Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
Sep 7, 2018

Media Release – New PM but Victorian Infrastructure Cuts Continue – Friday, 07 September, 2018

Victoria will continue to be ripped off on Federal infrastructure investment despite Scott Morrison’s ascension to the prime ministership.

According to a leaked list of infrastructure projects approved in the 2018 Budget but not announced, there are no new projects in Victoria other than the already announced $150 million for a Geelong City Deal.

Instead, the Morrison Government will focus its investment on marginal seats in New South Wales and Queensland.

The Federal Coalition has been ripping Victoria off for years, with the state receiving as little as 8 per cent of annual Federal infrastructure grants despite being home to a quarter of the national population.

In this year’s Federal Budget, then-Treasurer Mr Morrison tried to hide his cuts with promises of new projects. But 85 per cent of the promised investment will not be delivered for at least four years.

Victoria needs investment now to cope with its strong population growth.

But the switch from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison has changed nothing – the Federal Government is continuing to punish Victorians for having the temerity to elect a State Labor Government.

The Coalition’s cuts were further highlighted yesterday by new research from the independent Parliamentary Budget Office.

The PBO found that Federal infrastructure grants to the states expressed as a proportion of GDP will halve from 0.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 0.2 per cent over the next four years.

Australia needs to increase infrastructure investment to protect our quality of life in the face of the demands of our strong population growth.

Instead, the Coalition is cutting investment and its cuts disproportionately affect Victoria.

 

Sep 3, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – 2CC Canberra Live with Richard Perno – Monday, 03 September, 2018

Subjects: Morrison Government’s leaked infrastructure plan; Peter Dutton; ACT election; Leadership spill; Federal election; Wentworth by-election; Australia-India Business Council.

RICHARD PERNO: Anthony Albanese I’ll bet you’re glad you’re not a Liberal.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I sure am. They’re having a very rough time at the moment but it’s deserved.

PERNO: You reckon it’s a good kick in the pants, a wakeup call, water in the face, run over, whatever?

ALBANESE: Well they certainly are a mess at the moment. We had in my portfolio this morning quite an extraordinary leak on their infrastructure plans – ten different projects worth $7.6 billion. Decisions that were made in the Budget in May but not yet announced and just put all out there. A very significant budget leak from documents that would have gone through the Cabinet and the Expenditure Review Committee and it just shows what a state of chaos the Government is in.

PERNO: Hey, hang on, they’re giving us money. What’s chaotic about that?

ALBANESE: What’s chaotic is announcements not being made by the Government but being made by a leak to a journalist in Canberra.

PERNO: But you know Anthony Albanese, you’ve been around a while, there’s no such thing as a leak.

ALBANESE: There absolutely is a flood going on at the moment. So you’re right that it’s not so much a leak, more a torrent of information. Quite clearly what’s …

PERNO: A tsunami, Anthony.

ALBANESE: That’s right. Well clearly what’s happened here is that people who were part of the old regime in the Abbott-Turnbull Government. Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government now, have decided: ‘Well we’re not going to allow Scott Morrison to get credit for these projects, so we’ll just chuck it out and let everyone know that these decisions were made in the lead up to the Budget in May’.

PERNO: Okay, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has threatened to turn the tables on you if you keep pursuing him over the au pair scandal. You haven’t got – have you got an au pair? I didn’t know that, Anthony.

ALBANESE: I wish him the best of luck because he’s going to need it. This is a fellow who it’s unclear whether he’s entitled to be in the Parliament. I mean, that issue hasn’t been resolved yet. That can only be resolved by a reference to the High Court. And then you’ve got multiple interventions, not through the normal process of representations by Members of Parliament, but by people who apparently had the Minister on speed dial and all of a sudden we hear words that haven’t passed Peter Dutton’s lips too often of compassion and justice and people have a look at what he’s said in the past about other cases where he’s been completely resolute in not showing any compassion and compare the circumstances. And that’s why people are scratching their heads.

PERNO: Okay, you haven’t got an au pair in the cupboard somewhere have you Anthony?

ALBANESE: I certainly have not, let alone one from the south of France.

PERNO: Yeah it’s an interesting case isn’t it? I got something to tell you from Canberra too, the Member for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Regional – do you really like all those titles? – Shadow Minister for Tourism,  Anthony Albanese. Two years until the ACT’s next election, minor parties are already making battle plans to overcome the tough odds they face to win a seat in the Legislative Assembly in Canberra. Members from the – I don’t know whether you know these – Australian Progressives, Reason Party – they were the funny other party weren’t they? The Reason Party ACT – the Sex Party, Sustainable Australia, Liberal Democrats ACT, will host a question and answer at King O’Malley’s Pub this Thursday. You’re welcome and they’ve invited you Anthony Albanese and it starts at six. What question would you ask them?

ALBANESE: Why?

PERNO: Simple.

ALBANESE: Why.

PERNO: Well they don’t like any of the major parties …

ALBANESE: Just why.

PERNO: They don’t like you. They don’t like any of the others. They just want to get together.

ALBANESE: The problem is of course, is that when people get elected from these minor parties what the Senate has shown us – it keeps reminding us unfortunately. Is that they change which party they’re in. You have One Nation people who become Katter people and Family First people become Liberals and independents and Jacqui Lambie Party people become National Party in Tasmania, that didn’t even exist prior to that. So I think I’m a bit old fashioned which is that if you want to get things done, vote for a party of government.

PERNO: Yeah.

ALBANESE: I hope that’s Labor but if it’s not the alternative. I’m not sure what they call themselves in Canberra, the conservative parties, I guess it’s just the Liberal Party rather than the Liberal-National Party but I do think that there is a lot to be said for having parties of government hold office.

PERNO: I guess in a way though, really Anthony Albanese, what you’re saying is the chaotic measure of politicians and one party after the other party after the other party all the time …

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

PERNO: I mean it is chaotic at the moment, right across the political spectrum. Is it any wonder that we go, ‘up you we don’t want anything’?

ALBANESE: Look I’m not surprised that there is a great deal of disillusionment out there. I think that people are entitled to think that when they vote for a Prime Minister the Prime Minister will be allowed to serve. I was flabbergasted by the actions of the Liberal Party in knifing Malcolm Turnbull. Malcolm Turnbull was in a reasonable position, he was a bit behind us, but he was ahead in terms of preferred Prime Minister and had been from the time he took over the leadership.

And he, to be cut down not by someone who was more popular, but someone who was less popular, the idea that whoever thought that Peter Dutton would be a good choice as Prime Minister was quite bizarre. As it is they’ve got Scott Morrison and immediately our primary vote has lifted by six points. And of course the popular choice apart from Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party was Julie Bishop, so of course they put her last.

PERNO: Well she got knocked out in the first round as you know Albo. The problem is that you have now got, if you like, prime box haven’t you in the race? You’re solid; you’ve been solid for a while now. Bill Shorten will no doubt take you to the next election and should you be victorious in the next election, Anthony Albanese, will you keep him there or do you think there might be a bit of a spill in your party?

ALBANESE: No, we will be as united as we have been for the entire couple of terms. The fact is that people in the Labor Party are looking forward to having the opportunity, if we are successful, to serve as Ministers. People have been in the same portfolios for some time. One of the interesting things about today’s leak, which is about infrastructure projects that were funded but not announced in the Budget, is that so many of them are projects that we had already announced our support for from Opposition. So I think there’s a range of areas in which Labor has been leading from Opposition. We’ve been doing the hard policy work and we’ve been acting like a team.

PERNO: Yes, okay. The accusations, the criticism with your party though Anthony is the perception that if you get in you’ll spend like drunken sailors. That’s what we always hear, you blow the budget.

ALBANESE: Well if you actually have a look at what Labor Governments have done, if you look at the proportion of spending compared with GDP what you’ll find is that Labor has been more economically responsible than the Coalition, even though we had to deal with the Global Financial Crisis. And of course what we’ve seen is the debt more than double under this Government’s watch and that was with no excuse, with no need to deal with the potential of a global recession. They haven’t had the natural disaster crisis that we had on top of that, in terms of bushfires in Victoria and the floods in Queensland, and they have shown themselves to not be responsible when it comes to the Budget and indeed one of the things that we’ve done is to announce savings that we would make. We’ve been prepared to make tough decisions and of course we wouldn’t have even proposed giving a huge tax cut to the banks.

PERNO: And you were flabbergasted when the Liberal Party stabbed one of its own – like Caesar in the back. But didn’t you knife Julia and Kevin?

ALBANESE: Well and at the time – I certainly said back in 2010 that was a mistake. I said at the time, that we would destroy two Labor Prime Ministers through that action and I think that’s been proven to be historically correct. And one of the extraordinary things though, is that we had Tony Abbott after that – come into office and be replaced. We have then had Malcolm Turnbull be replaced.

PERNO: We’re sick of it.

ALBANESE: We’re now on our third Liberal Prime Minister within two terms.

PERNO: All right let’s cut to the chase of Wentworth. They’re not going now on either the sixth or the thirteenth, Albo. The Wentworth by-election isn’t going to go – I reckon Turnbull should have stuck around and done the honourable thing like Julie Bishop did. She went to the backbench and she said she’ll contest her Western Australian seat. Do you agree with me, Albo, that he should have stuck around, not spat the dummy and taken his bat and ball and gone home and cost a Wentworth by-election? Although they can afford it, they’re pretty rich. A by-election, he should have stuck around?

ALBANESE: Well its taxpayers’ money, of course.

PERNO: That’s right.

ALBANESE: Everyone – you’re paying, the people of Canberra are paying as well.

PERNO: I don’t want to pay! I mean, he should have stuck around. So if it’s not going to be held on October 6 or 13, when is it going to be held?

ALBANESE: It should be held, in my view, it should be held as soon as possible. Wentworth – the people are entitled to be represented.

PERNO: The people are revolting.

ALBANESE: They can’t get their act together. They have a preselection, Labor’s had ours.

PERNO: Fifty year-old Tim Murray, he’s going to do this in Wentworth for you. Who is Tim Murray?

ALBANESE: Look he’s a local who’s been very active in the local branches. He’s been active in the business community and he’s putting himself forward to have a crack – of course we don’t expect it to be overwhelmingly successful in Wentworth of course.

PERNO: Why not?

ALBANESE: Well it’s a seat that we’ve never held.

PERNO: So what? A man never went to the moon until 1969 Anthony, come on!

ALBANESE: When you doorknock around Point Piper you don’t necessarily – it doesn’t necessarily strike you that these are natural Labor voters.

PERNO: Obviously you have not been to Point Piper, you don’t doorknock in Point Piper, you ring the buzzer at the front gate. There is no door knock.

ALBANESE: You probably have to walk a fair way (inaudible).

PERNO: That’s right and they’ve got they’ve got these walloping great Mastiffs and you’ve got to go past the chauffeur before you can get to the door. A couple of quickies – you’re on Q&A tonight, yes?

ALBANESE: I am indeed. Maybe some of your listeners can ask some questions tonight.

PERNO: And then on September 11, that’s a holy number, you’re going to be at the Australian-Indian Address at the Hyatt. Nice place to have an address.

ALBANESE: I am indeed. The Australia-India Business Council is a really important organisation. India is of course a growing economy; it will be the third largest in the world in a short period of time. And everyone talks about China but our relationship with India is very important. It’s a democratic nation. It’s one one in which we have close ties, including a large Indian diaspora here in Australia. And of course many Indians come and study here as well and go back. And it’s important for our economy that we keep those relations, but you can’t beat, I don’t think, people to people relations. So I’ll be very pleased to be supporting the Australian business community doing more activity in India as well.

PERNO: Now you know you don’t have knives and forks when you’re eating Indian food, you mop it up with the rice and the bread. You’re aware of that aren’t you Anthony? So you’ll be handed a very large napkin to place over that tie of yours so you don’t make a mess of yourself. All right?

ALBANESE: Well I do like Indian food I have had the pleasure – I’ve been to India a couple of times. (Inaudible) once many years ago, my first trip to India was back in 1991 with a backpack, where myself and my now wife took buses and trains and really got amongst the people. It was quite a rewarding experience. It’s a difficult place to travel, but the people are wonderful and it was a great pleasure to be able to go back there just last year.

PERNO: All right. Well behave yourself. We’ll see you on Q&A tonight.

[ENDS]

MONDAY, 03 SEPTEMBER, 2018

Sep 3, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Help Deliver the Rockhampton Ring Road – Monday, 3 September, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will help deliver the new Rockhampton Ring Road project.

This project will mean a new 22 kilometre ring road running from the Yeppen Roundabout along the western side of the airport to a third bridge crossing before reconnecting with the existing Highway at Parkhurst.

This is a transformative project for Central Queensland, helping ease congestion on the Bruce Highway and boosting liveability for local residents.

The new Rocky Ring Road will provide a big boost to the economic capacity of Central Queensland, supporting the growth of new local industries and new local jobs.

The Ring Road will take thousands of trucks off local streets, cut travel times, improve road safety and allow the airport to grow into a freight hub

The Bruce Highway presently runs through the heart of Rockhampton meaning increased congestion with vehicles forced to navigate 18 signalled intersections and a further 47 without.

Not only does this impact liveability for residents but the delay in the movement of freight has a significant economic cost for industry.

Specifically, long delays are currently being experienced at Denison Street where slow moving North Coast Line trains close the Highway for long periods, and the road network often takes a long time to dissipate the resulting congestion after each train passes.

A business case is currently being undertaken by the Queensland Government which will determine the final cost of the project. Community consultation is a key element of this work.

This initial planning phase is expected to be completed in the next 18 months’ time.

This commitment to the Rockhampton Ring Road builds on Labor’s strong track record of delivering for Central Queensland’s road network, including the major Yeppen Roundabout and Bridge upgrade.

MONDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2018

Sep 3, 2018

Media Release – Leak Exposes Government on Infrastructure – Monday, 3 September, 2018

The deep divisions within the Morrison-Turnbull-Abbott Government are now derailing its attempts to play catch-up on rail and road investment following years of cuts and neglect.

The leak to the Herald Sun of a list of the Government’s infrastructure project Budget decisions taken but not announced is a major embarrassment for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his rabble of a Government, which has an abysmal record when it comes to nation building.

Federal infrastructure grants to the states will fall off a cliff over the next four years, from $8 billion in 2017-18 to $4.5 billion in 2021-22.

And research by the Independent Parliamentary Budget Office shows that under the Coalition, Federal grants will halve over the next decade from 0.4 per cent of the national GDP, to 0.2 per cent.

In this year’s Budget, the Government tried to hide its cuts behind promises of new projects in major cities.

But none of the money was new and 85 per cent of it won’t be spent for at least four years.

Given this record, Australians should be skeptical about the Government’s new list of promised projects, which represent a case of too little, too late.

Indeed, Labor has already committed to most of the projects on the Coalition’s list, including the Western Sydney Rail, Mackay Ring Road Stage II, Rockhampton Ring Road, Brisbane’s Linkfield Road Overpass, Adelaide’s South Road upgrades and the AdeLINK Light Rail project.

Labor has also committed to advancing High Speed Rail, including by moving Private Member’s Bills which are currently before the Parliament.

In recent weeks I have visited both Geelong and Darwin and called for the finalisation of the City Deals for these cities.

While years of division have paralysed the Government on infrastructure, Labor has been leading from Opposition.

Only a Shorten Labor Government will deliver the rail and roads our nation needs to underpin economic growth and tackle the traffic congestion that is eroding our quality of life.

MONDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER, 2018

 

Sep 1, 2018

Media Release – $500 Million for Better Rural and Regional Roads in Queensland – Saturday, 1 September, 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $500 million to deliver a staged upgrade of Queensland’s inland road network, meaning up to 3000 kilometres of better, safer roads and up to 300 wider, stronger bridges.

Labor’s plan will get the arteries of regional and rural Queensland pumping again, it will make it easier for farmers to move cattle and sheep and feed, and it will put the regions at the heart of our infrastructure plan. It will also mean tourists can better and more easily explore the towns of Western Queensland.

This massive project has been estimated to create over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs in Queensland over the next decade, along with an additional $2.5 billion economic boost to the regional Queensland economy.

Half of Queensland’s economy activity takes place outside of Brisbane – Queensland is Australia’s most decentralised state – but for too long crucial regional roads have not received the attention they deserve:

• the Barkly Highway between Mt Isa and Cloncurry
• the Capricorn Highway between Emerald and Rocky
• the Mitchell Highway from Cunnamulla to Charleville
• the Kennedy Highway between Cairns and Mareeba
Queensland transports the greatest volume of cattle by road compared to any other state and makes up for half of Australia’s cattle herd. The industry employs around 20,000 Queenslanders. This investment not only improves safety on key freight routes but will also help reduce the cost of transporting cattle to market.

This investment is a big boost for the Queensland economy; particularly regions feeling the impact of the drought.

When regional roads get neglected, drivers’ safety gets put at risk, truckies are forced to go the long way round, flood damage is a bigger problem than it ought to be and the same few reliable roads suffer wear and tear.

Just like every infrastructure project a Shorten LaborGovernment invests in, we will insist on Australian materials, Australian jobs and we’ll make sure one out of every ten people working on site is an Australian apprentice.

Today’s $500 million announcement is just one part of Labor’s Plan for Real Jobs in Regional Queensland. We will:

• Widen the Townsville Port Channel ($75 million)
• Extend the Bruce Highway to Cairns Airport ($40million)
• Deliver the Rookwood Weir ($176 million)
• Invest $100 million in Townsville Water Security and $200 million in the Burdekin Dam
• Help build Stage 2 of the Mackay Ring Road ($100million)
• Construct the Rockhampton Levee ($25 million)
• Upgrade the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road ($47.5million)
• Help build the Gladstone Port Access Road  ($100million)

Federal Labor’s commitment to making this substantial investment in Queensland’s vital inland roads and highways follows the strong advocacy and work of the Inland Queensland Roads Action Project, which brings together 28 local governments, five Regional Development Australia committees, and the RACQ.

SATURDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2018

Aug 29, 2018

Media Release – Squabbling Coalition Cuts Road Funding and Ignores Darwin City Deal – Wednesday, 29 August, 2018

Today marks 498 days since the Federal Coalition Government promised a special City Deal for Darwin to lift federal infrastructure investment and underpin the city’s economic development.

But nothing has happened – except news that Commonwealth infrastructure grants to the Northern Territory will collapse by 75 per cent over the next four years.

These facts underscore how the Coalition has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to infrastructure in the Northern Territory as it has become paralysed by the internal divisions that ended Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership last week.

Mr Turnbull offered the City Deal to placate growing concern in the NT about his Government’s cuts to road investment.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese said that far from delivering increased investment through a City Deal, the Government has made further cuts.

“The Budget forward estimates show that the Federal Government will invest $222 million in Northern Territory infrastructure in 2018-19,’’ Mr Albanese said.

“But that figure will fall over each of the following four years to $61 million in 2021-22.

”This 75 per cent reduction over four years means promised investment in upgrades to the Central Arnhem Road and Buntine Highway has been pushed off into the Never Never.’’

 


Labor Member for Solomon Luke Gosling said Territorians were tired of lip service from Canberra.

“The Government has fast-tracked city deals for Townsville and Western Sydney, but done nothing for Darwin almost 500 days after promising a City Deal for Darwin,’’ Mr Gosling said.

“When new Prime Minister Scott Morrison makes his first trip to Darwin in his new job, he should come prepared to explain why he is cutting investment and what has happened to our City Deal.’’

It is looking increasingly as though the Government’s City Deals are simply a device to delay actual investment in the infrastructure and services needed in Australian cities.

Labor will abolish City Deals and replace them with our new City Partnerships that will act as blueprints for genuine, bottom-up collaboration between governments on improving the productivity, sustainability and liveability of cities like Darwin.

WEDNESDAY, 29 AUGUST 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Radio National – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Leadership spill.
PATRICIA KARVELAS: Well listening in to my discussion just there with Craig Laundy is Anthony Albanese, Shadow Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. Welcome to RN Drive.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you Patricia.

KARVELAS: Well it’s a big day for the Liberal Party obviously, you’re on the opposite side but what do you make of us losing our 29th Prime Minister?

ALBANESE: Well it’s a big day for the nation. And today what we’ve seen is the fourth consecutive time that a prime minister has failed to serve out a term after they’ve been elected and I think that is a problem for our political system. You have, I think, quite extraordinary circumstances this week. It reminded me of 2010. In 2010 Kevin Rudd was ahead in every single poll two-party preferred – 52-48 the day that he was deposed. And here we have Malcolm Turnbull has been ahead in terms of preferred Prime Minister for 58 Newspolls in a row. They were competitive and they have been destroyed from within. I think it is indeed a tragedy that most Australians who don’t engage in politics on a day to day basis – most Australians aren’t in political parties – they’re watching this and saying: ‘Hang on, don’t I get to decide who the prime minister is?’.

KARVELAS: It’s interesting you make that point. You say he was competitive? Really?

ALBANESE: Well he was competitive that’s the truth – 49 two-party preferred. And he had lost a substantial number of Newspolls in a row. I think he’s brought some of this on himself by failing to be true to himself. He compromised his principles so much on issues like climate change, on the republic, on things that he’d stood for for a long period of time – on marriage equality where the nation went through a very difficult and unnecessary process.

KARVELAS: Well it’s interesting you say that because he said today when he listed his achievements that actually he got it done and he was the first prime minister – and remember couple of Labor prime ministers when this was a debate too – he was the first prime minister who was in favour of changing the laws and he got it done.

ALBANESE: Well that’s just not right because Kevin Rudd was in favour of changing the laws.

KARVELAS: That was right at the end – right at the end of the Rudd tenure but yes.

ALBANESE: That’s true, but the truth is that the Australian people changed their mind over a period of time. And one of the things that happens in society is – I’m a progressive, I believe that society moves forward and the problem for the Liberal Party is that they’ve got a group of people, such as Tony Abbott and others, who want society not just to stay as it is but to go backwards and who don’t have respect for institutions in the way that conservatives should. These people are reactionaries, not conservatives. They’re not about respecting institutions and history, they’re about wrecking it. And they’re wrecked their own political party this week.

KARVELAS: You spent the last week slamming Peter Dutton. It seems pretty safe to assume that Scott Morrison was not the leader the Labor Party wanted to face at the upcoming election. Is that right?

ALBANESE: That’s not right. I went pretty hard against Peter Dutton because I regard him as someone who is one of the most divisive characters in the Parliament and I also regarded his behaviour as just being – call me old fashioned, I’m very loyal to the Labor Party, but I didn’t like what he was doing to the institution of Parliament. They had a leadership ballot on Tuesday, they lost and after that he determined to just throw all the toys out of the cot, to break all of the rules and conventions which are there to the point whereby you had the mass resignation of ministers and the Parliament actually give up functioning this week. I’m a great believer in parliamentary processes. I had the great privilege of serving as the Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives and I found the events of this week very difficult from a parliamentary perspective, as well as obviously in terms of the Liberal Party – I think that they gave up governing this week, which is why I am of the view that Scott Morrison needs to go to an election because he doesn’t have a mandate from the Australian public.

KARVELAS: Why does he need to? I mean he has to just prove that he’s got the numbers in the House of Representatives. That’s our political system. I mean we don’t have a directly elected leader, you know that, our system is you’re elected from your party room, you’ve got to show that you can command the votes in the House of Representatives. If he can do that isn’t that the only test?

ALBANESE: Well the Government stopped functioning. That’s the test. They gave up on Parliament. We don’t have an energy policy in this nation. We have been through five years of the Emissions Intensity Scheme, the clean energy target, then various versions of the NEG and now we’ve got nothing. And what the investors say is that they need certainty. Now there was a lot of talk about the savings, so called, from the NEG. It was $550. Four hundred dollars of that was due to the renewable energy target that will deliver the renewable energy not just to 20 per cent by 2020 but up to 24 – so the $150, the additional, was due to the reduction that would come from a reduction in the risk because of a certain outcome. So it was almost like any policy is what industry are crying out for. We don’t have that. We still don’t have a funding system in place in the long term for education. We have a whole range of problems. Let’s have an election.

KARVELAS: Okay, I know you could list all of the reasons you don’t like the Liberal Party and its agenda. But the Labor Party as you say has got new rules in place to make a leadership change harder. Does that mean that if Bill Shorten is elected at the next general election, and you’re saying you want it to be straight away, that under no circumstances should he be cut down?

ALBANESE: Well I think that’s precisely what would happen, because under our system what you would have to have is an overwhelming majority to change that. It’s much more difficult to change in terms of…

KARVELAS: Okay but even if you got that overwhelming majority, would it still be wrong?

ALBANESE: Well certainly unless there is a very real reason of why it should occur, it shouldn’t.

KARVELAS: What would a real reason for why it should occur be?

ALBANESE: Well if a prime minister is corrupt or something …

KARVELAS: Okay, that’s different though.

ALBANESE: … then obviously the political party might want to do something about that.

KARVELAS: But a prime minister just not being very popular?

ALBANESE: No, that is not a reasonable circumstance.

KARVELAS: Polling badly not good enough?

ALBANESE: Look what we have had in the Labor Party is a change in our culture and it was only a small group who were involved last time round. And you had a similar thing this week whereby you had today the circumstance whereby the three people, Mathias Cormann and the other two Ministers who stood with him, Cash and Fifield, and said ‘we have only shifted reluctantly because it’s clear to us the majority of people in the caucus want Peter Dutton rather than Malcolm Turnbull’ – that just wasn’t true. It just wasn’t true, because if they had of voted against the spill today it wouldn’t have happened and Malcolm Turnbull would still be Prime Minister. You also had five Ministers go to the despatch box on Tuesday and say that they were loyal to Malcolm Turnbull. Now it is a very serious offence Patricia, as you know, to mislead Parliament. It’s very clear that all of those ministers just misled Parliament this week. I can’t see how it’s possible that they can serve. I think there’s a whole range of issues that have arisen out of this week, which is why we should go to an election. We should give the Australian people a say because they’re demanding it frankly because they’ve looked on at what’s happened this week with horror.

KARVELAS: Anthony Albanese always good to talk to you and what a political contest it now is. Thank you so much for your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks Patricia.

 

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 3AW Drive – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Leadership Spill.

TOM ELLIOTT: Well I’ve seen a number of times, all this instability in the Liberal party pretty much guarantees Bill Shorten a victory at the next election. Joining us on the line now, a man often touted as a future leader of the Labor Party, he’s the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Transport Cities and Tourism. Anthony Albanese, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon, Tom.

ELLIOTT: What did you think about this week?

ALBANESE: Look it was a debacle, I think, for the people of Australia who think that they should get to decide who the Prime Minister is. We’ve seen a real ruction between the Conservatives and the Moderates in the Liberal Party. It is very hard to see how it can be put back together. We have already seen because of that ideological war that’s going on, a government that’s incapable of having an energy policy, which is pretty important if we want to drive down prices and reduce emissions. And yesterday in the Parliament I saw something I thought I’d never see, which is a government say: ‘it’s too hard this governing business, we’ll just stop’. And that’s what they did.

ELLIOTT: That’s what they did. Now, could I ask you – several years ago of course Labor had the same problem, there was a lot of leadership instability. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and you – post all that had a good long hard look at yourselves and decided to change the rules by which the Labor Leader is elected. So, you know that pretty much means there can’t be, you know, coups in the middle of the night anymore, in the Labor Party. Do you think for the good of the country the Liberals should do the same thing? Like remove this ability to just get rid of a sitting Prime Minister, just like that?

ALBANESE: Yes I do. They do need to look at their rules. But secondly they need to look at their culture. This week you had a group of people, and Malcolm Turnbull identified them in his press conference. Who essentially were saying: ‘if we can’t run the show we will wreck the show’. And saying it pretty overtly. It was quite an extraordinary effort, they had of course the leadership ballot on Tuesday and you would have thought that would have put it to bed for at least a little while. But it just – from that point on they just ramped it up including putting information out there that clearly just wasn’t true. I mean they didn’t get their 43 signatures today, until just before the meeting was held. And it’s pretty obvious why they didn’t, because a majority didn’t want to have Peter Dutton replace Malcolm Turnbull.

ELLIOTT: Well speaking of that, you were quoted in The Courier Mail this week – in fact it was today, sorry. You described Mr Dutton as being a cold character and having no heart and soul.

ALBANESE: Well, I think I’m yet to see the bloke smile.

ELLIOTT: Actually, I’ve never seen him smile either.

ALBANESE: You know, in dealing with the challenges of this country – one of the things I said is that you need a strong head. You need a good brain and you need to be able to work those things through. But you also need empathy with people. People who are less fortunate than you are. People who are disadvantaged, people who have been left behind and a capacity to have that empathy and to reach out and try and lift them up, not leave them behind. You need to not divide the country, and I was pleased that one of the things that Scott Morrison said, was he spoke about the need to unite the country and that is the job of political leaders to try to do that.

ELLIOTT: Okay, very quickly. I mean, how long do you reckon Scott Morrison has got? How long until the next
election?

ALBANESE: I think he should call an election very soon. It’s very clear, he doesn’t have a mandate and the instability, I think, will continue and the Australian people should get to determine whether they want him to continue to serve as the Prime Minister, they should be given a say.

ELLIOTT: Just quickly, we’ve asked your leader Bill Shorten to come on so many times in the past two years and you have come on several times. Chris Brown comes on, but Bill Shorten always says no. Can you have a chat to him about that?

ALBANESE: Neil Mitchell suggested the same thing to me when I was in the studio there, just a little while ago. Look Bill’s very busy with media commitments but I will pass it on.

ELLIOTT: I appreciate your time.

ALBANESE: Thanks Tom.

ELLIOTT: Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism and in a few months he’ll be the Minister for all those things.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2GB – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party leadership crisis.
BEN FORDHAM: Live on the line, Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. Anthony Albanese, Albo, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Ben.

FORDHAM: Do you notice that I now say Anthony Alba-na-se instead of Alba-ne-se, like I used to always say.

ALBANESE: Oh mate, you’re on fire when it comes to the correct pronunciations.

FORDHAM: That’s right. I’m a try-hard Italian mate. Now listen, I don’t know if you just heard Scott Morrison’s news conference. We’ve got a new Prime Minister. What’s your take on the events of the day?

ALBANESE: Well look, it’s going to be a very difficult job to put this rabble back together.

FORDHAM: I’m glad to see you so positive about the state of the nation, Albo.

ALBANESE: Well it is very hard, let me tell you, to be positive about where the nation is going after this week in Canberra. Today, I’ve been in Sydney and Brisbane. I’ve spoken to a lot of people, as you do when you go through airports and you’re travelling around and no-one was positive. That’s not a partisan comment by the way. No-one was positive about the state of politics in Australia and the truth is that it’s going to be very difficult. You’ve got Ministers who pledged their loyalty to Malcolm Turnbull in the Parliament, which is pretty serious, quite clearly misled Parliament, on Tuesday, before they pulled out the day after. You’ve got a problem whereby you’ve had Mathias Cormann and the other two, Mitch Fifield and Michaelia Cash, say that the only reason they were moving away from Malcolm Turnbull was because Peter Dutton had a majority, when quite clearly he didn’t without them. Without them, there wouldn’t have even been a spill.

FORDHAM: It’s difficult ground for you guys to really stand on and lob rocks because everyone remembers and it’s not ancient history here, it was very recent history when the Labor Party did exactly the same thing. I’m not sure you’re going to be able to score too many points on this.

ALBANESE: I’m not trying to score points Ben. I’m worried about the state of the Government. You would well recall that I both publicly and privately said that deposing Kevin Rudd …

FORDHAM: I remember.

ALBANESE: … in 2010 would be a mistake and that we would damage two Labor Prime Ministers and that was proven to be correct. What we’ve seen this week is a no-holds-barred cage match and the problem here is that the divisions are very ideological and go to the fundamental values of the Liberal Party. Malcolm Turnbull has been rejected. Malcolm Turnbull had won every single preferred Prime Minister poll that was held, 58 Newspolls in a row.

FORDHAM: Yeah, but you guys were going to beat him at the next election weren’t you.

ALBANESE: Well, I think we were in a strong position on 51-49 …

FORDHAM: It might not be so easy anymore.

ALBANESE: That’s not a certain position.

FORDHAM: It might not be so easy any more because I get the sense on the open line this afternoon, and maybe I’m a little glass-half-full compared to others, but I’ve got a feeling there’s a bit of unity out there now.

ALBANESE: I think Ben that would be incredibly optimistic to think that there’s a bit of unity. You’ve got some of the Peter Dutton forces making comments already through background to various journalists that have been quoted out there.

FORDHAM: Oh really, rumours and innuendo Albo? You can’t engage in that.

ALBANESE: Well I’m not. They are.

FORDHAM: Well in fact this has just come across my desk. I’d better read this to declare this. The ABC has bumped into Peter Dutton in Canberra somewhere. He has described himself as a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity than Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party. He said: “I don’t regret it at all, I think it’s a turning point. I think there’s a healing point now for the Liberal Party’’. He says he has no regrets about bringing on this week of drama. He says he wants to rise above criticism but he does describe himself as a better person and a person of greater strength and integrity than Malcolm Turnbull to lead the Liberal Party. Well that doesn’t matter because Malcolm Turnbull is out of the way. Let me ask you this Albo, you’ve been around for a long time, and I know that even though you fight for the Labor Party tooth and nail, you’re also reasonable enough to look at people on the other side of politics and get along with them and acknowledge when they do have some positive about them. I’m sure there will be plenty of negatives that you’ll highlight over coming weeks and months about Scott Morrison. Are there any positives that you would like to share with us about ScoMo this afternoon considering he’s just been handed the highest honour in the land?

ALBANESE: I wish him well on a personal basis. He obviously cares about, I’ve seen him with his family, and he obviously is a loving family guy. Secondly, it is good that someone who genuinely supports rugby league – I think that Malcolm Turnbull was always hoping that the Wallabies would win the NRL Grand Final. Scott is a genuine rugby league fan and a genuine fan of the Cronulla Sharks. I think that’s a good thing, because the truth is that when you’re at the footy and people are talking to you, I always catch the train out to watch Souths, and people talk to you and it’s a good way to get contact with people who aren’t engaged in politics.

FORDHAM: Should the Liberal Party follow the Labor Party’s path in putting some rules in place to stop this leadership madness from going on because Australia’s just had enough of this?

ALBANESE: Yes they should but you can have all the rules in the world; the truth is that it’s about culture and it’s about people behaving in a responsible and constructive way. If people want to tear things apart, what we’ve seen this week is that there was a minority, always, who were behind this and they weren’t rewarded. But it was quite extraordinary that you have now, a Government that has been paralysed over issues like energy policy I felt a lot of sympathy for Josh Frydenberg, in trying to put together a policy. I didn’t agree with the policy he was putting forward, but any policy is better than no policy. And that’s what we’re left with at the moment because the Government hasn’t been able to actually move forward.

FORDHAM: Well Peter Dutton says that Scott Morrison’s got his full support just like Bill Shorten’s got your full support. So they’re very lucky leaders indeed and we’ll talk soon.

ALBANESE: Good to talk to you Ben.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Melbourne Drive – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Leadership spill.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good afternoon Raf, thanks for having me on.

EPSTEIN: What do you make, first of all, of Malcolm Turnbull’s departure – Imminent departure from politics, just the man and the politician?

ALBANESE: It is a tragedy that someone with so much capacity has been torn down by his own side. He of course must accept some responsibility for that given that in order to secure the leadership of the Party he gave up so many of his core beliefs including the need to take action on climate change. I think this week, where we saw the Government essentially say that energy policy is too hard, was a final indictment of that.

EPSTEIN: Forgive me interrupting but that’s exactly what the Prime Minister said today. I don’t think he believes his own party is capable of dealing with emissions or climate change.

ALBANESE: I missed his statement, but I’m not surprised. He’s right. But in order to do it he had an opportunity – holding the office of Prime Ministership to show leadership and he didn’t do that. He compromised. We’ve had the Emissions Intensity Scheme, the Clean Energy Target and then various versions of the National Energy Guarantee, and Tony Abbott and the forces around him were just determined to see absolutely nothing happen. And the tragedy of their obsession, means that now we will have higher prices and higher emissions than we would otherwise, almost as if any policy is better than no policy.

EPSTEIN: Can I ask you a systemic question, Anthony Albanese, your party paid dearly for exactly the same dysfunction when you were in government. Now we have watched the same group of people from the other side go through – well they basically walked off the cliff like a bunch of lemmings. How do we know this isn’t going to happen again if you win the next Federal Election?

ALBANESE: I think quite clearly it requires people to take responsibility for their own actions. I argued on 23 June 2010 that there was a diabolical decision that if people proceeded down that track, they would destroy not one but two Labor Prime Ministers. And that unfortunately was proven to be correct. The fact is that we have been stable and we …

EPSTEIN: I don’t doubt that you’ve been stable in opposition, and forgive me interrupting, but how do you – how can you reassure people and this is not a partisan question, this is a system-wide: how can you reassure people it won’t happen when you’re in government? Just because it seems the incentives are there to produce what is collectively irrational but individually seems rational.

ALBANESE: Well, one of the things that we did of course, is that when I became Deputy Leader to Kevin Rudd, we took reforms to the Party that ensured that you just can’t have almost an overnight insurrection such as we’ve seen this week. I mean this week, of course, has lasted for a very long time. It needs a substantial majority to want to change leader, and that figure is higher in government than in opposition, which is appropriate. And it requires a cultural change as well. The truth is that you can’t determine these things just by rules. You have to look at what the fundamental driving forces are there behind this week’s activity. And that is that there are some people in the Liberal Party, who don’t see, never saw, Malcolm Turnbull as a legitimate leader of their Party. They regard him as an entrist into the Liberal Party who happens to have taken it over. So what we saw today was that the Liberal Party’s most popular figure and bear this in mind, Malcolm Turnbull didn’t lose a preferred Prime Minister poll, any of them ever, the entire time he was in the leadership. It was something like 58 Newspolls in a row. He was ahead and that matters, the truth is, in election campaigns.

EPSTEIN: Labor has spent two years telling us it doesn’t matter.

ALBANESE: The truth is it does matter. Of course it matters. And just like any politician who says that they don’t look at polls knows that it’s just not true. Of course people look at polls.

EPSTEIN: Can I just ask you about the different prospects. To be honest neither Scott Morrison nor Peter Dutton are very high up in terms of preferred Liberal leaders for any set of voters, Labor, Liberal or everybody else. Scott Morrison, though, is more of a centrist. He is a tougher proposition for Labor to tackle isn’t he, than Peter Dutton?

ALBANESE: I think that is probably a fair assessment. But the truth is that Scott Morrison has been different things at different times of his career. Whether he can put together the rubble that’s left of the Liberal Party, I doubt frankly.

EPSTEIN: It’s all over. Greg Hunt says they’ve drawn the line under a decade of tension. Tony Abbott says we’re all going to be united.

ALBANESE: Well Tony Abbott of course has behaved – look I think for some context I understand people’s frustration with the last 10 years against all sides of politics. But I’ve got to say this year, this week colleagues of mine were saying and the Liberal Party members around Parliament House were agreeing, saying: ‘and we thought you behaved badly’. And there’s no doubt that we did, but these guys have just been relentless, ruthless, overt.
It’s been quite an extraordinary operation.

EPSTEIN I have heard that from a few people, I couldn’t quite get a gauge on it myself. Albo I want to leave it there because Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are about to speak to the media.

ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

 

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