recommended it.

We need national leadership on this issue. This is a failure of national leadership, the fact that today we’re having a national energy ministers meeting, whereby the Commonwealth isn’t able to say they support the recommendation, that they themselves commissioned for a clean energy target.

This is an extraordinary abrogation of Commonwealth responsibility and leadership, and Australians are paying the price.

STEFANOVIC: Did Craig Kelly go over the top do you think, Chris?

PYNE: Well Karl, we have a pragmatic all of the above approach to providing energy for Australians.

ALBANESE: You have none of the above.

PYNE: Not an ideological approach, unlike the Labor Party.

ALBANESE: What are you doing about the clean energy target?

PYNE: The Labor Party wants an ideological approach. We want a pragmatic all of the above approach, that includes coal, that includes renewables, that includes solar, obviously…

STEFANOVIC: There are a couple of issues that I want to get through, Chris. New laws that will compel global tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple, to unlock encrypted messages of terrorists. Do you expect a fight from the companies? Apple in the past, has shown that they are prepared to fight in the courts.

PYNE: Well Karl, it’s critical that ASIO and other agencies be able to intercept messages that are potentially designed to damage Australians, or designed to damage other people overseas that we can protect.

So in 2013, three per cent of the messages that ASIO was intercepting were encrypted. Today it is 55 per cent and it is growing, and the information that we want is mostly in the encrypted messages.

STEFANOVIC: But do you expect a fight from the companies?

PYNE: Look, I wouldn’t expect a fight from the companies, no. I think if they do try and fight the Government trying to protect Australians, they will be on the wrong side of the argument.

We will introduce legislation this year to give us those extra powers, and I think that the Australian public will support that. If people are sending encrypted messages, where they have absolutely nothing to hide, they’ve got nothing to fear. But if we have terrorists who are sending encrypted messages to protect themselves, while they hurt others, that’s not okay.

ALBANESE: We will look at any legislation with the same approach that we have had to all of this, which is a common sense approach. We must keep Australians safe. Governments have that responsibility and we should have a bipartisan approach. But we will look at the detail when it comes forward.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, I would have liked to see the encrypted messages between Tony Abbott and the Prime Minister. Is that all sorted out now? Are they best friends forever again?

PYNE: Karl, we’re all BFFs in the Liberal Party.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, are you out of the naughty corner?

ALBANESE: He’s almost right there.

PYNE: No, I’m not going there Karl, you’ve tried this every week, for three weeks and I’m not biting.

STEFANOVIC: Why? You’ve got to get out of that naughty corner don’t you?

PYNE: I’m just getting on with my job, as you would expect, in defence industry and doing a good a job as I can.

ALBANESE: Well, there he is right. The problem for the Government is that this Abbott versus Turnbull conflict is what is stopping us having a national energy policy.

PYNE: Oh, rubbish.

ALBANESE: That is why, today, the ministers will be meeting with no outcome for a clean energy target, even though the Minister Josh Frydenberg knows it’s necessary. The Prime Minister knows it’s necessary. Christopher Pyne knows it’s necessary.

Every economist, every energy company, the Business Council of Australia, all want Finkel to be implemented in full. Yet today, we’re having a meeting that won’t have any outcomes.

STEFANOVIC: Albo thank you. Christopher. Thank you guys, have a great weekend.

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

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