Browsing articles in "Shadow Ministerial Media Release"
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

 

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Doorstop Interview – Brisbane – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Linkfield Road overpass; leadership spill; Peter Dutton; election; health.

ALI FRANCE: Well, good morning everybody and thank you for being here today. I have with me here today the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport Cities and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese and the Labor candidate for Petrie, Corinne Mulholland.

We’re all here today to make an announcement that is going to be a game changer for businesses and residents in Dickson and Petrie. I’ve had a lot of feedback from residents who live in Albany Creek, who live in Brendale, Warner and Eatons Hill, about congestion in this area.

And what they’re telling me is they’re frustrated about having to sit bumper to bumper, day in day out, in traffic while they’re trying to get to and from work and I absolutely feel their frustration because I regularly travel across the Linkfield Road overpass, and the traffic is always at a standstill before and after work.

We know that the Linkfield Road Overpass is a bottleneck and the RACQ has determined that it is a key area for future government action. So I’m really pleased to have Anthony here today, to make an announcement that will reduce congestion in this area and will be of great benefit to all the residents here in Dickson. Now before I hand over to Anthony I’m just going to let Corinne say a few words.

CORINNE MULHOLLAND: It’s great to have Albo here in Petrie and neighbouring Dickson. We are a fast growing community, in fact one of the fastest growing communities on the Australian continent. We’re a big, bold area here on the north side of Brisbane and we are absolutely hungry for infrastructure, just as Ali has said. Our community sits in traffic like you can see here today and our Federal politicians are sitting in Canberra talking about themselves.

Our locals have been outraged by what they’ve seen in Canberra this week. They’re supposed to be delivering for us and they’re not. So while Luke Howarth and Peter Dutton are sitting in Canberra playing political games, we’re here on the ground standing next to this bottleneck, doing something about it. So it’s great to have Albo here talking about this announcement, great to be working with my federal colleague Ali France delivering for the people of the north side.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well thanks very much Ali and Corinne for being here with me for this important announcement today. A Federal Labor Government will deliver $60 million for the duplication of this Linkfield Road overpass. This has been identified by the motoring organisations as well as by the Queensland State Government as an absolute priority, because of the growth that we’re seeing in the suburbs of Dickson and Petrie. They have currently two local members who are more concerned about internal squabbling within the Liberal Party than they are about actually delivering for their electorate. And it’s just like these two who opposed, of course, the Redcliffe Rail Line, first promised in 1895, but delivered by Federal and State Labor as well by the Moreton Bay Council. It’s just like these two who oppose Federal funding for the Cross River Rail project. They’ve done nothing to fix this bottleneck. Well Federal Labor won’t just put out petitions, as if we’re not in any authority. If we’re in government we will deliver and we’ll work with the Queensland State Government to deliver this vital project.

Nothing can symbolise more the difference between the current Government and Federal Labor under Bill Shorten than this announcement here this morning. We have a Government that yesterday put its hand up and said it’s too hard to govern even though they have an absolute majority on the floor of the House of Representatives. They shut down Parliament and it’s like workers walking off a workplace because they don’t like the boss. These same people who would criticise unions if they did that – did exactly that yesterday.

Well we have been preparing for government with the hard policy decisions, with decisions to fix up commuter parking at places like Mango Hill Station, with the delivery that we did consistent with what we did last time when we were in office when we actually delivered on projects like the Gateway North project, when we delivered the Redcliffe Rail Line, when we delivered the upgrades to the Bruce Highway.

This is an absolute priority. It’s something that Ali and Corrine have consulted with their local communities about. They’re showing more leadership today than Peter Dutton or Luke Howarth have showed in the many years that they have represented these electorates. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, when was your visit here to make this announcement planned and was it brought forward to coincide with the leadership challenge?

ALBANESE: Well we’ve been working on these announcements for a considerable period of time and both Ali and Corrine have raised this issue. We have a policy development process and this is my third visit to Dickson and third visit to Petrie in the last six months. So we’ll continue to come back. We’ll continue to have policy announcements to make because we are doing the hard work in Opposition to prepare for a stable and effective government.

And what we see at the moment is anything but that. I mean, Peter Dutton is putting himself forward for the leadership today even though if you look at the Solicitor General’s advice, the same advice that told Tony Abbott “nothing to see here, no problem”, the same advice that was relied upon by Government members to stay in the Parliament, the same advice that was overturned by the High Court. Today the Solicitor General has produced advice that says: “Well I think he might be OK, maybe not. The High Court might determine something different, but we think, on balance of probability, my opinion is it’s OK”. And this guy thinks that that’s an acceptable level of assurance, that he even has a right to sit in the Parliament, that he wants to be the Prime Minister of the nation. It’s quite extraordinary.

JOURNALIST: It’s been over a decade since a Prime Minister last served out their full term. Do you give an iron-clad guarantee that you’ll support Mr Shorten’s leadership not only in this Parliament but the next?

ALBANESE: It’s a bit of a boring question really. If you watch what’s happened on our side of politics, I have my entire political career been loyal to leaders. I stood up on 23 June, 2010, and said that on that night what happened would be that we would destroy two Labor Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. I’ve been consistent about my views and in spite of the fact that I stood for the leadership in 2013, what I’ve done since 2013 is get on with the job of being part of the Labor team under Bill Shorten.

JOURNALIST: And you won’t deviate from that principle?

ALBANESE: It’s not words. It’s what you do that’s important. Have a look at what I have done, which is to work each and every day, as a member of the Labor team. What’s important is that you work as a member of the team. I continue to do that. I’ve done it each and every day. Five Ministers misled Parliament, on Wednesday. It’s a serious offence to mislead Parliament. They stood up and they said when asked directly in the Parliament, not at a press conference, in the Parliament where they are obligated to not mislead, they said that they were loyal to Malcolm Turnbull. Have a look at what they’ve done, have a look at what I’ve done. I stand by my record.

JOURNALIST: What about your colleagues,? I mean Labor started off this idea of knifing a Prime Minister.

ALBANESE: Let’s be very clear – what happened in June 2010 was a mistake. I said it at the time. I think history has proven my judgement on that night to be right. Notwithstanding the fact that I think both Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were outstanding Prime Ministers, there’s no doubt that we were damaged by those events. But there’s no doubt also – I was the Leader of the Government in the House of Representatives in a Parliament where we had 70 votes on the floor. We managed to do the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Gonski reforms on education. We did climate change policy, we did infrastructure policy. We did policy right across the board that made a real difference to the way this nation is run. What we’ve got under this mob is a Government that on Monday said we can’t have an energy policy, because we can’t get agreement to it. Regardless of the fact that everyone in the sector is saying what they need is certainty in order to invest, in order to reduce prices and the cost of energy and to reduce emissions.

This Government can’t function and we see that each and every day and the idea that they will turn to Peter Dutton, who is a cold character – I mean it’s one thing to have a hard head and you need that to lead the nation. But you also need a heart and a soul. There’s no evidence that Peter Dutton has either. He’s a cold character who has no empathy for people who aren’t the same as him. And that’s a real problem for the nation and it’s extraordinary that they are considering putting him up as the Prime Minister. And we saw that, we know what a Peter Dutton prime ministership will be like, because we saw that when he’s performed as Health Minister. He ended up being ranked as the worst Health Minister in Australia’s history, not by the Labor Party, didn’t say that – the doctors of Australia said that. And he tried to of course introduce the GP tax. He ripped $50 billion out of the health system and he initiated the inquiry into privatising part of the Medicare health system. This is a bloke who can’t be trusted to support Medicare, a bloke who’s saying that the Liberal Party should just go back to the past, a bloke who wants Australia to be a nation that isn’t one of the 21st Century.

JOURNALIST: Ali can we ask you a couple of questions?

FRANCE: Yes.

JOURNALIST: Hypothetically, Peter Dutton does become the Prime Minister today. What’s it going to feel like for you challenging the Prime Minister at the upcoming election?

FRANCE: Well, it doesn’t matter whether I’m up against a Prime Minister, a Minister or a backbencher. My job is the same. I will be focused on talking to and listening to the people of Dickson about the issues that they are really concerned about. And that is health, education, penalty rates, TAFE. These are the things that I am hearing about all the time and that’s what I’m going to be focused on.

JOURNALIST: What sort of impact do you think it will have on your chances? He’s clearly going to have a much bigger profile.

FRANCE: Well I think Peter Dutton should be concerned. This is a marginal seat and the people of Dickson will have a clear choice at the next election between somebody who is going to fight for them on the issues that matter or somebody who is really only concerned about furthering his own career.

JOURNALIST: What sets you apart from Mr Dutton in terms of your character?

FRANCE: My story I think everybody knows. I’m quite different to Mr Dutton. Seven years ago I lost my leg in an accident and seven years ago I was in a hospital bed coming to terms with the fact that I had lost my leg and I might never walk again. And from that I spent many years in hospital in and out of doctors surgeries and I saw that a lot of people were struggling. I see the issues that we are having now with cuts to our health system. I went on to represent Australia in sport. I won a gold medal last year and now I am taking on Peter Dutton and I feel stronger than I have ever been.

JOURNALIST: But in terms of, rather, do you have any reflections on Mr Dutton and his character?

FRANCE: No I don’t. I’m purely focused on doing the best I can in Dickson and in terms of what I’m fighting for in this electorate. This Government is going to be cutting $130 million from our Metro North Hospital. We’re going to lose over $13 million from our local schools. Eleven thousand people are losing penalty rates. We’ve lost over 200 apprentice places here in Dickson. So I’m not  focused at all on Mr Dutton. I will be spending every day up until the next election, talking to people, door-knocking and campaigning on the issues that matter.

JOURNALIST: What do you think of the vandalism of his electorate office overnight?

FRANCE: Well I condemn that, I condemn any act of vandalism or aggression against any Member of Parliament. I think that people should take out their frustrations at the ballot box.

JOURNALIST: In contrast to Mr Dutton you are on record as having a very compassionate view towards refugees. Where would you like to see Labor’s policy go in that area?

FRANCE: I support – Labor’s policy on this issue is very clear and I support Labor’s policy 100 per cent.

JOURNALIST: Do you support it because it’s Labor’s policy or because you share that (inaudible).

FRANCE: I support it because it’s Labor’s policy.

JOURNALIST: Does that policy reflect your personal opinion?

FRANCE: Yes, it does. I want to see an end to indefinite detention. I want to – I think we can be tough on people smugglers while at the same time treating people humanely.

JOURNALIST: Might that involve bringing them to Australia?

FRANCE: I completely support Labor’s policy on this issue and I have said that so many times. I am 100 per cent supportive.

JOURNALIST: Mr Albanese, where are you going to be at midday today? Any special plans?

ALBANESE: Well, we will wait and see what happens at midday. But regardless of who emerges from what is a rabble of a government, they will inherit just rubble. It is just a mess and it is impossible to think that whoever emerges will be capable of uniting the Liberal Party. One of the things that we have done is to work as a united team, is work on policy and to be effective in doing it. And today is just another example of that. Labor here, Shadow Minister with two local candidates, standing up for the issues based upon the feedback that Ali and Corinne have had about the needs of their electorates where they are running. Peter Dutton is senior member of the Government, or he was, for a long period of time. He wants to be the Prime Minister. He’s out there doing a website about this issue. If you want websites and petitions in the electorate of Dickson, then vote for Peter Dutton. If you want someone who will actually get things done, vote for Ali France.

JOURNALIST: Just one more question for Ms France. What will be your signature thing that you pursue in Parliament? When people think about Ali France, what policy area should they (inaudible)?

FRANCE: Health. I have been in and out of hospital over many years, I have been sitting in doctors waiting surgeries over many years, and I know that people are struggling. The things that I hear all the time, and the feedback I get from the people in my electorate is that they are struggling with out-of-pocket health expenses. That they can’t afford the extra for scans and tests. That they can’t afford the gap to go and see a specialist. This is my number one issue, because I have been through it myself.

JOURNALIST: Is that a question of funding or do you have new and innovative ideas that you might share?

FRANCE: Absolutely it’s a question of funding. Cutting money from hospitals impacts patient care.

JOURNALIST: But other than funding do you have anything else in the health space that you might pursue?

FRANCE: Funding makes a difference. Medicare; what I’m hearing from a lot of the people in my electorate is that they are starting to pay money, having to pay more when they actually turn up to a doctor’s surgery. I spoke to a woman the other day who had to leave her doctor that she’d been with for 20 years, because they started insisting that she make the co-payment. Things like that I am hearing all the time. I think that prevents people from going to see their doctor and I think that’s a real problem in our health system. And we saw a report only last week in which one million people had said that they had – that the cost of going to the doctor had prevented them from going to see the doctor or they had put it off and I think that is a massive concern for this area.

ALBANESE: Can I finish up by saying that whoever emerges after noon today I think has a responsibility to actually go to see the Governor General and to call an election. This farce must end and it’s about time the people of Australia had a right to make a judgement on this Government. When it comes to health and the need to defend Medicare, when it comes to proper funding for our schools and our universities and our TAFE colleges, when it comes to proper nation building infrastructure, this Government knows that it is not capable of governing and it’s about time the Australian people got a say. And when they do, I am very confident that Ali and Corinne will join the Labor Caucus in Canberra after the next election.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – Nine News – Friday, 24 August, 2018

Subjects: Linkfield Road Overpass, Liberal Party leadership chaos.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has announced a major road announcement in Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson. Anthony Albanese joins us now. Very, very good of you to stand up and announce a policy in the middle of all of this Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, what we are doing is being constructive. This is what the Australian people want to see. Today we have announced the duplication of the Linkfield Road Overpass. It runs in between Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson and Luke Howarth’s electorate of Petrie and I stood up with Ali France and Corinne Mulholland – they are our great candidates for these seats. They are concerned about issues like traffic congestion. They are concerned about schools and hospitals. The Liberal Party have put their hand up and said this government business is too hard for us.

KNIGHT: All right. The Labor Party has been there before Albo. You are hardly the ones to cast judgement. We’ve been through the Rudd and Gillard years, but are you surprised by the confusion here?

ALBANESE: And I said in June 2010 that that was a mistake. I said it at the time. I said it publicly. I maintained that position and here we are seeing for the fourth term in a row an elected Prime Minister deposed. We should change prime ministers at Federal elections when everyone gets to vote, not under these circumstances, and I think the idea that Peter Dutton, who would appear to be the favourite, who is supported by 10 percent of Australians, as the Liberal Leader – it would be quite extraordinary if he comes through this process.

KNIGHT: Well we have seen the Solicitor General bring down advice stating that he believes that Peter Dutton is eligible to sit in Parliament. Still some question marks about that though. Are you happy with that advice? Is that good enough?

ALBANESE: Well, the advice doesn’t say that of course. The advice says that maybe, on the balance of probability, he may be OK. This is the same Solicitor General who told us that Barnaby Joyce was OK. What the Solicitor General also indicates in that advice is that the High Court might decide a different view from the Solicitor General.

KNIGHT: Will Labor be taking this to the High Court?

ALBANESE: Well when you look at the High Court, well we can’t take it.

KNIGHT: Can you refer it?

ALBANESE: The Parliament can refer it. The High Court have also made a decision over the issue of David Gillespie that it requires the Parliament to refer. I would have thought it was impossible frankly, for Peter Dutton to be sworn in as Prime Minister while there is a cloud over his eligibility to sit in the Parliament.

KNIGHT: Well it looks as though we will be having a three-way contest. Who would Labor like to see as Prime Minister?

ALBANESE: Look, that’s the business for the Liberal Party. What we know is that the Liberal Party have become a rabble. Whoever gets elected will inherit just rubble and will be incapable of uniting their own party, let alone the sort of unity that is required to lead the nation. We are a country that has big challenges ahead with what is happening in the global economy – the uncertainty that is there in foreign affairs; the need to give people opportunities in life as the economy changes. And what we have got at the moment frankly is just a mess and yesterday when the Government gave up on the Parliament and moved that it be adjourned at a time when we had legislation before the Parliament to outlaw modern slavery, it’s quite clear that this Government isn’t capable of government and whoever is successful at midday should go visit the Governor General and give the Australian people a say. That’s the feedback that I have had in Sydney this morning and now in Brisbane.

KNIGHT: All right. Anthony Albanese, thank you for your time.

[ENDS]

FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018

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