Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Interview Transcripts"
Aug 8, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa Adelaide, Two Tribes Segment – Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Subjects: 5AA Underpants Drive, Barnaby Joyce, Emma Husar.

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning from Melbourne.

HOST: Now Chris we’ve got to say we are glad to have you back. Things got pretty loose last week. Albo accused your stand-in Alan Tudge of being drunk.

ALBANESE: That was the best thing you could put on it. At least that would be an excuse for his ridiculous statements.

PYNE: I’m more worried about the fact that Anthony thinks that the Undies Drive is for second-hand undies, not new ones.

ALBANESE: I’m deeply disturbed about the whole thing.

HOST: We can’t stress enough, we only want brand new underpants guys.

PYNE: Anthony is going to come up to Canberra with a handful of used undies to take to Adelaide next week.

ALBANESE: Christopher’s already made more jokes in the last 30 seconds that Alan Tudge has made in his life.

PYNE: Don’t be unkind. Don’t be unkind.

HOST: Now Chris, you will be thrilled to hear that we have got one of your colleagues – Barnaby Joyce – coming on our show at 7.05am tomorrow morning to talk about his new book. Do you have any questions in mind that we could ask the former Deputy Prime Minister?

PYNE: Look, I wish Barnaby well. I have seen excerpts of his book and it is confronting and obviously he has a story to tell and I’m glad that he has found a voice to tell it through his book and I wish him very much the best with the rest of his political career and in his non-political life. I hope that things turn out well for him.

HOST: Can I ask a serious question, and I will ask it to you first Albo, but I’d like to get Chris’s thoughts on this as well. Over the last fortnight we’ve seen a string of leaks going to the conduct of Emma Husar and I’m not trying to provide her with any alibis, save for the fact to note how intense the focus has been on her. In his own book too, Barnaby Joyce talks about how things got so bad for him that he felt like he basically didn’t want to be alive anymore. Do you think that public life comes with too high a cost at times?

ALBANESE: I think to be honest, yes. I feel for what Emma Husar is going through at the moment – the intense scrutiny; the people being asked to comment, and indeed commenting, who don’t know any of the facts. I certainly don’t. And yet when you get asked to comment on the specifics of events of which you have no information it is almost like journos think you are obfuscating if you say, for example: I haven’t met any of Emma Husar’s staff, for example so I don’t know. There an investigation. Let it take its course. But the intense media focus I think has changed in recent times. It used to be that people filed at 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock for the next day’s papers. Now people file for the next hour so there is intense pressure on people in the media to, you know, get the next issue relating to a particular frenzy that is on and I think that can have quite a devastating consequence for the people who are the focus of that intensity.

HOST: What do you think Chris?

PYNE: Well I do think if you look back through history there is always moments of great intensity surrounding issues that engulf Members of Parliament and ministers, cabinet ministers, even prime ministers, and there is a great deal of scrutiny on politicians. How everybody deals with that, each individual is different and I’ve been in Parliament 25 years, Anthony about 20 years. We’ve both been through difficult times over that period because that is just the normal course of life. But the way to deal with that of course I think is to shut down the shop, focus on what matters and remember that we are doing a job and the job doesn’t define us, we define ourselves.

HOST: Yes. Good stuff. We are going to leave it there today guys. We are freezing our butts off here and we need to get back to the more important business of …

ALBANESE: Have you got undies on the outside?

HOST: We’ve got undies everywhere. You would not believe it.

ALBANESE: Is this the whole Superman thing? Maybe you’ve got them on your head.

HOST: It is a very Adelaide thing Albo. It’s actually a noble charity-oriented gesture but it also doubles as a cheap vehicle for a bit of casual cross dressing as well. So we are having a lot of fun.

ALBANESE: See, on the east coast they have drives for clothes in general, not just undies.

HOST: Yes. That’s too easy. That’s just obvious. Good on you guys.

Aug 8, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Geelong, VIC – Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Subject: City Partnerships policy

LIBBY COKER: I’d like to welcome everyone here today and I’m Libby Coker. I’m the Labor candidate for Corangamite and with me I have Richard Marles, my friend and colleague and the Member for Corio. I have Bruce Harwood, who is the Mayor of the City of Greater Geelong. And of course we have Anthony Albanese, who is Labor’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Now we are here today because we want to send message of commitment to this region, to the people of Geelong and to the people of Corangamite.

We know that this region is growing rapidly and we also know that it has great potential. We’ve got the Surf Coast and Bellarine. We have the hinterland areas of Golden Plains and Colac, Otway and of course we have the thriving city of Geelong and these places are full of potential. We are so close to Melbourne as well. It’s an absolute recipe for a great region that can deliver for people and that’s what we’re here today to talk about. We want to actually unlock this potential, but to do so we need to invest in infrastructure. So it’s very exciting to have Anthony Albanese with us because he is going to make an announcement about our commitment to the region and I’d like to introduce him now to talk to you about our City Partnership for this region. Thank you.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Libby and it’s great to be back here in Geelong with yourself, with Richard and with Bruce as the Mayor. We’ve just had a very constructive discussion yet again with the council but also with the G21 representatives and the Committee for Geelong. This is very much a region that I am familiar with and one of the things I put in place when we were last in government was a strong, close relationship between local government and the national government. For the first time we established the Australian Council of Local Government and invited all mayors to meet with the entire Cabinet in Canberra over a two-day period and we developed a funding relationship that saw major infrastructure here such as the Princes Highway, the Geelong Ring Road and other community-based infrastructure here – support for the stadium. But we also saw a relationship with local government in partnership.
There’s been some discussion about a City Deal for Geelong. But now, more than seven months after the memorandum of understanding was signed, we still don’t have any actual dollars on the table from the Federal Government. What we want to see with our City Partnerships policy is a genuine bottom-up approach, one whereby decisions aren’t made in Canberra and then relayed later on to cities such as Geelong; a relationship whereby the city of Geelong and the community here develop what their priorities are, how it fits in with a strategic approach to making this area more productive, more sustainable and more liveable and how we grow our regional cities like Geelong, which plays an important role as the day after we just ticked over to 25 million people, we need to grow Geelong in part due to its status as a great city in its own right, but also wanting to grow the second cities in order to take pressure off the capital cities, particularly those along the east coast. One way we do that is by having a vibrant centre of the city that will service the entire region; that will service Colac, the Surf Coast and other parts of this region to the west of Melbourne. So we think this is critical and we will work in partnership.

Today we discussed the projects that have been the centre of City Deal – discussions such as the convention centre, the revitalisation of the city here, but also what else could be done; the idea of the arts centre servicing the northern region here in Geelong, what other major infrastructure projects are required and a process. We announced our City Partnerships policy just last month and what we announced was that we’d re-establish the Major Cities Unit. It would oversee the implementation of City Partnerships on an ongoing basis.

When we were last in government, we delivered community infrastructure funding through the local council based upon local priorities and we want to work with the community and through the council, through Bruce, but also through the local representatives – Richard of course on an ongoing basis, but we hope that Libby will join us in Canberra after the next election. This is a vital region. It could be so much better if the three levels of government work together in order to see the priorities of this region realised.

BRUCE HARWOOD: Thank you. First we welcome Anthony Albanese down in Geelong. It’s been an important discussion we’ve had and as I’ve said to the Shadow Minister, it gives Geelong an assurance that Geelong will be receiving much needed and important funding into the future through a potential new program of our City Partnership policy and, as has been explained to us, a slightly different process to what we’re going through at the moment. But as I said, the key is that Geelong is being the focus for important Federal Government funding in combination with the State Government and Council contribution as well.

The particular projects we’re talking about are well documented in relation to the conference convention centre, our revitalisation program, our safe harbour and also our connection to the Shipwreck Coast masterplan which is very important. But we’re also talking about rail and road infrastructure and also the Northern ARC project out in our northern suburbs. So it’s good to hear that this commitment is going to be realised in some way shape or form. So from Geelong’s perspective it’s great news and we look forward to the future with great optimism and again we thank you gentlemen for coming down and making this announcement and your consideration of Geelong and the importance you place on our region is much appreciated.

RICHARD MARLES: Firstly welcome Libby, thank you Bruce for hosting us and thank you Anthony for coming down to Geelong today to talk about our policy in relation to City Partnerships. In the first century of our Federation we’ve seen some amazing capital cities be evolved and created in Australia. But going forward in terms of our country’s future, our nation’s story has to be more than simply capitals. It has to be about regional Australia and I know that Anthony is very committed to seeing regional Australia at the centre of the Australian story going into this century.

It is absolutely imperative if we want to meet the destiny that we have for our country that places like Geelong, like Wollongong, like Newcastle are a centrepiece of what Australia is about and it is as central a part of our national story as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. That’s only going to happen if we place councils and local organisations at the centre of that decision-making; if they are empowered in the way in which that growth occurs and that’s what the City Partnership policy is all about. You know the City Deal, that’s all fair enough, but we actually don’t know what’s going on in terms of the Federal Government’s policy there. It’s very much a top-down approach. What we’re talking about is building upon that and doing that in a way where local councils, where organisations like the Committee for Geelong and G21 are central to the thinking …(inaudible). Unless we do that we’re not going to see places like Geelong and regional Australia more generally develop in the way that we would want it to and that is so absolutely essential to our national story going forward.

Anthony has been a champion of this throughout his political career. He mentioned that when he was the Minister – I think officially Minister for Local Government at the time – we had really sort of the blossoming of that relationship between the Federal Government and the local tier of government, which was the underdone relationship in the Australian Federation, such that we saw a gathering of mayors back in 2008, which I think Bruce as the Mayor at that time participated in in Canberra, which really changed the relationship between the Federal Government and local governments around Australia. Anthony brings that spirit to the task going forward and it’s absolutely what we need to see – Geelong go forward and regional Australia go forward. So it’s just fantastic Anthony to have you down in Geelong today.

JOURNALIST: Shadow Minister, if I can ask what is the difference between a City Deal and a City Partnership?

ALBANESE: A City Partnership will be bottom-up, will be one which genuinely partners with local government and with state government and with the community to meet their needs as they see it. The City Deal approach is that councils have been asked to sign up often to commitments that they don’t know what is in the deal until it’s announced by the Federal Government without consultation with them about their priorities. So we think that there is a much better way of doing this and that is the way that we intend to work. We intend to have guidelines for the City Partnerships encompassing the priorities of productivity, sustainability and liveability – that framework. There will be an oversight by the independent Major Cities Unit that we will establish as part of Infrastructure Australia to work with local government. At the moment the Government’s City Deals have no guidelines, have no time frame, have no funding pool and have, in Geelong’s case, some seven months after an MOU is signed, we have no detail and that’s not a way to build that genuine partnership and collaboration that’s required.

JOURNALIST: How important is it to take the politics out of this?

ALBANESE: Well one of the things that having the Major Cities Unit will do is to ensure that you have the politics taken out of the process. One of the things we wanted to make sure as well, that people know as well, is that we’ll build on any arrangements that are signed up to in terms of a City Deal announcement, either here in or in other parts of Australia where there are discussions taking place, because we don’t want local government to be in a position of having uncertainty in the lead-up to an election over whether what has been agreed will proceed. We want an enhanced relationship with cities and the City Partnership policy will do just that.

JOURNALIST: How much money would a Federal Labor Government commit to Geelong’s City Partnership?

ALBANESE: The whole idea of this is that you would have a process whereby a City Partnership built on any City Deal which is arranged. It goes through the Major Cities Unit, which would give recommendations to the Government for funding and that would be a process that we’d go through in government. There would be guidelines to it. But one of the things about the City Deal concept as taken from the United Kingdom is essentially the idea that if a particular project is going to cost $10 million but will produce additional economic activity that will produce a return in terms of revenue to the Federal Government of $15 million, or a positive return, then the Government is therefore incentivised to make that contribution earlier rather than waiting for delay. So it’s a matter of getting ahead, particularly in those projects that produce an economic return, and to be able to have an objective process through the Major Cities Unit as part of Infrastructure Australia to determine that.
So that is the idea behind City Deals originally. The way that this Government has implemented City Deals is very different from that. They’ve tended to be essentially election commitments that were made prior to the last election with a City Deal title put on top. That’s not a way of having genuine collaboration that’s required and so we are saying we want to work on all of the objectives and how it fits together particularly. This is a form of economic policy. This is about creating jobs as well and building in work such as the GROW concept that’s been founded here in Geelong of making sure that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are benefiting as well from that infrastructure support and investment here in the region.

JOURNALIST: So how would you stop a government from keeping their powder dry and rolling out announcements just in the lead-up to an election? Because it’s obviously a tempting thing for government to do.

ALBANESE: By having a proper process and by having a process which has guidelines, that is a rolling process as a part, an inherent part, of government, rather than just election commitments which tend to be stand-alone in terms of funding for a community centre or for a particular road. The idea of City Partnerships is how does that all fit together; how does transport infrastructure fit together with tourism infrastructure; fit in with job creation; fit in the economic specialisation of a region. And here in this region I in the past have sat down and had roundtables with industry, with Deakin University, with the G21 group, with the Committee for Geelong. There is a great deal that this region has to offer. It has – in spite of some setbacks over the last decade, the fact is that it remains a centre for manufacturing. It has the potential to be even greater in terms of advanced manufacturing. We want to be a nation that continues to build things and a region such as Geelong can use the advantages that it has to ensure that that’s the case.

JOURNALIST: Shadow Minister, one of the criticisms you had of the City Deal policy when you launched it last month was that they were only being rolled out in marginal seats. Corangamite is a marginal seat. Is that the only reason Geelong got a City Deal?

ALBANESE: We’re here for the Geelong region and Geelong is getting a City Deal from the current Government. Well, there’s an MOU, there’s no details, there’s no funding there. What we want to do is to work with the regions and you’ll note that yesterday I had an opinion piece published speaking about the context of Australia hitting 25 million people. One of the things that we can do to take that pressure that’s there in terms of urban congestion in our capital cities is to make sure that our second cities grow. This isn’t a new idea for me, we very consciously set up last time round the Major Cities Unit. It wasn’t the capital cities unit, it was the Major Cities Unit that dealt with Geelong, Townsville, Wollongong, Newcastle. These are important areas that need to grow.

It’s one of the reasons why we supported the National Broadband Network being so important in terms of the original fibre to the premise idea was overcoming the tyranny of distance. If you can be located in Geelong and have the same access to markets both national and international as one located in Collins Street, Melbourne, then you have other advantages, because your cost overheads are lower in this area than in Collins Street, Melbourne, so you immediately have a positive advantage for business. We want to look at that concept of regional economic development which is very much a part of our City Partnerships policy and we will be developing that policy as well. Unlike what the current Government has done with its City Deals, which is selecting from Canberra as well, we’re setting up a framework whereby any capital city, regional city or area like Western Sydney can come together and can put forward a proposal for a City Partnership.

Last week I was in Frankston and had a roundtable with the Greater Frankston Committee there about what opportunities are there in south-east Melbourne. So wherever, the will is there. And the great thing about Geelong and one of the reasons I was very keen to come and see Bruce and the local representatives today, and I think Richard has always been keen to have me down in this region, is that it does have a structure whereby you have – I know there is a bit of debate about perhaps having one single body – but the truth is you have a range of people who come representing not a sectional interest. They represent a regional interest and they advocate very strongly and that’s a real advantage that this region has. Even today when we were talking about the benefit of Geelong as a city, and in particular the inner city of Geelong, the benefit that that has as an asset, not just for Geelong, but for Colac and for the Surf Coast and for the region as a whole.

JOURNALIST: So would you scrap the existing deals that have already been struck with Western Sydney, Launceston and Geelong or will you honour those commitments?

ALBANESE: No what we’ve said is that we will keep those commitments, but we’ll enhance them. The Western Sydney City Deal for example, the centrepiece of it is a rail line through Badgerys Creek on the north-south corridor that’s been identified. There isn’t a dollar of funding for construction been allocated by either Federal or State government. It’s the centrepiece. So we need to do much better than that and I think that we can do better and we can do better not by sitting in Canberra and determining how we do better; we can do better by going here, Launceston, Western Sydney and hearing from them what their priorities are and how we can do better.

JOURNALIST: For a City Partnership would you commit to a time frame for things to be rolled out? You mentioned that an MOU here was signed seven months ago and there’s not a lot of detail. What sort of time frame would a Federal Labor…

ALBANESE: Well we’ll establish the Major Cities Unit very quickly and we know the framework because we’ve done it before. But this will be enhanced. We’ve identified where the funding will come from. It comes from the abolition of the Infrastructure Financing Unit which is the job that Infrastructure Australia under its legislation should be doing at arm’s length of government. We’ve identified that. Last time round when we were in government I was appointed Infrastructure Minister in December, we had legislation to create Infrastructure Australia in February and it was up and running fully in June of 2008 and produced reports and policies that year, including an Infrastructure Priority List. So we can do this very quickly. There’s a framework. That’s one of the reasons why we’re not saying we’ll scrap work that’s been done. We’ll enhance it. We’ll build on it. We don’t want people to go back to the drawing board we though acknowledge that we can do much better. That is the response that we’ve had from local government in particular who welcomed our call in City Partnerships because that’s the feedback that we’ve been getting from local government around the country – that they want to be genuine partners with the other levels of government rather than just be there waiting to hear announcements from the national government. Thanks very much.

Aug 3, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Today Show – Friday, 3 August 2018

Subjects: By-elections, Emma Husar, banks, drought.

GEORGIE GARDNER: Treasurer Scott Morrison has taken aim at Bill Shorten for not taking control of the drama that is gripping the Labor Party as explosive allegations continue to haunt Labor MP Emma Husar, who has denied claims she exposed herself to a staff member. We are joined now by Labor’s Anthony Albanese in the studio and, in Adelaide, Christopher Pyne. Good morning to you both.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Georgie.

GARDNER: Anthony Albanese, good to see you. Where have you been? You have been lying low since those by-elections?

ALBANESE: Not at all.

GARNDER: Where are those leadership ambitions?

ALBANESE: Well they are your leadership ambitions. I said last week that there wasn’t an issue here; that I thought we would always win the by-elections. The media, I think, have been a little caught out. And why Malcolm Turnbull talked up the chances of getting a one-in-100-year result says everything about him.

GARDNER: All right – by-elections over. Let’s talk about your current crisis – allegations of misusing entitlements and staff, workplace bullying, intimidation, verbal abuse, sexual harassment. Emma Husar is a huge liability to Labor, isn’t she? Isn’t she?

ALBANESE: What we have here is a process in place and the idea that you should have a running commentary while there is an independent investigation taking place is not fair, either to Emma Husar or to the people who have made complaints about her.

GARDNER: But these complaints are coming from within Labor ranks. They are not coming from the Government.

ALBANESE: Well, what is extraordinary, I find this week, is the amount of coverage that rumours and unfounded allegations at this point are getting at the same time as what we actually know has happened, as fact, this week, is that almost half a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money was given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, an organisation that had six employees at the time; an organisation that had a minuscule budget; and all of a sudden, without a tender process, without anything at all, there’s almost half a billion dollars in a meeting between Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg and the foundation. That, we know is fact, and it has had very little coverage. It should be receiving more because that is the story of this week.

GARDNER: Christopher I will give you a right of reply to that.

PYNE: Well Georgie, I’m not responsible for that particular part of the Government’s policy. It is a good attempt on Anthony Albanese’s part to try and flick the switch to another subject. Obviously all those things will come out if there are any issues around them. But nobody other than the Labor Party is suggesting that there are. I do think the situation with Emma Husar, originally of course we were saying from the Government that it needed to go through the proper investigative process and Jack Whelan is doing that on behalf of the Labor Party. But the stories keep coming internally from within Labor and unfortunately for Bill Shorten, he is the Leader of the Labor Party and I do think that he needs to take personal responsibility for solving what has become a rolling crisis.

GARDNER: And should Emma Husar contest the next election?

PYNE: That will be a matter for the outcome of this investigation and the Labor Party’s pre-selection processes. But if this was a Liberal MP, the media and the Labor Party would be demanding that Malcolm Turnbull take personal responsibility for solving it and I think we are at that point now where Bill Shorten needs to step up as the Labor Leader and deal with what is obviously a very serious series of issues, ensuring that Emma Husar gets the rights that all Australians should have to protect her own reputation. But I don’t think he can allow this to drag on as long as it has so far.

GARDNER: Time will tell and Lindsay obviously a crucial seat. Let’s move on. The Productivity Commission’s final report into our banks will be released today revealing again how loyal customers are exploited. Christopher can you guarantee we are going to see change here? I mean, banks have had it good for so long, haven’t they?

PYNE: The Government has been good to the banks – both Labor and Liberal – over a long time because they have been the foundation in many respects of the stability of our economy. Don’t forget during the Global Financial Crisis we gave guarantees to the banks to ensure they were protected and to stabilise our economy. So they have a responsibility to give back to Australia and to our economy. The Royal Commission will make a series of recommendations I am sure. The Government will consider those and I would be very surprised if we didn’t implement whatever Kenneth Hayne thought was going to be better for Australian consumers. Banks have got to remember Georgie that the consumer should be their only interest –  not profit, not themselves, but it should be only the consumer and the consumer’s best interests.

GARDNER: Anthony, some of the banking customers have been farmers. There is an opportunity for the banks to help out farmers isn’t there?

ALBANESE: Well there is an opportunity to help out farmers and other customers. The Government resisted this Royal Commission on around about 20 occasions. The fact is that this Royal Commission has been vindicated by the extraordinary revelations that have come out about banks essentially misusing their power. And one of the ways it has been misused is against people on the land who have had interventions against them in ways that are quite outrageous, I think. And at a time when our farmers are suffering, they need every support.

GARDNER: They do indeed. We are taking the show out to the bush on Monday. We are highly excited about it and looking forward to it.  Good to see you both. Thank you so much. Have a great weekend. See you next week.

ALBANESE: Good to be here. Go the Rabbitohs tonight!

KARL STEFANOVIC: There he is.There he is.

ALBANESE: You can watch it on Nine. That’s how to get yourself in the grab.

GARDNER: Calling the shots, Anthony Albanese.

STEFANOVIC: And it is good to see him back.

Jul 31, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Langwarrin, VIC – Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure, Frankston-Baxter Rail Upgrade, TAFE, by-elections, Emma Husar, negative campaigning.

PETA MURPHY: I’m the Labor candidate for Dunkley and it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Anthony Albanese here today. We are here to do a roundtable with the Committee for Greater Frankston and talk about the infrastructure and the other needs of Dunkley and our region. We are here at the beautiful McClelland Sculpture Gallery and Parklands, which those of us who are locals are really incredibly proud of. It’s a terrific location and it is part of one of the best places in the world to live, so I am very pleased that we can have you here to show off our amazing location and talk about Labor’s plans for the future.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks Peta and thanks for welcoming us back to Frankston yet again. This is a great region. It’s a growing region. It’s one that needs to get the infrastructure before you get further growth in this region. And that is what Labor’s City Partnerships are all about. Our City Partnerships Plan that we announced earlier this month is about getting bottom-up support for planning to make sure that we meet the transport infrastructure, the health and education infrastructure and social infrastructure, that communities, particularly in our growing outer suburbs of our cities and in our regional cities need.

One example of that of course is the extension of the rail line from Frankston to Baxter. That is something where the Government belatedly caught up with Labor’s commitment that we made prior to the last Federal election in the most recent Budget. They allocated some $225 million. The problem with that is, like a lot of their commitments, it is off into the Never-Never. Only $60 million of that money is available prior to 2023. So what we want to do is, once the business case is completed, and that will be completed next year, is make sure that that project is done sooner, rather than later, that it gets the planning right and that will be a catalyst for other activity.

Today we are also meeting with the committee about what the priorities are for future jobs growth in this region. One of the things that Labor has been concerned about is that the jobs growth in our capital cities has largely been around CBDs. What that means is that people have to commute to and from work, many people spending more time in their cars or on public transport each day than they do at home with their kids. We want jobs to be created in local communities and that will be a focus of today’s discussion.

But importantly, this is consistent with an approach that we are having right around the country. Just last week I had a roundtable in Canning, south of Perth – a similar growing region to the Frankston region here – with local employers, local councils and local community-based organisations about the growth here. We will be continuing in the lead-up to the Federal election and beyond to consult with local communities about what their needs are and where better than this magnificent art gallery here today to have a venue. We are just about a kilometre away from Langwarrin down the road, which is a potential site which the business case will examine for a new station as part of the rail extension.

So I look forward to today’s discussion. I look forward to continuing to work with our fantastic candidates – Peta here; I have just come from a discussion with apprentices up at Chisholm TAFE at Berwick with Simon Curtis, our candidate for La Trobe. Labor is working very hard in our outer suburbs to make sure that we are in a position to hit the ground running after the next Federal election, to turn around the neglect that these communities have suffered from as a result of a Government led by Malcolm Turnbull that very much is just focused on the inner area of Sydney.

And in conclusion also can I say that it is outrageous that the last financial year Victoria received under 9 percent of the national infrastructure budget. It has improved somewhat in this current financial year, but it is still up to only 14 per cent. We are standing today in Australia’s fastest-growing city of Melbourne. The growth is particularly in both the western and the south-eastern suburbs here of Melbourne. It represents more than 25 percent of Australia’s population. The projections are that Melbourne will be Australia’s largest city and Victoria is of course Australia’s fastest- growing state. But it hasn’t received the infrastructure funding that it deserves because we have a Federal Government that has been prepared to play politics and to only fund projects and indeed states where they have Coalition governments. That’s not what we did when we were last in government and our approach would be to make sure that we represent all of Australia, particularly our growing outer suburbs. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: Just on the topic of by-elections, do you think they were about the leaders or the local candidates?

ALBANESE: Well by-elections are about a whole range of issues. One of the things that this by-election was about, according to Malcolm Turnbull, was about leaders and I am sure that Malcolm Turnbull regrets the statements that he made. We had a very good result in returning what are fantastic local members to the national Parliament and I look forward in two weeks’ time from today – just a bit before today, less than two weeks now – we’ll welcome back those three sitting Labor members as well as having Patrick Gorman join the Labor team as the Member for Perth. All of those people are outstanding local candidates. The whole Labor team put in an enormous effort – Bill Shorten as the Leader, our entire Shadow Ministry team, the Labor campaign organisation and importantly Labor branch members, the rank and file of the party, worked so hard and they got an outstanding result on Saturday.

REPORTER: There were still a lot of votes though for independent candidates. People are getting away from the big parties. How do you get them in in these local elections?

ALBANESE: Well what we need to do is to address the issues that are of concern to them and we need to make sure that as politicians we are doing what Peta and I will be doing today – sitting down, listening to their concerns. All politics is local as they say and today we will be talking about transport issues, we’ll be talking about health issues, education, the infrastructure needs here. But we will also be talking about how a City Partnerships approach to that brings it all together so that you have a holistic approach to how a community will grow, how we improve the productivity of that community, but also the sustainability and liveability of that community.

This is a fantastic place to live and this art gallery, where we are today, is a great example of how important cultural institutions are to the quality of life of local communities. I know that the Greater Frankston Committee wanted to meet here today to show off with pride what this fantastic sculpture gallery outside is – an enormous amount of work – and here at this gallery inside as well. All of that is important economic infrastructure but also social and cultural infrastructure as well.

REPORTER: Do you think Trevor Ruthenberg’s medal scandal swing the Longman by-election or had any impact?

ALBANESE: Look I think people will go over and look at a whole range of issues. There’s no doubt that that wasn’t helpful. But there’s no doubt also that the decision of the LNP to run a candidate who had been rejected by the electorate before, who was a part of Campbell Newman’s Government, that had an attitude towards health and education of just cutting investment – they cut, a massive number of public servants lost their jobs – and Big Trev as they called him was associated with those big cuts. There is also no doubt as well that the association with Campbell Newman’s Government just reminded people as well, reinforced the fact that the Turnbull and Abbott governments have also been bad particularly for the outer suburbs like electorates like Longman.

The cuts to education and health have had an impact on those communities and, what’s more, the fact that the Government has not kept its word. This is a Government prior to 2013 said there would be no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts to the ABC or SBS, and we’ve seen cuts all the way through that have had an impact and certainly there’s a whole range of issues that came home there.

Certainly also I think, Susan Lamb is a very good friend of mine, she has been a great local member. I visited Longman both before the last election where Susan was elected, but since as well. Susan was in touch with her local employers, she was in touch with the local workforce and the local community, just as Peta here in Frankston is in touch. And that’s what you want – candidates who are out here and committed to their local communities, who are a part of those local communities.

REPORTER: On the Emma Husar report, do you think that should be released publicly and don’t people have a right to know what it says?

ALBANESE: That’s a matter for others. I am not aware of the details of the timing etc of that report. It’s a report that has been commissioned by the New South Wales branch and I think it is appropriate, given that there is this report by Mr Whelan under way, that it be allowed to take its course and that people don’t have a running commentary on the way through about the details.

REPORTER: So once it’s finished …?

ALBANESE: It’s a matter of not having a running commentary about that report and I don’t intend in any way to make comments on a process that is under way.  It should be allowed to take its course.

REPORTER: Have you now put away any ambition to become Federal Labor Leader?

ALBANESE: I don’t know if you were paying attention last week or not or any time since 2013 when I have been asked this question. I have been consistent about it. I am happy to be a part of the Labor team. My ambition is for Labor to be in government and to be the Infrastructure Minister in a government led by Bill Shorten after the next election.

REPORTER: Just on negative election campaigning, it got very personal. We have had the African gang issue here in Melbourne. Can we look forward to that in a Federal election spread over the whole nation?

ALBANESE: What Labor has done is put forward positive ideas. There has been no Opposition in living memory that has put forward such comprehensive plans for the nation; that has put forward, I think, bold plans on issues like housing affordability, making the changes that we have advocated for negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax; on the changes that we have made to the imputation of dividends; on the changes that we have made in terms of policies. I have just visited a TAFE where we have a plan to help rebuild TAFE in terms of funding, where we also have a plan in terms of 100,000 fee-free places. Right across the board – on infrastructure, here in this area we have committed to the extension of the rail line to Baxter. But we have also committed to infrastructure support right across the nation. We have put forward positive plans. Today we are having a meeting with the community, with local government, with business to get further input as to what our plans will be. There is nothing negative about that. It is positive and Labor will continue to put forward a positive agenda in the lead-up to the election, Thank you very much.

[ENDS]

Jul 27, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 27 July 2018

Subjects: By-elections.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Welcome back to the show. With the crucial Super Saturday by-elections less than 24 hours away. Labor is facing the wrenching prospect of losing every seat it contests against the Liberals in tomorrow’s multi by-election. We’re joined now by Labor’s Anthony Albanese and in Adelaide, Christopher Pyne. Gentlemen, good morning to you.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning, Karl.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, I’m going to start with you because you may only get one question this morning. How long has Bill Shorten got?

PYNE: Look it’s amazing Karl that we’re even talking about winning any by-elections. The Government hasn’t won a by-election from the Opposition since 1920. The fact that we could be looking at winning Longman or Braddon, and that Labor’s not getting four or five per cent swings’ speaks volumes to the fact that Bill Shorten isn’t trusted by the Australian public and that the public have worked out they can’t afford Labor. They don’t want Bill Shorten’s $270 billion of new taxes. They don’t want to be run by the CFMEU and they just don’t trust Bill Shorten as Prime Minister of Australia.

STEAFANOVIC: Anthony you’ve been very honest in the past week. Are you too gutless to push for the Labor leadership?

ALBANESE: What I’m doing is trying to win these by-elections. I was in Longman yesterday. I was in Perth and Fremantle earlier on in the week where the Libs aren’t even contesting a seat like Perth where they got 42 per cent of the primary vote at the last election.

STEFANOVIC: Bill Shorten is not working, why don’t you push for the leadership?

ALBANESE: What I’m doing is working as part of Bill Shorten’s team. And we are a team. We’re working to make sure we get a successful result tomorrow. We’ve got great candidates in Susan Lamb and Justine Keay in two key seats.

STEFANOVIC: What you want, is someone else to do the dirty work for you and lance that boil.

ALBANESE: What I want is for Labor to be in government and to play a role in that team. I’m a team player.

STEFANOVIC: It’s not going to be Bill Shorten that does that.

ALBANESE: Well, we’ll see, Karl. What we know is that tomorrow’s by-elections are obviously critical. Bill Shorten leads a Labor team. I want to be a Minister in Bill Shorten’s Government after the next election.

STEFANOVIC: Is it going to be hard for you to skewer Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: What I’m concerned about is making sure that tomorrow and beyond people understand that they do face a very real choice. A choice between the big banks and the big end of town and a choice between a Labor Party that’s committed to education, health, infrastructure and the right investment.

STEFANOVIC: The issue here is you know you’re the most popular Labor candidate, you know you’re the most likely to lead your party to success at the next election. But you don’t want blood on your hands. You can’t have it both ways.

ALBANESE: What I want is to be part of the Labor team. And I’ve done that. For five years I’ve been sitting in this chair having questions about the leadership and I’ve been consistent. What I’ve consistently said is that what you need to do in life is to do the job that you’ve been given to the best of your capacity and that’s what I’m doing.

STEFANOVIC: I think maybe the Australian public don’t want to go through all this. Maybe they want you to take over from Bill Shorten now. You have to read that, you have to make a decision, you have to show leadership as well, don’t you?

ALBANESE: Well what I’m showing is that I’m part of the Labor team and I think people want to see a team.

STEFANOVIC: They want to see leadership.

ALBANESE: They want to see a team. Our team is led by Bill Shorten. That was a decision that was made in 2013.

STEFANOVIC: The public doesn’t want to see soft Anthony Albanese. They want to see Anthony Albanese stand up and say, “I want to be Prime Minister, I want to lead this party”, and at the moment you haven’t done that.

ALBANESE: I think what they want is to see an alternative government that is united and that’s determined to put forward the sort of policy propositions that we’ve put forward. We haven’t been a small target in Opposition we’ve been prepared to be big and bold and we’ll continue to be so.

STEFANOVIC: So if the party comes to you and says righto it’s time for Bill to go, you’ll say no it’s not time for Bill to go?

ALBANESE: Well that’s not happening, Karl. What’s happening …

STEFANOVIC: But if they did?

ALBANESE: The party isn’t focused on internals …

STEFANOVIC: But when they do, because they will?

ALBANESE: The party isn’t focused on internals. What the party is focused on is fighting Christopher and his mob, because we think they’re a rotten Government. We think that they’ve run out of steam. We think that Malcolm Turnbull isn’t who the Australian public thought he would be. They thought they were getting someone who would stand up on issues like climate change. He said he wouldn’t lead a party that wasn’t as committed to action on climate change as he is. Well now we just see a mess when it comes to energy policy and that has real implications.

STEFANOVIC: Now you’re sounding like the Leader of the Party.

ALBANESE: What I’m sounding like is an advocate for the Labor cause. I continue to do that and I will do it to the best of my capacity.

STEFANOVIC: Will you be Leader at the next election?

ALBANESE: What I will be is part of the Labor team.

STEFANOVIC: Okay, but that’s not ruling it out.

ALBANESE: I’ll be part of the Labor team. I’ll be the Shadow Infrastructure Minister. The one word that I want to change in my title is getting rid of that rotten word shadow.

STEFANOVIC: Okay. Christopher, final word?

PYNE: Yesterday Anthony threw Bill under the bus saying that he knew about the Emma Husar story weeks ago …

STEFANOVIC: How did he not know that?

PYNE: When Bill Shorten says he only heard about it last Wednesday. Everywhere – if Anthony didn’t want people to be speculating about him being the Leader he would stay home in Grayndler. He’s all over the country.

ALBANESE: You wish I did.

PYNE: He is campaigning all over the country. Even in seats where the Liberal Party isn’t running, because he’s currying favour with the caucus. And yesterday he threw Bill under the bus. On the one hand he said he didn’t want to be Leader. On the other hand he completely disagreed with Bill Shorten in terms of when people knew about the Emma Husar issue and he can’t have it both ways.

ALBANESE: I didn’t at all. What I did was give an honest answer to a question when I was asked.

STEFANOVIC: But why didn’t Bill know about it if you did?

ALBANESE: I have no idea.

STEFANOVIC: Have you spoken to Bill lately?

ALBANESE: I speak to Bill all the time.

STEFANOVIC: When was the last time you spoke to him?

ALBANESE: I spoke to him, I think, maybe earlier this week.

STEFANOVIC: Maybe?

ALBANESE: We speak all the time.

STEFANOVIC: I understand.

PYNE: Which year was it, 2017?

ALBANESE: I speak to him almost as often as I speak to Christopher.

 

 

Jul 26, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Narangba – Thursday, 26 July 2018

Subjects; Narangba station, Labor’s Park and Ride fund, Emma Husar, by-elections, aviation safety

SUSAN LAMB: Well here at Narangba Station, I’ve spent week after week speaking with commuters about the challenges they face in trying to find a carpark here. We know the best way to bust some of those congestion problems on the Bruce Highway is to get the cars off the road and get them right here to Narangba Station and get people onto trains. Now today we have a great announcement. Under a Shorten Labor Government we’re investing $5 million for a Park and Ride facility here. A hundred more parks for the commuters to catch the train into the city. We welcome of course the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, to talk to us about this great announcement for our growing community.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Susan and it’s great to be back here in Longman. Susan and I actually caught the train from Brisbane Central to this very station one afternoon a few weeks ago and talked to commuters. One of the things that commuters were concerned about was the issue of parking at this railway station in this growing community.

We know that at the moment there are 387 parking spots at this station, but 559 cars on average park here every day for commuters travelling to work to the south, largely. The fact is that Park and Ride is a necessary component, consistent with Federal Labor’s commitment under Bill Shorten to deliver on public transport. We’ve got over $2 billion committed to the Cross River Rail project – a project that was identified as the number one priority by Infrastructure Australia way back in 2012, but which the Abbott Government cut funding for and the Turnbull Government has refused to recommit that funding that was ripped out of the Budget by Tony Abbott when he became the Prime Minister. We created some six weeks ago a Park and Ride fund of $300 million, seeking matching funding from the other levels of government for Park and Ride facilities in communities such as here and, last week, we had an announcement at Mango Hill station to the south of here.

What Cross River Rail will mean is increased capacity, more frequency of trains, more people being able to access public transport. But they need to have access to the train station as well, which is why Federal Labor’s commitment of $5 million towards an upgrade of Park and Ride facilities here at this station at Narangba is so important for the local community. We would anticipate matching funding at least from the Queensland Government who’ve identified this station as a priority for an upgrade of these facilities and who also have created a dedicated fund for just this activity. Park and ride is so important, public transport is so important and because Susan Lamb is in touch with her local community, she has been able to identify this as a priority.

JOURNALIST: How soon will you roll Bill Shorten if Ms Lamb loses this election?

ALBANESE: The fact is that Susan Lamb is on track to win this by-election. We’re determined to ensure that Susan is re-elected. She deserves to be, she’s been an outstanding advocate for this seat. Unlike Wyatt Roy who was more concerned with media stunts, Susan Lamb has been a strong advocate – Whether it be public transport facilities, whether it be the Caboolture Hospital, whether it be the schools in this electorate and what Saturday is about is an opportunity for the people of Longman to send a message on behalf of the people of Australia that they prioritise investment in education and health and infrastructure over tax cuts for the big banks,  over giving the big banks $17 billion. Malcolm Turnbull can’t find any money for the Cross River Rail Project but he can find $17 billion for the big banks, that’s not the priority of this community.

JOURNALIST: You said yesterday you were willing to be a team player. Can you a hundred percent guarantee today that you won’t challenge for the Leadership?

ALBANESE: Absolutely. What I’m concerned about is one thing and one thing only; being a Minister in a Labor Government, being able to deliver on infrastructure, being able to deliver on transport. I want to come back here with Bill Shorten as the Prime Minister and myself as the Infrastructure Minister and Susan Lamb as the Member for Longman and have a celebration of not just the beginning of works to upgrade this facility but the completion of works as well.

JOURNALIST: Just to be clear you absolutely there ruled out a Leadership challenge if Labor loses a by-election?

ALBANESE: Well that’s very perceptive mate, I’ve been asked –

JOURNALIST: I’m just giving you a chance because you dodged the question for five days.

ALBANESE: No I haven’t. No I haven’t.

JOURNALIST: You talk about being a team player but you haven’t said categorically yes or no.

ALBANESE: You haven’t been paying attention and you need to pay attention. You need to look at the transcripts, they’re all there. The only thing I’m interested in is being a Minister in a Labor Government, it will be led by Bill Shorten, that’s my only priority, my only concern and Labor’s not talking about internals. What we’re talking about is defeating the Turnbull Government because the Turnbull Government is having a devastating impact on families in areas such as this. Malcolm Turnbull might be okay looking after the people of Point Piper; he’s not good at looking after the people of Narangba and the people of Caboolture and the people of Morayfield and the people of this community.

JOURNALIST: You’re priorities may however change though, so can you give a definitive no that you will not challenge Mr Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t know how many times I can say it. Here’s this, I’ll say it really slowly – No. There you go. There you go in a word, it’s not hard.

JOURNALIST: It’s because you don’t have the support of Labor’s Right faction, is that it? Is that the reason why, you don’t have the numbers on the Right?

ALBANESE: My priority – You can ask the same question different ways if you like, you’ll get the same answer. You’ll get the same answer and it’s the same answer that I gave in Perth two days ago, it’s the same answer I gave on 5AA yesterday, on 6PR, it’s the same answer I give every Friday on the Today Show.

JOURNALIST: It must be hard though because you want a crack at it though, you want a crack.

ALBANESE: You should pay attention. What I want to do –

JOURNALIST: Isn’t it your time Albo? Isn’t it your time?

ALBANESE: I’ve had a great privilege of being a Minister in a Labor Government. And you know what I know the difference between? I know the difference between being able to put into practice your policies and I know the impact that this failure of a Government is having. Here we have on energy policy – We still don’t know where they want to go after five years. We’ve got a Prime Minister who likes travelling on trains and he’s prepared to take selfies on them he’s just not prepared to fund them. He’ll turn up to the opening of the Redcliffe Rail Line, he’ll turn up to the opening of the Gold Coast Light Rail, he just won’t fund Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Project. What we need is a government that actually looks after the people not themselves and their mates. What we have at the moment is a government that just looks after the top end of town.

JOURNALIST: Susan can you say what you think will be the key two or three issues that will determine the election?

LAMB: Easy – jobs, health and education. Top three that will be the key focus points, absolutely.

JOURNALIST: Susan when did you start organising your election campaign? There are reports you started in April, which seems a bit early for a Federal election.

LAMB: Well look when you’re dealing with a government like the Turnbull Government no time’s too early. It’s general campaigning. Who knows when we were going to an election. We’ve got a really unstable Government, we needed to be prepared nice and early for a general election and that’s what we were doing.

JOURNALIST: So you weren’t planning before the High Court ruling on Katy Gallagher thinking you might have some dual citizenship issues?

LAMB: We were planning to win the next general election from the third of July, from the day that I took office it was back into it. We might have won the seat, we didn’t win government and I was back in fighting to win in the seat again.

JOURNALIST: Albo can I ask you about Emma Husar? It seems that there’s been a lot of talk about allegations about her office that many people within the ALP and perhaps within Parliament have known for some time. There was an expert brought in to fix things up, there were 20 people apparently who complained. It has a bad stink to it. What do you make of the issue and how long ago did you know of problems?

ALBANESE: Well there’s an investigation taking place. I knew some time ago, I heard that that investigation was taking place.

JOURNALIST: Could you be specific Mr Albanese – Some time ago?

JOURNALIST: Was it a month, two months?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t know.

JOURNALIST: Certainly earlier than last Wednesday?

ALBANESE: Yes certainly. I knew at least a number of weeks ago, whenever the State Conference was people raised it with me there. I think that was in, I’m not even sure when that was. Seems like a long time ago we announced the Park and Ride fund, was a few weeks ago. So I knew at least then. I think I had heard something beforehand about the Administrative Committee setting up a process with Mr Whelan, the details of which I wasn’t aware. The only details I have are those that I’ve read in the paper, some of which may be accurate, some of which may not be.

JOURNALIST: So it’s a bit surprising that you’ve known for a few weeks, but Bill Shorten says he found out last week?

ALBANESE: Well I got asked a question and I gave an honest answer to you. That’s when I heard about it. I’m a member of the NSW Branch; you have a State Conference in NSW you expect people to be talking.

JOURNALIST: What concerns were conveyed to you?

ALBANESE: None, just the fact that, no one directly involved, I have no idea who some of the people are. I don’t think I’ve ever met, I might of in the corridors, met any of her staff. I don’t know any of the names that have been mentioned. The so-called expert who was put in there I’ve never heard of him, but that wouldn’t be all that surprising.

JOURNALIST: Should she be disendorsed if she’s found to have breached Fair Work laws?

ALBANESE: Let’s allow the process that has been established to take its course.

JOURNALIST: Obviously you have a personal opinion on the allegations?

ALBANESE: No I don’t. Because I don’t know whether they’re true or not. And so therefore, you know, let the process take its course. Emma Husar, my contact with her has been very positive as the local member. I’ve been to her electorate and met with the council with her over a range of issues related particularly to growth and development in that area. She is very concerned about the issue of jobs. I’ve been out there as well talking with her about roads. She’s a diligent local member who has taken leave and she should be allowed to do that. That is appropriate that the investigation take its course and that it not be pre-empted.

JOURNALIST: Did you raise it with Mr Shorten’s office?

ALBANESE: No.

JOURNALIST: Can I ask you about My Health? Will you be signing up to the online database of your own personal information for health reasons? Do you see any potential problems with it?

Would you be advocating for people to steer clear of it?

ALBANESE: I got asked this on Monday and I said that I had some time. If you read, so you’ve got to read my transcripts, if you did we wouldn’t get the same questions. I said then, that I’d have a look at it. I haven’t had time to have a look at it in the last couple of days in between going to Perth and coming here and doing things for the Republic movement yesterday and chatting with Christopher Pyne who I understand is up the road today. So I will have a look at it. My default position would be that it’s a good thing that there be electronic data, if you like, so people can get proper care and can get those details. But I’ll have a look at it and make a decision in conjunction with my family.

JOURNALIST: The latest inflation figures show that petrol prices have skyrocketed, what will a Labor Government do to bring those down?

ALBANESE: There’s a whole issue of petrol prices and – relating to motor vehicles, that myself and Mark Butler had a very successful roundtable on just a few weeks ago. We need to look at the issue of fuel security in this country – is one of the things that needs to be addressed. I think there’s some complacency about the issue of fuel security. We’ll continue to work on those policies. Mr Butler has responsibility for that. But it’s something that I know because I’ve participated, not from that perspective, but from the perspective of the growth that we can anticipate in electric vehicles. And the need to prepare for that change, that we’ve had discussions including with the fuel companies. I’ve had a couple of meetings with Caltex in recent weeks and we’ll continue to work on it. Mark Butler is busy preparing a comprehensive policy that we’ll announce in due course.

JOURNALIST: Labor has received $150,000 in donations in Queensland in the past month, mainly from unions. Would those unions consider this the best way to spend their money?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that working people know that they’re suffering under the Turnbull Government. We have real wages in decline. We have a Government that is prioritising not dealing with those issues, not dealing with occupational health and safety issues, not prioritising the needs of working people, including the needs of working people to get to work, which is what today’s announcement is all about. So it’s not surprising that the organisations that represent working people, the trade union movement, are busy campaigning to ensure that we get rid of the Turnbull Government.

JOURNALIST: Can I ask where you will be on election night, or by-election night?

ALBANESE: I haven’t made a decision yet, I’m not sure. I think Souths are playing at some stage. But I’m not sure even when they’re playing on the weekend. It’s a bit like your question about e-health. When you’re really busy, and it’s Thursday, I’m aware that it’s Thursday, it’s a long way to go to the weekend. I can confirm I will be on the Today Show tomorrow morning and then I have another commitment, media commitment, after that. Beyond that I haven’t finalised my itinerary for the weekend. But I appreciate …

JOURNALIST: An aviation question for you. Do you think the Civil Aviation Act should be changed to have a balance with the highest level of safety and air navigation and the need for an efficient and sustainable industry?

ALBANESE: Well read!

JOURNALIST: Thank you. Want to get the quotes right.

ALBANESE: (Inaudible) get the quotes right. The fact is, that I have said that we need to ensure safety needs to be an absolute priority and people would expect that to be the case when it comes to aviation. But we also need to make sure that there is an industry that is growing, an industry that’s supporting jobs, and economic activity. And the general aviation sector held a conference – just two weeks ago in Wagga Wagga that I went and addressed. My policies were outlined in great detail there. So you can take any of those quotes from the comprehensive policy we outlined. One of the things also that I said there, was that I sought a bi-partisan position with Michael McCormack. I sought that with Barnaby Joyce, I maintain that position. We cannot afford, in this country, to have aviation safety or security to become a partisan party political issue. It needs to be the national interest which is put first. I have always done that, I am confident that Michael McCormack will also do that.

We’ve had constructive discussions and it is beyond my comprehension, but not up to me, why people choose to disrupt those constructive discussions, which have taken place and which both of us agree we would meet with the representatives of that conference when Parliament resumes in August in order to map out a way forward.

JOURNALIST: Can I just bring you back to Longman? Given the Liberal Democrats have come out on top of the ballot is it time for a fresh look at banning party names that are similar and do you think that voters would find it confusing between the Liberal Democrats and the Liberal National Party?

ALBANESE: I think those issues have been dealt with, not just by the courts in recent times but there was a political party that kept us out of office for 23 years called the Democratic Labor Party. Now I appreciate not everyone here at this press conference would remember that but my mum certainly remembered it and as a good Catholic Labor supporter never forgave the splitters who kept us out of office and kept Robert Menzies there for all of that time. That was one of the things I was raised on. So your question isn’t new, there have been numerous legal cases over the use of party titles. I would just say this: that it is pretty hard to argue that anyone on Saturday in this by-election, which Malcolm Turnbull has shown his judgement yet again by having following the world’s longest election campaign in 2016 with the world’s longest by-election campaign this year, if people don’t know that Susan Lamb is the Labor candidate and what’s-his-name is the Liberal candidate, note the discipline there, but what’s-his-name is the Liberal candidate, then there’s something wrong. They haven’t been anywhere near the electorate.

JOURNALIST: What is your message to voters who might consider voting for One Nation on Saturday?

ALBANESE: One Nation vote all of the time on all the big issues with the Coalition. They stand side by side with Malcolm Turnbull for the big end of town and against the battlers in this electorate. If you want a representative who’ll stand up for you, someone of integrity, someone who will fight damn hard with every last breath that she’s got, Susan Lamb has shown in the time that she’s been in Parliament there is no one in the Parliament I would want fighting for me more than Susan Lamb. Thanks very much.

 

Jul 25, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – FIVEaa, Two Tribes segment – Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Subjects: By-elections, polls.

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

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Good morning gentlemen.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good morning.

HOST: We will start with you Albo because the consensus, and we spoke to Phil Coorey yesterday and he is a dispassionate observer of Federal politics, the consensus does seems to be that the person who has the most to lose from the results on the weekend is your current boss, Bill Shorten. Do you think if Labor falls short in one or, God forbid for you guys, two of these seats, that the leadership will be a live issue?

ALBANESE: No. Look, what we are focused on is not our internals. We are focused on the needs of the Australian public. That’s what we are concerned about. We are worried that the people who have something to lose are those people who will suffer from health cuts, education cuts, cuts to infrastructure if this Government continues to sort of stumble its way through the show. What was interesting about your opening was that you said there were two seats in play. Well, there is Mayo in your great state of South Australia …

HOST: Not according to the most recent polls.

ALBANESE: …where the Liberals have written it off. It’s always been a safe Liberal seat forever.

HOST: But it’s not going to be a Labor gain though, is it?

ALBANESE: Certainly not.

HOST: We will get to that with Chris Pyne in a moment.

ALBANESE: We are contesting there, unlike in Perth and Fremantle, where I was over the last two days, where the Liberals aren’t even running candidates.

HOST: But if the Government, as you characterise, has been such a basket case of late Anthony Albanese, how can it be the case that you are in danger of losing two seats to a sitting government? It’s something that hasn’t happened once for 100 years.

ALBANESE: Well we are working very hard to make sure that that doesn’t happen. Bill Shorten is in Longman today. I will be in Longman tomorrow. We are campaigning very hard right up to Saturday. We think we’ve got very good candidates in Susan Lamb and Justine Keay. They have been good local members. They deserve to be re-elected.

HOST: Chris, just be patient mate. We will get to you in one second. We’ll just ask one more to Albo. Anthony, what did you make of the poll this week showing that if you were the Leader of the Labor Party none of these seats would be in play?

ALBANESE: Well, I mean polls, you know, come and go.

HOST: That’s a pollie answer mate.

ALBANESE: The interesting thing about all the polls that have been held is that they have consistently shown that Labor would win an election. Newspoll, I think it’s up to 37 in a row and I think that’s the key poll.

HOST: But the specific one I am talking about is the one involving you being the leader. You must have had some sort of reaction to it.

ALBANESE: Well of course it would be disingenuous to say that that wasn’t noticed. Obviously it was. It was splashed across the front pages of newspapers. But as I said, you know I am happy to be a part of the team that is led by Bill Shorten. He is the captain. I am happy to be a team player. I have always been that. I make a contribution, I think, to that team and it’s as simple as that.

PYNE: Anthony is like Where’s Wally. He is in every picture, every radio interview.

HOST: Well let’s talk seriously about Anthony Albanese for a minute. We’d have to find something else to talk about if he was the Leader of the Labor Party today on Two Tribes because he would wipe the floor with you guys in these by-elections. Does the prospect of Anthony Albanese as leader scare you?

PYNE: Obviously the Labor Party is riven by internal dissent about their leadership because Bill Shorten has not measured up. He is a person that nobody trusts and people have worked out that they can’t afford Labor. They have $270 billion worth of new taxes that they want to levy if they win the next election. The public are not stupid. They work out that that has got to come from them. And Bill Shorten is the guy that wants to do that. But Anthony is a part of that team. If Anthony is the Leader of the Labor Party, and he might well be by the next election, he would inherit a policy to increase taxes by $270 billion so nobody would be able to afford Anthony either. The extraordinary thing about the by-election this Saturday is that we are even talking about the Coalition being competitive. The Government has not won a by-election from the Opposition in 98 years. It would be a one-in-100-year event and that is where Bill Shorten has taken the Labor Party because he has boxed them in with high-taxing policies, out-of-date policies on energy and he is not keeping up with the current changes across the economy and the public know it.

HOST: Focusing on the local issue of Mayo, Chris Pyne, are you disappointed that with such a high-profile and cashed-up candidate that the Libs look like they are not a snowball’s chance in hell of winning that seat back?

PYNE: Well I wouldn’t say that we were a cashed-up campaign in Mayo. We are obviously spending what is required to make sure that we have a decent campaign in Mayo. Mayo is very different to the other by-elections because Bill Shorten is not running; he is not part of the contest. Labor is running dead in Mayo so Rebekha Sharkie is an Independent. It’s a completely different ball game. Georgina Downer has run a great campaign. She has returned from Melbourne and we want more people to return to South Australia. She is a good example of people who have come back to a great state that is growing again thanks to the Marshall Government.

ALBANESE: She’ll be leaving on Monday. She’ll be back over somewhere else on Monday.

PYNE: Her kids started school this morning.

HOST: She’s not the FIFO candidate then Chris?

PYNE: Her kids started school this morning in the Hills. She lives in Heathfield. I was campaigning with her this week up in Mount Barker. She is very well received. But Rebekha Sharkie is an Independent and I think it is a whole different ball game, whereas in Braddon and Longman it’s a much straighter contest between Labor and Liberal and the fact that Bill Shorten is in Longman is music to my ears. The more he campaigns the better.

HOST: What about the absence of Pauline Hanson in Longman, Chris Pyne? Is that hurting her chances, her holiday plans?

PYNE: Pauline Hanson has a candidate in Longman. She is not running for Longman. She’s not running for Longman but whatever they decide to do about their campaign style is really a matter from One Nation It’s not a matter for me. But they’ve got a candidate. He is working hard and good luck to him. It’s a democracy. Obviously, I don’t want him to win. I want Trevor – Big Trev to win – Trevor Ruthenberg and he’s doing a great job. I’m going to Longman tomorrow to make sure that we win.

ALBANESE: We’ll be there together.

PYNE: Well you are everywhere. You are everywhere man. You are the everywhere man.

HOST: Taking Two Tribes on the road. Watch out Queensland.

PYNE: You were in Perth yesterday. You dissed me on the radio there.

HOST: Is that right?

PYNE: He did. He threw me overboard. You threw me overboard. He said he was in the studio and it was great that Christopher Pyne wasn’t there.

ALBANESE: And guess what? Everyone agreed.

PYNE: I felt very unloved all of a sudden. The light went out of my world.

HOST: We will see what happens on Saturday. It could be a very different Two Tribes next week depending on how the results play out.

PYNE: Anthony might be the Leader next week.

HOST: Well who knows, watch this space.

Jul 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 6PR, Oliver Peterson program – Monday, 23 July 2018

Subjects: By-elections; WA infrastructure; general election; GST; asylum seekers; population; City Partnerships; Australian values; NRL. 

OLIVER PETERSON: Joining me in the studio is Anthony Albanese. Good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day, good to be here again Ollie.

PETERSON: Well, John sends me an email and he says, “Hi Ollie, if Anthony Albanese doesn’t want the top job, then why is he touring around the country and always coming to WA?”

ALBANESE: I love WA. And I’m here campaigning today with our candidates, Patrick Gorman and Josh Wilson. I was down in Canning doing a roundtable about infrastructure at the wonderful Byford Secondary College, with all the local councillors there – with Mellisa, talking about the Peel Region and growth in infrastructure and job creation. So it was a really good forum and I dropped in to where the polling booth is there at Perth and handed out for a little bit – did a press conference with candidate Patrick Gorman. And I’m – tonight have a couple of other things on and I like dropping into the studio here, it’s always better to be in the studio than on the phone.

PETERSON: Yeah, it’s good to have you with us at the studio.

ALBANESE: And we haven’t got Christopher Pyne here, so it’s even better.

PETERSON: And we haven’t got Bill Shorten here either, you’ve got the golden touch Anthony Albanese, at the moment. The polls say that you might be on the nose in Longman or Braddon, but if you were the Leader of the Labor Party you would be a shoo-in.

ALBANESE: Well, I’m part of the Labor team. So if people want me to be a Minister in a Labor government, then I’m part of that team. Bill Shorten is the captain. But I am very keen to be an Infrastructure Minister in his government, after the election.

PETERSON: All right, and that’s where it stops. What happens this weekend if the by-elections don’t go the way that they should for the Labor Party?

ALBANESE: We intend to win the by-elections. What we’re not doing is talking about internals, whether it’s the issue of the lead-up to the by-elections this Saturday, of course there’s five of them – we’re running in all of them. The Liberals are nowhere to be seen.

PETERSON: Well they’re not running here in Perth …

ALBANESE: In Perth and Fremantle.

PETERSON: No, are you surprised – particularly in Perth, are you surprised the Liberal party isn’t putting up a candidate?

ALBANESE: I think it’s incredibly weak frankly. The Liberal Party got 42 per cent of the primary vote, last time around. And they’re not running a candidate. I think that is a big let down to their supporters. We’re no chance of winning Mayo, I’ll give you that scoop, on Saturday.

PETERSON: Can the Liberal Party win it, or will that stay with the Centre Alliance?

ALBANESE: I think that Rebekha Sharkie will be re-elected on Saturday. We’ll wait and see. But you know, we’ll struggle to hit 20 per cent, it’d be a good result for us. But we’re still running. So you give your supporters someone to vote for.

PETERSON: So in Longman and Braddon though, over the next few days, are those electorates going to see the likes of you or your Leader, or Malcolm Turnbull, or Scott Morrison on the hustings?

ALBANESE: I think you’ll see frontbenchers from both sides. I’ll certainly be in Longman at the end of this week and campaigning with Susan Lamb – I’ve been there already. And I’ve been to Braddon twice and I’ve been to Perth and Fremantle twice. So I also am campaigning of course, for the next general election whenever it may be – so seats like Canning and others.

PETERSON: Do you think it’ll be next year?

ALBANESE: Look I think it probably will be, it should be. The Prime Minister has said it will be. So we’ll see whether he’s a man of his word. I think it would be a big breach of his word if an election was held this year.

PETERSON: Is there much chatter within the Labor Party around the leadership?

ALBANESE: No, we’re just busy getting on with the jobs that we have. I’m a bit old fashioned – do the job that you’ve got, do it to the best of your capacity and that’s what you have to do.

PETERSON: The Courier Mail reporting this morning that, and I quote: “Highly placed sources have told the paper that Mr Shorten is calling senior members of the Left to sandbag his supporting Caucus, signalling that he’s preparing for a showdown.” Any truth to that?

ALBANESE: Well, I don’t know who against or what for. I think the showdown that Bill Shorten has is against Malcolm Turnbull at the next election. And then the little mini, the entree if you like, is this Saturday.

PETERSON: All right, this Saturday. Are you confident though, that the Labor Party will win in Longman and Braddon?

ALBANESE: Look, I’m certainly confident but not overly confident. I don’t take it for granted. The polls show that they’re both pretty tight. They’re both difficult seats, they’re both seats that have – they’re not solid Labor seats. They were both held before the last election by the Coalition. They’re seats that we won. But in the two candidates that we have Susan Lamb and Justine Keay – I can’t think of more hard working, diligent, committed, principled representatives for those electorates, than those two.

PETERSON: Do you support the government’s GST fix?

ALBANESE: I certainly think it’s good that they followed Labor’s lead, Ollie. People talk about why do I come to WA. Well, we were here committing to the Morley to Ellenbrook Rail Line and the Byford Rail Extension and Midland Station Upgrade and the Mitchell Freeway Extension. All of those works that we committed to, to ensure that WA got a fair go, essentially, having the ceiling of 70 cents in the dollar. Now that’s precisely what the Government has adopted, which is our policy. My concern, is that they’re giving with one hand and might be taking with another. Because what we see in infrastructure investment is $1.2 billion from the Commonwealth this current financial year for WA infrastructure. That falls across the Forward Estimates of four years, to $411 million. So …

PETERSON: Do you think the Government might be a little premature, particularly here in WA?

ALBANESE: It drops into a third …

PETERSON: With the WA Liberal Party members more or less doing a victory lap – you know, deciding to raise their bat to the crowd at the moment saying: “We’ve solved it, it’s fixed, vote for the Liberal Party!?”

ALBANESE: They haven’t said where the money is coming from. And they’re cutting WA hospitals and they’re cutting WA schools – both public schools and private and independent schools. And they’re cutting infrastructure. So it’s a matter of WA getting a genuine fair go from the Commonwealth and that’s more than the GST.

PETERSON: It’s going to be your job and Labor’s job though to convince West Australia in particular that they’d be better off voting for Labor over Liberal federally.

ALBANESE: And we’re determined to do that. And just compare how often Bill Shorten or myself or Chris Bowen are here in Western Australia, compared with …

PETERSON: You’re here all the time.

ALBANESE: I am. This is my seventh visit I think this year, seven or eight, and Malcolm Turnbull’s been here I think once, maybe twice, not for that long, and hasn’t been sighted of course while these by-elections are going on. So I think – that’s the case also with Scott Morrison. You don’t see senior …

PETERSON: Scott Morrison was here last week, he was on the GST sell.

ALBANESE: But you don’t see them regularly here, like you see your good Labor team.

PETERSON: So when you’re Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, will you come to Perth as often as you are at the moment?

ALBANESE: I’ll come as the Infrastructure Minister after the election.

PETERSON: Just trying to slip that one in.

ALBANESE: That was subtle mate, that was subtle.

PETERSON: Absolutely. Couple of other issues obviously on the national agenda at the moment and in particular what you weighed in to, should we be turning back the boats?

ALBANESE: Well look, the fact is that it’s worked in terms of the Government’s overall policy on asylum seekers. The problem is that people have been on Manus and Nauru for five years and one of the things that I can say is – no one wants to see boats coming. How do you actually though, stop people smugglers but still maintain some humanity – you need to get those people settled in third countries. And the other thing you need to do is set up regional processing through the UNHCR, so that people don’t have an incentive to get on boats as well. And that is what is provided for in the Labor Party platform and it’s a platform I, along with other members of the Caucus, support.

PETERSON: All right, population policy, where do you sit on this?

ALBANESE: I think population policy is largely about infrastructure and quality of life, that’s what people mean. I don’t think there’s an ideal single figure that’s sort of magic and fixes everything. The question is, is infrastructure being rolled out in advance of population growth? And today down in Canning meeting with the Mayors from the Shires down there, from Murray and Serpentine and from the Peel Development Organisation, what they’re concerned about is making sure that with this massive population growth that’s going to come into the Peel region that the infrastructure’s there. The roads, the jobs importantly, they’ve got quite an exciting proposal for an agricultural, high-level, high-tech, high science-based industry there.

PETERSON: Sure, and when we have a population based discussion, particularly in a West Australian context, we need to be encouraging more people to actually move here to WA.

ALBANESE: Absolutely.

PETERSON: And I know that you’re bursting at the seams, if you like, in Sydney or Melbourne and we hear that, but there has to be some incentive for those who want a job or set up a family to come to WA.

ALBANESE: Well the key is jobs you know, and you need to have employment not just in the CBDs of the capital cities, but in the outer suburbs and in those growth areas. I’m a big supporter of the NGAA. Today we had as well Wanneroo Shire President was there – and from all of those outer areas, the areas where the growth’s happening, so they need good public transport. The State Government’s prepared to do that with Metronet. That’s why the Federal Government needs to kick in there. But we need to do other things as well, in terms of employment and one of the things that all of the Councils have come together is to support a unified strategy for – across, it’s 11 or 12 local government areas, for sporting facilities. I mean where do the kids get to play? Where do people get that community interaction?

PETERSON: Very important.

ALBANESE: So all of that is I think, what feeds into so-called population policy, but it’s really about the quality of life in our cities. We released a City Partnerships policy just a couple of weeks ago that’s aimed at addressing all of those issues.

PETERSON: All right, Australian values. Do we need an Australian values test that Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge was spruiking in the UK?

ALBANESE: Good old Alan Tudge, he’s always got an idea. He’s actually the Minister, he’s in a position to do things, but he’s always floating these ideas and he’s floating ideas overseas. What Ministers traditionally have done is go overseas and talk Australia up. I’m somewhat concerned that he went overseas and talked Australian down.

PETERSON: What would it be, an Australian values test, what would it be asking?

ALBANESE: Well exactly. I made a comment the other day that I saw Majak Daw and Aliir Aliir marking each other in a North Melbourne, Sydney Swans game just last week, where Aliir kicked his first ever goal in AFL to win the game for the Swans. You know these two guys have come from the most troubled area of Africa in Sudan there. Here they are, first generation, what can be more Australian than playing our Indigenous sport of Australian Rules Football. And to me you know, I think we should accentuate the positive, as that song goes, about harmony in our society. Yes there’ll be some issues from time to time and they need to be addressed and we shouldn’t sweep them under the carpet. But let’s acknowledge that we live in the most successful multicultural, harmonious nation in the world and we should celebrate it. I wish the world was as harmonious as Australia is, where people of different races, religions and backgrounds all live together side by side and all cheer for, or against each other at the footy.

PETERSON: All right, before I let you go, seeing as you have been able to segue into sport, Rabbitohs were first on the ladder going into last weekend, they’re now third. Is the season over for South Sydney?

ALBANESE: Only on percentage though, only on percentage.

PETERSON: (Inaudible) second.

ALBANESE: Only on percentage. Well you know, we won nine in a row. I was a bit worried that – you’re going to lose a game eventually, you want to lose a game in July rather than September.

PETERSON: Fair enough.

ALBANESE: That’s done now, we’ll see how we go versus Parramatta. I went to the game on Saturday night, it was not a great experience I’ve got to say, but the Tigers did play extremely well to give credit where credit’s due.

PETERSON: Well hopefully they recover, and hopefully from Labor’s point of view, Longman and Braddon are in the can or maybe not, we’ll wait and see this weekend. Anthony Albanese thanks for stopping by.

ALBANESE: Thanks Ollie.

Jul 23, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop – Perth, WA – Monday, 23 July 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure, Perth and Fremantle by-elections, polling, MyHealth, Braddon, Longman, Malcolm Turnbull.

PATRICK GORMAN: It’s fantastic to have Anthony Albanese – Labor’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Shadow Minister for Tourism, here in the electorate of Perth. We’ve been at the pre-poll where thousands of people have already cast their vote. But there is still time; if you need to vote early, head on down to the Morley Markets and get your vote in.

Anthony is here because Labor has a long-term commitment to infrastructure in Perth. You only need to walk around the Perth electorate to know that it is Labor that builds this community. One great example is what is now Yagan Square; the Perth City Link, that Anthony led the charge on to fund and build as Labor’s Minister in the previous Labor Government. And again it is Bill Shorten and Labor that leads the commitment to build up this community. And here in Morley, where Labor will fund the Morley-Ellenbrook Rail Line, it’s fantastic to have Anthony talking about Labor’s plans to invest in our communities, to create local jobs and to build the community of Perth for the future. I will hand over to Anthony to say a few more words.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Thanks very much Patrick. It is fantastic to be here yet again campaigning in these by-elections that will be held now this Saturday. These by-elections are a critical test for Malcolm Turnbull and he has already failed in Western Australia by failing to be even in the field in Perth and in Fremantle. That’s typical of the contempt that we have seen from the Federal Coalition towards Western Australia. It is Federal Labor and Bill Shorten and I have visited these seats, and not just during the by-election, but have visited WA month after month, year after year, in opposition and in government, because we understand that Western Australia has unique needs.

And that is why here at Morley, the site of the Morley to Ellenbrook Rail Line, some $700 million – Federal Labor’s commitment – $200 million more than the Coalition have put on the table. But that is just one of the announcements that we have made. The Mitchell Freeway Extension, the Stephenson Avenue upgrade, the extension of the rail line to Byford, the Midland Station Upgrade with the extension to Bellevue, the Tonkin Highway, the intersection of the Leach Highway and Welshpool Road – all of these projects are critical infrastructure projects to create jobs and economic activity here in Perth and Western Australia in in the short-term, but to build productivity, sustainability and liveability here in Western Australia in the long term. It’s consistent with our approach when we were in government whereby every time I land in Perth I am reminded when I travel along the Great Eastern Highway or I look at the Gateway WA Project, or I go into the City and look at the Perth City Link, what we did when we were in government in delivering a more than doubling of infrastructure investment for Western Australia.

I am concerned that when you look at the Forward Estimates of the Coalition Government in this year’s Budget, it shows that there will be some $1.2 billion allocated to WA in this financial year, but that falls to $411 million over the Forward Estimates of four years. So it is due to be cut by a third and the Coalition have said that they want to address the issue of fair compensation for the GST, but what we are seeing there is a cut in infrastructure as well as of course the cuts to education and health. And that is why it is important that Patrick Gorman be sent to Canberra along with Josh to be a strong voice for Western Australia, to actually stand up for Western Australia’s interests. Happy to take questions.

REPORTER: What do you make of the polling produced today that said Labor would definitely win all five by-elections this weekend if you were leader?

ALBANESE: The important thing about this Saturday is that Labor is successful in the seats where we are re-contesting. We are also running in Mayo of course, unlike the Coalition that isn’t prepared to even get in the field here in Western Australia. Longman and Braddon are challenges but we are working very hard. We have fantastic candidates, fantastic candidates in Justine Keay and Susan Lamb. They both deserve to be returned to the Parliament. They are working hard for their electorates. And we will be working each and every day this week to make sure that they are successful in the by-elections on Saturday.

REPORTER: But you can’t escape this latest polling which is suggesting that you are more popular than Bill Shorten?

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that I am part of Bill Shorten’s team.

REPORTER: But more popular than him.

ALBANESE:  I am part of Bill Shorten’s team and it is the team that counts and what we have seen from 37 Newspolls in a row is that Labor under Bill Shorten would be elected to Government if the election had been held last Saturday or the fortnight before that or the fortnight before that, or any of the previous 37 fortnights. That’s the critical message that I take from the polls because what I want is to be part of a Labor Government and to be the Infrastructure Minister again – to come over here with Prime Minister Shorten and actually be able to turn the first sod on projects that we have announced and to see them under construction.

REPORTER: But you are here today and Mr Shorten hasn’t done a press conference since last Tuesday. Are you hiding him?

ALBANESE: I think the idea that Bill Shorten isn’t available to the public …

REPORTER: Well he isn’t.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is that he had a campaign launch in Longman. I know that’s the case because I saw it on the television last night. And the fact is that every member of Labor’s team has been out campaigning in all of the by-election seats, but not just the by-election seats as well. We’re campaigning to win government. So this afternoon I have an infrastructure forum in Canning with local councils with Peel Development, with other organisations looking at infrastructure for that regional community. One of the ways that they’ve missed out is that Canning has been defined – and the Mandurah area – as being not part of regional Australia. That isn’t good enough and one of the things that we will do is to change that so that it is once again eligible for regional funding as the outer suburban areas should be.

REPORTER: Labor might be ahead in the polls but Malcolm Turnbull is still ahead as preferred Prime Minister. Why do you think that is?

ALBANESE: Well we don’t elect a Prime Minister. What we elect is a government and the fact is that Labor is ahead in the polls as we have been for each of the previous 37 Newspolls.

REPORTER: Why is it, do you think, that you’re more popular than Bill Shorten though?

ALBANESE: I’m not going to comment on the specifics of polls, except the one that counts. The one that counts is the one that shows that Labor would be elected to government if the election was held last Saturday or this Saturday coming. That’s the critical factor. We’ll continue to campaign as a team. I’m happy to be part of the team as I always have been.

REPORTER: It must be flattering though to be the most popular? It must be flattering?

ALBANESE: Look, I just get on with my job that I’ve been given to do. And the job – I was raised with an old-fashioned principle, which is do the job that you’ve been given to the best of your capacity – be a team player and that is what I have been for Labor for now 22 years in the Parliament. I look forward to working in the lead-up to the election and to see an election of a Labor Government, but in the meantime, Labor having success this Saturday in these by-elections.

REPORTER: (inaudible)

ALBANESE: One at a time.

REPORTER: Is Labor really the underdog in Longman?

ALBANESE: Well the polls that have been published would suggest that it’s a very tight race. But I’m confident that when people think about whether they want $17 billion to go to the big banks or whether they want funding for education, funding for Caboolture Hospital, funding for public transport through the Cross River Rail Project that will lead to an increased number of trains due to the increased capacity on the rail network for South East Queensland, that will have an impact in Longman.

There’s no doubt that I think that Labor’s got a very good case to put. We’ve been putting it. We have a great candidate in Susan Lamb. Susan Lamb’s someone that I’d want in my corner. She’s a fighter. She has shown that. The courage that she’s shown; the speech that she gave in the Parliament when outlining the personal issues that she has had to deal with – that’s the sort of person you want in your corner, not someone’s who’s stood up for Campbell Newman’s Government and was quite happy to sit back and cheer on the cuts to health and schools and everything else that happened in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, and cheer on the cuts of Tony Abbott’s Budget in 2014, and cheer on the ongoing cuts that are entrenched in the Budget for education and health and the ABC and everything else that characterises the Turnbull Government.

REPORTER: Will you opt out of MyHealth?

ALBANESE: I have not given it a minute’s thought, I’ve got to say.

REPORTER: Well a lot of people are grappling with the decision.

ALBANESE: Yeah and I’m sure they will and when I get a chance to grapple with it I will look at all of that detail.

REPORTER: You’ve only got three months.

ALBANESE: But I have got three months, so I’ll let you know in the next three months. I’ll be back in Perth between now and then, so plenty of time.

REPORTER: Do you think that the Government has a good enough track record on digital projects to manage MyHealth?

ALBANESE: I certainly don’t think they have a good track record on digital projects. They stuffed up the census. We know that some previous records relating to health were made available to people when it shouldn’t have been. So certainly the Government when it comes to competence has stuffed up a whole range of things but one of the reasons why they do is that they can’t agree with themselves. You have circumstances whereby an energy policy still isn’t fixed, they don’t have one. They don’t have an infrastructure policy. I saw this morning Malcolm Turnbull’s in Tennant Creek, and good on him for visiting Tennant Creek, but to compare what’s needed for Tennant Creek to City Deals that should apply to big capital cities was one of the most bizarre analogies I’ve seen for a long time.

REPORTER: If Labor wasn’t to be successful in any of these by-elections on the weekend, what do you think it would say about Bill Shorten’s leadership?

ALBANESE: We intend to be successful. Each and every one of us is united in working for one objective – to be successful in these by-elections. And, then, to be successful at the election campaign and to make sure that Bill Shorten is elected Prime Minister and to make sure that the rest of the team are elected as Ministers.

REPORTER: Is there a danger for Labor in Western Australia if there’s a low turnout? Because it seems that analysts and pollsters are handing Fremantle and Perth to Labor already.

ALBANESE: Well that’s one of the reasons why I am here. And it’s no accident that I’m holding this media conference just across the road from where the early polling can take place – to remind people, with Patrick, that people do need to get out and vote. Voting is compulsory. A lot of people go through in different parts of the world, go through incredible trauma and struggle to have the right to put a piece of paper into the ballot box and cast their democratic ballot. It’s been fought for; it should be something that is cherished. We in Australia do have compulsory voting and that’s a good thing and people should vote. They can vote this week, they don’t even have to give up their Saturday.

REPORTER: I’ve got a question for Patrick if everyone is done with?

REPORTER: I just have one question – will you be spending much time in Braddon and Longman this week?

ALBANESE: I will be out and about. I certainly have a visit to Longman scheduled and I will be seeing about Braddon. It’s not scheduled at this stage. But I will be in Longman later on in the week. We obviously are coordinating visits so that everyone isn’t in one place at one time. But I’ve been to Braddon twice. I’ve been to Longman and I’ve been to Perth and Fremantle twice also. So I’ve been out there campaigning as I always do. This is my seventh visit to Western Australia this year.

You might want to ask Malcolm Turnbull how many times he has been to Western Australia this year and for how long. During the last Federal election campaign I know he flew in, headed south of Fremantle for about an hour and a half, and flew out. That was about it. I think you have to spend time in Western Australia to understand the needs of Western Australia and that’s what I do. I have a regular slot, to give a free advert, on 6PR every now and again and I’ll be talking as I do regularly to Oliver Peterson this afternoon on 6PR as well. Again, taking talkback calls and getting to know what the issues are here in Western Australia. Because it is a big nation as I found this morning when it took well over five hours to get across this great nation.

REPORTER: Have Susan Lamb or Justine Keay reached out to you to ask to come to their seats before Saturday?

ALBANESE: I talk to them all the time. And Susan Lamb and Justine Keay are both very good friends of mine. I’ve been campaigning with them, I’ve held functions with them that have been very successful. I even went – the last time I was in Longman, a couple of weeks ago, I got the train from Brisbane Central, up to Narangba with Susan Lamb talking to people all the way up about the issues that they’re concerned about. About the need to actually fund Cross River Rail and to get it done something that was the number one issue on the 2012 infrastructure priority list, that Malcolm Turnbull has refused to fund. I mean we have a Prime Minister who likes to take selfies on trains and trams; he just doesn’t like to fund them. And it’s about time that he actually funded the Cross River Rail Project:

REPORTER: Patrick, just one for you …

GORMAN: Just to – back off that though, while we’re giving plugs to radio stations, I will also give a plug to RTRFM who I spoke to this morning, based in the heart of the Perth electorate. Got to give the community radio sector a shout out as well (inaudible) of course I love the ABC.

REPORTER: I’m sure they asked you this question. How do you characterise the Liberal’s decision not to run against you in this seat?

GORMAN: Hugely disappointing.

REPORTER: You said it with a smile.

GORMAN: Malcolm Turnbull has been a disappointment in many ways. But yet again, to not run and therefore not to rock up – as Anthony said, we haven’t seen Malcolm Turnbull in the Perth electorate for more than two months. Now, that’s not just disrespectful to the people of Perth, not running a candidate, but it’s disrespectful to Western Australia, in not actually coming and talking to Western Australians about our infrastructure needs, about our health needs, about our needs for schools, hospitals – and of course, universities and TAFE. Why the Liberal Party made that decision is a matter for them. I think they probably would make a different decision if they could go back in time. It has been something that people have raised with me, when I’ve been out door-knocking. They say: “I don’t understand why they did this, it is hard to comprehend’’. There is a member of the Liberal Party who is running in this election, so obviously he’s got some institutional support behind the scenes from the Liberal Party. But it is a weird circumstance and they should have put a candidate up.

REPORTER: There is a couple of, I guess, so-called independent Liberals. Do you have anything to worry about there? Have you got any preferences?

GORMAN: Independent Liberal, independent whatever. My concern is there’s a few candidates that haven’t actually even completed the AEC’s citizenship forms. Now this was a new thing that was one of the reasons that we allegedly had the delay in this election. Some of those so-called independent Liberals haven’t even bothered to fulfil the basic paperwork that the AEC has asked for. That’s bizarre. I think it’s disrespectful to the voters of Perth, but I guess that’s what we’re seeing from the Liberal Party at the moment. It’s very disappointing and thank you all for coming.

REPORTER: Are you hopeful of an Albo bump after his visit today?

GORMAN: I hope we see more people at pre-poll because Albo has told everyone – that if you need to vote early, if you can’t make it on election day, go and vote at the Morley Markets. We’ve been blessed in this election with a range of Shadow Ministers and today is former Deputy Prime Minister day. I’ve got former Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Later on we’ve got former Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan doing a phone bank with our volunteers. We have had a great turn out of people, we’ve had – Bill Shorten obviously launched my campaign nine days ago.

REPORTER: There’s still a few days left. Would you like him to come over even though he’s less popular than the man standing next to you?

GORMAN: I’ve had Chris Bowen here, Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong, Catherine King, Jim Chalmers, Madeleine King. I think Amanda Rishworth is here tomorrow. It’s been great to have support of the entire Labor team and as Anthony said, we’re a united team.

ends

Jul 20, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Tom Connell, SKY News – Friday, 20 July 2018

Subjects: ACTU, ALP National Conference, asylum seekers, multiculturalism, AFL.

TOM CONNELL: Joining me for more on this is Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese, here in the studio. Thanks for your time.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Morning Tom.

CONNELL: Interesting front page today on union – on this union push, what did you make of it?

ALBANESE: They’ve maintained the same position that they had at the last ACTU Congress and I expect the ALP Conference will maintain the same position that we had at the last ALP Conference so – much ado about nothing.

CONNELL: They’ve maintained their position but you haven’t?

ALBANESE: Yes we have. We’ve had our policy in place since 2015.

CONNELL: You had some quite strong comments to make recently though, about you know conceding that Coalition policies work. And obviously Labor’s had this policy for a while. I guess the next question is though …

ALBANESE: Well we set up, Tom, in 2013 Labor acknowledged that our policy had issues, wasn’t working. And we tried to, indeed before then – you might recall, with the legislation about Malaysia and the agreement that we’d signed there …

CONNELL: I do recall that, a very long debate in Parliament …

ALBANESE: That the Liberals and the Greens voted against. So the fact is, Labor did change our policy when we were in government, to try to stop the boats coming. The Liberals combined with the Greens to oppose that legislation. We then were able to change policy in 2013. We then, in 2015, had our National Conference.

CONNELL: And at National Conference you were opposed to the boat turnback policy. What are you going to do at the next National Conference, will you support the policy?

ALBANESE: I’ll support the policy that’s gone forward. The fact is you can be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity. And what people have seen is that on Manus and Nauru people have been there now for more than five years. That is far too long. These people need certainty. We’ve seen 12 people lose their life on Manus and Nauru. Now Australia has an obligation to these people, to have a duty of care if you like. The fact is, that five years is far too long the Government should have settled these people who’ve been found to be refugees in third countries and they’ve been far too slow at it.

CONNELL: Just on this though, the National Conference – you will no longer vote against the boat turnback party policy?

ALBANESE: There is no proposition at the moment before National Conference.

CONNELL: Well, It sounds like there will be with the unions …

ALBANESE: We’ll see what the unions actually do at National Conference. What happened last time …

CONNELL: You previously voted against the boat turnback policy …

ALBANESE: That’s true …

CONNELL: Will you do that this time?

ALBANESE: I did in 2015. I don’t expect that there’ll be a debate.

CONNELL: What if there is?

ALBANESE: I don’t expect that there will be …

CONNELL: Okay, but this is something that you voted against last time …

ALBANESE: I’m not dealing in hypotheticals. I support the existing policy as determined at the 2015 Conference. The fact is that the boat arrivals have stopped. The weakness in the Government’s position is that they haven’t provided permanent settlement in third countries, for those people who’ve been on Manus and Nauru for too long. So what the policy in 2015 was, to be very clear, was very different from the Government’s approach. It went to a doubling of the intake, it went to finding regional settlement so that people don’t have to get on boats. So that there is some hope of them being settled from the countries in which they have made their way to, without getting on boats. So we’ve provided for an increased funding of the UNHCR, regional processing, an increase in the intake in terms of asylum seekers, an end to temporary protection visas – there’s a whole framework adopted at the National Conference

CONNELL: I understand that obviously – the Government has since increased its own intake since the time of the Abbott Government. They’re working on a solution with the US. You say let’s go with New Zealand and I understand that …

ALBANESE: They are taking a long time.

CONNELL: Sure and that’s been a long held criticism and a lot of people would agree with you. But can I just clarify that position for you. Are you leaving open that you could vote against boat turn backs again at National Conference?

ALBANESE: No and there’s no proposition. There’s no proposition for that, and let me tell you Tom …

CONNELL: But there was last time and you voted against it.

ALBANESE: That’s right and that’s a fact. And I don’t expect that it will come up again. I think there is support for the policy. I think there is support for the existing platform. I support the existing platform. I can’t be more consistent than that, Tom.

CONNELL: But this is what happens, is that you have a big policy debate and this is the point of the National Conference everyone can really say what they want …

ALBANESE: And it gets resolved. I didn’t actually speak at the National Conference. Another thing that’s been written about – my speech at National Conference, I didn’t speak …

CONNELL: You stuck your hand up…

ALBANESE: … at all. Of course I did, I stuck my hand up with the Left as I have at every National Conference in which I have been a delegate. But one of the things that happened, Tom, is that some of those union delegates who voted one way at the ACTU Congress before the last National Conference, voted a different way – when they got to the ALP National Conference. So I don’t expect that – this is not a subject of major debate at the moment in the lead up to the ALP National Conference.

CONNELL: I did want to get on to the Australian values test that’s being spoken about today or was spoken about by Alan Tudge overnight. Is this a fair enough approach to continue our success story – that Malcolm Turnbull in particular likes to talk about?

ALBANESE: I find it pretty extraordinary that it would appear that Alan Tudge has gone overseas and talked Australia down, said that there are a whole range of problems with Australia. Normally what happens when Ministers and Shadow Ministers travel overseas, is that they talk Australia up. And one of the things we should talk about is the success of our multiculturalism, is the fact that we can be a bit of a microcosm for the world, when we see so much conflict, in the world. Here in Australia, we have people living side by side of different races, religions – different backgrounds and they’re living overwhelmingly in harmony.

CONNELL: Okay, so I understand your position on that and he should have talked Australia up. We’re nearly out of time, but just what about that Australian values test he’s talking about, does it have any merit?

ALBANESE: We have Australian values. We had a week ago …

CONNELL: Talking about a test for it.

ALBANESE: What’s the test?

CONNELL: I don’t know.

ALBANESE: I tell you what – well you’re asking me to comment on something that you don’t even know what the question is, with respect.

CONNELL: Well is there an idea that you could put in place – we’ve got the English language test – that there’s some sort of test where you ask people, I mean it might be, for example, the things that were mentioned – female genital mutilation, Sharia Law, women …

ALBANESE: We’re obviously against that, and we’re against …

CONNELL: But a test to just make sure people know what we stand for in Australia, as an example.

ALBANESE: We’ll wait and see what is proposed, but of course we support Australian values. Everyone supports Australian values. Every member of this parliament, no one would object to that.

But I’ll tell you what Australian values were on display a week ago: Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw marking each other in an Australian Rules contest. Two African recent – relatively recent arrivals, engaged in our unique Indigenous sport of Australian Rules Football. You know, the fact is that within a very short period of time people do settle. People do share those Australian values and we see it on display. Walk into any primary school in the country and what you’ll see is little kids of different background who don’t see colour, who don’t see religion, they just see other little kids.

CONNELL: You’re speaking to my heart now because it was a cracking game and unfortunately my mob are the Brisbane Lions, beat Hawthorn. But we’ll talk about that next time maybe, Anthony Albanese.

ALBANESE: Good on you.

Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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