ANTHONY ALBANESE – TRANSCRIPT – RADIO INTERVIEW – TRIPLE M FRASER COAST THE BIG BREAKFAST WITH BLANDY – FRIDAY, 28 AUGUST 2020
ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
TRIPLE M FRASER COAST THE BIG BREAKFAST WITH BLANDY
FRIDAY, 28 AUGUST 2020
SUBJECTS: The failure of the LNP Government to build transport equipment in Australia; South Sydney Rabbitohs; DJ Albo; Gordi; Australian music.
ANDREW BLAND, HOST: I have been mentioning this morning that our special guest here in the Triple M Fraser Coast Breakfast Show is the Honourable Anthony Albanese, the, well, Federal Opposition Leader. We bow to you. Anthony, good morning.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good morning. How are you going?
BLAND: Good, mate. Now, the big question is, I think, on everybody’s lips who was listening in this morning, is ‘why the heck do you want to be on this program?’.
ALBANESE: I want to be on because I’m really angry about the quite absurd statements of the New South Wales Premier that we can’t make trains in Australia. I visited up there just last December. And that fantastic Downer EDI site at Maryborough, where trains, rolling stock, are being fixed first of all, that the LNP Government of Campbell Newman sent the trains offshore, as well, to be built. They need to be retrofitted, because they’re not fit for purpose, in Queensland. And this is the experience everywhere. Everywhere. Trains have been offshore, doesn’t matter what country, they’ve come back, they’re too long, they’re too wide, the toilets aren’t right, they don’t fit the proper gauge, or there’s some issue with them. We should be making them here, we should be creating jobs here. In the long run, they’ll be far cheaper as well. Because every one of them comes back bad, as the ferries that have been built offshore have come back in Sydney. They don’t fit under the bridges.
BLAND: What is going on here? It was an absolute disaster. As you know, you just covered what happened here in Queensland regarding India building trains here which I mean, I think you and I could have done a better job, mate, to be honest. And the same situation seems to have occurred there with your ferries. When are we going to learn?
ALBANESE: It’s just beyond me why it keeps happening. It happened here with trains in New South Wales, with ferries, and with trains in Queensland. And why you wouldn’t get this right and we wouldn’t learn that we have skills here, we have a workforce here. Common sense tells you that if you’re building it in Queensland for Queenslanders, it’s going to be better because the locals who are there, the men and women I met, there were hundreds of them at the Downer site there, they are really passionate about producing a product that people they know are going to ride on and people are going to work on and it’s going to make a difference to their community. If you’re doing something across the other side of the world, you just don’t get the same quality control. And it seems every single time, there’s a mistake. We need a national procurement policy that coordinates the manufacturing of rail carriages, ferries, other transport equipment here in Australia. We will be better off. It’ll create jobs. It’ll streamline the processes. And it’ll be a good thing, because there’s a spin off when you manufacture something here as well.
BLAND: It’s been all about money. I mean, that’s the reason that it’s gone offshore, hasn’t it? All about the dollar. But it ended up costing us more in the long run.
ALBANESE: Of course, that’s exactly right. Do it right, do it once.
BLAND: And, of course, in New South Wales, I think your Hunter region is well renowned for train making as well.
ALBANESE: They had a purpose-built facility in the Hunter to build trains. And then they went and offshored it. It is a terrible mistake. And I don’t know what it is about LNP Governments that don’t have the faith in Australians. You know, the record is there, we’ve been doing it for a long time. It’s a tragedy that our car industry was told by Joe Hockey to leave, and, of course, they did. We need to make things here. And that’s one of the lessons of the pandemic.
BLAND: I think Gladys might be backtracking a bit today. ‘I didn’t really mean it like that, you misunderstood’. Look, on a brighter note before we go, Anthony, your team is coming pretty well right at the good time of the year. The Rabbitohs, big win last night.
ALBANESE: 38-0 was beyond my expectations. I’m in Canberra, we are confined a bit. We can’t go out. So, I was there in Parliament House with a bunch of fellow Souths tragics. And we were all in a bit of shock at halftime, I’ve got to say.
BLAND: Glory, glory to South Sydney.
ALBANESE: Indeed. And Souths, of course, have supporters right around the country. So, there’ll be a few people waking up this morning, checking the newspaper just to check that it’s not wrong. The thing about being a Souths supporter is that even at 22-0 I wasn’t completely confident.
BLAND: I know exactly what you mean. I am a St Kilda’s supporter in the AFL and the glass is always half empty, believe me.
ALBANESE: Long time between drinks.
BLAND: Mate, there is no drinks, believe me. Hey Anthony, you haven’t been doing any DJing of late, have you? Because I saw a clip of you ripping up the floor there a while ago.
ALBANESE: I do the odd DJing for charity, of course. There’s not too many events going on in my part of the world at the moment, in terms of Sydney. But it’s a bit of fun. I do love music, it is one of my great passions. So, I’m able to go to the odd event, not so much concerts these days. I went to an album launch of Gordi who’s a very good young Australian up-and-comer. Her album is very, very good. She’s a young woman from Condobolin.
ALBANESE: In Western New South Wales. And there’s a lot of great Australian music coming out at the moment.
BLAND: I know you love your Aussie music. Midnight Oil, Chisel, Powderfinger. It is well-renowned across the land, Anthony. Hey, mate, thanks for your time this morning. It is much appreciated.
ALBANESE: Have a fantastic day in your beautiful part of the world.
BLAND: Oh, you betcha. See ya. Bye.