Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Dec 29, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – ABC news radio

Subjects; Road safety

SCOTT WALES: Anthony Albanese, good evening.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good evening, good to talk to you.

WALES: You say the Government has got to take some measures to address this; these numbers are really worrying. What is it you want them to do?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that from the 1970s through to recent years, there’s been a steady decline in fatalities, year after year, because of a range of measures. The changes in rules, the introduction of new technology, particularly seatbelts which revolutionised road safety; but also changes in driver behaviour, the greater consciousness about issues such as drinking and then driving.

What we’ve seen over the last few years is an increase year on year. So what I’m calling for is the Transport and Infrastructure Ministerial Council to be convened by the Federal Minister who has recently got the job, Barnaby Joyce, to sit down with state and territory transport ministers and work through what measures, be they new technology, new rules, measures that might change the behaviour of drivers. To get that back on track so that we have, instead of an increase, return to what we saw year after year, which is a decrease in the number of fatalities on our roads.

WALES: Do you think that technology in terms of people using their phones while driving is obviously a factor, and a lot of people don’t seem to get that message? Should there be perhaps tougher new rules around using mobile phones and the like while driving?

ALBANESE: There’s no doubt that that’s a factor. But one of the things that such a measure, an urgent ministerial meeting, would do is to do what we’re doing right now, which is to have greater discussion of these issues so people begin to get the message that they can’t drive whilst using their mobile phones, while using these new technologies, that no doubt are a factor in a number of accidents on our roads.

WALES: Do you think that simply increasing fines or the punishments that state governments can hand down would make a difference?

ALBANESE: The point is to listen to the experts, listen to the police, listen to those people who deal with the tragedies on our roads. Take proper advice and listen also to the motoring organisations around Australia; the AAA bodies, be they the NRMA in New South Wales, or RACV in Victoria, the various state bodies that represent motorist organisations about ways that they think we could improve the situation.

This is nearing the end of what was to be the decade of road safety, where along with the rest of the world, globally, we were moving towards a decline in the per capita number of fatalities on our roads. What we’re seeing is some real issues, particularly at a time of the festive period, whereby for those families affected by tragedies, every year they will be reminded of what’s occurred over the recent weeks.

One death is one too many. But we need to do what we can to minimise these fatalities. Certainly investment, as well, by government; there’s no doubt that dual carriageways on the Hume Highway, the rollout of dual carriageways on the Pacific and the Bruce have provided some assistance. We need to have a national discussion about how we get more freight and trucks off our roads and onto rail.

We need to have a re-commitment of a comprehensive plan to deal with this issue and it needs to be done in a non-partisan way. I’m not suggesting this is a party political issue, far from it, and I’d hope that any such forum convened by the Federal Minister, that he would involve the Federal Opposition and as broad a spectrum of the representative bodies as possible.

WALES: All right, let’s see what sort of traction that gets in the New Year. Anthony Albanese, thank you for your time.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.


Dec 19, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Newsday with Samantha Maiden

Subjects; Cabinet Reshuffle, George Brandis appointment, national security

SAM MAIDEN: So Labor’s Anthony Albanese joins us from Sydney. What’s your reaction to this decision to put Darren Chester out of Cabinet, for what would seem no crime whatsoever? It’s tough out there in politics these days.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That was a Prime Minister not in charge of his own show. Asked why someone was dumped, not just from the Cabinet, not just from the junior ministry; but I understand that the Government offered him a parliamentary secretary and he responded appropriately to that, by rejecting it. Darren Chester I had some policy issues with, but he’s someone who is a man of integrity; he’s someone who has respect across the Parliament, and he’s someone who will be sitting up the back.

There are people – frankly I wouldn’t know John McVeigh if he walked into this studio now. I’ve never met the bloke. He’s going to be in the Cabinet. Can the Prime Minister and Barnaby Joyce honestly say, that they have the best team available to take Australia forward? Infrastructure is a really serious job.

I am concerned that Barnaby Joyce, has in the past expressed contempt, for any spending on public transport, any engagement in our cities, urban congestion. There’s a whole range of things that are infrastructure, it’s not of course just transport. It’s communications, it’s water, it’s energy, and Barnaby Joyce is going to have to change his attitude if he is going to be the national Infrastructure Minister that Australia needs.

MAIDEN: Okay, what do you make of the fact that they are ending the year with fewer women in Cabinet than they started? Does anyone care? We’re told that people should be put in there based on merit, but it wouldn’t have seemed to have been the case in relation to some of these Nationals and some of these blokes that you reckon that you wouldn’t know if they bumped into you in the studio right now. Apparently it’s to do with geography?

ALBANESE: Can I ask you a question Sam? Have you ever interviewed John McVeigh?

MAIDEN: No, I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure.

ALBANESE: It’s quite extraordinary that this Government has a quota for Queensland blokes from the regions, but no care or responsibility with regard to 50 per cent of the population.

I find their sense of priorities all wrong, and that’s because it’s all driven by their internal politics. The reason why the Government can’t function is because it’s focused internally rather than focused on the needs of the Australian people and, you know, it’s a real problem for Malcolm Turnbull but also Barnaby Joyce.

It appears that the sort of division and arguments that we’ve seen within the Liberal Party, are about to begin within the National Party as a result of – what’s quite a vindictive reshuffle really. I think that there will be an impact and ongoing instability going into 2018, as a result of this reshuffle.

MAIDEN: What do you think of George Brandis being shuffled off to the United Kingdom? Now all governments of all persuasions make these sort of appointments, but do you think that one is fair enough?

ALBANESE: I’m not someone who has every argued that people, when they leave politics, are not entitled to be considered on merit for positions, whether they be in the public sector or the private sector. George Brandis has made a contribution to public life. The challenge of the High Commissioner to the UK is a considerable one, given Brexit and the internal issues that are occurring within the British Parliament, the relations that Australia has with Europe and the UK are of course very important. So it’s not a holiday, being UK High Commissioner. It is a lot of work and George Brandis, if he is appointed, I assume that will be rubber stamped by the Governor-General in January. I wish him well.

I do think that if you look at this Government’s appointments and compare it with what we did when we were in office, then this Government does appoint its own exclusively and I think that there’s a real case, for example I think that Gary Johns appointment last week is extraordinary. But they do have to stop, in general, the ideological appointments at every opportunity and I say that without any reflection on George. He is a person of substance, a former Attorney-General now, and I don’t complain about his individual appointment, indeed I wish him well in his new position.

MAIDEN: OK, Kevin Rudd obviously tried that bi-partisan approach in relation to appointments, it sometimes wasn’t popular with Labor, but obviously the Liberals aren’t prepared to return the favour.

ALBANESE: The point is that the adults in the room had a position that people like Brendan Nelson was a very good performer as our Ambassador in Brussels. Tim Fischer as our Ambassador to the Vatican. We had a range of appointments that were considered on merit. I think Malcolm Turnbull really diminished himself and showed himself to be a small person when he refused to back Kevin Rudd’s candidacy for the United Nations.

I said then, and I maintain my position, that if an Aussie is in the race and they’re qualified, you back the Aussie. What occurred then was that of course we were told that it was going to be an Eastern European woman. Of course what happened was the appointment of a former Socialist International party aligned with Labor from Portugal, who had a very similar CV to Kevin Rudd, as Secretary-General of the UN, and I do think the Government made a mistake there.

MAIDEN: OK, can I just ask you one final question? Now that the dust has settled from the Bennelong by-election, do you think that the campaign made a mistake in going so hard after the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, suggesting as Kristina Keneally did that what he was doing was akin to racism, suggesting that he was engaged in China-phobia. She suggested that he was implying that people should be suspicious of Chinese people. Now he never actually said anything like that. Do you think the Labor Party needs to be a lot more careful with playing the race card, as it were, in the Bennelong by-election?

ALBANESE: I’ll tell you who needs to be careful. The Government needs to be careful about misusing national security advice. That’s who needs to be careful here. And it needs to be very careful about the person who, today, is now in charge of the national security agencies, calling a Senator a double agent. That was clearly over-reach; it was absurd and it was inappropriate. Peter Dutton, I hope, behaves with more maturity in the future because he has a very serious responsibility to the nation and it wasn’t Labor who raised the stakes when it came to the lead up to the Bennelong by-election in terms of rhetoric. It was the Government that were prepared to go hell for leather and say anything in order to try and score a political point.

We need to manage our international relations carefully. What we’ve seen, whether on this occasion or whether it be Julie Bishop’s intemperate remarks towards the now Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is a Government that is always playing politics. How about they just govern the nation? If they govern the nation with respect and with integrity then the politics will look after itself.

MAIDEN: Anthony Albanese, thank you very much for your time today we appreciate it.

ALBANESE: Thanks Sam.

Dec 19, 2017

Transcript of doorstop – Sydney

Subjects: Cabinet reshuffle, Darren Chester, Barnaby Joyce, John McVeigh, Inland Rail, infrastructure policy.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much for joining me. I want to give a response to the reshuffle of the deck chairs that we have seen from Malcolm Turnbull this afternoon. Of course, the problem for the Government is not one of personnel. It is one of performance and it is one of policy. This is a Government that doesn’t have an agenda and it has been reinforced by a reshuffle that is all about payback, personal vendettas and not about the best interests of the Government.

I want to begin by paying tribute to Darren Chester, the outgoing Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. He remains a person of integrity and I have respect for him. He will stay on as the Member for Gippsland and I am sure will continue to be a strong advocate. You can have significant policy differences with someone on the other side of politics while retaining respect for them and his shabby, frankly, treatment in this reshuffle says it all about Malcolm Turnbull’s lack of control of his Government.

Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t provide a single reason why Darren Chester was dumped not just from Cabinet, but from the Ministry and quite right rejected the rather insulting offer of a Parliamentary Secretary’s position. I would have expected nothing less from someone who wanted to retain their self-respect.

Barnaby Joyce is moving into the position of Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Barnaby Joyce is someone who often I think is not take terribly seriously. This is someone whose last performance as Agriculture Minister was receiving a novelty cheque for his benefit that he subsequently gave back to Gina Rinehart at a function in Canberra. This is someone who presided over the debacle of water in the Murray-Darling Basin, a debacle that has seen various inquiries taking place with regard to potential issues of corruption, with regard to delivering that plan.

And this is a guy who talks about building dams; he just hasn’t built any.

This is a guy who talks about Inland Rail and yet hasn’t dug a hole on any new section of that railway line, which of course relied upon Labor’s $300 million injection in its first three budgets to just talk about it as if it was theirs.

He has a big challenge because infrastructure funding has fallen off a cliff. Over the next ten years the Parliamentary Budget office indicates that it will go from 0.4 per cent of GDP to 0.2 per cent. That is, it will halve. Across the forward estimates it declines from the anticipated, what was expected to be, a $9.2 billion investment in 2016-17 that appeared in the 2016 Budget, down to $4.2 billion in 2020-21. That is more than half of the infrastructure Budget has been slashed.

The first thing he could do is stop pretending that there is some $75 billion program for infrastructure across the forwards because it simply isn’t true.

Indeed, in yesterday’s MYEFO announcement we saw another billion dollars cut from that which was announced just in May, some $574 million less on major road projects in the current financial year than what they said they would spend in the May Budget. For Western Sydney Infrastructure, some $348.8 million less spent this year than what they themselves said they would spend in the May Budget.

The fact is that across their first four Budgets there has been an under-spend of some $4.8 billion. That is, they make announcements about what they will do, but when it comes to actually investing the funds, they cut the funds from their own predictions.

I’m also concerned that Barnaby Joyce is on the record seeing public transport and dealing with urban congestion in our cities as being something that should be ridiculed. Well, 80 per cent Australians live in our major cities. Our major cities produce some 80 percent of our gross domestic product. And yet Barnaby Joyce has ridiculed investment in public transport over a long period of time.

He needs to turn that around and he can start with his former state of Queensland by investing in the Cross River Rail project that was recommended by Infrastructure Australia in 2012. He can also begin by abolishing the Infrastructure Financing Unit that is in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, showing that as Deputy Prime Minister he has some authority, and putting that money back into Infrastructure Australia and the creation of a Major Cities Unit within Infrastructure Australia to deliver on those issues.

He needs to match the Government’s rhetoric with actual investment in infrastructure because that is an absolute necessity.

In the reshuffle as well we have seen John McVeigh rise to the position of Cabinet Minister for Regional Development with responsibility also for Local Government. As a former Regional Development Minister and the current Shadow, I know how important those portfolios are and I am somewhat concerned that John McVeigh could be at this press conference and I wouldn’t know, because I wouldn’t recognise him.

It is remarkable that someone who has not troubled the scorers has become a Cabinet Minister at the same time as someone with experience like Darren Chester has been consigned to the backbench.

This Government doesn’t believe in quotas for women. It doesn’t believe in any form of positive discrimination except for, apparently, positive discrimination in favour of people who are mates of Barnaby Joyce and I think it’s a very ordinary outcome and the challenge for John McVeigh is to deal with local government with respect, after they had their funding cut in the 2014 Budget with the freeze on financial assistance grants, a freeze that has been a permanent cut to their funding.

The challenge for him is to deal with real investment in our regional roads, to deal with real investment when it comes to rail freight, to actually increase the spending of projects like the Pacific Highway and the Bruce Highway, rather than simply rely upon the investment that had been put in there by the former Labor Government.

So this is a very disappointing end to the year for Malcolm Turnbull with this reshuffle. It is very obvious that the Prime Minister couldn’t even defend the makeup of his own Cabinet. It is very obvious that the National Party are in a state of internal war, which means at least they can have something to chat about with the Liberals, with their ongoing warfare between Malcolm Turnbull and the Tony Abbott forces.

But the problem is, this produces a bad outcome for Australia. What we need when it comes to infrastructure, transport, regional development – is a Government that is actually serving the interests of the Australian people, whether they live in our cities or in our regional communities. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: On that point, how concerning is it that front benchers and cabinet members are being chosen based on geography?

ALBANESE: It’s quite extraordinary. I entered the Parliament in 1996. The truth is that you need time to get on top of the way the Parliament works, the way the committee system works, the way the departments work. You get experience and you learn something new every day. The fact that people have been chosen as Cabinet Ministers in their first term, without the Government being able to point towards something dynamic that they have done, some major policy initiative that they have done – just simply point to where they live, is quite extraordinary.

John McVeigh, I literally don’t think I have met and I can’t recall a word that he has said in the Parliament, or anywhere else for that matter. There will be newspaper editors and TV producers struggling with their files to produce a photo of what is now a senior cabinet minister in the Government, and that I find quite extraordinary. Along with his neighbour, the colleague in Maranoa, David Littleproud – who I do know – who has also been selected for the Cabinet in his first term.

What governments need, particularly a Government that is struggling for a sense of purpose and a narrative, need, is the best people in the right jobs. And what is very clear here, is that you have an Infrastructure Minister who’s concerned about Inland Rail but needs to answer how the funding for that project will occur, because at the moment it is off-Budget. Everyone knows that it is not a project that will produce a return to government and therefore at least a portion of the funding needs to be on-Budget. Everyone who looks at it,  every business person in the country, knows that is the case. So he needs to address that, but he also needs, I think, to broaden himself and to be aware that the infrastructure challenges for Australia are serious and they need someone serious to be in charge of them.

JOURNALIST: Will Barnaby Joyce be a formidable Parliamentary opponent?

ALBANESE: Barnaby Joyce at the moment – the problem is that his own side laugh at him when he speaks. It’s true sometimes they are laughing with him rather than at him and sometimes he can be very funny. I’ve got nothing personally against Barnaby Joyce. I have a reasonable personal relationship with him and I will always try and work constructively with ministers in the Government – as I have it must be said, with Darren Chester, Fiona Nash, the previous Regional Development Minister, and I do on an ongoing basis with Paul Fletcher, because these issues, due to their very nature, are long term. I have now seen off two Cabinet Ministers for infrastructure, I have seen off a number of urban infrastructure ministers and regional development ministers. I’m still here and I am available for advice, is what I would say to Barnaby Joyce.

But Barnaby Joyce needs to take issues seriously, needs to understand that he can’t continue to be the joker that he has been up to this point because infrastructure impacts on every Australian. The big challenges of urban congestion need to be dealt with, as well as regional roads, as well as regional freight – getting freight off roads and onto rail. All of these challenges are massive, as are water infrastructure, energy infrastructure, communications infrastructure – that he has serious responsibility for delivering.

I hope that he is able to use his position as Deputy Prime Minister to bring some weight to the portfolio and reverse the cuts. But if the Government continues to have this fantasy of using a big number, based upon ten-year figures and based upon double counting of projects, then he will be a failure.

The fact is, that the sector have judged this Government’s performance on infrastructure and on cities and on regional development very poorly indeed. It is one of the areas that they have fallen down on. I hope that they’re able to lift their game, but the challenge is there for Barnaby Joyce, to have a little bit less rhetoric and more substance. Thank you.

Dec 15, 2017

Transcript of television interview – The Today Show

Subject; Bennelong by-election

CHRIS UHLMANN: I can’t tell you how weird this feels. A crucial Bennelong by-election race will be run tomorrow and it will be a bleak Christmas for Malcolm Turnbull if the Government loses because he’ll also lose his one seat majority. I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne. Welcome, gentlemen.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Mr Uhlmann. It’s nice to have you interviewing us.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you, sir.

UHLMANN: I got interviewed once by the two of you I think, at one stage, but Christopher, if you lose the Bennelong by-election that would be a huge blow for the Government and it looks like it’s a toss of a coin.

PYNE: Well it is very tight and it’s a very much a contest between a good local member who’s creating local jobs and a candidate who is basically just making her next career move. And of course you can can have Kristina Keneally because she can go into the Senate. So if you like Kristina Keneally you don’t have to vote for her tomorrow. She’s going into Sam Dastyari’s vacant seat.

ALBANESE: Well, there’s confidence for you from a Government –

PYNE: She won’t even rule it out!

ALBANESE: – from a Government that has run out of ideas. Put it out of its misery. It’s an opposition-in-exile sitting on the Government benches. Make them comfortable and put them over there.

PYNE: We’re creating 371,000 jobs in the last 12 months –

ALBANESE: He brings along his talking points here sometimes.

PYNE: – and John Alexander is part of that. John Alexander is creating local jobs in Bennelong, all Kristina Keneally wants to do is make her next career move.

ALBANESE: If John Alexander was any further on the backbench he’d be out of the building.

UHLMANN: The unkind might say that Bill Shorten is not helping Kristina Keneally in this race. Liberal Party polling certainly saying that and there are some other indications of that. Should he pull out of the race and give him more of a chance?

ALBANESE: Well, every single frontbencher – Bill Shorten, myself, Chris Bowen was there yesterday I noticed.

PYNE: Andrew Leigh.

ALBANESE: We’ve all been there and I’ll be handing out tomorrow morning in Bennelong.

PYNE: I’ll be handing out tomorrow afternoon.

UHLMANN: The entire Cabinet there is it, Christopher Pyne? How much money is the Government spending trying to keep this seat?

PYNE: Well, I’m flying myself to Sydney. I’m paying for myself to come. So it’s really not really relevant about the taxpayers money for that.

ALBANESE: Save your money, Christopher. Donate the money to John’s campaign. He’d prefer that, I think.

PYNE: If Kristina Keneally wins in Bennelong, Bill Shorten is one seat closer to being Prime Minister of Australia and Bill Shorten is not the right person to be the Prime Minister of this country. He has six new taxes that he wants to impose on business.

ALBANESE: The talking points just keep rolling out. And that’s the problem.

PYNE: John Alexander just wants to create jobs. And Kristina Keneally is only interested in one job. Her own.

UHLMANN: Just one thing for you, Anthony Albanese. Kristina Keneally has has introduced a sort of race card into this election by talking about China phobia. Now the government would like to bring in some legislation which is about the Chinese Communist Party interference in Australia or foreign government interference in Australia. Is playing a race card a pretty low tactic?

ALBANESE: No. The fact is that this is a Government that has been prepared to go out there and raise all sorts of scare campaigns about influence. What we should be concerned about –

UHLMANN: Kristina Keneally said all Asians were under fire.

ALBANESE: What we should be concerned about is of course foreign influence from any government in Australian politics. Kristina Keneally is someone who will make a contribution as the Member for Bennelong. I mean, John Alexander ran a campaign in 2010 about the Parramatta to Epping rail line. Kristina Keneally and myself as the Infrastructure Minister delivered the funding for that and it was cancelled by the Abbott and Turnbull Governments along with Barry O’Farrell.

UHLMANN: Alright, gentleman, you’ve you’ve had the gloves out all year for each other but actually behind the scenes you get on quite well.

ALBANESE: Don’t tell anyone, Chris.

UHLMANN: I’ll try not to tell anyone. Christopher Pyne, it is the season to be jolly and kind-hearted. Do have something nice that you could say about Anthony Albanese?

PYNE: Well I shouldn’t really say anything nice about him, because, you know, that’s not what I’ve been instructed to do of course on the show. But I will say I like Anthony Albanese because he’s got a great sense of humor. He knows how to laugh at himself and knows how to laugh at politics in general and that’s what’s kept him going for 20 years.

UHLMANN: Return the favour?

ALBANESE: Oh, look – Christopher does have a good sense of enjoyment about life and you can have an argument and then have a chat, a cup of coffee or maybe even the odd glass of wine late at night.

PYNE: Only one though.

ALBANESE: Only ever one.

PYNE: Only one. If he has two drinks he gets quite silly.

UHLMANN: I’ve been to dinner with you, Christopher Pyne. It’s not measured in glasses, it’s measured in bottles.

ALBANESE: The difference is, I need a glass.
UHLMANN: Christopher Pyne, Anthony Albanese, thank you both for all you’ve done this year.

ALBANESE: Merry Christmas.

PYNE: Have a great Christmas. Thanks for having us this year. We’ve had a great year.

ALBANESE: And thank you for the better time. We’re in primetime in 2018! We’ve been promoted.

PYNE: Much better. And our wives like us a lot more too. And check Bill’s horoscope for Saturday. It’s not good.

UHLMANN: I hope you both get to spend some time with your families this Christmas.

ALBANESE: We will.

UHLMANN: The Bennelong by-election will be an extraordinary test of not just of John Alexander, but the government.


Dec 13, 2017

Transcript of radio interview – FIVEaa Two Tribes segment

Subjects: Sam Dastyari, Bennelong by-election, year in review.

HOST: The final instalment of Two Tribes for 2017; Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne, good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning Will and David and Anthony.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day. I will say Merry Christmas given it is the last one.

HOST: Yes. Merry Christmas to you guys as well. Hey, we are going to kick off with you if we can Albo in light of Sam Dastyari’s resignation yesterday. Has Bill’s credibility been damaged by his decision to stick with Sam Dastyari for so long and has his grasp on the leadership been weakened by losing an ally from the New South Wales Right?

ALBANESE: No not at all. The fact is that Sam’s paid a heavy price. There are still people sitting in the House of Reps and the Senate who received donations from Huang Xiangmo. Some hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone to the WA Liberal Party for example that this week, we found out that a notice had gone out asking people to attend a fundraiser for the Liberal Party where the guest speakers weren’t Liberal Party ministers or shadow ministers; they were representatives of the Chinese Government. So I think there are real questions to be asked there. The Sam Dastyari issue has been settled by Sam’s decision to resign from the Senate. Sam was a colourful figure. I think we need more colourful figures in politics.

HOST: He was a bit too colourful though wasn’t he?

ALBANESE: Well I think one of the things about Sam was that he took things on. There was no first, second or third gear, it was always fourth or overdrive and that obviously created some issues with Sam’s judgement and he has paid a price for that. He has acknowledged that.

HOST: And Bill Shorten is safe do you think? He has clearly upset a lot of people in the New South Wales Right.

ALBANESE: Well look, Bill Shorten’s position has been secure. One of the things about the Labor Party is that there hasn’t been undermining. No leader in the time I have been in politics on either side has had more support or a straight run at things than Bill Shorten.

PYNE: That doesn’t sound like a very fulsome endorsement.

ALBANESE:  Well the undermining that has gone on is on your side. The question is what will be the implications for Malcolm Turnbull if Kristina Keneally wins the Bennelong by-election on Saturday.

HOST: We are going to talk about Bennelong in a tick. Just to you though Chris on the Dastyari issue, do you think that his resignation is the end of the affair or do you support the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in demanding that he go immediately and that taxpayers stop paying his wage?

PYNE: Well it is a very unusual resignation because it is basically a resignation in the future. He is still a Senator and he says he will resign at the time we come back to the Senate in February and the latest twist in this Dastyari saga is that Kristina Keneally is holding out the prospect of taking his Senate vacancy. So Kristina Keneally has already moved on from Bennelong.

ALBANESE: She will be the Member for Bennelong on Saturday.

PYNE: We suspected the Kristina Keneally was just using Bennelong as a career progression, rather than wanting to represent people of that seat, unlike John Alexander. But she is already not ruling out taking Sam Dastyari’s Senate seat. So she has really proven to everyone …

HOST: Well let’s put that to you Albo. Is that something that you would like Kristina Keneally to consider in the event that she is unsuccessful in her bid to represent the people of Bennelong on the weekend?

ALBANESE: No. I want her to win Bennelong.

HOST: I know. But in the event she doesn’t?

ALBANESE: I will be there handing out. We’ll it’s pretty obvious she is doing a fantastic job and that she is in with a real crack here. She’s campaigning hard. I was in Bennelong yesterday I’ve got to say and if my little …

PYNE: There goes the neighbourhood.

ALBANESE: I notice they have kept you away.

PYNE: I was there this morning my friend

ALBANESE: Oh well, well that will seal it. Kristina Keneally has been elected in Bennelong. Thank you, Christopher.

HOST: Well in the event, Chris Pyne, that Kristina Keneally wins on the weekend, is Malcolm Turnbull’s position tenable?

PYNE: Well Kristina Keneally is already moving on to the Senate vacancy. She has given up on Bennelong. We all knew that she was only using Bennelong as a stepping stone.

ALBANESE: Why are you there handing out?

HOST: Newspoll has it at 50-50.

PYNE: Well I will be there on Saturday handing out as well because I think John Alexander …

ALBANESE: See they are petrified.

PYNE: … really wants to represent the people of Bennelong. He has represented them well for the last seven years. He is a good local member. He cares about issues like congestion and traffic which Kristina Keneally created the problem in the first place and I am very confident that the people of Bennelong will vote for the good hard-working local member.

HOST: So you going to be there handing out how-to-votes are you Chris Pyne?

PYNE: I am.

HOST: How often do you hand out how to votes in other states?

PYNE: Oh when, you know, I’ve got a free Saturday.

ALBANESE: The sign of desperation.

PYNE: I really support John Alexander and I really want him to win.

ALBANESE: Have you got a visa to get into Sydney?

PYNE: I would never go near the Marxist state of Grayndler, that’s for sure.

ALBANESE: They would tar and feather you here comrade.

PYNE: (inaudible). Don’t worry about that.

HOST: Hey Chris, on balance and hand on heart it hasn’t been a great year has it, for you guys?

PYNE: Well we are finishing very well. We had a very successful Budget. We have achieved marriage equality in Australia. We won the New England by-election with the biggest swing to a Government since 1911, which Bill Shorten really can’t take any comfort from that disastrous result. The swing to Barnaby Joyce was bigger than the Labor Party’s primary vote. So we’ve actually ended the year in very good shape. We’ve created 371,000 new jobs, 80 percent of which are full time. In Labor’s last year they created less than 100,000. The economy’s recovering, which is the most important thing that governments can achieve. The Budget is heading back to surplus.

HOST: I get all that but I thought one of the most on-the-money remarks I have heard from someone of late was actually Bob Katter where he said, and I don’t agree with his views certainly on same-sex marriage, but he said a couple of weeks ago it has felt like the Parliament has spent the entire year flying back and forth to Canberra so that we can argue about each other’s citizenship and whether gay people should get married or not. That is what is has felt like. That is what a lot of our listeners think. I reckon they are going to want to see more nuts-and-bolts stuff that affects them in 2018.

PYNE: Well we had the energy guarantee, the National Energy Guarantee, formulated this year to try and take pressure off electricity prices. Malcolm announced of course the Snowy Hydro 2.0, the largest renewable energy project in Australia’s history. And of course in defence industry we’ve been getting on with the job of creating thousands of new jobs. Just this week down at Osborne I announced 200 new positions to keep the ASC workforce intact, ready for the offshore patrol vessels and the future frigates to start on schedule and the submarines. So we’ve been getting on with the job. Sure, the social media creates this constant sense of crisis and I think the mainstream media sometimes feels the need to compete with that but the Government itself has been getting on with the job and I think the public see that.

HOST: Yet given all that Chris, you are handing out how to vote cards this Saturday in a seat you hold by 10 percent.

PYNE: Well I like John Alexander and I want to see him get elected.

HOST: What about you Albo?

PYNE: (inaudible) wanted me to go over there and hand out how-to-vote cards from him.

ALBANESE: Well they have had a shocker. That is the truth. And the fact that John Alexander is struggling in a seat that he got 60 per cent of the vote – two-party preferred vote on just a bit over a year ago. I mean, a bit over a year ago our primary vote in Bennelong had a two in front of it and Cabinet Ministers are flying in from all over the country to hand out how-to-votes on Saturday says it all.

HOST: Well if he can bring his magic touch from the seat of Sturt, who knows Albo?

PYNE: Exactly.

HOST: Maybe you guys are getting ahead of yourselves.

PYNE: The old Midas touch!

ALBANESE: I accept that Christopher has some qualities of which people in Sturt, some of them, actually see. But in Bennelong, I think they will just say what is this guy doing here?

PYNE: They will say nice to see you and they will vote for John Alexander with my winning smile and my how-to-vote card.

HOST: Guys it’s been a lot of fun this year. It’s been impossible to control at times this segment, but you guys have broken a lot of stories.

PYNE: It can get a bit rowdy.

HOST: Yes, it does get a bit rowdy.

ALBANESE: We are a bit out of out of control. But that is your fault. You are supposed to control us.

HOST: Yeah I know, impossible task. I feel like razor Ray or indeed Bill Harrigan to put an NRL spin on it. Albo, Chris Pyne, have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and we’ll start it all again in late January, good on you guys.

PYNE: Thank you very much.

ALBANESE: Same to you and all your family.

PYNE: It’s been terrific, thanks a lot.

Dec 11, 2017

Transcript of doorstop with Susan Lamb MP- Morayfield, QLD

Subjects; NBN, Sam Dastyari, WA Liberal Party fundraiser with Chinese officials; citizenship.

SUSAN LAMB, MEMBER FOR LONGMAN: Thanks everybody. Thanks for coming this morning. You need to look back to 2010 to see the last government that really delivered infrastructure for Caboolture and Morayfield. That was the Labor Government of course. We delivered the equestrian centre in Caboolture and the upgrade to the town square in the middle of Caboolture as well. Since then, what have we seen in the Caboolture Morayfield area? Well, out at Woodford, not once but twice being denied an infrastructure project that would create hundreds of jobs. We haven’t seen any infrastructure delivered there.

What we have seen though is a dodgy, slow, unreliable NBN rolled out right across the electorate from Caboolture right through the Morayfield today. So welcome today to Anthony Albanese, of course one of those ministers in the Labor Government in 2010 who delivered for Caboolture and Morayfield and of course Dr Evan Jones here, the practice director at the Morayfield Health Hub. I’d like to invite Dr Jones now to speak to us a little bit about what’s happened here around the dodgy, the slow, the unreliable NBN that we have to live with here in Morayfield. Thanks Evan.

DR EVAN JONES, MORAYFIELD HEALTH HUB: Thank you. So welcome all to the Morayfield Health Hub. So this is world class infrastructure we’re delivering here in the Caboolture region, but unfortunately we’ve not had world class communication systems so far. Indeed, it’s been a very frustrating system to actually have NBN. So right from the start of construction here we’ve been talking to NBN about the need for us to have fibre to the premises and so we were very happy to pay for that fibre to come directly into the premises and into our data room. But it has been an incredibly frustrating system to be able to get that NBN in here.

So we were delayed in being able to have the fit-off of the NBN here. We were then delayed in being able to then access that service and the dates that we were given, the service was still not available. And so it’s taken us quite a lot of angst and a great deal of communications with various people including Susan Lamb’s office here to enable us to finally get NBN services. So because of what we saw in the unreliability of the NBN service I’ve had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on server equipment which I would otherwise not have put in place here. So normally I would have put that into the cloud but with the unreliability of the NBN system I couldn’t run the risk of that.

Just the other week at our other practice here where we connect it to the NBN but unfortunately have copper for the last few hundred metres, it rained in this area and so consequently we lost all communications and internet access into our 13-doctor practice for two hours and that’s just intolerable. It’s dangerous. And so you know we’d like to be saying that we need to have a world-class NBN system so that health services can actually be delivered in the right and proper way.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, thanks very much Evan and it’s great to be here with my friend Susan Lamb as well back here in Caboolture. As Susan said, when I was the Minister for Infrastructure, I visited here when we funded the equestrian centre, when we funded the town upgrade at Caboolture. When we funded the upgrade in facilities at Woodford. All of those funded by the former Federal Labor Government.

They’d also had, importantly, a vision for the National Broadband Network that understood that if you’re going to overcome the tyranny of distance and have regional economic development then the National Broadband Network is the key. If you have the NBN providing fibre services with speeds and reliability the same as in Brisbane CBD that you could get in Caboolture or Morayfield or anywhere else  – Bribie Island – then what you would have is, because of the lower cost base an actual incentive for job creation here in this region.

Instead what we have is unreliability of the NBN. Caboolture is the fifth largest number of complaints about the NBN of any postcode in Australia. We have here the circumstances as we just heard from Dr Jones where because of the facility with 13 doctors in place because it rains, the entire system breaks down because it’s relying upon copper – last century’s technology. Not the end of last century. The beginning of last century technology to deliver services for the last section of the NBN when it’s fibre to the node. This is simply not good enough.

Malcolm Turnbull likes to have excuses for a whole range of the failings of the Government that he leads, but this he was tasked with as a Communications Shadow Minister, with destroying the NBN by Tony Abbott when he was the Leader of the Opposition. Malcolm Turnbull took on the responsibility of being Communications Minister following the election prior to the election I was the Communications Minister, he boasted that you could do it all cheaper and more reliable. Well, what we’re seeing is; it’s unreliable. It’s costing more than the $28 billion dollars that he said it would cost. It’s doubled in the cost. And of course the timeline has just disappeared.

A letter after the 2013 election and commitments beforehand promised access to high speed broadband by 2016. It is now 2017, and families and households in this electorate aren’t getting high speed broadband but businesses and service delivery aren’t getting high speed broadband either. You had from the Coalition numerous spokespeople from Tony Abbott down, speaking about ‘oh it’s all about – you don’t need the high speeds because it’s all about movie downloads’. What they didn’t understand is that in the 21st century the delivery of education services, the delivery of health services relies more and more upon high speed broadband being able to be delivered.

And it is extraordinary that it took the intervention of Susan Lamb as the local member here in Longman to ensure that this facility was turned on before the opening today. But that hasn’t prevented the sort of catastrophic results whereby the loss of the internet for hours at a time at a medical service just shouldn’t happen. But then again copper shouldn’t be the basis of providing these services. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, to something else, does Sam Dastyari –

ALBANESE: Do we have any questions about this first? Fire away, you’re on.

REPORTER: Does Sam Dastyari still have questions to answer?

ALBANESE: Sam Dastyari has been through the processes. He’s paid a heavy price for the misdemeanors that he has expressed regret for. The questions that have to be answered today are there on the front page of the newspaper that suggest that what we’re seeing in Western Australia is a fundraiser being held whereby donors to the Liberal Party are being asked to donate funds in order to attend a briefing from Chinese Government officials and that state and federal Western Australian Liberal and National Party figures have all been invited to this event. I find that extraordinary.

That donors would be asked to donate money to the Liberal Party in order to hear a briefing from another country. I think they’re very serious questions and the Liberal Party and the National Party should answer how it is that this has come about. We know that Mr Wong has donated substantial amounts of funds to the WA Liberal Party.

We know about Julie Bishop’s Glorious Foundation that we heard about in recent months has been operating for some time – a foundation remarkably, that Julie Bishop says she didn’t know much about. Now I reckon if there is an Anthony Albanese Glorious Foundation out there I’d know about it. So I think those questions today are the new revelations and they do require a response.

REPORTER: Just clearly, Dastyari has been working in other nations’ interests there. How deep does this Chinese influence run in the Party?

ALBANESE: The questions about Sam Dastyari have been asked and have been answered and he’s paid a price for it, for that lack of judgement.

REPORTER: On that note, are you comfortable with him sitting in the Senate?

ALBANESE: He is elected as a member of the Senate. The way that politics works in this country is you get elected by the people. He’s been elected to that position and the things that are –  the I guess, the pluses from the Labor Caucus positions that he held – he has resigned from after a request from the Labor Leader Bill Shorten.

REPORTER: Is it time for Dastyari to get the flick?

ALBANESE: The fact is that Sam Dastyari has lost the positions that he has held. That’s a heavy price for Sam and that has now occurred on two occasions. The new news today – and as far as I’m aware there are no new revelations about Sam Dastyari today at all – the new news is that the WA Liberal Party is charging Liberal Party donors.

They’re the Government, bear in mind. They’re the Federal Government of Australia with key people from the Western Australian Division of the Liberal Party. Mathias Cormann, their key person in the Senate and the person in charge of finances for this country. Julie Bishop, the Foreign Minister of this country charging people to go to an event to hear from Government officials, not from Australia, but from China. That is the new news that’s out there today.

REPORTER: Are you here in the seat of Longman preparing for a by-election?

ALBANESE: I am here again with Susan Lamb because she’s a fantastic member who constantly stands up for her electorate and delivers. Susan Lamb’s been through the processes. She’s answered those questions and we are very confident that that issue has been totally dealt with. Susan Lamb is someone who’s lobbying for her electorate. She’s lobbying today about the National Broadband Network but also about infrastructure facilities and about jobs, and that’s why this visit was lined up a long time ago.

We’ve just met with people with regard to the aviation sector and ensuring jobs can be created here after this. We’ve got further meetings at Woodford. And Susan is someone who I think is making an outstanding contribution as a first term member. Her second term will be even better. By the third term she’ll probably be coming to my electorate because she’ll be a minister in a Labor Government.

REPORTER: Ms Lamb, are you still concerned that you are still a dual citizen?

LAMB: I’m not concerned that I’m a dual citizen at all. I’m an Australian citizen. I was born in Mackay in North Queensland, went through all of the processes I needed to take to ensure that when I was elected on the 2nd of July, that I met every step of the way that I was eligible to sit there.

REPORTER: Are you still a British citizen?

LAMB: I’m an Australian citizen and I have a letter from the UK HO that confirms that they are not satisfied that I’m a British citizen, but before that I took every single step in the event that I was a British citizen to ensure that that wasn’t an issue.

REPORTER: What were those steps?

LAMB: Sure. So I filled in my renunciation paperwork. Paid my £272, waited until that money was processed and then nominated on the 7th of June.

REPORTER: And did you get a confirmation email back from the British Government or whatever authority that it is to confirm?

LAMB: The document that I have that ended this was a letter from the UK HO that says they are not satisfied I’m a British citizen. That’s the final document I have from the UK.

REPORTER: Your situation seems similar to some of the other politicians who have gone through the High Court process. Why not refer yourself to the High Court and have the same clarification by the High Court?

LAMB: So there’s two points there. One is that it’s not the same. I took all steps, all reasonable steps prior to nominating. Very different to a lot of members that find themselves in a situation with a question mark, who took no steps, no steps at all. It’s very clear. I have 41 pages that comprised of my disclosure to talk through that process. So that is a very, very different situation to what the government members are.

But actually, what happened last Wednesday on the floor of Parliament was we asked Malcolm Turnbull and his government that if they had a concern over a number of MPs to vote for a motion to send people through to the High Court and have any uncertainty put to rest. Malcolm Turnbull said no. He voted no.

REPORTER: Were you included in that motion?

LAMB: I was included in that motion. There were a number of Labor MPs. There was Rebecca Sharkie from the Nick Xenophon Team and a number of Liberal MPs that were included in that motion. It was put to the floor. I voted yes. If there’s any uncertainty, I voted yes. Anthony voted yes. Malcolm Turnbull voted no.

REPORTER: So you would be happy to the High Court to have this heard, just to put to rest any debate on the issue once and for all?

LAMB: If there is uncertainty over any Member in the House over their position, I’m confident I have three QCs, independent QCs that are confident, but if the Government still thinks there’s something to uncover after 41 pages of disclosure then we put ourselves forward last Wednesday. Malcolm Turnbull had his opportunity then to send me through. He decided no.

REPORTER: Mr Albanese, Linda Burney said this morning she’s sure Sam Dastyari is considering his position in the Labor Party. Is she right?

ALBANESE: Well, Sam Dastyari has considered his position as Deputy Whip and  he’s resigned. That issue has been dealt with. It’s been dealt with appropriately by Sam and hence the questions that need to be answered are the fact of the party, that is the party of government at the moment, the WA Liberal Party – they don’t act much like a government I know, so it’s understandable that there’d be some confusion –  but they are the Government, and they are holding a fundraiser asking people to pay money to hear from a government of another country about the One Belt One Road initiative and other initiatives of the Chinese Government.

Now, questions do have to be answered about that and I’m waiting for the Government to provide answers as to how this could possibly occur. And Malcolm Turnbull over whether he thinks that is appropriate.

REPORTER: You kind of mentioned this before, but just to clarify, if Bill Shorten doesn’t stand down Sam Dastyari isn’t it –

ALBANESE: Bill Shorten has stood down Sam Dastyari.
REPORTER: Doesn’t it open him up to suggestions he’s being bought off by the Chinese?

ALBANESE: Bill Shorten has stood down Sam Dastyari as the Deputy Whip. That is the position that Bill Shorten could stand him down from. He has done it. That stands in stark contrast to Malcolm Turnbull who isn’t showing leadership, whether it be over this issue of the WA Liberal Party, whether it be leadership over the citizenship issue whereby people have actually been through by-elections.

There is a by-election and I’ll be in Bennelong tomorrow with our candidate, Kristina Keneally, our very good candidate Kristina Keneally and I’ll be campaigning there on the basis of that fact that they have an opportunity to put this government out of its own misery, because they continue to obfuscate over issues, take citizenship. The fact is that the people who have gone through by-elections, John Alexander, Barnaby Joyce are people who made no effort. Zero effort to renounce their citizenship. It wasn’t a matter of making all reasonable steps. They made no steps whatsoever.

The Liberal Party and the National Party and the Greens had no structure in place for which assessments were made prior to the election. We had structures in place. Susan Lamb went through that process. So did I. So did every other member seeking to be a candidate for the Australian Labor Party at the last election and at every election before then since the Sykes vs Cleary judgement that clearly outlined reasonable steps. Thanks very much.

Dec 8, 2017

Transcript of television interview – SKY News

Subjects; Marriage equality; Sam Dastyari

KIERAN GILBERT: Back to our top story now. With me is senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, someone who has argued for legalisation of same-sex marriage for a long, long time and you are even offering to DJ weddings?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, I am available. It will be fantastic. Weddings are great. A couple of weeks ago Alan Griffin got married and I was down there with him and Gabrielle.

It was such a joyous occasion and it’s a celebration of a commitment between two people in front of their family and friends and won’t it be a good thing that more people can now do it?

GILBERT: You said earlier this morning and something that resonated with me was there were only a couple moments over the last few decades that really stand out. The Apology was one.

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GILBERT: And then this one. It was just extraordinary, the jubilation, but also a sense of relief I think for many of those affected.

ALBANESE: We’ve got to remember that in 1978 when the first Mardi Gras happened – celebrating 40 years next March – people marched not to cheers. They marched for basic, fundamental human rights and they marched into a police cordon that assaulted them, arrested them.

We have come such a long way as a country and for so many people who have directly felt, for them and their families discrimination, not in any academic sense, which you and I would be sympathetic to, but in a real personal sense.

For them you could just see a burden lifted off them and last night the Kingston Hotel was the place to be and just seeing the sheer joy on people’s faces was just great.

GILBERT: If you look back over the years back to Bill Hayden I think it was in the late 60s …

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

GILBERT: He started, well within Labor he started, he was really pushing for decriminalistion and better treatment.

ALBANESE: Yes, when it was really tough.

GILBERT: That would have been very tough.

ALBANESE: As a former Queensland policeman who saw that real impact of discrimination and raised it. People like him were trailblazers.

In New South Wales, Frank Walker made an enormous difference as the Attorney-General in the in the Wran Government. Right around, wherever you look, people have taken big steps. I spoke in the Parliament …

GILBERT: But even in your party, you and Penny Wong and others have had to fight …

ALBANESE: It wasn’t always a consensus view Kieran, let me tell you.

GILBERT: I remember it.

ALBANESE: It was pretty tough. But people like Paul O’Grady who was the first MP in Australia to come out, who had a lot of vilification as a result of that. I told that story in my contribution this week.

I think for all of those people it’s a fantastic thing and what we have seen is just over a period of time people get on board, people think about it and I think for those people who have changed their mind – even in 2012 we had a vote in the Parliament.

Many people have said to me over the recent weeks: “Gee, why didn’t you put it to the Parliament when you were in Government?’’ We did. It didn’t have a majority. Forty-two members. So many people who voted ‘no’ then voted ‘yes’ yesterday in the Parliament.

That is a good thing – that people are prepared to think through these issues and change their mind and I give credit to all those who did that. I respect those who disagree as well.

GILBERT: Because there were millions who did – who voted no.

ALBANESE: Absolutely. And their views have to be respected. But I think what will happen over a period of time – we have seen it already – so many people have said to me “I used to not support marriage equality; now I do’’. No-one has ever said to me the phrase: “I used to support marriage equality; now I don’t’’.

GILBERT:  We spoke of the Apology and both occasions really, a fairness is at the heart of both of those occasions.

ALBANESE: That is right.

GILBERT: What do you think it is that sees the Parliament at its best like that? In your view, as you reflect on it as a veteran of this place now, how do you reflect that?

ALBANESE: I think yesterday was a historical moment in the Parliament. I argue as a progressive that history does move forward. From time to time, conservatives will argue for the status quo and reactionaries will try and push it back.

But progress is made in human rights. The march toward equality isn‘t easy and it takes people to make it happen. It takes activists to make it happen. But it does happen over a period of time.

If you think about in our lifetime we have seen – well in my lifetime I’ve seen – I was too young to remember it of course – but the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders wasn’t even there. We’ve seen changes in attitudes toward gay and lesbian people.

The sort of racist attitudes that might have just been taken for granted decades ago are now unacceptable. We are talking about ways to recognise the First Australians in the Constitution. All of these issues are important.

My predecessor as the Member for Grayndler, Jeanette McHugh, was the first woman elected from New South Wales to the House of Representatives.

Eighty three years, not a single woman elected from the biggest state to the House of Representatives. Yesterday follows the 84 pieces of legislation we amended to remove discrimination against same-sex couples and people who happen to be LGBTI.

GILBERT: This is the final bastion of it?

ALBANESE: This is it.

GILBERT: Alright. We’ll just do a quick one on another matter given the big focus on that historic moment yesterday but Sam Dastyari could be in a bit of trouble here with a Privileges Committee referral from the Attorney.

ALBANESE: Well, I am not aware of what happened in the Senate.

GILBERT: It happened late last night.

ALBANESE: I was at the Kingston Hotel by then Kieran, celebrating the outcome.

GILBERT: But Senator Dastyari – it must be so frustrating for senior figures in the party to sort of have to mop this up?

ALBANESE: Senator Dastyari concedes that he made mistake. He has paid a price for it. The idea that we will have an ongoing attacks on Senator Dastyari – I think the Government needs to get on with governing and one of the things that they need to do is less politics and more governing. If I could give them that bit of helpful advice for 2018, that would be it.

I think people are sick of the tit-for-tat and one of the things that happened yesterday, I think, was that people look at the Parliament acting as it should, not trying to play politics or score points, but trying to get reform done. That’s what happened.

GILBERT: But it’s a big criticism of Senator Dastyari, acting against the national interest. I mean that is not an everyday political scalp.

ALBANESE: One of the things that I am concerned about with this issue is how some of this information got out there. It seems to me that Senator Dastyari is accused of talking about national security to someone but the Government, including the Attorney-General have been talking about national security to everyone, including on your television program.

GILBERT: Mr Albanese, appreciate your time. Thanks.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 8, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Marriage equality, citizenship.

DEB KNIGHT: Christopher Pyne and Anthony Albanese join us now. Good morning to you fellows.



KNIGHT: Christopher, just incredible scenes. Have you ever seen anything like it?

PYNE: No, I haven’t actually Deb and that is saying something because I have been in Parliament for 24 years. I have seen some very happy days, days with the Apology, for example, to the Stolen Generation, but I have never seen such an outpouring of joy as I saw in the Chamber yesterday and I am not surprised. It was a very historic day to be part of a Chamber where 146 people sat on one side of the Chamber and four sat in the other to usher in marriage equality in this country is a very, very exciting time for Australia.

KNIGHT: And Anthony isn’t it amazing what you pollies can get done when you stop fighting and you work together and you achieve something. Why can’t you do it more often?

ALBANESE: Look, absolutely and we should. This was the Parliament at its best. I do think there have been two great days in this Parliament in my 21 years. The apology was the first, that I will never forget, and I will never forget last night, I’ve got to say last night at the celebrations where Magda was as well …

KNIGHT: You were there I am sure?

ALBANESE: She was on earlier. I certainly was. I think that Penny Wong was the happiest I have ever seen any individual in my life and it was just such a great thing to see the joy that was there in the galleries. The patience that they showed I have got to say, in sitting there all day, being very disciplined was remarkable and it was just a great thing. This now will unite the nation and it just says we are a country that accepts people, that is diverse, that it stronger because of it.

KNIGHT: Now Christopher this change is something that the country wanted but is it what the PM needed. How crucial was this to shore up Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership?

PYNE: Well we’ve ended the year on a very, very positive note Deb because we said we would have a vote of the Australian people. A lot of people voted against it, didn’t want to have the plebiscite. But it went ahead because of Malcolm Turnbull. Eighty percent of people voted in it, 62 per cent wanted marriage equality. Now Malcolm Turnbull has achieved it. So we have finished the year on a very positive note by actually showing that we can get on with the job whether it is creating 371,000 jobs in the last 12 months …

ALBANESE: Oh, today is not the day for talking points Christopher.

PYNE: … or whether it is a major social change like marriage equality. We are showing that the Turnbull Government can get things done and is getting things done.

KNIGHT: And Albo have you had any requests yet to DJ any gay weddings?

PYNE: He will.

ALBANESE: They are queueing up in my electorate I’ve got to say It will be a great thing for the economy as well.


ALBANESE: Lots of activity will occur, both domestic weddings but also Australia will be a great destination. And I think next year is the 40th celebration of Mardi Gras. It’s important to remember that those 78ers didn’t march getting cheered down the street. They marched into a police line, were arrested. And my thoughts go to those courageous people – men and women – who really stood up for their civil rights at a time where it was really, really tough.

KNIGHT: Yes, well said.

PYNE: We have come a long way.

ALBANESE: This was unfinished business. Christopher did predict of course earlier this year, got in a bit of strife in his party for predicting, that it would happen sooner rather than later. He played an important role. So did so many people in the Parliament. But most importantly the people who played a role were those out there in the community. Well done.

KNIGHT: Good to see credit is being given where credit is due. And just quickly, one issue though where there is absolutely no co-operation of course is the ongoing citizenship fiasco. Christopher, why not refer anyone with any question mark over them to the High Court and let that independent umpire sort it this out once and for all?

PYNE: Well Deb, we will refer anyone who has a cloud over their citizenship. The people who are in that position right now are the four Labor MPs and Rebekah Sharkie. We’ve already had ours referred – Fiona Nash, Matt Canavan, Barnaby Joyce, John Alexander. We’ve actually done the right thing already, whereas Labor is harbouring people who they know are UK citizens. Susan Lamb is still a UK citizen, the member for Longman.

ALBANESE: That’s nonsense.

PYNE: She’s never had a renunciation …

ALBANESE: Because she wasn’t a British citizen. That what is says.

PYNE: …of her citizenship and she is still sitting in the Parliament now as a UK citizen.

KNIGHT: We’ve had the love with marriage equality and now we are going to have more of the debate into the New Year. We are out of time fellows.

ALBANESE: How about a bit of maturity? Just flick them all to the High Court and let them deal with it. That is what should have happened.

KNIGHT: Let’s hope we get it sorted into the New Year. Albo and Pyne thanks for joining us.

PYNE: Pleasure. Thank you.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 6, 2017

Transcript of radio interview -FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes segment

Subjects: Cricket, citizenship, Sam Dastyari, lobbyists. 

HOST: Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese. Good morning to you both.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.


HOST: Now Chris, I’ve got to say, you picked a bad week not to be in Adelaide. Day Five of the Test today. There’s been quite a bit of sledging out in the middle. It’s felt a little bit like an episode of Two Tribes at times out there.

PYNE: Anthony and I are always on the record so we can’t be too unpleasant to each other.

ALBANESE: And we’re good humoured.

PYNE: And we like each other deep down. Very, very deep down.

ALBANESE: Don’t tell anyone that, we’ll both get into trouble.

HOST: You’ll lose your acts.

ALBANESE: What’s the story with this South Australian trumpeting for the Barmy Army?

HOST: We’re going to find out soon, Albo.

PYNE: That’s very Dastyari-level behaviour.

ALBANESE: Now, now.

HOST: We’ll see if he gets accused of treason like Sam has. Hey the big story is citizenship at the moment. There’s apparently 10 Labor MPs who are under a cloud. What’s the status there, Chris, of whether the Government will be referring them to the High Court or not?

PYNE: Well let me be very clear about this. Bill Shorten demanded that the Government establish a register for people to declare their citizenship or otherwise. We’ve done that and we have John Alexander facing a by-election in Bennelong because he did the right thing. We have Barnaby Joyce who faced a by-election in New England. Bill Shorten said there were no Labor MPs at any time who would be caught up in the same net.

Now as it’s turned out, there are at least four Members of the House of Representatives who were UK citizens from the Labor Party when nominations closed for the 2016 election. They are all dead cert candidates to be referred to the High Court. Either Labor can do it or the Government will do it but they will be referred to the High Court. They are Justine Keay in Braddon, Susan Lamb in Longman, Josh Wilson in Fremantle and David Feeney in Batman. And Katy Gallagher, the Senator from the ACT, Labor, will also be referred by the Senate to the High Court. So there are five MPs, about whom there’s no doubt that they need to be referred to the High Court and Bill Shorten said there were none.

HOST: He’s also said this (inaudible) that David Feeney would be sent to the High Court. Albo, will there be any others that you guys will send for a look?

ALBANESE: Well there’s only one Labor MP, and David Feeney has been clear about that, who hasn’t been able to obtain the documents that he needed. He says that he did renounce his UK citizenship but hasn’t been able to find, essentially, the documentation either here or from the British Government and what he’s said is that if that doesn’t occur by tomorrow, then he will ask Tony Burke to refer him to the High Court for that matter to be considered.

As for the others that Christopher has mentioned, all of them took the reasonable steps that are required under the law. All of them applied to have their citizenship renounced, paid their fees, put in the necessary documentation. If it is the case that the completion of the process by another Government is the determining factor, then what that would leave open is for some bureaucrat in the UK or anywhere else to sit on documentation, not process it and therefore to determine whether or not someone could be in the Australian Parliament and that’s why the High Court, when they have considered these matters, have spoken of, and determined, indeed, that it is the reasonable-steps test that would be considered.

Now we’re looking at these issues, we’re also looking at the failure of Government MPs like Jason Falinski and Julia Banks, Alex Hawke and others to provide the documentation …

PYNE: Desperate smokescreen.

ALBANESE: …that is required. Well the documentation hasn’t been provided…

PYNE: Rubbish.

HOST: But can’t you say the same about Steve Georganas?

PYNE: And Maria Vamvakinou that’s going to go down that track or Mark Dreyfus for that matter.


HOST: Because some of them, with respect, I don’t want to sound like a cynic, heaven forbid, some of them seem to be using the, I-had-it-but-the-dog-ate-it excuse, don’t they?

ALBANESE: No what  ….

PYNE: Nobody in the Coalition

ALBANESE: That’s not right. What some of them have done is say that, Nola Marino for example, says that she’s got legal advice but hasn’t provided it.

PYNE: Nola Marino’s husband wasn’t even an Italian citizen when they got married.

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t know whether that is the case or not.

PYNE: Labor just has made things up and still making things up.

ALBANESE: Clearly what needs to happen is that the Government and the Opposition need to sit down. If people need to be referred to the High Court, then that should happen.

PYNE: We will not be referring any Coalition MPs to the High Court. We have done that. We’ve got John Alexander in Bennelong in his by-election. We’ve had Barnaby Joyce dealt with. We referred him. We will not refer any Coalition …

HOST: So no more Chris, even if they are possibly under a cloud?

PYNE: Well, none of them are under a cloud. Now Labor is pretending because they have found themselves in this embarrassing situation …

ALBANESE: Well, what about Julia Banks?

PYNE: Julia Banks has been cleared by the Greek Government of not being a citizen, never being a citizen and Labor is just making things up to hide their embarrassment that they have at least five …

ALBANESE: That’s not right.

HOST: We are changing tack to another topic. Hey Albo, we mentioned Sam Dastyari in passing at the start of this segment today and last week you were particularly strident in your defence of the Senator, in fact, more so than Bill Shorten, who later that day came out and slapped him. Subsequent to our conversation though, more information came out including that tape of him contradicting the Labor Party policy on the South China Sea. Is your position changed on Sam Dastyari?

ALBANESE: Well clearly the documentation that came out, that wasn’t available when I spoke …

HOST: Yes.

ALBANESE: … indicates that Sam Dastyari, you know, whether advertently or inadvertently, wasn’t correct when he characterised the nature of those comments at the press conference that was attended by Mr Huang. Clearly, the tape indicates that he made comments that I believe are quite inappropriate. He has of course been sacked from the positions that he has held and he now sits as a backbench MP.

HOST: Should he leave politics in total, Albo?

ALBANESE: Well he has been elected mate. He has been elected by the Australian people.

HOST: I know but the Libs yesterday were saying that you had said to journos in the Gallery that he should just go.

ALBANESE: No. What Malcolm Turnbull was trying to do was to verbal comments that certainly weren’t mine.

HOST: They certainly weren’t yours on 5AA last week.

ALBANESE: No, no. What I do is I say my views on the record. I said them on 5AA last week. I’m saying them today.

PYNE: But the truth is, I mean I’ll give Anthony a break. He has had quite a run. The truth is that Bill Shorten …

HOST: You are a generous man, Chris.

PYNE: Bill Shorten seems tied to Sam Dastyari in a way that I haven’t seen two people tied together in politics in a very long time and I think the issue here is that Sam Dastyari had a lot more to do with the election of Bill Shorten as the Leader of the Labor Party in 2013 than we actually understand. Now there have been calls for an investigation in New South Wales into the rorting of the leadership ballot. I’m sure Anthony doesn’t want to comment on it and I understand that. The rorting of the ALP leadership ballot where 50 ballot papers went to Dastyari’s office rather than to the homes of the people who were members of the Labor Party, or purported to be members of the Labor Party. None of these questions have been properly dealt with or investigated by the New South Wales Labor or the Federal executive of the Labor Party and there has to be a reason why Bill Shorten feels so compromised by Sam Dastyari.

HOST: Chris Pyne, how do you respond to the criticism of your policy response to this Dastyari situation announced yesterday regarding foreign agents or agents who do the bidding of foreign states ostensibly to undermine Australian policies? Your former colleague Andrew Robb described it as a political stunt. What do you say to Andrew Robb?

PYNE: Well, Andrew Robb is a terrific guy and I wouldn’t be criticising him and in fact I never have and I don’t think he is criticising the Government. I think if you look at what the Government has done we have said that we want transparency. Now people are very welcome to get jobs with overseas companies or overseas governments for that matter as long as it is transparent and if you’ve got no reason to hide, nothing to hide, then you would be more than happy to register yourself as a lobbyist. These days there’s so much lobbying going on in politics that the more transparency the better. And if you are worried about the transparency then you shouldn’t be doing whatever it is that you were going to do.

HOST: Chris Pyne, Anthony Albanese, always great to catch up. We will do it again next week. Thank you.

PYNE: Thanks.

ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

Dec 5, 2017

Transcript of television interview – SKY Newsday with Laura Jayes

Subjects; Milo Yiannopoulos, Citizenship, Manus Island

LAURA JAYES: Let’s go back here to Parliament where Milo Yiannopoulos has been today. The Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese joins me here in the studio. Let’s not spend too much time on this guy…


JAYES: Labor staffers turned up to this event. What do you make of that?

ALBANESE: Well you know, the bloke’s a tool and I wouldn’t have wasted a second on him myself.

JAYES: What do you say to some of those Labor staffers though, and the Greens protesters that turned up and made this into an event.

ALBANESE: That’s what he wants.

JAYES: Ok, well let’s move onto the High Court then. Katy Gallagher, she won’t refer herself. Labor says they won’t be doing that. Why not?

ALBANESE: Well what Katy did, of course, was to make the effort, put in best endeavours to renounce her citizenship and that’s what the precedent is, that you have to make that effort to do just that, to be just an Australian citizen. See, if the High Court was to rule that that wasn’t good enough, what they would be opening up is the opportunity for another country to determine who could sit here by simply sitting on an application for a period of time. And that’s why the High Court has made precedents when it has looked at this matter; have people tried to denounce their citizenship? And that’s why we think that, because Labor has those processes in place, that all of the Labor people will be eligible to be in the Parliament.

JAYES: That’s great your processes can be iron-clad, but your process is only as good as the information being fed into it and as you say the High Court needs to see that effort being put in. It is reasonable steps. But that’s not for you to decide, that’s for the High Court to decide isn’t it?

ALBANESE: But the reasonable steps have been made.

JAYES: You think they’re reasonable, the High Court might not.

ALBANESE: We certainly do think they’re reasonable and the High Court has precedent. I mean the people who got knocked out, Barnaby Joyce and others, argued essentially ignorance. They argued that they didn’t know and that therefore they weren’t responsible. The High Court clearly says …

JAYES: So you’re essentially saying the Sykes and Cleary precedent remains for this case for Katy Gallagher…

ALBANESE: Yes, absolutely.

JAYES: And that the Malcolm Roberts was such an outlier it doesn’t matter because he’s emailing the wrong person?

ALBANESE: Well Malcolm Roberts emailed nobody. He sent an email that didn’t go anywhere to an address that actually didn’t exist. He didn’t pay a fee, he didn’t do what was necessary to renounce and indeed pretended he’d made efforts that simply weren’t there. And, indeed, the High Court judges you might recall, got very cross with his legal representation for the way in which they tried to turn the High Court processes into a circus. Everything Malcolm Roberts touches turns to dust.

JAYES: Is Sam Dastyari becoming a problem?

ALBANESE: Sam Dastyari has paid a price for the mistakes he made.

JAYES: What price?

ALBANESE: Well he’s now a backbench Senator.

JAYES: He was Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate. Is that really a punishment that fits the crime? Not a crime, but you know metaphorical crime.

ALBANESE: It’s not a crime. He was a Shadow Minister and he lost that Shadow Ministry. He’s now lost it, essentially over the same issue, he’s lost the Deputy Whip’s position.

JAYES: Sure, but he’s becoming a political problem for Labor is he not?

ALBANESE: Well he’s a backbench Senator. This has been an issue.

JAYES: A very influential one.

ALBANESE: It’s been an unfortunate issue, but it’s been dealt with strongly by the Leader in asking for Sam to step aside from his duties. He remains an elected Senator. I think Sam is a young man who has made mistakes. Other people have made mistakes in the past. He’s been punished for that. He has paid a price and I think people should really move on.

JAYES: To say this is unfortunate really undercuts how serious these allegations are though doesn’t it?

ALBANESE: There’s a range of issues here. The recent issue is; is it the case that Sam Dastyari, the allegation is that Sam Dastyari somehow used information, that he didn’t have by the way, in terms of national security, to relay that to this gentleman in Sydney. The fact is that the Government has been out there talking about national security issues – about that very issue – to the whole world. So the allegation is that Sam Dastyari might have told someone. The reality is that we do know the Government’s been out there talking about surveillance of people and national security issues for anyone who wanted to hear it.

JAYES: So are you concerned that Sam Dastyari might have been under surveillance or still is?

ALBANESE: Well we don’t know. That’s the point. The point is here that the Government and in particular the Attorney-General have been quite happy to be out there in an unprecedented way talking about surveillance of people and the results of surveillance. It’s quite extraordinary and the Government needs to, I think, explain how this information got out there. We asked about it in the Parliament yesterday and got no answers.

JAYES: OK. Well if I can move on to the Parliament, the Government lost another vote on the floor of the House yesterday. Now this is probably not such a huge deal because it happened six months ago, so, you know, it didn’t break a 50-year precedent. But this is a stunt from Labor isn’t it?

ALBANESE: No it wasn’t. It was a return of a motion from the Senate that had been adopted that the Government brought on for debate. And so the Government knew it was coming. It was carried in the Senate in the morning about calling for an important issue that Australians are discussing about what happens to the men on Manus and whether Australia should accept the offer of New Zealand to settle 150 people there. Now we had a debate.  I spoke in the debate and made a contribution to the debate.

Then the vote was held.  I thought that it was possible that maybe one or two of them had found their conscience and needed to actually act like the Government and provide a partial resolution to providing a future for these men.

It turned out that wasn’t the case and Steven Ciobo in particular, I think, used unfortunate language when talking about the indefinite detention of people on Manus when he said he was detained. We don’t know why he was detained, but he was detained from voting. I was the Leader of the House in a minority Parliament where towards the end we had 70 Labor members on the floor of the Parliament. We didn’t lose votes. This mob lose votes. They lost them within three days of the election and they’ve lost them earlier this year and now they lost a vote yesterday again on the floor of the Parliament. They simply aren’t capable of governing. They should just give up and go to an election.

JAYES: That goes a bit far doesn’t it? Incapable of governing.

ALBANESE: Well, they are not governing. They act like they are the Opposition. They cancelled Parliament last week because it was too hard for them. They lose votes on the floor of the Parliament. They still, with regard to the Manus issue, say: Oh well, Labor did, Labor was …

JAYES: Labor did.

ALBANESE: They are in their fifth year. They are an Opposition in exile on the Government benches and that is the way that they behave, rather than providing real solutions to issues. They have responsibilities to settle people who are on Manus and they are not doing it.

JAYES: OK, that’s a longer conversation we will have another time Anthony Albanese. We’ll leave it there. Thank you for your time.

ALBANESE:  Happy to do so. Thanks Laura.


Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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