ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TRIPLE M BUNDY BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 24 APRIL 2020
SUBJECTS: DJ Albo; constructive role of Opposition during the coronavirus crisis; Bundaberg tourism.
JUSTIN BELL, HOST: The Honourable Anthony Albanese, the Opposition Leader. He is on the line. Good morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: G’day. Good to be with you.
JULIA GREENHALF, HOST: Happy Friday to you.
BELL: Are we at the terms where we can call you Albo?
ALBANESE: You can. We have spoken before.
BELL: I don’t know if we have. But we will go with that. Friends, always. Now, Albo, I’ve learned something about you this morning. That you are a DJ of sorts.
ALBANESE: I am of sorts. That’s a good term, good way to put it.
BELL: Does this bring anything to mind? I’ve heard you DJ with these guys?
ALBANESE: The Pixies. A great song.
BELL: I’ve heard you did stuff with the Pixies.
GREENHALF: I am very impressed.
ALBANESE: I have had a bit of fun. I hosted Rage a few years ago when I was Deputy Prime Minister. And people liked the playlist so it sort of grew from that. So, I’ve done a few charity gigs. There’s an organisation called Reclink that have an AFL footy game in every capital city as their main fundraiser. They do a lot of stuff with young people trying to connect them back into the mainstream through music and through sport. And people like Paul Kelly are involved, Tex Perkins, from The Cruel Sea, and many other bands. It is all a bit of fun. I don’t take it too seriously. And I don’t pretend I am like a real DJ.
BELL: It is serious stuff in here all the time. Being the Opposition Leader at the moment, it is tricky, of course, all eyes on Prime Minister Scott Morrison. What’s it been like being the Opposition Leader and what do you think of the job that ScoMo has done?
ALBANESE: Well, I’ve had a job to do. And that’s to try to hold the Government to account but to be constructive. I don’t think people have wanted politics as usual. So, we’ve put forward ideas. We have said that there was a need to act sooner. We called for a whole range of measures that have taken place, like making sure that people get e-health, you know, over the internet, rather than seeing doctors face to face. We called for wage subsidies was the big one that we called for. When we first called for it, was dismissed by the Government as a bad idea. But eventually they realised that there really was an urgent need for us to have a system whereby employers could keep a relationship with their workers and to keep them employed. And the Government changed its mind, to its credit. But we were out there pushing them to do that and to cooperate.
BELL: So, you have been busy. It has been good that the governments have been working together. There’s been bills passed that quick. But I guess it can be, for me, it’s a bit frustrating as well because you see stuff needing to get done in general day to day and there’s back and forth and fights and nonsense.
GREENHALF: Well, that’s the thing. Everyone’s got their hand out saying, ‘Hey, what about me? What about me?’ But how do you even prioritise in a climate like this?
ALBANESE: Well, I think what you’ve got to do is look at how you come out the other end. So, how do we keep structures in place so that the economy, once this is over and people can stop their social distancing and people can still catch up and go to restaurants and travel, the economy’s structure is essentially there? So, you want, for example, you want businesses to be able to keep going and to not shut their doors because then it’s really hard for them to start up again. So, that’s been the key, I think, and providing support to people in need.
BELL: Well, here’s to when we move forward hopefully this constructive type of stuff can continue to happen between the parties. Thanks for spending a bit of time with us. Heard you were in Bundaberg in December and you got your own rums.
ALBANESE: I did. It was a great example of a great tourist attraction.
BELL: Absolutely. You will have to come back to get it again.
ALBANESE: ‘Albo-berg Rum’. It is a good drop.
BELL: Good on you. Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, and I will end on this. Come on the Cowboys.
ALBANESE: Go the Rabbits.