Dec 3, 2020







SUBJECTS: Being the Federal Opposition Leader in 2020; politics; DJ Albo.


ANGIE AYERS, HOST: The Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, just introduced himself to me as Albo. So, I better say Albo. How are you doing?


ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Good morning, Angie. How are you going? I am pretty good.


AYRES: It was far more casual than I ever thought an introduction could possibly be with the Federal Opposition Leader. But thanks for joining me on the show.


ALBANESE: Thanks for having me on the program.


AYRES: Well, I did a bit of digging and it turns out that I reckon you’re angling maybe for a job as a DJ in a life after politics and that you’re a bit of a lover of music?


ALBANESE: I have had a bit of fun DJing. I hosted Rage when I was Deputy Prime Minister back in 2013. And that led to some charity DJ work for Reclink, who do work with young people trying to connect them up with the mainstream through arts and sport. I have DJ’ed at Freo. But I haven’t DJ’ed in the south west. Maybe next visit.


AYRES: Well, we’ll get you a gig at the Prince of Wales, okay?


ALBANESE: Sounds good.


AYRES: Look, it’s been a really big year in politics for 2020. What’s been your biggest standout for Australia?


ALBANESE: Undoubtedly, the pandemic has dominated everything. People have been concerned about their health. And they’ve also been concerned about the economic impact, their jobs and going forward. It’s been a year unlike any other, I think. But there have been some, I wouldn’t call it positives, no one wanted it to happen, but one of the things that has occurred is that people have been reminded of how interdependent we are. And people have looked after each other. They’ve made sacrifices. By and large, they have all tried to do the right thing. And that’s a good thing. The spirit of Australia, looking after each other, has really shone through, I think.


AYRES: When you got into politics in your younger days, what was it that really sort of put you in that space? Because I think this is a great question to ask people, especially in those top tier echelons of Government that quite often, there is a bit of sort of suspicion brewing, I guess, amongst Australia and politics and polling and we’ve got to make sure we retain this trust otherwise we end up seeing situations like America. So, I’d really like to strip it all back. What was it that made you get into politics?


ALBANESE: I got into politics as opposed to Parliament because of my own life experience. I grew up with a single mum. She had acute rheumatoid arthritis. And today’s the International Day of Disability, actually. And that meant that we survived on her invalid pension. We lived in public housing. And I just saw her essentially really struggle as a single mum to get through the system and through the bureaucracy. And then at one stage, my first campaign was when there was a change in who controlled the Sydney City Council. And the incoming council tried to sell our house, basically. And there was a big campaign about that. I was about 12 or 13 and went around and got petitions and got involved in that. And so, I joined up to the Labor Party when I was at school. It certainly wasn’t with the intention of going into Parliament. It was just out of concern over health issues and housing and trying to make a difference to my local community. I’m not one of those who had a sense of destiny. You won’t find anything in my school yearbook saying I wanted to run for Prime Minister. You might have found that I wanted to play first grade rugby league for South Sydney. But frankly, I wasn’t good enough.


AYRES: We’ll look, a little birdy told me that you are a Barnesy fan. So, I’m going to play some Barnesy up next. But if you would stick around, Anthony Albanese on Triple M South West.

We are talking to the Federal Opposition Leader, Albo. And there’s a question that I do like to ask people in politics. I’m not going to say who I asked it to once, but it was a Federal member at the time. And it was a very, very disappointing answer. So, no pressure.


ALBANESE: This is a build-up here.


AYRES: Quite often, talk around the pub, since we’re on that theme, is that it just seems to be like a competition to get the next four years and the next four years and the next four years. So, what I would like to know is, you as the current Federal Opposition Leader, what vision for Australia do you have for 20 years’ time?


ALBANESE: One in which every person, regardless of how humble their beginnings, has an opportunity to make the most of their lives. And that means the economy, that means having a job that is rewarding, that is secure, that is paid in a manner with conditions that provide for a good standard of living. But it means more than that, as well. It means one in which we look after our natural environment and actually have action on climate change, so we don’t continue to see what today’s report indicates this is the hottest decade on record and three of the hottest years on record are in the last five years, that we actually take action on that. And that socially, one in which everyone’s respected, regardless of their gender, their religion, their sexuality. One in which we just respect each other. And I have a great deal of hope for that. I think, by and large, we have seen that occur during the pandemic. And I think that spirit of looking after each other is so important.


AYRES: Well, this has been a conversation I never thought I’d be having. And it’s been really interesting to have a chat, get to know you, talk beers, talk a bit of politics. Anthony Albanese, thank you for your time this morning. Thanks for joining us on the south west. We can’t wait till you can join us in the south west.


ALBANESE: Absolutely. Thanks very much, Angie. Cheers.