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Oct 13, 2018

Media Release – Federal Labor Commits $2 Million to Save Dawn Fraser Pool – Saturday, 13 October, 2018

With Sydney Olympics Water Polo Gold Medallists Bronwyn Smith and Taryn Woods

At today’s community rally to save Dawn Fraser Pool I announced that an elected Federal Labor Government would commit $2 million to restore one of Australia’s oldest swimming pools and most precious heritage assets.

Dawn Fraser Pool is loved by many Australians, but without an urgent heritage restoration we may see the doors of our famous Baths closed forever.

Federal Labor’s $2 million commitment, in addition to the $4.5 million already dedicated by the Inner West Council and the $1 million announced today by the NSW Labor Opposition will provide the funds needed for a full refurbishment of the Baths.

In 2016 at the Federal Election I stood with the community and committed funding towards the renovation of the Baths.

Subsequently, the Inner West Council has completed a Master Plan for the Pool that identified urgent works needed to make the facility safe and accessible for the public and sporting clubs.

Works that will be delivered in the upgrade include:
• Raising the boardwalk, South Pavilion and Central Pavilion to overcome sea level rises
• Installing Water Polo lighting so that the UTS Balmain Tigers Water Polo Club can continue to play at their historic home
• Reconstruction of the South and Central Pavilions
• New bathroom and change rooms on ground floor
• Storm water upgrades
• Refurbishment of the piers
Our increased funding commitment is in recognition of how precious Dawn Fraser Pool is and its value to the community.

For more than 130 years children have learned to swim at these baths.

The Balmain Water Polo and Swimming clubs, who also call the Baths home, have produced multiple Australian representatives and Olympic gold medallists.

It’s time to make sure that this proud history is carried on at Dawn Fraser Pool for another century to come.


Sep 27, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – ABC Melbourne Drive with Francis Leach – Thursday, 27 September 2018

Subjects: Infrastructure; debt; women in Parliament; Grand Finals.

FRANCIS LEACH: Mr Albanese, welcome. How are you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Very well thank you Francis.

LEACH: What were you talking about down in Frankston?

ALBANESE: I was down there with Peta Murphy, who is our candidate for the seat of Dunkley, and Jacinta Allan, the State Minister, to announce a 500-space park-and-ride facility – commuter parking at the station there. It’s been two years since I was at Frankston Station. There has been an amazing rebuild and renovation done there by the State Government, but it has been identified by a forum I held a month ago with the local community-based organisation and businesses we held at the art gallery there, and they identified park-and-ride as a real priority, commuter parking, so this will make a big difference. We are very serious about dealing with traffic congestion by investing in public transport, but you also need to facilitate people getting access to that public transport so park-and-ride facilities are really important for that.

LEACH: There’s been a lot of talk about infrastructure in this state in particular and often a lot of what needs to get done falls between the crack between federal and state governments and the funding shortfall. Why should people believe the Labor will be any better at delivering on a better financial return for Victorians when it comes to infrastructure spending?

ALBANESE: Because we did last time. We delivered over 25 percent of our national infrastructure budget to Victoria. We did things like the Regional Rail Link – the largest ever public transport investment by any Federal Government ever, and we delivered on upgrades to the Monash Freeway, the Geelong Ring Road, Princes Highway East and West. We built here in Victoria and we worked co-operatively with both the Labor and Coalition governments. We had $3 billion in the Budget for the Melbourne Metro project, which Tony Abbott removed when he got elected and this week the new Budget figures are out on what the actual investment was in the 2017-18 financial year. That showed Victoria got 7.7 per cent of the national infrastructure budget. It is entitled on a per capita basis to one in every four dollars, and Melbourne is of course the fastest growing city in Australia and Victoria is the fastest growing state.

LEACH: If you are going to deliver that increased spend, you are going to need to find the money from somewhere and the Federal Government, has announced this week that its deficit projection has shrunk significantly to a $10 billion deficit – one that was projected to be $30 billion. Aren’t they doing a reasonable job in making the money available in order to achieve the projects that they want to spend it on?

ALBANESE: Well they are not really. When you look at debt has increased by $5 billion every year that they have been in Government in terms of the net debt. We have seen a doubling of the debt levels since they were in government and it isn’t as if there haven’t been good global circumstances. There has been no Global Financial Crisis that they have had to deal with. They haven’t had to deal with the significant bush fires and floods that we had at the same time as the Global Financial Crisis.

LEACH: There’s significant drought at the moment.

ALBANESE: Oh absolutely and that is causing significant hardship for people in those rural communities. But this is a Government that hasn’t been able to fulfil the commitments that it made on budgeting and we are an Opposition that has learned that you need to do the hard policy work in Opposition in order to be a good Government. We have put forward savings, some of them quite difficult savings, on dividend imputation, for example, on what we’d do with negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax for new dwellings for new investments. All of them of course we have made sure that we have corralled them in terms of the negative gearing changes, but over a period of time that will make a difference. So all of our commitments are fully funded and one of the priorities for a Labor Government is nation building. That is what Labor governments do.

LEACH: But if this Government is reducing debt without having the impost of new taxes, aren’t they winning the argument?

ALBANESE: But they are not reducing debt. That is the problem Francis. Debt has continued to increase every year under this Government and indeed you had today an Assistant Treasurer go out there, Stuart Robert, and confuse debt with deficit and say that the debt in Australia had been reduced to $10 billion, whereas that is of course the deficit figure. The debt figure in terms of gross debt is some $530 billion and the net debt is around about $340 billion under this Government.

LEACH: Can we talk a little bit about the ABC situation? What is the view from the Opposition benches on what has occurred with ABC management in the last seven or eight days?

ALBANESE: Well, I think we go back to the campaign that has been conducted by this Federal Government to undermine the ABC, whether it is the cuts – $83 million is the latest cut to be imposed on the ABC; whether it be the attacks on its independence, the attacks on journalists; the Liberal Party National Council of course passing a resolution calling for the privatisation of the ABC. We think that the ABC is a cherished national institution. It is a public broadcaster, not a Government propaganda arm.

LEACH: But there has always been political pressure applied to the ABC by all sides of politics depending on who is in Government. This isn’t just coming from those on the Government benches now. It’s been a long-term situation.

ALBANESE: There is a very big difference Francis between someone saying: “I don’t agree with what Francis Leach said about St Kilda winning the comp every year …

LEACH: That would be a lie … fake news.

ALBANESE: … I think he is wrong in that assessment,’’ or whether what particular news stories are out there. People are entitled to express their views and criticise. What we have had here though is systematic attack including calling on the CEO basically to sack journalists in order to curry favour with Government in order to secure funding for particular programs. That’s the way that the Chairman put it in the emails to Michelle Guthrie.

LEACH: But Anthony Albanese, how do we protect the ABC and have that independence so that it is the public broadcaster, not the state broadcaster. Is there a change that needs to occur – a circuit breaker between the politics in Canberra and the ABC?

ALBANESE: Well, we made significant changes when we were in Government under Stephen Conroy of course about the way the board is appointed to try to enhance that independent role. Part of it is a cultural change. This debate in itself I think will be, over the long-term. The fact that there is transparency about this this now means I think there can be a focus on why that independence is important and that will place pressure on politicians to back off essentially inappropriate conduct. I remember with Emma Alberici has being a the centre of this, I debated Malcolm Turnbull when I was the Communications Minister. He was the Shadow. Emma had a view about the National Broadband Network which was consistent, it’s got to be said, with just about every expert on broadband. All were talking about the need for fibre to the premise rather than the sort of copper stuff from last century that is being rolled out now and we have seen the NBN debacle come through. And I think I was there at the point of the first dispute between Malcolm Turnbull and Emma Alberici. Emma gave both of us frankly a hard time during that Lateline debate. But Malcolm didn’t seem to be prepared to support any criticism at all.

LEACH: Just to finish on another situation in Lindsay, the seat of Lindsay, another Emma, Emma Husar. There’s up to 17 candidates that have put their name forward to replace her. There has been a big debate within the Liberal Party around participation of women in parliamentary life and the issue of bullying. But in the Labor Party Emma Husar was bullied out of her seat as well. Is that something that you need to address as you go into the pre-selection for the seat of Lindsay?

ALBANESE: Well I don’t think that is a fair characterisation of Emma Husar’s situation. There are issues between Emma and her staff, many of whom were women, or former staff who had made complaints, and that was dealt with by the party. Emma chose to say that she wouldn’t recontest in the Parliament. I wish her well in whatever she chooses to do in the future, but the fact is that we are verging on 50 per cent representation of women. There has been a substantial increase since I was elected back in 1996 and there are women in very senior positions coming through – our candidates right across the broad, including Peta Murphy, who I was with today. After the redistribution Dunkley is now in the Labor column so if everyone votes the way they did last time, that will be another woman from Labor elected to the Parliament and the Liberals are knocking them off in pre-selections one by one and are headed toward potentially having single figures of representation of women in the House of Representatives.

LEACH: Just to finish on a lighter note, Melbourne Storm go to Sydney this weekend. I know you are a big rugby league fan. Your team isn’t contesting in the NRL Grand Final, but could you cope with another Melbourne victory in the NRL?

ALBANESE: They are playing the Roosters Francis.

LEACH: My enemy’s enemy is my friend?

ALBANESE: We are all Storm supporters now mate. The Roosters have had a history of taking South Sydney players one by one. They don’t have any juniors.

LEACH: You’ve got a purple tie on by the way.

ALBANESE: I do indeed. So I just hope it a good match. I don’t have a dog in the fight, but I would be very pleased to see the Storm win and I think they have been a remarkably successful team over a long period of time and I am glad that Billy Slater is getting to play his last match.

LEACH: Good to talk to you. Thank you for being here.

ALBANESE: Thanks Francis.


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.




Aug 23, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Thursday, 23 August, 2018

Subjects: Liberal Party leadership crisis.

KARL STEFANOVIC: Albo, for you to be watching on here, a little bit of deja vu and the similarities are obvious?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, unfortunately what we are seeing is a Government that is killing itself. I warned on the 23rd June, 2010, and indeed said on that night, that we will kill two Labor Prime Ministers if we do this. And unfortunately I think that was proven to be historically correct. What we are seeing here is a very small group of people, essentially around Tony Abbott. I called Peter Dutton Tony Abbott’s glove puppet on the Today Show last Friday and I think that is right. There is a small, disgruntled group of people who, when combined with social media and some of the shock jocks, are running this campaign for a bloke who, frankly, I have never seen hit 5% as preferred leader. He rates about two or three. Christopher Pyne rates ahead of him as preferred leader. There is a possibility that he may well be the unelected Prime Minister of Australia without a mandate. The Australian public should be very angry about the behaviour of Peter Dutton and the people around him today.

GEORGIE GARDNER: The Australian public is very angry. The Australian public is very disillusioned. You are a passionate politician. This is a sorry day for politics all around isn’t it, no matter what the outcome?

ALBANESE: It is absolutely. Look, we saw on Monday, Georgie, a poll that had 32% of Australians voting for neither the Coalition nor the Labor Party. I think the next poll might be higher, that figure. They are sick of politicians being concerned about ourselves and not the public interest. Peter Dutton, for him to launch not just one campaign, he had that on Tuesday, he had a ballot; since then we have seen, essentially, the Peter Dutton forces say very clearly they don’t care about the Government. They just want to have Peter Dutton’s name on the wall as a Prime Minister for however short a period of time.

What should happen is an election. This is a Government that is out of ideas, that is out of steam. You had Malcolm Turnbull put his hand up on Monday and say: “We can’t have an energy policy because I can’t get it through the House of Representatives’’. If Peter Dutton is successful in this extraordinary campaign that he is undertaking of just blowing the joint up completely, this is a campaign of destruction; if he is successful he will inherit just rubble. I mean, the Government is a rabble and he will inherit rubble on the ground. That will be all that is left of the Government and whoever is in charge should go to Yarralumla and give the Australian people an opportunity to put this mob out of their misery.

GARDNER: Anthony Albanese, you talk about the Peter Dutton forces. Just elaborate on who precisely the Peter Dutton right forces are.

ALBANESE: Well, this is the hard right wing of the Liberal Party. These are the people who believe that climate change isn’t happening, in spite of all of the evidence that is out there. These are the people who believe in the public funding of coal-fired power stations. These are the people who believe in the past. They hanker for an Australia that, frankly, we have moved on from as a modern nation. And they are people who are very frustrated about any progress in society, and they want to turn at the clock back. And they are angry at Malcolm Turnbull. They are angry at Labor. They are angry at anyone who disagrees with them. You have had circumstances now here in Parliament whereby you have had many women MPs – they don’t have that many on the Liberal side – complaining about being intimidated to sign petitions. You have had quite an extraordinary series of events that have just rolled on. And meantime they are not governing. We are supposed to have a Ministerial Statement today that I was supposed to be responding at 9.30 about the MH370. That is an issue which of course directly affected Australian families in that tragedy. It is not going ahead at any particular time because the Government has simply stopped functioning in this building.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, you know what it is like though as an analysis as well, to be inside that party when it self-destructs. You know that there are decisions that need to be made if you believe that the leader that you have cannot lead your party to the next election to victory and something needs to be done; the wound needs to be cauterised, and you were involved in that. The problem for you is the people who you are attacking this morning, in terms of the right of the Coalition, may be the very people that make it harder for you to win at the next election.

ALBANESE: Well the truth is that in Australian politics it is won more from the centre, than either the extreme right or the extreme left. That is the history of politics in Australia, that people have to be prepared to reach out and appeal beyond just the core base. What the Liberal Party are forgetting here is that it is not just Liberal Party members who go to branch meetings who get to vote at federal elections. There are other people. And what they expect is a bit of common sense in their politics, is less ideology, is a government that is prepared to stand up for them.

We had a chat, Karl, just a couple of months ago – it seems like a long time ago – the speech I gave in the Whitlam Oration was pretty prescient given the events this week. What I was saying there is that people want more solutions, less argument. They want people to be prepared to reach out, to both unions and employers. They want a more consensus approach in their politics. They are sick of people just yelling at each other. What we have seen – I mean, Peter Dutton, I get on with him OK, but the bloke can’t crack a smile. You know he is so angry at the world. What we actually need is to lift people up. That is what political leaders need to do and I don’t think Peter Dutton, if he is successful, will be capable of that. And Malcolm Turnbull, unfortunately, is in a circumstance whereby all of the things that he believed in he has given up in order to, one; gain power from Tony Abbott but, two; keep power at the moment and we saw that with a complete capitulation. Even though last week on energy it was overwhelmingly carried by his party room, that wasn’t enough because again you saw that small group of angry people effectively have veto over policy.

GARDNER: Let’s get back to this proposed second spill and knowing spills as you do, intimately, from within Labor ranks, give us a bit of insight as far as you know as to what will be going on as we speak? We understand that Mathias Cormann, who of course carries a lot of influence in this situation, is meeting now with the Prime Minister. Give us a bit of an understanding as to what would be the next step, if you could.

ALBANESE: Well, what will be going on is a strategic assessment of whether, on the one hand, a Leader, when someone asks for a ballot, people give them one. That is the history. When on the night of 23rd of June, 2010, Kevin Rudd and senior people in the Government debated whether we should bring on the ballot for leadership the next morning, or whether the rules would apply of signatures on a petition. Kevin Rudd announced, I think quite the rightly at that time, to bring on the ballot the next morning, knowing, I think at that time, that it was likely he would not be successful, but it was in the interests of the Government continuing, the Labor Government continuing, that he do that. So he put the collective interest before his own, if you like, and Julia Gillard of course emerged as Prime Minister the next day.

The circumstances here are very different because what they will be weighing up is that they have had a ballot just two days ago. I mean if they give them another ballot today, if Peter Dutton can’t get the 43 signatures, and at this stage it would appear, I reckon, if he had them, then he would be waving them in front of a camera now. If they give him another ballot today, do they have another one in two days’ time? I mean, there is a limit. So I think Malcolm Turnbull is within his rights to say no, you had your ballot. There is another party room in a couple of weeks. There is no doubt this instability is permanent now. What we might be seeing, essentially, is a split emerging which can’t be repaired and effectively, a split in the Liberal Party between the conservative forces and the moderate forces, because this sort of behaviour is very difficult to put back together. That is the problem that they have. There is the added issue, of course, is Peter Dutton eligible to be in the Parliament?

Now, Peter Dutton’s so-called legal advice isn’t explicit about that at all. We have released advice from Brett Walker, SC. He is one of Australia’s leading legal minds, saying there is a very real issue here. Professor Anne Twomey has said the same thing. The circumstances whereby, I don’t believe it is possible that Peter Dutton could be sworn in with that cloud over his head, and the circumstances whereby the Government has sought advice from the Solicitor-General, certainly when that is received that should be released. There is, at the very least, a cloud over Peter Dutton and it is a cloud that probably can of only be settled by the High Court of Australia making a determination.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, you’ve also got a great ability to cut through and also to talk in a fairly neutral way in terms of some issues. If you were to be the Prime Minister right now, given you know him, also given what is happening around him, what is his move? How does he survive even today?

ALBANESE: Well he just has to hold his nerve today. There is no doubt that Christopher Pyne will be giving him that advice this morning. I think the issue of the cloud over Peter Dutton’s eligibility to be a Member of Parliament – and what we know is that the High Court has been really strict on these issues. People who thought and they had legal advice saying they were OK, went to by-elections or, in senators’ cases, were simply replaced by the next person on the ticket. And the High Court has ruled: don’t worry about if it was an accident or because you thought it was OK or you didn’t have time to fix up your eligibility. It is a black-and-white interpretation is what this High Court has had. And there are real circumstances here. We had of course the South Australian Senator from Family First, Bob Day, rubbed out on the issue of Section 44 of the Constitution. That led to his resignation from the Parliament. So we will wait and see where that ends up. But I think that means almost that Malcolm Turnbull has an obligation to not just walk away.

There is the other thing that may well happen here as well, which is there is a possibility of the emergence of a Scott Morrison or a Julie Bishop. Certainly both of them, Julie Bishop in particular, is obviously much more popular in all of the polls than Peter Dutton. There will be people who are either in the Turnbull camp or maybe they voted for Dutton because they think it is time for a change of some sort, or there are people who just want an end to all of this who will be considering whether there is the possibility of the emergence of another candidate which is of course more likely if the Prime Minister of this morning is still the Prime Minister of this evening.

STEFANOVIC: Well tomorrow morning on the Today Show you might be joined by Prime Minister Christopher Pyne for your weekly segment and we look forward look to that.

GARDNER: Well there is a thought.

ALBANESE: Well I think that at least would be a more interesting ride for the nation.

STEFANOVIC: Thanks Albo.




Jul 1, 2018

Media Release – Labor will Build Car Parks for Commuters – Sunday, 1 July 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will establish a $300 million National Park and Ride Fund for new or expanded car parks at public transport hubs, such as train stations.

Labor backs public transport – it’s good for commuters and it eases congestion on our roads. But too many residents in our cities and major regional areas are frustrated at the lack of available parking at train and bus stations as they travel into the city for work.

At town hall meetings across the country, locals have told Labor MPs, Senators and candidates that they are fed up with the car park at their station being completely full early in the morning. It means people are forced to park far away from their train or bus station, or they have to drive into the city instead.

This problem is happening because governments aren’t investing in infrastructure to keep up with rapid population growth in outer suburbs and regional areas – like Western Sydney or the Central Coast – and it’s impacting on families’ quality of life.

Labor’s Park and Ride Fund will deliver grant funding to local communities – via state and local governments – to construct new car parks and expanded existing ones in high-growth areas with demonstrated commuter need. A Federal Labor government will partner with local communities to fund the projects on a co-investment basis.

As part of the application process, local and state governments will be asked to demonstrate that a car park is the best solution and most cost-effective way to use available land.

Labor can afford to deliver important infrastructure projects that local communities are asking for because unlike Turnbull, we are not blowing $17 billion on a tax giveaway to Australia’s biggest banks.

Australians want better schools, better hospitals, and better access to public transport. That’s what Labor will deliver.

While Turnbull’s out-of-touch Liberals are only for the top end of town, a Shorten Labor Government will deliver a fair go for all Australians.

May 16, 2018

Opinion Piece – Our Rapidly Changing Cities Are Threatening The Aussie Way Of Life – Ten Daily – Wednesday, 16 May 2018

In a nation famed for its easy lifestyle, we must find ways to manage growth in our cities so it does not destroy our Australian quality of life.

Late last year statisticians reported a fascinating demographic shift that highlighted a fundamental change in the lifestyle of Australians in the 21st century.

Official figures on housing approvals for November 2017 showed there were more apartments and townhouses approved by councils across Australia than stand-alone houses with yards.

The figures highlight how population growth is leading to increased population density in our cities as more Australians embrace apartment living in preference to the traditional house on a block of land in the suburbs.

As the population increases, there has been a consequential increase in population density, particularly along existing public transport corridors.

This growth presents a great challenge for all levels of government.

In a nation famed for its easy lifestyle, we must find ways to manage growth in our cities so it does not destroy our Australian quality of life. Indeed, if we confront today’s big demographic shifts in a spirit of goodwill and collaboration, we might just be able to harness change in ways that improve our quality of life.

The starting point is the promotion of communities.

When you live in a house with a yard in the suburbs, you tend to see your neighbours frequently, either on the street, over the back fence or at the local shops.

This contact nurtures community links.

In a future where more people live in apartments, we must think of ways to ensure that apartment buildings are designed in ways that also promote human contact.

Urban planning regulations should encourage the development of lively precincts around high-intensity residential areas including entertainment areas, parks, playgrounds and other areas where people can congregate safely for community activities.

We should also encourage mixed-use developments with units on upper floors and shops and other public spaces at ground level.

Indeed, governments could seek to partner with the private sector to incorporate public facilities like libraries or government service centres into residential developments.

Putting this another way, governments need to move beyond seeing themselves as impassive regulators that tick boxes on building standards and start seeing themselves as partners in building better communities.

Governments need to work with the private sector to look beyond the design of individual buildings to also consider the spaces between buildings and he way in which buildings fit into their neighbourhoods.

We have a choice here.

We can create soulless and sterile streetscapes where people seldom stop to talk to each other. Or we can be creative and create vibrant public areas that facilitate human contact and enrich communities.

Good planning can deliver these outcomes.

For example, in the Inner West of Sydney, slight height increases were allowed in new apartments on New Canterbury road, Dulwich Hill, in return for ground floor space to accommodate the Emanuel Tsardoulias Council Library.

The other key to better cities in the 21st century is increased Commonwealth investment in public transport.

The Government’s Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics has calculated that traffic congestion cost the Australian economy $16.5 billion in lost economic activity in 2015.

Increasing population density in cities will worsen this problem.

We can no longer afford to ignore the need for major enhancements to our urban rail systems.

State Governments are doing their bit, funding projects such as the Melbourne Metro, Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project and the Perth METRONET.

But the Coalition Federal Government has been indifferent to public transport. In 2013 the Abbott Government cancelled all public transport investment not under construction.

Malcolm Turnbull overturned the ban on public transport investment. And while the 2018-19 Budget did include some public transport commitments, the money will not start to flow in many cases until years from now.

That’s not good enough.

The shift to greater urban population density is already on.

Governments must keep up with changing needs. There is no time to waste.

This piece was first published by Ten Daily on Wednesday, 16 May 2018:

Apr 27, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 6PR Perth – Live with Oliver Peterson – Friday, 27 April 2018

Subject: WA infrastructure. 

OLIVER PETERSON: We’re joined now by Labor’s Shadow Infrastructure Minister. Albo, good afternoon.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to be with you.

PETERSON: Have you been trumped? Has the Labor Party been trumped by the Government’s cash splash here in the west?

ALBANESE: Not at all. The fact is that we have with our Fair Share for WA Fund committed $1.6 billion over two years. The Government has committed $3.2 billion over 10 years. They weren’t even saying what their timeline is, of when money will flow for these projects. So WA has been dudded by the Prime Minister again. They haven’t delivered on what they said they would do which is to fix up the shortfall that’s there to bring WA up to the equivalent of 70 cents. That’s what we’ve said we would do in our first Budget. What we have here is a whole range of projects which as you know, myself and in some cases Bill Shorten as the Leader have announced over the last year. Projects like Ellenbrook, Midland, the Byford Extension, the Mitchell Freeway Extension, Stephenson Avenue, have all been announced previously by Federal Labor, our commitment to those projects. And at five minutes to midnight, after five years of inaction, they’ve decided Western Australia counts. The Prime Minister dropped in for a day, for the first time in a very, very long time.

PETERSON: So, Anthony Albanese, does the Labor Party now need to play catch up? Will there be more infrastructure announcements here in WA?

ALBANESE: Well, there’s no catch up. We’re ahead and we’ll stay ahead. $1.6 billion over two years is the equivalent of $800 million additional on top of our normal infrastructure commitments to WA over each of two years. Now, if the Government was fair dinkum about $800 million a year then the figure would have been $8 billion today, not $3.2 billion. So what they’ve done is extend this policy out over a long period of time. What we know is that WA has a shortfall right now. It’s improved a little bit, by a few cents in the dollar, but it’s still way behind and it’s still not good enough. We think that 70 cents as a minimum is a reasonable starting point and that’s why we make these commitments. I’m very pleased that we’ve embarrassed the Government into matching the commitments that we’ve made.

PETERSON: It’s interesting indeed, I think the fight is certainly on here in WA, there’s a few sweeteners for voters here in Perth that we’re starting to obviously have our ears at the ready listening to what you’re promising, listening what the Government is promising. I wonder if it is going to shape or change people’s votes. Anthony Albanese, thanks for your time on Perth Live.

ALBANESE: Great to be with you.



Apr 23, 2018

Transcript of Radio Interview – 2CC Canberra – Drive Program – Friday, 20 April 2018

FRIDAY, 20 APRIL, 2018

Subjects: Record Store Day, Barnaby Joyce, Banking Royal Commission.

RICHARD PERNO: Tomorrow is Record Store Day. It’s time to pull out the electronic devices from your ears, stop downloading from the old net and go into a  record shop and buy a 12 inch slab of vinyl, which is exactly what Anthony Albanese will do tomorrow. Isn’t it Albo? You will be buying records tomorrow?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: It is indeed. I’m heading into my local record store tomorrow, which is RPM in Marrickville Road. It stands for Records, Posters and Memorabilia. But there’s about 150 record stores right around Australia that will be participating tomorrow in Record Store Day.

PERNO: Do you remember the first piece of vinyl you bought Albo?

ALBANESE:  Yes it was Honky Chateau by Elton John.

PERNO: Oh no.

ALBANESE: I think it is his second or third album and I’ve still got it.

PERNO: Have you?

ALBANESE:  I’ve still got it. The second album I bought was Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings.

PERNO: Have you still got that Anthony?

ALBANESE:  I’ve still got it. A bit later on when I finally got a decent stereo, I remember buying a three-in-one, you know, that had the tape deck, the record player and the radio …

PERNO: What brand was it? What brand?

ALBANESE: It was a Philips brand three-in-one and I bought it on lay-by from Grace Brothers where I worked on Thursday night and Saturday morning and paid it off. I got Led Zeppelin’s Presence Album was the first album I got which must have driven my poor mother crazy.

PERNO: Up the wall. Did you have a set of headphones? Could you afford a set of headphones.

ALBANESE:  No, no I didn’t have headphones. You had to listen to it out loud. I had it out on the back veranda of our little place in Camperdown.

PERNO: Did you? And Anthony Albanese, did you sit next to it and play DJs? Did you pretend you were a disc jockey?

ALBANESE: No, I never did that. That has come much later in life. That came after.  I hosted Rage …

PERNO: Did you host Rage?

ALBANESE:  Yes, when I was Deputy Prime Minister and arising out of that has been a few charity gigs being a pretend DJ.


ALBANESE: But essentially playing music that I like and in a couple of months I have something coming up, in June, for a local women’s refuge fundraiser.

PERNO: All right.

ALBANESE:  In my electorate.

PERNO: What are you doing there Anthony Albanese? Are you going to play records or something are you?

ALBANESE:  I am going to be playing records there. I have already done a playlist.

PERNO: Have you really?

ALBANESE:  An all-female play list.

PERNO: Oh, because of the ladies.


PERNO: If you were on a desert island Anthony Albanese, and you had to play a record – if they had power, let’s pretend everything is in a perfect world – what would you play over and over again until you got sick of it.

ALBANESE: Probably, over the years I think probably my favourite record is Sound Affects by The Jam.

PERNO: Is that right?

ALBANESE:  But I have lots of favourite albums. I did a little thing on Instagram a while back of my favourite ten albums and of course that was my favourite ten albums of that particular day because I, like lots of people, change when you think about things and one of the great things about going into a record store, and people will be doing that all over Australia tomorrow, there will be special sales, new releases, is that you can find music that you mightn’t even know about or havn’te played for a long time.

PERNO: That’s right.

ALBANESE:  There’s something about touching and feeling a record, looking at the sleeve, looking at the artwork, listening to the tracks in the order in which the artist wanted them to be heard and something special about that that I don’t think you can get from digital music down loads.

PERNO: No, that’s right, you can’t. And Albo, the demise of the local record shop is pretty sad too. I don’t know whether … there was a shop in George Street Albo called Palings that they used to flock to.

ALBANESE:  Indeed.

PERNO: Do you remember that? I think it was downstairs.


PERNO: Millions of vinyl and singles. Did you ever buy a single?

ALBANESE:  I bought a lot of singles. I have mainly bought albums, but I do have a lot of singles. There are record stores. We did a launch for Record Store Day just a few weeks ago at Red Eye Records – it has been in York Street now for a long time. It used to be down near Wynyard and that was there specialising I guess in more sort of independent rock music.


ALBANESE: It has a bit of everything, but I used to go into Phantom Records in Pitt Street too.

PERNO: Phantom.

ALBANESE:  They had their own label of bands like the Sunnyboys and Le Hoodoo Gurus, as they were called, and the Cockroaches. Lots of bands got their start there.

PERNO: Have you been into a record shop lately?

ALBANESE:  Yes. I went into RPM this week to do a bit of a promo for my local paper and I also, if I am in the city, will drop into Red Eye Records as well. I think that there is something special about a record store and one of the things about independent record stores is … there is a fantastic one in Weston there in Canberra run by Frog.

PERNO: Yes, that’s right.

ALBANESE:  And the people don’t own record stores because they are going to make a lot of money. The truth is they won’t. But they are people who are obsessed about music, who love their craft and love their business and who will put you on to different sorts of music. They might say: Have you listened to jazz out of a particular area or have you listened to some West Coast music from the US, or listened to some African music or whatever.


ALBANESE:  But they are passionate about their work and what they do. They employ local people, they tend to support local Australian music as well and that is why I think International Record Store Day, which will be celebrated right around the world tomorrow, is a really good thing. It’s a good reminder. Interestingly last year was the first year this century that vinyl sales have gone up. And CD sales as well. So what that says to me is that people, you know, with the pace of the world these days, people do want a bit of a slowdown.


ALBANESE:  And to press the pause button a bit, to be able to go in and have a look at their local record store. Frog is actually giving some of the donations to the local RSPCA branch. There’s lots of record stores will be doing that tomorrow, giving some of their contributions to support local charities. Some of them have local bands that are playing. They have specials. There are new releases including a new David Bowie live release. I think it is from the 70s, the concert that they have made into a limited release for tomorrow. But lots of special things happening.

PERNO: Yes there are. Can I give you a piece of advice Anthony?

ALBANESE:  Oh certainly. As long as I don’t have to take it.

PERNO: No, you don’t have to take it. When you get rid of this stupid career in politics, open Anthony’s Rock and Roll Shop or Record Shop.

ALBANESE:  It would be a fun thing to do. But it is hard work. They all work very hard.

PERNO: Froggy always looks like he could do with a week off. But it is great to be in it. As you rightly point out, all this sort of electronic gadgetry has seen the demise of a lot of the shops but vinyl, as you mentioned also Albo, is making that huge  comeback which is pretty good as well. So hang on to your vinyl. Who knows, in future years radio stations might bring back the turntables they have taken away.

ALBANESE: They may well.

PERNO: You never know.

ALBANESE:  Well there is a different sound that vinyl produces.

PERNO: Yes I like all the crackles in it and all the scratches. They are the good things. Two things before I let you go –  Barnaby Joyce is a dad for the fifth time. What would you say to Barnaby Joyce?

ALBANESE:  Congratulations, like I would say to any new father.

PERNO: Yes he’s got a son, so she has given him a boy.

ALBANESE:  Well, that’s equally as good as having a girl.

PERNO: Yes and having a record shop. And finally on the serious side of things Albo, this banking Royal Commission has certainly regurgitated horror stories. The customers are being ripped off. There is going to be some law in place. Do you reckon it will happen that the Government will institute 10-years behind jail?

ALBANESE: Well who knows what they will do to hide their embarrassment over the fact that they resisted the Royal Commission. Remember? Twenty times we tried to put in through the Parliament. They said it was a waste of time. It was s stunt. It was reckless. Guess what? A little bit of fresh air and a little bit of transparency has exposed all sorts of rorts and has exposed people being ripped off. It’s a good thing. It is always good to have evidence to then make policy on the basis of that evidence. Thank goodness we did have a Royal Commission and we haven’t heard from a lot of the victims yet. That is to come.

PERNO: It’s a horror story. Now if it happens to be into Parliament as a piece of paper that you have to vote on, will you say yes, ten years behind jail, big fines?

ALBANESE: We will have a look at any legislation that is there but we have tried to have a strengthening of protections for people from financial services and we have been resisted …


ALBANESE:  .. in recent times so hopefully the Government will realise the error of their ways and stop essentially what has been a bit of a protection racket for these people.

PERNO: Yes, and horror stories coming up. Anthony Albanese, member for Grayndler and future record store owner, great to catch up with you Albo. It has been a couple of years. Don’t be a stranger. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Have a good Record Store Day tomorrow.

ALBANESE:  Thanks for having us.


FRIDAY, 20 APRIL, 2018

Apr 16, 2018

Media Release – Labor will build Cross River Rail – Monday, 16 April 2018

A Shorten Labor Government will help end the gridlock in South East Queensland by investing $2.24 billion towards the congestion-busting Cross River Rail project.

This is South East Queensland’s number one infrastructure project – that’s why Labor is making it a priority.

This will allow more trains, more often. It will take cars off the road and get traffic moving. And it will provide a major boost to the economy – with 7700 jobs in the construction phase alone, and 550 ongoing operating jobs.

Labor will partner with the Queensland Government on the project, which will build a new 10.2 kilometre north-south passenger rail line from Bowen Hills to Dutton Park.

The project will incorporate 5.9 kilometres of tunnelling under the Brisbane River and CBD, as well as four new underground stations constructed at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street, and the upgrade of the existing Dutton Park and Exhibition stations.

When completed, the Cross River Rail will remove current bottlenecks by doubling the capacity across the River and allowing more trains to run more often – along every major train line.

And it will mean commuters spend less time in transit and more time doing the things that are important to them. Passengers will save 15 minutes commuting from Beenleigh or the Gold Coast to the Southern CNB.

This is a critical project for South East Queensland’s future – with the population of the region forecast to grow from 3.5 million today to 4.9 million in 2036, investment in good infrastructure is critical.

Demand for passenger rail services is forecast to almost triple by 2036, and passenger train lines are already currently over capacity.

Failure to build the cross river rail will severely limit the region’s ability to grow, and will put more pressure on already congested roads.

Only an out-of-touch prime minister would ignore the critical need for investment in public transport infrastructure.

South East Queensland is crying out for investment in this project – but Mr Turnbull has been ignoring it. He hasn’t put in a dollar of Federal funding to get construction off the ground.

Labor knows that the solution to South East Queensland’s congestion issues is more roads and more rail – that’s why a Shorten Labor Government will build both.

In addition to this $2.24 billion commitment to Cross River Rail, a Shorten Labor Government will invest $1 billion to widen the M1 from Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill to eight lanes as well as widening the M1 to six lanes from Varsity Lakes to Tugun.

In supporting the M1 upgrade but ignoring the Cross River Rail Project, Mr Turnbull and the LNP are only doing half the job. This will result in Queenslanders spending more time on a train platform or stuck in traffic.

Only Labor will build more roads and more rail – boosting infrastructure, creating jobs and cutting travel times for Queenslanders.

Benefits of the project:

  • The CRR will double public transport capacity across the river into Brisbane CBD from the south, providing ultimate capacity for 24 rail services per hour in each direction.
  • There will be a 22% reduction in train crowding by 2036.
  • It will increase daily public transport patronage in 2026 by 9,000 passengers and 23,000 passengers in 2036.
  • CRR will reduce private vehicle kilometres travelled by 526,000km per day – (a 24 per cent decrease in daily crowded hours in 2026 and 29 per cent in 2036)
  • It will provide faster, more reliable travel times across South East Queensland, including to and from the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.


Dec 19, 2017

Transcript of television interview – Newsday with Samantha Maiden

Subjects; Cabinet Reshuffle, George Brandis appointment, national security

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALBANESE: Thanks Sam.


Contact Anthony

(02) 9564 3588 Electorate Office

Email: [email protected]

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