Jan 14, 2021






SUBJECTS: Car accident; Scott Morrison on holidays; NRL; South Sydney Rabbitohs. 


HOST: Anthony Albanese, a tragic Rabbitohs fan, how are you mate?


ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: I am consistent with my New Year’s resolution to stay alive.


HOST: Well yes, we heard, Anthony, as much as Margaux would love to talk to you about the NRL.


HOST: We will be talking League before you know it, Margaux.


HOST: A car accident? Are you okay? What happened? Tell us what’s going on?


ALBANESE: I had a head-on last Friday night on the way home just very close to my place.


HOST: How many did you have?


ALBANESE: Absolutely none. The other driver has been dealt with a negligent driving infringement. So there was just all of a sudden driving along there’s a Range Rover in front of me. And a Range Rover beats the car that I was in, let me tell you.


HOST: Was it Michelle Bridges? How many has she had?


HOST: Anthony, did you have a neck brace? Whiplash? Compo?


ALBANESE: I was in the hospital for 24 hours, lots of tests and had an MRI yesterday back at Prince Alfred Hospital. But I was very lucky, basically, very lucky. The car is a write-off.


HOST: You could have died.


ALBANESE: I could have been a write-off. I absolutely thought I was going to at that moment.


HOST: What is the political work compensation?


ALBANESE: None, really. We just cop it. People are trying to run us over all the time.


HOST: Was it a young bloke in the Range Rover I heard?


ALBANESE: He was a 17-year-old P plater.


HOST: Were you in a Camry? Because I read a story that you said the safety features of the Camry saved you?


ALBANESE: Well, a Camry Hybrid, the new cars, they make a difference. The front, if you look at my social media photo of my former car, they crumple there, they are sort of made to crumple. And the seatbelts these days are made so that they actually hug you in, if you like, to put it in simple terms, as soon as there’s a collision, so you’re not jolting forward as much as you would otherwise. And cars are getting better and better in terms of safety features.


HOST: Albo, I have never been in one, but can you tell me, when the airbag goes off, what happens? It goes off, softens the blow, and then it just slowly releases then you can step out of the vehicle?


ALBANESE: No, I didn’t step out of the vehicle, I assure you. I was stuck in there for a bit. I was lucky there was a nurse across the road who witnessed the accident. And she was just fantastic. So the next day in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, someone who was with us recognised that she was there on duty the next day and she comforted me. And the ambos and the paramedics were fantastic. The care I got was great. And I’m sure that’s made a difference to whether there’s any lasting damage, which there appears not to be. I still got to keep an eye on myself, a bit of recovery time. But I’ll be right, I’m South Sydney tough. The segue, seamlessly, into the NRL.


HOST: Before we get to the NRL, if you become Prime Minister at the next election, do you stay with the Camry? Because you’re talking it up. Or do you go to one of the, I don’t know, actually what does our Prime Minister drive around?


ALBANESE: They drive you around in BMWs these days.


HOST: Very Australian.


ALBANESE: Not really. But, you know, this mob told the car industry to bugger off.


HOST: Pretty traumatic being in a car accident, Anthony. How long until you get back in a car again?


ALBANESE: Well, I had to get back in a car to go to the hospital yesterday.


HOST: Did you drive?


ALBANESE: I certainly didn’t drive. I don’t have a car anymore. It’s been taken to the wreckers. But I was a bit nervous, actually, I’ve got to say. Hopefully, though, that gets okay over time. I think I’ll be extra cautious. If you have a slow car in front of you, it might be me that’s driving.


HOST: Albo, we tried to look it up on the internet, we couldn’t find out where he was. Where’s ScoMo? He is on a week’s holiday. He’s not in Hawaii, clearly. He didn’t go there this year. Has he just gone to the beach? What does he do?


ALBANESE: I have no idea.


HOST: We speculated maybe, potentially, Hamilton Island or Noosa.


ALBANESE: Well, Hawaii didn’t go all that well for him. I’ve noticed it got a bit of a run in the lamb ad this week.


HOST: Albo, before we wrap up, we just wanted to make sure you’re okay, and you could have died in that accident. South Sydney, you let Corey Allan go, but you’ve grabbed Josh Mansour. A good move in your mind?


ALBANESE: It is a very good move. One of the things we suffered from at the back end last year was we’ve got two good wingers, I mean Alex Johnston’s fantastic, a top try scorer, and Paulo, the young bloke. These days you need your back three to have someone to really take the ball up in this first couple of tackles. Mansour is the guy. Wayne Bennett is just a star. He did well for Queensland, in Origin of course. And I was talking to my Souths mates, Andrew Denton and Nick Pappas, the other night. They’re very confident. Wayne is really upbeat about it at the beginning of the year. He doesn’t say much, Wayne, as you know. I think the addition of Arrow and Mansour and the sort of coming-on of blokes like Campbell Graham will be good.


HOST: How did it go? How upbeat?


ALBANESE: He actually in private is much more fun than he looks. I think he just basically doesn’t like the media.


HOST: Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, glad to hear that you’re on the mend. And thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us this morning.


ALBANESE: Thanks very much. Go the Rabbits.