Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
May 9, 2016

Transcript of radio interview – RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly

Subjects: Federal Election, Public Transport, Greens/Liberal Preference Deal

FRAN KELLY: Senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese joins me in the breakfast studio. Anthony Albanese, welcome to breakfast.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you, Fran.

KELLY: Bill Shorten says Labor’s the underdog but the polls today, the two major polls have you around 50-50. This election is yours for the taking, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: No. We do go into the election as the underdogs. Historically what’s tended to happen in election campaigns is that governments have an enormous advantage. They have an advantage in, of course, picking the timing though it would appear that Malcolm Turnbull, for reasons beyond my comprehension, gave that up earlier this year, but they have increased resources.

You’ve seen in terms of, even yesterday afternoon, for every Liberal Party ad, there were three ads paid for by the taxpayer still rolling out on TV.

KELLY: Which is not illegal, is it?

ALBANESE: It’s pushing their agenda in a pretty crude way. What we didn’t do Fran is what they’ve done in my area, which is to actually cut the infrastructure construction budget by $18 million to pay for ads.

It was money that was supposed to go into building roads and railway lines. They’ve taken it out to spend on ads to advertise and hide the fact that they really haven’t done anything when it comes to infrastructure this election.

KELLY: I’ll come back to infrastructure but perhaps the real story in the polls for Labor when I said it’s yours for the taking, perhaps the reason it’s not is because although it’s 50-50 on the two party preferred vote, Labor’s primary vote in the Ipsos poll, in the Fairfax papers is still only 33 per cent, which is where it was when you lost heavily to Tony Abbott three years ago.

No one can win with a primary vote of 33 per cent.

ALBANESE: If our primary vote is 33, not only will we not win, we will have a very bad outcome. That’s one of the things you have to do when you look at the polls is look at –

KELLY: So why haven’t you been able to lift that primary vote given all the difficulties that the government’s had?

ALBANESE: Well, this is a government in its first term. It’s a government that changed leaders and had a popular leader come in, Malcolm Turnbull. It was a great sense of relief, I think, when Tony Abbott was deposed. He was going to end the three word slogans. He was going to talk to the Australian people like adults.  I listened to Julie Bishop’s interview before. She obviously wasn’t in the studio but it was as if, like the rest of senior members, they’re just reading off the cue cards. They’ve got the three word slogans, just over and over and over, and I reckon over eight weeks if they continue to act like automatons, I mean selecting Mathias Cormann is a very brave move, he’s on message, sure, but will anyone listen to him repeating slogans for eight weeks?

KELLY: Are the messages perhaps not so much the issue when it comes to the crunch in 8 weeks’ time for the electorate? We’ve had four Prime Ministers in less than three years. Are voters going to want to stick with stability? Is that your biggest challenge?

ALBANESE: Well, I think what our task is to put up our alternative and we’ve been doing that, Fran. I think the voters are rewarding Labor for the fact that we’ve been brave. We’ve been prepared to put out fully costed policies, much more so than any other opposition in the 20 years that I’ve been in politics. Out there on issues like addressing housing affordability, that’s a brave move what we’ve done and I think the voters are rewarding us. This is a government that’s run out of steam. Why are we having this early election, Fran? Because the government doesn’t have an agenda, it doesn’t have a sense of purpose.

Malcolm Turnbull’s not only at war with Tony Abbott, he’s at war with himself.

KELLY: Well the government would say we’re having an early election because you wouldn’t work with the government to get anything through the Senate.

ALBANESE: That’s nonsense, of course, Fran. I was Leader of the House with 70 votes in a House of Representatives out of 150. We got our legislation through. We treated people like adults. This is a government that has been incapable of explaining its agenda, that the Senate quite rightly rejected its unfair Budget measures. That’s what the Senate is supposed to do, provide that scrutiny.

KELLY: Bill Shorten says the election is “most definitely about what I stand for and what my opponent stands for,” which sounds like it’s going to get pretty personal. How much is he going to play the man in this election?

ALBANESE: We are playing the policies. Our alternative on education policy. The Gonski reforms that were supposed to be bipartisan. To end that divisive silly debate about public versus private schools. Valuing every child. Giving them every opportunity. Medicare being at the heart of our health system. Not being undermined. Infrastructure. Not just riding on trains. Malcolm Turnbull –

KELLY: He wants to build trains. He has a train building policy in his cities policy.

ALBANESE: No he doesn’t. Where is it Fran? Where is it?

KELLY: The Badgerys Creek train. The Melbourne Metro.

ALBANESE: There’s no money. There’s no plans there, Fran. His cities policy consisted of $50 million for plans. That will plan a couple of major infrastructure projects. That’s it. It’s been a great disappointment. Nothing for the Cross River Rail. The Melbourne Metro money is the money from the Asset Recycling Fund that was put in there by Tony Abbott in 2014. Not a dollar of actual grant money. Nothing for Adelaide Light Rail. Nothing for the Metronet project in Western Australia. Nothing for the Gawler project. Nothing for Cross River Rail in Brisbane.

KELLY: So you’d say that it’s not going to get personal, it’s all about the policies, and yet Bill Shorten’s first media comment in the election this morning, he’s going to put one out every morning I guess; ‘this election will be a contest between Labor putting people first and the Liberal Party looking after vested interests and the top end of town”. Now, how can you paint it like that when in the Budget this government did go after the top end of town on superannuation, on multinational tax? You know that’s, that’s an unfair picture of what the government did in that economic plan, isn’t it?

ALBANESE: No, Fran. They adopted some of our policies in those areas, in multinationals, and some of our policies in terms of superannuation. They put back the low income superannuation contribution that they took away just a couple of years ago. So what you don’t do, Fran, is say ‘we’re going to cut things in 2014, put them back in 2016 and pretend they’re new, and pretend that we’re doing something that’s positive.’ They still have the $80 billion of cuts to education and health. They still have the cuts to pensions. They still have the cuts to welfare payments. They still have –

KELLY: And you still have higher taxes and higher spending.

ALBANESE: They still have a position – well, we don’t actually Fran. If you look at $71 billion of savings in last week’s Budget Reply on top of the savings that we have already, they plan a tax cut for people like you and I, if I can be so presumptuous, in terms of our incomes. The bottom 75% of Australians got absolutely nothing out of the Budget except for cuts.

Cuts to the dental scheme. Cuts to health. Cuts to education. That’s why we say this election is about putting people first rather than helping out Malcolm Turnbull’s mates at the top end of town.

KELLY: It’s fourteen past eight. Our guest is Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. Today’s front page of your hometown paper, the Daily Telegraph, ‘land of hope and fear – PM’s passionate pitch of optimism as Shorten champions fair and scare campaign’. So that’s the front page of the Tele –

ALBANESE: That’s bold, isn’t it Fran? You’ve got to give them credit for chutzpah, the Daily Telegraph worrying about fear.

KELLY: But I want to talk about trust, because Bill Shorten was all about trust, who do you trust with schools, hospitals, Medicare, on it went. The truth is there’s plenty of research to show trust is in very short supply in the electorate when it comes to our politicians. The Scanlon Foundation survey has seen trust in politicians nosedive since 2009. It’s around 30 per cent now. So when Bill Shorten or Malcolm Turnbull ask the voters who do you trust, the answer for many people is none of you.

ALBANESE: That’s certainly the case, Fran. And that’s acknowledged.

KELLY: What should we do about that?

ALBANESE: Well, I think that one of the things that you do about it is what we have been. Putting forward our policies well in advance of an election. See, Tony Abbott prior to 2013 had that three years of the minority parliament where he expected the government to fall over the next day. So it was just all negative. He was very good at it. Very good at the scare campaigns, but he didn’t have a plan when he got into government.

Malcolm Turnbull had a plan to get rid of Tony Abbott, but it’s very obvious that he just didn’t have a plan to govern, and I think the trust factor when it comes to Malcolm Turnbull, I mean how can you actually know that climate change is such a challenge for this and future generations, and not do anything about it?

Not even talk about it yesterday. I think that’s one of the things that is breaking down trust is Malcolm Turnbull on climate change, on marriage equality, on the republic, essentially walking away from a lifetime of positions that he’s taken.

KELLY: Can I just ask you finally, you’re one of Labor’s strongest retail politicians. You’re going to be pretty busy in your own seat of Grayndler though I would imagine because Greens leader Richard Di Natale, he’s going to be campaigning with the Greens candidate in Grayndler today, firefighter Jim Casey.

A redistribution means your seat’s changed, you’ve lost some traditional Labor suburbs, there are two state Green MPs within Grayndler boundaries now. You still hold your seat by more than 18% but if preferences go to Jim Casey – if Liberal preferences go to Jim Casey you could lose your seat, couldn’t you?

ALBANESE: Of course I could.

KELLY: How worried are you about this?

ALBANESE: I’m not taking it for granted, but I’ll say this Fran. It says a lot about Richard Di Natale that his priority today on day one of the election campaign, and he flagged it yesterday, is removing me from the Federal Parliament. If you think that Parliament will be a more progressive place without me in it, without me within the Labor Party, and within the Parliament, then by all means –

KELLY: Yeah, but –

ALBANESE: That’s his priority.

KELLY: That’s not how parties decide who to campaign against, is it? They want to win seats.

ALBANESE: No. Richard Di Natale could choose to target Liberal party members. What’s gone on here is that the Greens have an arrangement with the Liberals, where the Liberals will preference the Greens in seats the Greens are trying to win and in return the Greens will issue open tickets in seats like Chisholm and Bruce and other marginal seats, which will increase the chances of Malcolm Turnbull remaining as Prime Minister.

Increase the chances of Peter Dutton remaining as the Immigration Minister. That is very deliberately the conscious strategy that they have and I think progressives will have a backlash. I stand on my record. What you see is what you get with me. I’m prepared to stand up for my values in a consistent way. I’ve been doing it for years and that’s why I’ll be returned as the Member for Grayndler.

KELLY: Anthony Albanese, thank you very much for joining us on this day one of the election campaign.

ALBANESE: Thanks Fran.

 

May 9, 2016

Transcript of television interview – Lateline, ABC

Subjects: Asylum seeker policy, Sarah Hanson-Young advocating for offshore processing, Gonski reforms, infrastructure cuts, company tax rate, Budget.
EMMA ALBERICI: The Greens chose the inner-city Sydney seat of Grayndler for their campaign launch today. It’s always been held by Labor. Since 1996, the ALP’s Anthony Albanese has been the local member.

But the boundaries were changed last year, making his hold on Grayndler less assured, as the Greens target progressive inner-city voters.

Today, the Opposition frontbencher told the Greens to back off Labor seats and target Liberal-held seats. Anthony Albanese joins me now in the studio.

Thank you for being here.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good evening, Emma.

ALBERICI: Did someone in the party – first of all, before we get to your seat in particular, did someone in the party forget to tell Labor’s candidate for Melbourne Sophie Ismail about your asylum seeker policies?

ALBANESE: No, not at all, Emma. What’s happened is that Sophie’s put forward a personal view. That doesn’t change the Labor Party’s view. She’s a candidate. From time to time, candidates will put views during election campaigns.

ALBERICI: Just to clarify, you are on a unity ticket with the Coalition on border protection, on boat turnbacks and offshore processing.

ALBANESE: But we have a very different position, Emma. We want to double the intake to 27,000. We want to give support to the UNHCR.

ALBERICI: But on those two particular policies, which are the ones Sophie Ismail was railing against –

ALBANESE: We want to give the UNHCR real support. $450 million will make us the fifth biggest donor in the world, given we’re the 12th biggest economy.

ALBERICI: That unfortunately won’t solve the problem of the countless millions who are seeking asylum around the world.

ALBANESE: No, there are 10 million people seeking asylum. We can’t solve all of that, Emma, but what we can do is be –

ALBERICI: – and in the meantime, I just want you to clarify you’re on a unity ticket with the Government.

ALBANESE: We have a different position that was adopted at our platform –

ALBERICI: On boat turnbacks and processing offshore?

ALBANESE: No. But we have a different position on asylum seeker treatment. We regard the fact that people have been left on Nauru and Manus without being resettled as being outrageous and an abrogation of the Government’s responsibility to solve –

ALBERICI: Doesn’t that indicate they haven’t been able to find anywhere?

ALBANESE: – to solve those issues. Well it might indicate they haven’t been trying too hard, Emma. But we’ve been very critical of that.

We would establish independent oversight of everyone in detention. We would support all children being out of detention.

And by working with regional solutions, particularly because we’re funding the UNCHR –

ALBERICI: Sorry, you’d support all children being out of detention and go where?

ALBANESE: That’s our position in terms of –

ALBERICI: Back here in Australia?

ALBANESE: No, our position is children should not be in detention.

ALBERICI: Well where should they be? If you took government tomorrow, where would they go?

ALBANESE: Our position is, Emma, that we do support offshore processing, but we also want to have a policy that’s humane. I think you can be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity.

And one of the things that we don’t want to start is the trade to start up again. We’re very clear about that. But we also think that people can be treated humanely.

And it’s not that different, Emma, from a position that Sarah Hanson-Young, the Greens spokesperson, wrote in Mamamia just the other week. She said this –

ALBERICI: Well, let me show you something else she said today.

ALBANESE: She said this –

ALBERICI: You’re talking about a few weeks ago. Today she said –

ALBANESE: Well – well you haven’t heard what she said yet.

ALBERICI: Today she said, “I’m really glad the Australian Labor Party are coming to their senses. Sophie Ismail confirmed MPs will not adhere to boat turnbacks.”

ALBANESE: Well what she said earlier on, just in the last six months in a written, considered article was this: “We could be processing people’s claims for asylum in the region before they are forced onto boats in the first place.”

She went on to say, “We need to work with the UN to set up processing centres in Indonesia and Malaysia and then when we know who needs protection and who doesn’t – ”

ALBERICI: With respect, Anthony Albanese, the Greens are not in government.

ALBANESE: ” – we take those in need and send the others home.”

ALBERICI: But with respect, she’s not in government.

ALBANESE: That’s correct, but that is when you have to –

ALBERICI: Isn’t it a – let’s just go back to the issue we started with.

ALBANESE: Well, when you have to actually have a considered position beyond just a slogan, then it’s not simple, the solutions, and that’s why –

ALBERICI: I just wanted to ask you, on the issue of the Melbourne seat, which will be hotly contested now between Sophie Ismail and Adam Bandt, isn’t it a little –

ALBANESE: It’s a very safe Greens seat, actually, Emma.

ALBERICI: Well, she’s trying to prise it away.

ALBANESE: She is, as she’s entitled to do.

ALBERICI: And isn’t it a little disingenuous for a Labor MP to express a different point of view to her electorate to that which she would be then forced to take in the Parliament.

ALBANESE: Emma, we’ve had sitting Labor MPs saying very similar things – sitting Labor MPs, during the last term.

ALBERICI: But when you’re seeking election –

ALBANESE: And we’ve had sitting Labor MPs and under John Howard’s government, you had Petro Georgiou, you had Judi Moylan, you had Bruce Baird, you had a range of MPs putting views. We’re in a democracy. We don’t all speak with one voice.

Sophie Ismail has put forward her view. The Labor Party’s view is clear though. It’s not the same as the Coalition when it comes to working through solutions because we believe, yes, we agree that we need to stop people smugglers, but we also believe that people are entitled to be treated with respect.

ALBERICI: On economics, do you accept that it’s a clear choice now for voters this time around: higher taxes from Labor or lower taxes and economic growth from the Coalition?

ALBANESE: No, I don’t at all. What we’ve had from the Government is a doubling of the deficit. What we’ve had is a slowing of economic growth. We hear them talking about difficult, turbulent international economic environment.

We dealt with the Global Financial Crisis as well as of course bushfires in Victoria and floods in Queensland. We dealt with all that and we came through with the economy stronger than it was at the beginning of that process because of our economic management.

ALBERICI: But also what you did at the end of that process, having dealt with all those issues, was plant some debt bombs in the Budget, things like the NDIS and Gonski and hospital funding, things that would be recurrent and increasing …

ALBANESE: No, what –

ALBERICI: –  in the Budget rather than having to deal with them and cost them in your own plan.

ALBANESE: Well what we did, Emma, wasn’t middle class warfare, with respect. What we did was things that were necessary economic reforms. Take the Gonski reforms –

ALBERICI: But they increased the deficit of the debt going forward.

ALBANESE: Take the Gonski reforms. If you invest in education and training of our young people, what you do is you increase the future economic capacity of the nation. It benefits the individual by allowing them to achieve their opportunity, but it benefits the nation as well.

If we’re going to compete in this century, we have to compete on the basis of how smart we are. That’s why it’s not just a giveaway, it’s an investment – it’s an investment in people.

We invested in people and we invested in capital through infrastructure. Now this government has seen infrastructure investment decline by 20 per cent on its watch.

ALBERICI: You talk about being internationally competitive on the education side, but Labor has opposed a cut to 27.5 per cent in the company tax rate for medium and larger businesses, yet your own policy, had you remained in government, would’ve seen company tax for all companies big and small by now at 28 per cent.

ALBANESE: Well what we’ve said, Emma, pretty clearly is – I was in the Budget lockup and when the people were examining it and we were being given our brief when we walked in after Question Time, that the definition of small business had grown into a turnover of a billion dollars. So, it included –

ALBERICI: Can I draw you back to the question, only because we’ll run out of time.

ALBANESE: It included just about every company.

ALBERICI: Whether the definition is this or not –
ALBANESE: It included just about every company.

ALBERICI: But your cut in the company tax rate when you were in government, which would have seen it implemented in full last year, applied to all companies, whether you were Coles, Woolworths or the local shop.

ALBANESE: But what we’re about here is the specific policy which we’ve been asked to support that was in the Budget was about small business. Now we support a reduction in tax for small business. We just don’t …

ALBERICI: But only the tiniest businesses.

ALBANESE: It’s not only the tiniest businesses. Overwhelmingly, small business have a turnover under $2 million. That’s overwhelmingly what the vast majority of small businesses do.

ALBERICI: But on the issue – I started the question on international competitiveness and you would know that on average, it’s about 20 per cent for the corporate tax rate around the OECD. So we’re quite well ahead of that.

ALBANESE: Well in terms of international comparisons, we think we are competitive. We think there’s a case to put reductions for small businesses, which is why we didn’t just reject the change overall. But we did say that given the circumstances and competing priorities, this government’s got it wrong.

Tax cuts for big business, in particular that multinationals would benefit; tax cuts for people above $180,000 by removing the deficit levy from when it was imposed by the current Coalition government when the deficit was less than half what it is today.

We think that when average earners got nothing out of the Budget – 75 per cent of Australians didn’t get a zac. That’s our priority. You know, and funding education and health and not cutting pensions and funding infrastructure – that’s our vision for the nation’s economy.

ALBERICI: Anthony Albanese, we’re out of time. Thanks very much.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

 

May 8, 2016

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Mothers Day, Labor’s paid parental leave announcement, Botox

DEB KNIGHT: Labor’s Anthony Albanese joins us here in the studio along with the Government’s Mathias Cormann. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

MATHIAS CORMANN: Good morning.

KNIGHT: I hope that you got your priorities right both of you and spoilt the mums in your life before you came on here talking politics. Are you in trouble Albo with your wife for coming here?

ALBANESE: It probably wasn’t a terrific decision to come here on Mother’s Day. This is not the first time and I must say when I appeared on another program.

KNIGHT: Yes, don’t mention that.

ALBANESE: Another program which I won’t mention, one Mothers Day they sent flowers to my wife.

KNIGHT: Oh! We’ll get onto that.

ALBANESE: Hint, hint.

KNIGHT: We’ll get onto that. Mathias, have you done something special? Please say yes.

CORMANN: Best wishes for Mothers Day to my wife in Geraldton on the other side of the country.

KNIGHT: Very good, very good.

ALBANESE: Happy Mothers Day to you Deb!

KNIGHT: Thank you very much. I’ll take it and run with it.

ALBANESE: Three times.

KNIGHT: I know. Sucker for punishment. Now, the policy announcements we know are going to come thick and fast as of this afternoon once the election is underway. Labor is going to be talking paid parental leave. What are you revealing today?

ALBANESE: Today we are revealing that we will reverse the cuts that have been made. Paid parental leave before the last election was supposed to be bipartisan, everyone supporting it, but of course the government brought in a change which meant a cut effectively to 80,000 parents of up to $11,800 as a result of those cuts. That makes a huge difference. Paid parental leave of course was already in a number of awards, as a result of negotiations that take place.

So people have given up other things to get paid parental leave in the award system as part of their salary package, and of course the government attempted to take away the fact that that would remain and people could still get the government based scheme, which is a very modest scheme, but one that has made a big difference to working parents.

KNIGHT: Okay, so what taxes are you going to raise, what spend will you cut to pay for it?

ALBANESE: Well, in the Budget Reply we announced $71 billion of additional savings on top of the savings that we’ve already announced.

KNIGHT: So no new taxes required for this one?

ALBANESE: No, absolutely not. We are committed to paid parental leave. We’re very proud of the fact that we did it in government. It’s part of our legacy. It’s part of Labor’s reform agenda and we think particularly that the cuts that were announced last Mothers Day were particularly mean spirited, frankly. This Mothers Day, we’re helping out mums and dads.

KNIGHT: Ok, well Mathias that is a point because a year on a big difference that we know that Joe Hockey announced that he called this double dipping, it was even alluded to as fraud, we know that the government did soften its stance on this but why wind it back at all, it seems like a good policy, $11,500 would go a long way to helping working families?

CORMANN: Well, we want all working women across Australia to have access to paid parental leave on the same terms and of course there’s only a very small number of women that have access to a second scheme. But the point – I’ve got to make a couple of points here though. Labor did not announce $71 billion worth of savings.

They announced $61 billion of higher taxes over the next decade and right now over the current Budget forward estimates period Labor has a $65 billion budget black hole that is $65 billion worth of unfunded spending promises which will lead to higher taxes which will hurt jobs and growth.

The Government’s plan, which we delivered on Monday is a plan for jobs and growth, which is a plan for all families across Australia to give them the best possible opportunity to get ahead.

KNIGHT: We’re just seeing pictures coming through to the newsroom too of Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull leaving their home in Sydney in Point Piper, preparing for the big day of course. The election trigger will officially be pulled later this afternoon when the Turnbulls head to Canberra and the Prime Minister visits the Governor General at Yarralumla to officially call the election.

Those shots coming through from our newsroom. The issue though Mathias of helping families is one that Labor is really criticising the government on. Why delay fixing childcare until after 2018? It really is a big issue for families and the impression is given that the government is more helping big business than families.

CORMANN: Well, that’s not right. We want to help families and what families across Australia ware looking for is of course job security and they’re looking for continuing successful transition in our economy to ensure their jobs are secure.

KNIGHT: Childcare is a big point, though.

CORMANN: Indeed. It’s a very important point and we do want to help families get better and more flexible, more affordable access to childcare.

KNIGHT: So why wait until 2018?

CORMANN: Because we need to be able to ensure that we can pay for it. Because the worst thing that we can do for families across Australia i stop pay for more promises with debt and higher taxes, because more debt and higher taxes will hurt jobs and growth and we are committed to ensuring that people across Australia, that families across Australia have the best possible opportunity to get ahead and in order to ensure that happens, right at this time and we are continuing to face some global economic headwinds, we need to ensure that we implant our plan for jobs and growth, that we continue to transition our economy to a more diversified, stronger economy of the future.

ALBANESE: Well, I give Mathias credit for sticking to the script and the three word slogan there over and over again.

KNIGHT: Jobs and growth?

ALBANESE: You’ve picked it up. Well done Deb. We’ve got the message, Mathias.

KNIGHT: But it’s an important message to make though.

ALBANESE: It’s about priorities.

CORMANN: Jobs and growth is our priority indeed.

ALBANESE: You got another one in Mathias. It’s relentless. There’s nothing behind it. The fact is –

CORMANN: There’s a whole plan behind it.

ALBANESE: I let you go, Mathias. Budgets are about priorities. Our priority is assisting parents through paid parental leave. It is assisting parents through childcare. It is assisting young people though education, through the Gonski reforms. It is supporting health care. That’s our priority. Their priority is the top end of town. Their priority is helping out – they speak about fiscal responsibility. They’ve doubled the deficit. They’ve increased debt. They’ve increased government spending as a proportion of GDP.

KNIGHT: We’ve got 8 weeks of this.

ALBANESE: It’s a fact that they have doubled the deficit.

CORMANN: Not true.

KNIGHT: Alright listen, before we go, I know it’s a bit of fun but still, Christopher Pyne alluded to the fact that one of his colleagues might have been using Botox. I notice that you’ve both got fairly strong brows, any hints on who it might be?

ALBANESE: I’m not prepared to comment!

CORMANN: Not me.

KNIGHT: I can’t see any expression changing. It may well be either of you.

ALBANESE: I’m very flattered that you think it might be me.

KNIGHT: It’s Albo!

ALBANESE: I’m very flattered. I wish!

KNIGHT: Gentleman, happy election day to you, I’m glad that mothers are being put first but it’ll be an interesting campaign, we look forward to it.

ALBANESE: We’ve got a soccer game at lunchtime today for my son, so it’s a Mothers Day dinner. They better call the election because if they don’t, Parliament i supposed to be sitting tomorrow.

KNIGHT: They will, they will. Good on you. Thanks so much guys.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

May 6, 2016

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Budget Reply, election, costings, ASC job losses, Cross River Rail, public transport

LISA WILKINSON: Now, all eyes are on Malcolm Turnbull who is expected to call an election this weekend.

So it’s a very good morning to our pollies, to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Christopher Pyne in Adelaide and Shadow Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese who is in Canberra for us.

Good morning to both of you but I’m going to go to you first Anthony. That was Bill Shorten we just saw. He’s promised savings of $71 billion.

But the problem is how can we trust any of your figures when there are huge question marks over many of your costings as exposed by Laurie Oakes this week?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I think the real costing issue this week, Lisa, is that the government was so busy trying to cost our policies and adopt them, they forgot to cost their own. The centrepiece of the Budget –

WILKINSON: OK, we will get to that in a moment. We need to talk about your costings here.

ALBANESE: It has a huge hole in it. There’s no problems with our costings.

WILKINSON: Yeah, but let’s talk about that in a moment. Well, there was. There was definitely a $20 billion hole in your costings.

ALBANESE: No there wasn’t, Lisa. It depends what assumptions you put into costings in terms of what comes out. Our costings were done by the Parliamentary Budget Office. It’s as simple as that.

WILKINSON: So you’re saying that there’s two separate offices and they are coming up with different costings. So that means that no voter can trust any of the costings that are out there?

ALBANESE: We will have a look at, and and Senate Estimates is sitting today, at what the assumptions were that were included, in the request from Treasury.

Of course, the real issue is that the government adopted our policy –  like, they adopted our policy on superannuation in some measures.

In some areas they have gone even further than we said we would go, because we didn’t say we would have retrospectivity.

We have a plan out there for Medicare, for education, for infrastructure.

This is a government that has run out of ideas. That’s why they are running to the Governor-General to call an election.

WILKINSON: Well, let’s talk to Christopher now. You’ve got problems with your numbers as Anthony was just mentioning.

Yesterday Mr Turnbull was unable to confirm the cost of his 10 year corporate tax plan.

Have you managed to confirm those numbers overnight Christopher and can you now tell us what that 10 year tax plan is going to cost?

PYNE: Well, Lisa, I’m happy to answer that question but quite quickly you put onto Anthony Albanese to clear up Labor’s costings debacle over the tobacco tax and Chris Bowen is saying they rely on the figures in the Budget.

Anthony Albanese is still saying they are going to rely on the Parliamentary Budget Office figures.

So there’s a $19.5 billion discrepancy in Labor’s costings and Anthony Albanese’s still pretending it’s the old number, Chris Bowen’s saying it’s the new number.

WILKINSON: Okay but this is now your turn to talk about the costings that the Prime Minister couldn’t put – Christopher, we’ve got to talk about your problem with the numbers.

PYNE: We don’t do 10 year costings as Penny Wong, the Finance Minister under the Labor Party in 2012 said, when she asked exactly the same question, she said ‘we don’t in the Budget do 10 year costings. We do four year forecasts, and the four year forecasts…’

WILKINSON: But the trouble is you’ve been insisting that the Opposition come up with those ten year numbers.

PYNE: No, we haven’t. Labor’s said they have ten year plans. We have never said they need to have a ten year costing.

That’s their problem. We have four year forecasts because that is what the Budget requires.

WILKINSON: But the Prime Minister wanted to legislate over 10 years. If you are going to want to legislate over 10 years, you have you to have the numbers and you have to put them out there to voters.

PYNE: The number is $5.3 billion because that is what is in the forward estimates, that is what is in the Budget, that is the definitive document.

On the other side, Labor still thinks that new taxes are savings measures.

So last night we saw Bill Shorten pretending that $71 billion of new taxes are savings measures.

Well, a savings measure is when you spend less at the shop last week than you spend this week.

You save 20 bucks or you saved 10 bucks.

Labor thinks that a savings measure is putting more taxes on the Australian public. Now, how much more can they take?

Labor thinks they want to tax more, they want to spend more.

On our side of the ledger, we want to reduce income tax, reduce company tax, reduce the capital gains tax, and live within our means because we are trying to drive jobs and more growth.

Labor just wants to get the more revenue in.

WILKINSON: That’s right. Well, is the PM is saying that this election is all about jobs and growth. But the problem is that what’s happening with submarines means that more than 600 jobs are going to be cut.

How is that about jobs and growth?

PYNE: Well, that is a very, very misleading story that was put out by the ASC yesterday.

Because it completely ignores the fact that we have announced the offshore patrol vessels begin in 2018.

So yes, over the course of the next two years or 18 months, the air warfare destroyers are slowed down because they will be delivered to the government.

They will probably run over time which means those workers won’t be losing their jobs in 2017 and then in 2018, that is why we brought forward the offshore patrol vessels to start in Adelaide and in 2020, the future frigates and $50 billion of submarines in the 2020s.

So I think the ASC made a off big mistake yesterday. They left off the second half of the sentence which is that it doesn’t matter because those jobs will be coming just back and those people will probably just continue on with the offshore patrol vessels.

WILKINSON: OK. Christopher, you’ve had most of the time this morning. So I’m going to give Anthony the last word, but you’ve only got 10 seconds.

PYNE: Well, I’m better quality.

WILKINSON: By July 3, will we have Prime Minister Shorten? You’ve got 10 seconds.

ALBANESE: I certainly hope that we do because we stand for Medicare, we stand for stand education, we stand for jobs.

We stand for growth, we stand for infrastructure investment.

You’re there in Brisbane. We will get the Cross River Rail done. We will get public transport funded.

The difference between Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull is that both of them want to ride on trains. Only Bill Shorten will fund trains.

WILKINSON: OK. Just goes to show Anthony you’re as rubbery on figures as the government are.

We are going to have to leave it there. Thanks very much. Hope you both have a great weekend. It’s going to be a big one.

PYNE: Pleasure. Thank you.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.
 

May 5, 2016

Transcript of doorstop interview – Cambridge

SUBJECT/S: Labor’s $32 million commitment to upgrade Hobart Airport roundabout; Three Amigos failure to stand up for Tasmania; Labor’s $100 million commitment to Midland Highway; Malcolm Turnbull’s broken NBN promise to Tasmania

JULIE COLLINS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Well it’s great to be here with my colleague, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, for Cities and for Tourism, Anthony Albanese and to have with us our Lyons’ candidate Brian Mitchell for this big announcement today here at the Hobart Airport roundabout. It’s also fabulous to have with us the Sorrell Mayor, Kerry Vincent. This issue has been raised with us for some time. What we’ve seen of course, from our opponents, from the Liberals – the Liberal Members of Parliament representing Tasmania in the Federal Parliament – is months and months of big talk, and we’ve heard a lot about their election wish-list, but this week’s Budget delivered absolutely nothing for Tasmania. They’ve delivered nothing for Tasmania. So it’s great to be here with Anthony Albanese, because of course Federal Labor continues to deliver for Tasmania, just like we did in Government. We’ve seen in recent weeks announcements from Labor in relation to the University of Tasmania and the $150 million that we will be committing in response to the move to the campus at Newnham and of course to Burnie. So that $150 million for UTAS has been warmly welcomed around the state. We’ve also made announcements in relation to NBN on the West Coast of Tasmania, so it’s great to have Anthony with us here today to make another announcement to show Labor’s further commitment to Tasmania in contrast to the Liberals who’ve done nothing and who did not stand up for Tasmania in the Budget again this week.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE: Well thanks very much Julie and it’s great to be back here in Tasmania with Julie Collins, my parliamentary colleague, and Brian Mitchell who I hope after July 2, in the as yet unannounced election, becomes a colleague in Canberra because then there will be yet another Member who will stand up for the interests of Tasmanians. It’s also great to be joined by Kerry Vincent the Mayor of Sorell, a community that will benefit from this announcement. This announcement, of $32 million, to fix this roundabout, a federal contribution to be added to with $8 million from the State Government, would ensure that this is fixed once and for all. This is a vital project for a number of reasons. Firstly, because the communities including Sorrell are currently hindered by this being a congestion point every morning and every afternoon. It’s also critical because it’s an entry point for many people when they first visit Tasmania and first impressions are important. We know when you cross over that Bridge and see Mount Wellington and see the fabulous Hobart city that will be made even better by the $50 million we put aside for the Macquarie Point Development and Revitalisation, we know also though that if your first impression is being stuck in traffic then that is not a good one. That’s why, with airport traffic expected to double over coming years this project needs to be done and needs to be done now. A flyover will ensure that that occurs. I’m very disappointed that Tuesday night’s Budget didn’t have this in, I thought this was an absolute no-brainer to get fixed. But then again Tuesday night’s Budget also confirmed the $100 million cut to the Midland Highway funding that was put in the 2013 Budget by the former Labor Government. It confirmed the cut in half of the rail revitalisation project – $60 million cut from that project. And it confirmed that over the life of Turnbull and Abbott Governments there hasn’t been a single major infrastructure announcement for Tasmania or a single major tourism announcement for Tasmania. They are running out of projects to be opened that were funded by the former Labor Government, be it Three Capes, or be it other important projects like the Brighton bypass, the Kingston bypass, the upgrades to the Midland Highway that we committed to and funded when we were in Government. It’s about time that Canberra had a Government that actually stood up for Tasmanians. Brian Mitchell will do just that.

BRIAN MITCHELL, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LYONS: I’m thrilled by this announcement , thanks for coming down Albo, this will make a real difference in peoples’ lives. Being a resident of Sorrell myself, I see the congestion here every day and I’ve worked very hard with Kerry Vincent and Julie Collins to get this announcement up. This will make a real difference in people lives in the Sorrell Municipality, people from Dodges Ferry to Primrose Sands, they’re going to have a great quality of life from this and it’s going to drive economic growth in Sorrell. Sorrell has the capacity to be a great satellite city of Hobart, with great facilities, great amenity and really drive the population growth in this part of Tasmania. This is a great announcement from Labor and only Labor will get this done. I’m absolutely thrilled by it, thank you.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, how soon will see the funds flow if a Labor Government is elected and when will see it built?

ALBANESE: We’ll put it straight in the Budget, we’ll have negotiations with Tasmania, the Federal Government doesn’t build roads, we’re prepared to fund it and we would want it done as an urgent priority. So if we’re elected we would want the funding to commence from the coming financial year. We want to get this done because what you’ve got to do, the longer it’s delayed, the worse we can see the banking up here now well past peak hour, the worse it will become. So we want to get this done, we also note that with the drop off in infrastructure investment from the Commonwealth to Tasmania that’s having an immediate impact on jobs, so we want to if we’re elected I’ll be flying to Tasmania to talk to the State Government working out a timetable to make sure this project get done.

JOURNALIST: How far advanced are the plans for what you actually build here, you would’ve just driven past of the Tasman Bridge, the new slip lanes, and I think I stood there in 2010 when we were talking about that. How quickly can you get these plans and get these things to fruition.

ALBANESE: Well we can get this done. As you yourself have witnessed the benefit of the Albanese/Collins combination, the Albanese/Collins/Mitchell combination gives us another prop forward, to use rugby league terminology, here as well. Three people standing up for this region. I never make commitments that don’t happen. Every single time I’ve made a commitment in Tasmania it has been delivered, either on time or ahead of time and this is a vital project. We can get it done, there is not a pipeline of projects for Tasmania, so it’s not like you’re taking away activity from other areas that are funded by the Federal Government. So this is an absolute priority, we’re convinced it can be done. A lot of the preparatory work is already done and the planning, we know what’s needed here, which is a flyover, a grade separation and we want to see this project come to fruition. And we want to see the people of Sorrell and other communities benefit, as well as those people like myself who have the privilege of visiting Tasmania.

JOURNALIST: You have the Midland Highway in some state of being repaired, is that something Labor would seek to focus on again if it were back in Government, putting more money into that project.

ALBANESE: Well we haven’t seen a dollar, not a dollar, from the Abbott/Turnbull Governments for the Midland Highway. We put $500 million in, they took, remember Tony Abbott came in Opposition and on the back of light beer shandy coaster said that you could duplicate fully the Midland Highway for $400 million, we said that was nonsense. What you can do is get the priorities done for $500 million. We did the costings, we did the work, we delivered the funding. He cut it. And so we would again prioritise the Midland Highway. Of course the Midland Highway is Tasmania’s most important road, connecting the North to the South, so it’s an absolutely priority in terms of for a national Government because Tasmania is such a vital state for our nation, in terms of creating jobs and boosting the Tasmania economy the Midland is critical. Of course it’s also important for road safety and I will work with, as I have already, with Brian for example including on the Bass Highway as well. All of these projects are important, I want to see them done and I think people, if they have a look and compare what happened during my six years as the Infrastructure Minister compared with the complete inactivity, where not a single new announcement has been made by the incoming Government. It’s quite extraordinary now, three budgets, no announcements in terms of new infrastructure for Tasmania.

JOURNALIST: Reinstate the $100 million [for Midland Highway]?

ALBANESE: Of course we will. We would get it done. We had a plan to make sure that Tasmania benefitted. It’s short-sighted for a cut such as that. And so we would certainly commit, as I have before, because all of the Tasmanians are prepared to stand up for their state. What I find extraordinary is that the State Liberal Government here have just copped these cuts, cuts to the Midland Highway, cuts to rail revitalisation, no major projects, the sort upgrades that occurred to Bellerive to the Aurora Stadium, the works that we did at Glenorchy. All of those vital projects that we did that have been ignore by the incoming Government haven’t had any commitments and the State Government have seemed to meekly accept that that’s the case and the Federal Members who were elected last time essentially are just seat warmers – they sit there but they’re not vocal in standing up for Tasmania or being advocates for Tasmania.

JOURNALIST: It’s Budget-In-Reply day today, can we expect you yourself to advocating for Tasmania in Canberra today?

ALBANESE: I certainly am and I think the fact that I am here says that you know I am very proud of the work that I have done in Tasmania. I think I’ve got, as someone who’s from Sydney, a track record. I sat this morning in the ABC radio studios there and I’ve almost got a permanent seat having visited here. I think one year, as a Minister I visited here thirteen times in a year and that is critical. Because Tasmania, the southern island, can be left out by those on the northern island, unless it has strong advocates. Strong advocated who are representing Tasmania, but also strong advocates who understand that this beautiful state has a critical role to play in our national economy, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and tourism that I have responsibility for. There’s always, always strong advocacy from the Tasmanians, can I say with regard to the Tasmanian tourism industry they’ve really got their act together. I’ve had now, a couple of roundtables here, one here in Hobart, one at Cradle Mountain with the Tasmanian tourism industry. They’re coordinated, with had the sort of work that’s occurred on the West Coast as well where Jason Clare, my colleague, was announcing important focus for the National Broadband Network as a result of the advocacy of Brian Mitchell once again. I remember during the last campaign standing in Launceston, standing in Hobart as the Communications Minister and saying that Tasmanians would miss out under Malcolm Turnbull. Malcolm Turnbull promised, he’s now the Prime Minister , he was the Communications Minister, he promised that each and every Tasmanian home and business would be connected to the National Broadband Network with fibre in 2016. Right now. That was his promise. So it’s 2016, I say to every Tasmanian who doesn’t have access to the National Broadband Network, you have a strong opportunity to send a superfast message to Malcolm Turnbull on July 2 that you don’t like being misled. Misled directly by Malcolm Turnbull at the last election, they can repay Malcolm Turnbull by not voting for him to remain as Prime Minister because simply he doesn’t deserve it. Thank you.

 

 

May 5, 2016

Transcript of radio interview – ABC Radio Hobart

Subjects: Hobart roundabout announcement; Tasmanian infrastructure funding; Tasmanian tourism funding; Three Capes Track 
SARAH GILLMAN: There will be a major announcement by the Federal Labor team about the Tasman Highway and to talk about it we’re joined in the studio by Anthony Albanese. He’s the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning Sarah.

GILLMAN: Thanks for coming in.

ALBANESE: Great to be here.

GILLMAN: You’ve been a regular visitor to Tasmania over many years, particularly in your capacity as Infrastructure Minister in the previous government.

I was thinking then, under that government, it went ahead, the opening of the Kingston Bypass and also the Brighton Bypasses. What are you planning to unveil today?

ALBANESE: Today I’ll be with Brian Mitchell who’s our candidate for Lyons and of course, my colleague, Julie Collins.

We’ll be announcing $32 million as the federal contribution to fix the roundabout when you come out of the airport there. It needs a grade separation, that is a fly-over to seperate the traffic.

We know that each and every morning there are banks up of people coming from Sorrell and other surrounding areas, and it’s a bad look for Tasmania when the first experience that people have are the queues that form at the roundabout there given that travel from the airport is expected to double over coming years.

It’s important that this project get fixed. It’s a $40 million project. We would contribute 80% of the funding under a Labor Government. We’d expect the State Government to contribute $8 million and it’s a great project.

It will create jobs. It’s been a real priority for Brian and Julie, and I’m very pleased to be here today to make the announcement in advance of Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply tonight.

GILLMAN: We’ll come back to that, but have you been in any talks at all with the State Government about whether they would contribute to the project?

ALBANESE: I’m sure that they would stump up. If not I think they’d be accountable for it. They certainly have raised it, and every Tasmanian knows it’s an issue.

Every time I come to Hobart – as you’ve said, I’m a very regular visitor to this part of the world. I love Tasmania.

Every time I’ve been here, this has been an issue that’s been raised, more and more so in the last couple of years as you’ve seen the tourism figures grow and the number of flights in and out of the airport grow.

GILLMAN: Well, work is about to start on an extension to the runway. As you say, tourism numbers will grow.

Is there a risk that what you’ll do is create a flyover over the roundabout but then you end up at the causeway of course, and midway point. I mean, how do you resolve those sort of issues?

ALBANESE: The advice that we have is that the crunch point really is the roundabout there and that you need to fix that. Of course, not all traffic is coming to and from the airport.

Some of it is the through traffic in the morning as well. That’s why this is a priority project.

Every time I’ve come to Tasmania I brought good news as a Minister. It’s a tragedy that there was no good news in the Budget.

A confirmation of $100 million cut to the Midland Highway. $60 million cut to the Rail Revitalisation Program that they’ve cut in half.

There hasn’t been a new major infrastructure project announced by the government in its three years and I find that quite extraordinary.

GILLMAN: We will come to Eric Hutchinson, the Member for Lyons shortly to see whether perhaps the Turnbull Government would match this commitment you’re about to announce.

ALBANESE: Well, they had a chance Tuesday night and they didn’t do it. That’s the truth. They’ve handed down their Budget and there’s nothing in it for Tasmanian infrastructure. Not a single new project. No new tourism funding.

In my portfolio, it didn’t take too long in the Budget lock-up to get through the infrastructure and regional development portfolio papers because there was nothing there for just about anyone but certainly nothing there for Tasmanians.

GILLMAN: As you mentioned, Bill Shorten and the Federal Opposition Leader will give his Budget response tonight. The last day of this sitting Parliament and we’re expecting an election announcement I’ve heard on Sunday, on Mother’s Day. In terms of when you get back to the electorate, are people ready for another election?

Someone said to me the other day that if Bill Shorten was to be elected, it would be the sixth Prime Minister in six years for Australians.

ALBANESE: People, I think, expect governments to serve their full term. This is a government that is racing to an election because they don’t have an agenda.

They’ve run out of ideas, they don’t have a sense of purpose. There’s no narrative to the government. Malcolm Turnbull had a plan to get rid of Tony Abbott, but no plan to govern.

And I think people responded very positively, they though, oh well, here’s Malcolm, and they’re wondering where Malcolm Turnbull went because there’s been no change in policy and Tuesday night’s Budget just added to the disappointment.

GILLMAN: What about yourself? Can you hold onto your own seat? There’s been a redistribution in NSW.

ALBANESE: It’s a tough seat. That’s the truth. And it will be difficult to hold onto. I’ve lost some of the best booths in my electorate.

I had the option of going to a safer seat, to Barton, where I now live thanks to the AEC redistribution, actually, but I chose to run for Grayndler even though it is very difficult on the state figures we certainly don’t win it.

I want to be part of a Labor Government. It’s important what individual members are elected, but it’s also important to, I think, having had the experience of government, we just can’t afford another three years of drift from the Coalition.

GILLMAN: Just a final point and coming back to the announcement you’re about to make, we caught up with a lot of Tasmanians yesterday as part of our Budget coverage and a lot of them were expressing concern that while it was in some ways, they described it as a disappointing Budget, a safe Budget, what they didn’t want to see was an election campaign where there was a lot of money splashed about and new promises.

Aren’t you falling into that trap with even just this announcement today?

ALBANESE: Not at all. Because this is productivity boosting infrastructure. Productivity boosting infrastructure adds to the economy and future growth. It adds to future revenue. It improves the functioning of the economy.

That’s something that we did regularly in government, whether it be the projects that you mentioned, the works on the Midland Highway, the Kingston and Brighton Bypasses, the work on the Intermodal, the work at Macquarie Point where we contributed $50 million or the work like Three Capes.

Unfinished business there, but we contributed $13 million to Three Capes Track. It is now getting global coverage for Tasmanians, which is bringing people to Tasmania who bring money and create jobs.

So that’s an example, I think. One of the reasons why I love my portfolio and I’ve chosen to keep it now for almost a decade, is that you can really make a difference to jobs and the future of Tasmania’s economy by investing in infrastructure and tourism, something that this Government just has failed to do.

They’ve been quite happy to open projects that were funded by the former Labor Government, but there’s no pipeline of projects and that’s what’s required.

GILLMAN: Well no doubt more details to come after nine. We’ll let you go but thanks so much for coming in this morning.

ALBANESE: Great to be with you, Sarah.

May 4, 2016

Transcript of doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra

Subjects: Budget, infrastructure, public transport, tourism, backpacker tax, passport price jump, Asset Recycling Fund, Melbourne Metro, Victorian infrastructure budget, election, Tony Abbott, Government’s lack of purpose

ALBANESE: Last night didn’t see Budget 2016, it saw Fudge It 2016. This is a Budget where Malcolm Turnbull has spoken about the long-term.

But you can’t have long-term vision if you don’t deal with infrastructure and create a pipeline of investment. This Budget does the opposite.

Last night’s Budget cut over $1 billion from infrastructure investment. Over $1 billion less over coming years will be spent.

This is the first Budget in living memory where there’s not a single new major infrastructure investment announced. Not one. And in four years’ time, once the projects that Labor began investing in are completed in terms of rail transport, there’s not a single dollar for rail except for the equity injections off budget into the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Malcolm Turnbull’s cities agenda is now a rubble; a pile of rubble because there’s no substance to it. A failure to invest in the productivity, sustainability and liveability of our cities; a grand announcement last week with just $50 million available for planning dwarfed by the massive cuts that are there in their Budget.

Even on their own figures – on their own figures – investment compared with what they predicted would happen in 2014 is down this year, is down next year and is down the year after.

This is a Government without a nation building agenda, without an agenda for infrastructure. They have spent the last three years on a magical infrastructure re-announcement tour but that’s starting to end. That’s coming to a conclusion as the Labor Government funded projects are opened one after the other.

And in coming months of course Moreton Bay Rail Link will be the latest of the Labor Government funded projects to be opened. But nothing to match it, nothing to continue that investment.

The only significant statement that they’re making a big deal of in the Budget – the Inland Rail Project – all they have is $580 million of equity injection, which they themselves say won’t lead to a single laying of a concrete sleeper, or a little bit of rail anywhere.

That’s just for purchase of the corridor. Now we put $300 million in the Budget in 2011 that commenced two years ago to come into operation.

One would have expected that the Inland Rail project would have been advanced to construction over this forward period. And yet, last night, we saw the result of them spending three years and doing nothing but paying John Anderson to do a study to tell us what we already knew – that Inland Rail is important.

And further with regard to people in the agriculture and tourism sectors; the impact of the backpacker tax that they have imposed, that they haven’t thought through.

The National Farmers Federation and people in our agriculture and tourism sectors are telling the Government that this is a mistake, are telling the Government that the earnings that those backpackers earn from participating in the workforce in regional Australia they spend in the local community.

It adds to the economic activity in that local community. And they’ve been treated with contempt by this Government.

The outbound tourism sector has also been hit by the increase in charges when it comes to passports. No strategy, even though tourism is of course one of the hopes of the side, it is one of the growth sectors that we need to invest in and make sure that we’re competitive in these modern times.

Even though Malcolm Turnbull, we know, is the copper man rather than the fibre man, people get access to information and they can easily access the competitive advantage or disadvantage of particular destinations whether they be for work or for tourism.

And that’s why we need to be competitive in 2016 and beyond, because we’re competing with other markets for that labour or for that tourism and that’s why this Government’s approach is so short-sighted.

REPORTER: What do you think of the Government’s Asset Recycling plan?

ALBANESE: Well, they’ve cut it. They said in 2014 that Asset Recycling was a centrepiece of their Budget. They never got their legislation through because they refused to accept an amendment that was carried in the Senate saying that the Asset Recycling Fund could only be spent on projects approved by Infrastructure Australia.

And in last night’s Budget they provided, of course, a cut of more than $850 million to the Asset Recycling Fund by taking that back as a saving. So it just shows what a sham it was.

They’ve also said that State and Territory Governments could spend it on whatever projects they like, and yet last in night’s Budget, they hide from the fact they cut $3 billion from the Melbourne Metro project in their 2014 Budget, they put some money, less than a third of that, they said from the Asset Recycling Fund, had to go to that project even though the Victorian Government of course in their Budget just last week fully funded the project and went alone because of the abandonment by this Government of Victoria.

Last night’s Budget again produced less than 10% of Australia’s infrastructure investment is going to Victoria which represents one in four Australians. Malcolm Turnbull is punishing the people of Victoria for the fact that they voted Labor at the last State election.

He talks a lot about Infrastructure Australia and the importance of value for money and business cases, and yet last night’s Budget confirmed a massive cut to Infrastructure Australia coming in this year, but from next year a cut of about one quarter of their Budget, gutting Infrastructure Australia and its ability to do its work.

What’s more, they maintained in the Budget $3 billion being set aside for the East-West Link project, a project that has 45 cents of benefit for every dollar of investment. It reduces them to a farce.

They put $3 billion aside there, but they’re saying that any other infrastructure project, road or rail in the future, has to, according to their cities policy, has to produce a return on a loan backed by the Federal Government’s credit rating.

So the only projects that will proceed in the future under this Government are toll roads, because it’s only toll roads that produce a return to investors to enable that to occur on an ongoing basis.

This is a very short sighted approach. On the one hand, saying to state and territory governments essentially, no-go when it comes to public transport projects, on the other hand, keeping this $3 billion aside for the East West Link while they’re starving Victoria of infrastructure funds, which will have an impact of course on future economic growth.

You need to invest today in infrastructure to create jobs and economic growth tomorrow that arises from that infrastructure investment.

REPORTER: Malcolm Turnbull said this morning, this weekend’s looking pretty good to call an election. Is 8 weeks long enough for Labor to make a mark?

ALBANESE: We’re ready to go. This is an opposition in exile sitting on the government benches. That’s what we have here – an opposition in exile.

One that never transitioned from being in opposition and saying no to everything to being in government.

Everything that they do is a response to Labor. They are the most negative, carping, political party in Australia’s political history.

Tony Abbott infected the Coalition with the force of his negative personality and Malcolm Turnbull has caught the disease. That is what has happened here.

This government is not governing.

Tony Abbott had a plan to get into government, but no plan to govern.

Malcolm Turnbull had a plan to get rid of Tony Abbott, but no idea of what to do next.

No sense of purpose.

No sense of direction.

No long term vision.

Last night’s Budget just underlines that.

 

Apr 30, 2016

Transcript of doorstop – Leichhardt

Subjects: Value capture, Malcolm Turnbull’s reannouncement of 30-minute cities proposal; public transport funding, urban policy, Labor’s 10 Point Plan for Better Cities, pre-Budget tax cuts
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for joining me. Yesterday after a lot of fanfare, we saw the Seinfeld cities policy from the Turnbull Government. It was a policy about nothing. There was no substance.

In a display of style over substance that has characterised Malcolm Turnbull’s Prime Ministership, we saw no commitment to any public funding of public transport projects. No commitment to any funding to actually deal with urban congestion.

Just $50 million for a new body to do what Infrastructure Australia is chartered with doing already. An absurd example of Mr Turnbull’s style overcoming any substance when it comes to policy. And there are some specific problems with the policy.

Firstly, Mr Turnbull argues that value capture will solve all of the problems. That you can have infrastructure essentially for free – free of government investment, which is why there’s no commitment to government investment. It’ll all be done by the private sector.

Well, that’s a recipe for just more toll roads and for no policies that actually deal with urban congestion where public transport is essential in our major cities. Secondly, when it comes to value capture, Mr Turnbull has questions to answer.

Ken Morrison from the Property Council said this yesterday:

Value capture is not a magic pudding and the risks of damaging the economy with naive approaches are very real. Does the Federal Government propose introducing new taxes or just encouraging State Governments to do so? At the moment we have no idea. 

And that is a good summation of the policy. Because value capture can work and will work for projects like the Melbourne Metro which the Victorian Government has already factored in value capture to its funding model for the Melbourne Metro, just like it was already factored in for projects like the Cross River Rail in Brisbane.

But what the Abbott and Turnbull Governments have done, is cut all of the funding for projects like that, and yesterday, missed the opportunity to commit to putting that funding back.

Value capture though, can also apply in theory and in the world of academics that Malcolm Turnbull seems to occupy. It can apply to existing property owners as well.

If you have in theory, a house that is increased in value then some of that, according to those who advocate the value capture model, can be taxed in order to help fund for that infrastructure which is increasing the value of that home.

Mr Turnbull needs to make clear to Australian families, is he advocating a new tax on existing properties under his value capture model? Because that’s the only way that this model, without any government investment, will work.

That’s why when Bill Shorten announced Labor’s policy providing an infrastructure investment facility of $10 billion we provided for Government investment to play a role in projects such as public transport.
Because that’s the only way that they’ll actually proceed.

So the test for Mr Turnbull is this; is he proposing a new tax to capture the value of increased properties for new infrastructure?

Is he proposing effectively, a new tax on old or existing properties? If he is not doing that, he should rule it out and he should make it very clear that he’s ruling it out.

He should do that today. Because at the moment all we have is a $50 million commitment for some planning, that might be enough to plan perhaps two or three at the most, major projects. That’s about it.

But then no funding for those projects to move forward. No funding for the Cross River Rail project in Brisbane. No funding for Melbourne Metro. No funding for Adelaide light rail. No funding for public transport projects in Perth. No funding for Western Sydney rail on the north-south corridor through Badgerys Creek.

No funding. Just a lot of words. A lot of waffle from Mr Turnbull but no actual substance. And when it comes to the centerpiece of his announcement, the 30 minute city, he simply took what Labor said at the National Press Club in 2014 and almost repeated it word for word, as if it was something new.

There’s nothing smart about a policy that doesn’t actually deal with urban congestion and that’s why there’s nothing smart about the policy that Mr Turnbull announced yesterday, just disappointment.

Just as Australian people are disappointed with Malcolm Turnbull’s performance as a Prime Minister in general, they’ll be very disappointed when they look for any weight, for any substance at all in this policy.

REPORTER: You said the policy doesn’t have any substance yet it’s eerily similar to one you proposed in 2014 or parts of it.

ALBANESE: Well, we had in terms of the 30 minute city; we had that as a centerpiece of my address to the National Press Club. But we had a 10 Point Plan for Better Cities. We had a plan about investing in public transport.

We had a plan for investing in urban water and amenity. We had a plan for making our cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.

We had a plan for fibre to the home and premises when it comes to the National Broadband Network – something that Mr Turnbull of course, in terms of his policies, didn’t deal with.

We have a plan for High Speed Rail. I have a Bill before the Parliament that Mr Turnbull refuses to even allow to be debated.

Indeed, during last week’s sitting it was the only Bill – the only legislation that was before the Parliament.

We actually had substance from Opposition.

Mr Turnbull is the Government. We have had three wasted years. Three years of cuts to public transport. Three years of support only for toll roads.

Mr Turnbull just two weeks ago quarantined yet again the $3 billion for the discredited East-West Link in Melbourne. That’s a road project that’ll produce 45 cents of benefit for every dollar that’s invested.

They quarantined $3 billon for that project but won’t put a dollar towards the Melbourne Metro project. Won’t out a dollar toward Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project. Won’t put a dollar towards Adelaide Light Rail.

Won’t put a dollar towards Western Sydney rail. Won’t put a dollar towards public transport projects in Perth.

That’s why this is a Seinfeld policy. A policy about nothing, because there’s no substance to it.

REPORTER: Why do you think residents will reject value capture?

ALBANESE: If you are in a home, and you have paid for that existing property, and it increases in value because a rail line is built close to where your home is, you should not be taxed based upon a decision that you have had nothing to do with.

Your income doesn’t change as a result of that. You continue to live in that home and you don’t have an increased capacity to pay a new tax.

That’s very different from a developer using the land about a new railway station to develop it, and that value being captured.

That is a policy that has Labor’s support that we’ve put in place. That’s been in place, nothing new about it around the world.

That’s how the London Underground was funded. That’s how the American rail system was funded. That’s how, in terms of that value capture has normally occurred.

It has been captured by state governments and has been used to increase the bank balance, if you like, of state governments when new infrastructure is being built.

That was one of the benefits, for example, of the Regional Rail Link that we funded in Victoria. It was the increased value around new stations like Tarneit and Wyndham Vale in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

So there’s nothing new about that. That’s something that Labor’s been arguing for. But it’s a very different system indeed to the Commonwealth saying that there is no need for Commonwealth investment, that everything will be funded through value capture and through private sector initiatives.

Because what that means is effect, is that Mr Turnbull is confirming Mr Abbott’s policy of just having toll roads and not having public transport that is so necessary to deal with urban congestion in our cities.

REPORTER: Still on tax, the Government’s made room in the Budget for a tax cut for middle income earners the day before the Budget. Do you think voters will be relieved by that?

ALBANESE: I think voters will be very cynical about a Government that has no economic plan for the nation, that attempts to have, if indeed the reports are true, a minor tax cut the day before a federal Budget. I think voters will see that for what it is.

They’ll also know that this is a government that has cut $80 billion from education and from health.

This is a government that spoke about the Budget deficit but has doubled it since they were in office. This is a government that has ruled out measures that would assist with the Budget process from the beginning of this year.

This is a government that has cornered itself when it comes to economic policy and a government that simply doesn’t have an economic plan for Australia.

When we see connected up with its cities policy yesterday, where because they’ve committed a whole range of funds to other things that are their priorities, they don’t actually have any money to invest in infrastructure.

We’ve already seen a 20 per cent decline in public sector infrastructure investment under this government. On Tuesday night we actually need to see a pipeline of projects funded, with starting dates.

Not an idea that after three years of inaction they say we’re now going to have three years of economic studies under Mr Turnbull.

REPORTER: What do you think of the timing of that tax cut?

ALBANESE: This is a Government that is just so cynical. They take the Australian people for mugs.

The Australian people know that those cuts to education, to health, to pensions they have pursued at the same time as their interested in looking after the big end of town.

That’s their priority. Their mates, who have high incomes, to get relief while working people and their families have to pay more for education, for health, for childcare, for higher education, for all the necessities of life.

I think the Australian people are entitled to be very cynical about a government that simply has no sense of purpose and it should be put out of its misery on July 2.

Apr 29, 2016

Transcript of television interview – The Today Show

Subjects: Manus Island, Malcolm Turnbull’s cities “announcement”, Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan, South Sydney Rabbitohs

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the show, joining us here in our studio Anthony Albanese and in Adelaide, Christopher Pyne.

Chris, to you first of all, The Age reports you are facing compensation claims of up to $1 billion by the people detained at Manus Island.

Manus is a mess. Are you a prepared to pay that?

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Karl, there’s a lot of wild speculation about all sorts of things to do with Manus Island.

One thing is for sure, the Turnbull Government will not be changing our border protection policies to suit the people smugglers.

We stopped the boats after 50,000 boat arrivals under Labor.

The Manus Island detainees will not be coming to Australia, we’re not going to restart the people smuggler’s business.

On the other Labor yesterday were at sixes and sevens, they had half a dozen backbenchers coming out saying that the Manus Island detainees should be brought to Australia which is precisely the wrong message that we want the people smugglers to hear.

STEFANOVIC: Okay. Just on that point, will any of them be coming to Australia?

ALBANESE: No.

PYNE: No.

STEFANOVIC: For Anthony.

ALBANESE: That was my question, Christopher.

PYNE: Sorry Anthony.

ALBANESE: No. We support offshore processing. But I believe that you can be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity.

Quite clearly, the Government needs to have a plan for settlement of these people. They need a strategy.

What we saw yesterday right here on the Today Show was that Peter Dutton certainly doesn’t have a plan, even though he conceded that he knew this was coming for months.

STEFANOVIC: That is true. He was at sixes and sevens yesterday Christopher.

PYNE: Well, Karl, the truth is that the last time Labor had control of our borders we had 800 boat arrivals and 50,000 people.

The people who are on Manus Island are a legacy from the Labor Government. So it is lovely to hear the honeyed words of Anthony Albanese this morning.

The truth is that the Turnbull Government has the policies to protect our borders and Peter Dutton will have a solution. But those people will not be coming here.

But under Labor we had half a dozen Labor backbenchers yesterday saying that Labor should scrap the border protection policies and open the borders again.

STEFANOVIC: I counted four yesterday. Maybe there are two more. Melissa Parke, Jill Hall, Lisa Singh and Sue Lines.

That is a problem for you if you have dissent in your own ranks on this policy.

ALBANESE: Not at all. People speaking their mind is not a problem for any political party.

That just shows that they are people who have conviction and are prepared to put their views.

Christopher is a part of the Government. This is a problem for the Government.

They’re the three years into their term, towards the end and they’re still on every question responding with “oh, about Labor”.

Every question that you ask a government minister –

STEFANOVIC: To be fair you did get them in the mess with Manus Island.

ALBANESE: No. This Government is responsible for not settling these people.

We had an agreement with Papua New Guinea that was for 12 months for a reason – because we never ever intended to have indefinite detention.

The problem here is that the Government has no plan for resettlement of these people, because it’s alienated the UNHCR.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, if you are you down a billion and they sue you, that may or may not happen, but you might have to borrow from Malcolm Turnbull’s government-backed infrastructure bank designed to fund major projects.

That has been leaked today, shock horror, something from the Budget has been leaked across all the newspapers. Is that true? That infrastructure plan?

PYNE: We have a plan for better cities that means that people only have a half an hour maximum to commute to work or to commute to wherever they’re going.

Malcolm Turnbull being a smart man has worked out different ways to try and fund that infrastructure, with the state governments, with private partnerships, with Federal Government support, potentially with bonds, with loans.

Because there have to be lots of different ways to support this infrastructure.

Now, luckily we have Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister, because he has a plan for better cities, with Bill Shorten –

STEFANOVIC: It’s only a bit of froth.

PYNE: – return to the Rudd Gillard Rudd period which we don’t want to return to.

ALBANESE: See if you can stick to your policies.

STEFANOVIC: It is only a little bit of froth on the top of a milkshake. It’s not actually a milkshake.

PYNE: Ah, well, Karl, you will see the full Budget on Tuesday night and I think the public will be very pleased with the plan that we have, built around things like innovation, defence procurement, to drive jobs and growth. On the other hand, we have Bill Shorten and the Labor Party mired internally –

STEFANOVIC: Alright, alright.

ALBANESE: When it comes to infrastructure, it’s my portfolio. I finally get a question on my portfolio!

STEFANOVIC: Well hurry up, go on.

ALBANESE: The fact is that the current Government have cut funds for projects like Cross River Rail, the Melbourne Metro, Perth public transport, Tonsley Park in Adelaide, and now they are saying some time in the future we might have some borrowing and we can get all of this for free.

It’s a nonsense policy. When it comes to 30 minute cities that in my speech to the National Press Club a two years ago. In 2014.

STEFANOVIC: Chris, just a second. Albo, how are you possibly going to sell your emissions trading scheme to pensioners, when we know now that power is going to go up?

ALBANESE: We don’t know that at all.

In fact, Karl, what we know is that the electricity providers are saying that real energy prices will go down in terms of retail between now and 2020, with the policy or without our policy.

That’s what the actual service providers are saying. This is the same old scare campaign from the Coalition.

What we know is that if you increase the amount of renewable energy then you have, in terms of the old supply-demand kicks in, it puts downward pressure on prices, and that’s what we’re about.

STEFANOVIC: So prices won’t go up?

ALBANESE: That’s what the energy providers themselves are saying.

PYNE: For goodness sake Anthony, you can’t introduce a carbon tax which last time pushed up electricity prices by 15% and then claim that prices will come down. The last thing the steel industry needs right now is a carbon tax.

ALBANESE: Tell you what. All those people out there who were promised downwards prices on energy, how many people out there are saying thanks to the election of the Coalition Government my energy prices went down? That’s what they promised.

PYNE: [inaudible] 15% in the first quarter after they scrapped the carbon tax.

STEFANOVIC: You guys have been dancing around the big issues all year.

ALBANESE: He hasn’t talked about his Government’s policy at all.

STEFANOVIC: Budget next week, we can fire up again next week like South Sydney last night.

ALBANESE: That’s mean. That’s just mean.

PYNE: Poor old South Sydney. Anthony you’re a bad luck charm, that’s the problem.

STEFANOVIC: Aww. That’s uncharitable.

ALBANESE: Souths won the Premiership in 2014. When was the last Crows victory?

STEFANOVIC: Alright, we gotta go, we gotta go. Take it over, Sylvia.

PYNE: It was a while ago.

STEFANOVIC: You two need to sort yourselves out.

SYLVIA JEFFREYS: A highly uncivilised way to end that segment, gentlemen. Go and have a long, hard look at yourselves.

 

Apr 29, 2016

Transcript of doorstop – Leichhardt

Subject: Malcolm Turnbull’s cities “announcement”

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks for joining me. Malcolm Turnbull today is finally revealing his cities policy. Malcolm Turnbull today will talk about the 30 minute city, but it’s more like a 30 minute policy.

This is classic Malcolm Turnbull – a victory of style without any substance – without any actual weight to his policy.

Labor put out our 10 Point Plan on Cities at the National Press Club in 2014 that included of course support for the 30 minute city concept which is a concept regarded by urban planners as good public policy to make sure that people live within 30 minutes of a job, of education and health facilities, and other services.

But Malcolm Turnbull isn’t backing it up with any substance. What underlines that best is yesterday’s extraordinary statement on social media by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer about the Melbourne Metro complaining that the Melbourne Metro would not have a stop in her electorate of Higgins, even though she’s a part of a government that cut $3 billion of funding from the Melbourne Metro project.

Bill Shorten announced last year a $10 billion infrastructure investment financing facility that would work with the private sector and would work with state and local government to ensure that projects could come to fruition. But he didn’t do that in a vacuum.

He did that with the context of the funding that we gave to public transport in government. When the Abbott and Turnbull Government came to office they cut funding for Melbourne Metro.

They cut funding for the Cross River Rail line. They cut funding for public transport in Perth and Adelaide.

And now, they would have you believe that a commitment to consider, at some time in the future, someone else paying for those projects is an advance. It’s not.

If Malcolm Turnbull is to be taken seriously, today and in Tuesday night’s Budget the funding must be put back from the cuts that were made to public transport in the 2014 Budge, and there must be additional investment.

Value capture is not new. Value capture is a concept that is a part of the existing Melbourne Metro project, and it’s as if this Government hasn’t even looked at the proposal that’s there, that’s funded by the Victorian Government to make sure that the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will go ahead.

So contemptuous are they of serious policy analysis and development and actually delivering that they haven’t bothered to look at that detail. And that’s why this is an empty statement today.

It’s an empty statement because it doesn’t come with a commitment to actually have public funding which is necessary because unless you do that, value capture can increase and provide some funding where there are new buildings around new rail line or a new road, but it can’t fund all of it.

If you have a view that you can only have value capture to fund all of a project, and that it has to produce a return on that investment, then what that’s a recipe for is a recipe for just more toll roads and not investing in public transport or investing in the congestion-busting infrastructure that Australia needs.

 

Pages:«1...39404142434445...65»

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

Important items

Enrol to vote Parliament of Australia Australian Labor Party Clean Energy Future