Dec 4, 2020







SUBJECTS: Getting on with other politicians; rugby league; Souths’ expulsion and readmittance to the competition; marketing one’s self as a rugby league fan; returning to Queensland; State of Origin.


LUKE BRADNAM, HOST: This is pretty cool. I’ve got a little computer here, it tells me who I’m talking to. And I’m just going to read what’s on the screen here. It says ‘Anthony Albanese – future Prime Minister’ is joining us right now. G’day Anthony, how are you?


ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: G’day. That’s a good rap mate. I’m all the better for that.


BRADNAM:  That’s what it says, it says ‘future Prime Minister’.


ALBANESE: Well that’s just showing confidence.


BRADNAM: How do you get on with ‘Scomo’? Forget about your political differences. Is he a good bloke? Just, say you guys were on the same team, is he a good bloke?


ALBANESE: We’re not on the same team.


BRADNAM: I know you’re not, and I know it’s your job to sit there and bag him out about everything he does. But you know, honestly, okay, so I’m in the radio game, for example, Anthony. And you know, I go toe-to-toe with other people on air. But the bottom line is I can look back at them and go ‘you know, he’s on a different radio station to me, but other than that, he’s not a bad bloke’. You know, is ‘Scomo’ a half-decent bloke or just not your cup of tea as a person?


ALBANESE: Ah look, as a person, you know, we have some differences, it’s fair to say. I get along with a whole lot of people on the other side. But myself and Scott Morrison probably could have a better relationship, it’s fair to say.


BRADNAM: Yeah, fair enough. I hear you.


ALBANESE: I respect the Office of Prime Minister and he’s got a tough job. And on a personal level, you know, I wish him well. He was saying to me today across the chamber that he’s headed home to Sydney. He hasn’t seen his family for quite a number of weeks. And that’s really tough, it’s a difficult job.


BRADNAM: We don’t see that side of the political life. We will sit here and judge from the sidelines, but it has been a tough year for everybody.


ALBANESE: Absolutely.


BRADNAM: Here’s something I didn’t know about you, Anthony. I didn’t realise you’re a passionate rugby league man. And I was just reading that you helped get South Sydney back into the comp in the day, right?


ALBANESE: I did. I was on the board when we got kicked out of the comp. We organised the big demos. It was a it was a tough time. There was a lot of politics involved in those decisions, of course, with the post-Super League split that occurred and coming together. I was on the Souths board for a number of years. It was a tough time, but it was a it was a great achievement, it was a great example of people power. I was born, I came out of the womb, with a red eye and a green eye, and I said at my late Mum’s funeral back in 2002, I said I wasn’t sure whether she was more proud of that time I was still on the Souths board, of me being a Director of Souths or being a Member of the House of Representatives.


BRADNAM: That’s great. You know, I don’t think we see that side of you. I mean, I literally did not know that. I’m no massive fan of ‘Scomo’ or anything but I know he’s a Cronulla Sharks fan for example.


ALBANESE: Yeah, but you see he wasn’t for a long time. Only when he moved in, only when he moved into the Shire.


BRADNAM: But mate, you’re ridgey didge though. You’re ridgey didge. And if you’re telling me that he’s doing that for political gain, it’s worked for him with the everyday Australian, because I don’t know the everyday Australian knows that side of you. And that you’re truly authentic in that, because this is way before you’re running for Prime Minister. This is back in the day when you were doing the hard stuff to get Souths back in the comp. I don’t know.


ALBANESE: The Souths faithful know that that’s the case.


BRADNAM: Yeah, but you’re not just going to the Souths faithful anymore.


ALBANESE: Exactly.


BRADNAM: You’ve got to appeal to the whole country. And I think that there’s something to be said for what you did. So, what’s the go? How come you’re on Gold Coast radio this afternoon? Are you coming up to this neck of the woods?


ALBANESE: I am sitting now talking to you live from Canberra airport about to board a plane to go to Brisbane to head to Queensland. And it was the first possible opportunity. The border opened, of course, just 48 hours ago but Parliament’s been sitting. I wanted to make sure that I got up there as soon as possible.


BRADNAM: Now well, good on you. And we very much appreciate your time this afternoon. I know you’re a busy man. I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to talk to you before, but I’ve enjoyed our conversation and welcome back to Queensland. It’s good that the borders have reopened.


ALBANESE: Indeed. I’m sure I’ll be ribbed about the State of Origin while I’m there.


BRADNAM: No, mate. No. Not at all.


ALBANESE: But that’s OK. We’ve got thick skins.


BRADNAM: You’ve got to be. You’ve earned the right, as a New South Welshmen, you’ve got to have thick skin.


ALBANESE: Absolutely.


BRADNAM: Good on you, Anthony. Appreciate your time this afternoon.


ALBANESE: Thanks mate, thanks for having me on.