ANTHONY ALBANESE – TRANSCRIPT – DOORSTOP INTERVIEW – PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA – THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2020
ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 2020
SUBJECT: Victorian Labor.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good morning. Yesterday afternoon I spoke with Anthony Byrne. I checked on his welfare. Anthony Byrne is someone who has been under pressure and it was appropriate that I check on his welfare. I also discussed and sought an assurance from him that he had advice, which he has, that he has acted legally at all times. That is consistent with what Channel Nine have said in terms of Nick McKenzie’s comments as well. He also assured me that he was offering full cooperation with IBAC and the police inquiries. And I took that assurance. I note the comments that are published today from Mr Byrne. These comments are completely unacceptable and inappropriate. And I’ve counselled Mr Byrne about his language and the inappropriateness of those comments. I note Andrew Hastie’s comments this morning, where he has said clearly, ‘I can speak to Mr Byrne’s character over the last few years. He has been a great servant of our country in the committee’. And certainly, the work that committee has done to keep our country safe has been important, has been bipartisan by and large, and certainly the Chair and the Deputy Chair of the committee have worked very cooperatively. Thank you very much.
JOURNALIST: So, he is going to stay as Deputy Chair?
ALBANESE: He is the Deputy Chair of the committee.
JOURNALIST: How concerned are you that this factional feud in Victoria is now spreading into the Federal pockets of the ALP?
ALBANESE: Well, the fact is that the Federal Executive acted swiftly upon advice from Premier Andrews. We acted decisively. Compare that with what happens when we raise the question about integrity in the Liberal Party yesterday and what we had was a refusal by the Prime Minister to answer those questions. Thank you.