Oct 15, 2020







SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; Budget reply; NRL; South Sydney Rabbitohs; childcare; Australian music; women.


HOST: We have to get the red carpet out, search lights in the sky and also the trumpet players.


HOST: We welcome this morning for the first time on our show, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Anthony Albanese.


HOST: Hello, Mr Albanese.


HOST: Good morning, sir. How are you?




HOST: I know, we do it for all the special guests.


HOST: You only have to be special. And because you go for South Sydney, we thought we better do that. Will they win, Albo, this weekend?


ALBANESE: They will beat the Panthers this weekend.


HOST: Do you reckon?


ALBANESE: They’re on fire. Who is an Eels fan now?


HOST: I used to be. And then they lost.


HOST: He’s a loser.


ALBANESE: Commiserations. We’ve been behind 18-8. Against the Knights, we were behind 14-0 after 12 minutes and they stayed calm. And Reynolds and Walker are just on fire.


HOST: Damien Cook, he is on fire.


ALBANESE: Cooky, he is extraordinary. There’s two tries he scored in the semi-finals towards the end. You couldn’t knock him over with a Mack truck. He’s just so quick. I was pretty close to where he scored the try last week and he got the ball and he was in second gear and he goes from second to overdrive in a stride. So, I actually haven’t seen any forward accelerate like he can.


HOST: We could rabbit on about the Bunnies all day long, couldn’t we?


ALBANESE: We could. I wouldn’t argue with that, frankly. We had a 43-year drought, you have got to remember.


HOST: What are you doing on the Central Coast today, mate?


ALBANESE: Today, I’ll be the University of Newcastle campus there at Ourimbah. And they’re with Emma McBride and Senator O’Neill, Deb O’Neill. And we’ll be talking to students about the increased fees that went through. They’re going to be really hit up, particularly people doing arts or humanities degrees. We’ll be talking about that. We’ll be talking about childcare, about women’s workforce participation, how we’ve got a plan to try to help that, to boost the economy, but as well, particularly, to help women in the workforce who the Government kind of forgot last week in their Budget.


HOST: You have kind of got a real focus on women in the workforce. And speaking of the Budget, I was going to ask you, as the Leader of the Opposition, because it seemed like a very Labor-style Budget, because there’s a lot of spending, and I was wondering what your favourite and least favourite things about it were exactly?


ALBANESE: Well, there was a lot of spending. The problem is there’s nothing to show for it. So, that’s the big problem I have with it. There was good stuff on mental health. So, a tick there, that there was some increased spending there. But in terms of big infrastructure projects, or lasting reform, like childcare reform, when we had the Global Financial Crisis, we had paid parental leave, we had the National Broadband Network before the current Government tried to trash it with copper instead of fibre. We had some big reforms there. And how you spend $100 billion but have virtually nothing to show for it is a little bit beyond me. But they managed to do it.


HOST: We are speaking with Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition, on the Central Coast at the Ourimbah uni today. I’m a swinger, voting only. Now, I looked at what ScoMo is doing and I looked through the COVID crisis. If you were the PM, is this something you would have done differently to what the Prime Minister has done?


ALBANESE: I would have done wage subsidies earlier, which is when we called for it. And I also wouldn’t have left people behind. There were too many people. If you were a casual employee, if you’re single mum trying to look after a couple of kids who had a casual job for 11 months and two weeks before it came in, you missed out. You didn’t get the support that you need. And I think university staff missed out. Too many people, and there has been more than 10,000 have subsequently lost the jobs as a direct result of that. I just think too many people got left behind, which will mean that the recession is deeper and longer than it has to be.


HOST: One thing that helps people through a recession is Australian rock. And we are celebrating Oztober for the month of October, celebrating Australian Music. We’re going through the GOAT, the greatest of all time for Australian acts. Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition, who is your Australian GOAT?


HOST: Number one.


ALBANESE: GOAT. It would have to be the Oils, I think. But it’s a close race. Cold Chisel, Powderfinger, Spiderbait. I’m showing my age here.


HOST: Spiderbait? I’m surprised that one snuck in there, Albo.


ALBANESE: I love Spiderbait.


HOST: Me too.


HOST: Anthony, Rob’s going for The Seekers. I don’t know whether they will make the top 10. We will just wait and see.


HOST: He’s just trying to dress me up.


ALBANESE: It depends what the age group of the voting is.


HOST: So, you’ve gone for Midnight Oil?


ALBANESE: I have to go to the Oils. I got to see them before they were really big, in places like the Stagedoor Tavern and little pubs. They were a great live act. Just the energy that they had just blew us away. When they came back, I got to see them at Selina’s just a couple of years ago where they did a gig that went for about two and a half hours. They were basically practicing all the things they were going to play on their world tour and it brought back memories. It was a nice sweaty venue. That’s what you need.


HOST: All right. Well, listen, enjoy the Central Coast, Mr Albanese, today with Emma McBride also Deb O’Neill. Thanks for joining us. Say g’day to the team at Ourimbah campus for us.


ALBANESE: I will do. And it’s fantastic that you are so supportive of Aussie music. I do think the new genre of Aussie music, particularly there’s all these fantastic women coming through, Sarah Blasko and Gordi and lots of quite exciting talent, Vera Blue, it’s a good era for music in Australia, I think.


HOST: And we have heaps on the Central Coast also.


HOST: Anthony, thanks for joining us this morning, mate.