Nov 17, 2016

Doorstop – Birchgrove Public School

Subjects: US Alliance, ABCC, Donald Trump and Greg Norman

REPORTER: On Trump, the Prime Minister says Labor is jeopardising the US Alliance by wanting to reconsider what it means for Australia’s relationship with Asia.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: That is nonsense. The fact is that Labor supports the US alliance, but we are also saying when the nature of the US and its engagement with our region changes, we of course need to adapt to that. We need to be engaged in our region, as well as have our alliance with the United States, as well as engage in multi-lateral forums, like the United Nations.

REPORTER: Has the Opposition been speaking to the cross-bench in order to prevent the ABCC and Registered Organisations Bill from being voted on before the end of the year?

ALBANESE: Well we talk to the cross bench all the time. What the issue here is, is that the Government’s legislation is flawed, because it seeks to demonise people who are construction workers and take away their rights. Rights, which people who are engaged in any other workplace activity enjoy. The fact is that this legislation has been rejected a number of times because it’s flawed legislation. We will be putting forward those arguments whenever the debate comes on in the Senate.

REPORTER: The Government is keen to get that happening before the end of the year. Are you trying to prevent that from happening?

ALBANESE: Well the Government determines when legislation is voted upon. What is extraordinary here, is that they called an election based upon these particular Bills and then didn’t mention them throughout the election campaign.

REPORTER: Are you surprised that the PM was able to secure a phone call with Donald Trump, using a phone number provided by Greg Norman.

ALBANESE: I wonder why this is a big story. The fact is that the President, as you would expect, the President-Elect, engaged in conversations with world leaders. That is normal practice. Whether it happened an hour earlier or an hour later I don’t think matters. It is appropriate that the Prime Minister speak to President-Elect and that happened.