ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
THURSDAY, 2 JULY 2020
SUBJECTS: Eden-Monaro by-election; Victorian coronavirus outbreak; Victorian hotel quarantine.
JOURNALIST: Anthony Albanese, a big by-election coming up on the weekend. How are you feeling about it?
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well, this by-election is ending the way it began, with the Liberals and Nationals fighting each other. John Barilaro just a year ago saying he was glad that the Liberal candidate, Fiona Kotvojs, lost because of her personal attacks on Mike Kelly. And then, of course, condemning the Morrison Government for not being honest about the cuts to the ABC.
JOURNALIST: Some people are saying that this is a test of your leadership. How do you respond to that?
ALBANESE: Well, it’s a test for Scott Morrison. We’ve lost a popular sitting member in Mike Kelly. So, we started not on 51 but on 48. So, we’ve had the mountain to climb in the circumstances of a coronavirus pandemic. Kristy McBain is an amazing candidate. She would be a strong advocate for the people of Eden-Monaro on the need to prepare for bushfires, on the need to represent those people who have been left behind. They are still being left behind by being excluded from JobKeeper, the potential cuts that are there for JobSeeker. I think there’s a message that needs to be sent to the Government this Saturday, which is that they are keeping a whole lot of these cuts secret until after the by-election.
JOURNALIST: You say it is a test for Scott Morrison. Is it a test for you as well?
ALBANESE: It is a test for Scott. He’s there. He’s the Prime Minister. And he knows that if he was honest about what he plans to do, on JobKeeper, on JobSeeker, and on the economy, including on the GST, where you have the Liberal Treasurer for his branch of the Liberal Party saying that there should be an increase and a widening of the GST, then he knows the people would reject it, which is why the Liberals have this secret plan.
JOURNALIST: Just finally, how are you viewing the situation in Victoria and have you spoken to Premier Daniel Andrews?
ALBANESE: Victoria is a concern. Dan Andrews has taken strong action with the judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of how this occurred at a couple of the hotels. It’s a reminder, though, for all Australians that we all have a responsibility to obey the directions that have been given by the medical experts. Keep your social distancing, wash your hands, make sure we all look after each other.
JOURNALIST: Have you spoken to the Premier?