ANTHONY ALBANESE – TRANSCRIPT – DOORSTOP INTERVIEW – PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA – WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE 2020
ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE 2020
SUBJECTS: JobKeeper; dnata workers missing out on Government support; protests during COVID-19; Treasury review into JobKeeper.
JOURNALIST: How much of the $60 billion underspend on JobKeeper do you think the Government should be putting back in the economy?
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well, I am not the Government. What is pretty clear though is that these people have missed out. They have missed out because of a change that was made. I have just spoken to women here who received one payment and then had to give it back because they weren’t eligible because of the issue of the ownership of this company. Now, these workers didn’t make the decision to change the ownership of the company. That ownership change was approved by this Government. And one of the issues with JobKeeper is simply people missing out doing the same job as others who are getting the payment.
JOURNALIST: One Nation has said that they won’t be supporting the change in the Senate for JobKeeper. Does that make it dead in the water already?
ALBANESE: Well, it makes it difficult. But what I’d say to all the Senators is that, and House of Reps members, is come and talk to these workers. Come and talk to those people who are hardworking, who don’t earn a lot of money, who just are deserving of a little bit of respect.
JOURNALIST: Can you tell us about your members who have gone off to get COVID testing today? Why didn’t they have the tests before they came?
ALBANESE: Look, they’ve gone off and got tested out of an abundance of caution. That’s a reasonable thing for them to do.
JOURNALIST: Was it the right thing for them to be at the protest?
ALBANESE: I made my position on the process very clear. I think that you should always follow health advice. And that was the position that I said beforehand, during and after.
JOURNALIST: Should they have had that test before they walked into Parliament? Potentially infecting other people?
ALBANESE: Well, they followed the health advice, and now they, out of an abundance of caution, are being tested. That’s fine. Thanks very much.
JOURNALIST: The Government says Treasury is going to review JobKeeper and there might be further adjustments. Is that fair enough or should they be guaranteeing the payment continues until September?
ALBANESE: Well, last week Scott Morrison said in response to a question, would he guarantee that JobKeeper would remain until September? And he answered very simply, yes. This is a broken promise with regard to childcare workers. And it is the Government that have to explain this inconsistency. But I’ll say this as well; the Government have said they will receive the review in June. But they won’t release it until July after the July Four by-election for Eden-Monaro. This is a Government that hides from transparency. It should release the review when they get it. The only reason why they are delaying it is after the Eden-Monaro by-election. Thanks very much.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.