Oct 13, 2020








SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; Budget reply; Labor’s Working Family Child Care Boost; childcare; manufacturing; economic reforms; NRL; South Sydney Rabbitohs; craft beers.


HOST: The Opposition Leader, Mr Anthony Albanese, is joining us and coming down to the Gong today. But he’s on with us here at i98. Hello, Mr Albanese. How are we? All good?




HOST: Can I call your Albo? Is that okay?


ALBANESE: Yes, that’s okay. Everyone does.


HOST: It’s one of the best political nicknames getting around. It’s a beautiful day down here too, Albo. Make sure you bring the speedos if you are coming down.


ALBANESE: No one wants to see me in speedos in the Gong, mate.


HOST: Come on.


ALBANESE: I might bring the bordies, how about that?


HOST: I reckon you would have a pair of South Sydney speedos.


ALBANESE: I actually do.


HOST: Brilliant.


HOST: Go the Bunnies.


ALBANESE: We’ve hit peak at the right time, haven’t we?


HOST: We sure have. And as Wayne Bennett said the other day, he rested the players. He didn’t smash them doing that COVID thing, which is a very smart idea.


ALBANESE: He is the super coach. He’s a great manager of people. I have been in the dressing room when he’s given a spiel. He doesn’t say that much. He trusts these players. He gets them play on instinct. And I don’t think I’ve seen a better instinctive footballer than Cody Walker, I have got to say. You have to go back to Cliff Lyons or Mundine.


HOST: Phil Blake. Now we are talking.


ALBANESE: He ratted on us and went to Manly.


HOST: Hey, Albo, what is bringing you to Wollongong this morning?


ALBANESE: Well, I’m going to BlueScope this morning with Sharon Bird and Jonesy and Fiona Phillips.


HOST: Yes.


ALBANESE: We’ll be talking to the management their plans that they’ve got. And also, to the workers there. We’ll be talking about last week’s Budget, about the plans that we have for childcare, about the plans that we have for the economy and growing jobs out of this difficult recession that we’ve got. And it’ll be a good chance to catch up with people. I have got a couple of other meetings while I’m down there. It is always good visiting Wollongong.


HOST: It’s a tough period to be a politician at the moment, isn’t it? It seems like the world’s in a crazy spot. And despite whatever side you go for when it comes to politics, I mean, do you really want the top job at the moment?


ALBANESE: I do. I do. What you can do is that we can be much better Australia. And I looked at last Tuesday night’s Budget. And I heard the figures rattling around, $100 billion of new spends, there was a trillion dollars of debt, and nothing to show for it. No big reform. And you need to use a period like this, Paul Keating created superannuation during the last recession. You’ve got to use it to really make a difference. And you’ve got to make sure that you get bang for your buck. And quite frankly, there wasn’t much in there in the Budget last Tuesday night that people remember, or that will make a difference to the country. And the last time we had the Global Financial Crisis, we created the National Broadband Network, we invested in infrastructure, we made a difference. We had paid parental leave. We did these reforms that made a difference to people’s lives. And that’s why I want to be PM, not just to change who’s sitting where, but to do something with it in the interest of the country.


HOST: Okay. I mean, that’s the right motive to have, I think, isn’t it?


HOST: I agree. I do like watching your thoughts with childcare too, the sprinkling of that. There’s it’s 6.8 billion or something?


ALBANESE: Well, it’s about moving towards ensuring that in the long-term we want to move to universal, affordable provision, not free, but affordable provision. And that makes a huge difference to women’s participation in the workforce, which helps to boost the economy. There are three things you can do to boost the economy. Participation rates. The three Ps. Productivity, and that makes a difference there as well. Because at the moment, women are working three days rather than four or five, because there’s that disincentive in the system for them to do that and it holds the economy back. And the other one is population. We know for the first time in our lifetimes, it’s going to be going backwards because of migration. You can’t do that much there, but it gives you family security as well, that they’ll have the confidence to have their first kid maybe a bit earlier. And if they are thinking about a second or third, that’s when they’ll be looking to see if they can afford it. And if you fix the childcare system to remove the disincentives, then that’ll be good for families there as well.


HOST: Now, we’re talking to Anthony Albanese, who is the Leader of the Federal Opposition, the Labor Party. And he’s coming to Wollongong this morning. We’re going wrap things up with you, Albo. But I have it on very good authority that you love a good craft beer, mate.


ALBANESE: I do. Albo Ale from Willie the Boatman, available at Dan Murphy’s.


HOST: Albo, this was an opportunity for me to get a plug, not you, mate. We’re just about to start a new little micro-brewery here in Wollongong. I know that you love your craft beer, so, if you can keep working on changing that craft beer reform for me, that’d be great.


ALBANESE: We got some through, even from opposition.


HOST: I know, it was good work.


ALBANESE: There used to be a disadvantage for smaller kegs that got taxed at a different rate. We managed to fix that. But it’s booming in regional Australia particularly. And it’s fantastic. It’s local employers, a good place to go and visit. I’ve got 16 craft breweries in my electorate. And I’ve never heard of an incident at any of them.


HOST: That’s exactly right. Well, hang on there for me. I’ll give you a couple of hot tips down here.


ALBANESE: And I’m expecting a six pack to come.


HOST: No worries, look out for it, mate. Thanks for joining us, Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Labor Party and the Federal Opposition. Thanks mate.


HOST: Enjoy Wollongong.


ALBANESE: Thanks a lot, guys.