Labor believes in a future made in Australia, press conference at Deco

Share This

Interviews

Thursday, 7th October 2021

Labor believes in a future made in Australia, press conference at Deco

with Dr Mike Freelander MP

SUBJECTS: Supporting small business; net zero by 2050; mid-term emissions targets; Keith Pitt’s comments on net zero by 2050; the French ambassador returning to Australia; Australia’s relationship with France; AUKUS; APRA tightening lending rules for homebuyers; Tony Abbott’s visit to Taiwan; the need for a National Anti-Corruption Commission.

MIKE FREELANDER, MEMBER FOR MACARTHUR: Good morning everyone and welcome to the lands of the Dharawal people, to the Deco factory at Minto run by my very good friend and his family, Ross Doonan. It’s an absolute pleasure to have Anthony Albanese, the Leader of the Federal Opposition, here today. He’s come to the Macarthur electorate on numerous occasions to visit business, small business in particular, to see how we can formulate policy that will promote the small businesses of Macarthur and around the country and give plenty of jobs to our constituents all around the country. So great to have Anthony Albanese here. My pleasure to introduce him. Thanks, Albo.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Well, thanks very much, Mike. And it’s great to be back here in south-west Sydney in the Macarthur electorate talking about jobs and talking about opportunity for Australia. What I want is A Future Made in Australia. And here at Deco, I want to thank Ross and his family for showing us around this family business that’s been built up over a short period of time, employing now a hundred Australians in well-paid, good, secure jobs. Jobs that are making a difference for the local community, but jobs that are making a difference for Australia as well. This is an example of Australian innovation and the difference it can make. One of the things that we’ve learnt during the pandemic is that whilst we have a strong society, a society where people are prepared to make sacrifices, to look after each other. And here in New South Wales reaching 70 per cent double vax is a great example of that contribution and people doing the right thing. We also have had, though, identified some of the weaknesses in our economy. The weaknesses which mean that we’re not resilient enough, that we’re not self-dependent enough. And to do that, we need to make more things here. We need to use science and innovation to actually build on it. And here at Deco, we’re seeing that across a range of products that are being supplied for the defence industry, for the transport sector, for home building, for major building and architecture products. Here we see a great example of Australia at our best. And it's a sign of what we need to do more of. Because this company is meeting with challenges because our IP laws aren't strong enough, challenges because of dumping from overseas in terms of products that are then competing and undercutting without the same quality and without the same products and benefit that come from manufacturing here in Australia. We need to make sure that we're prepared to stand up for Australian jobs and Australian businesses. And a government that I lead will do just that. Over the coming days, I'll have more to say about Australian procurement, about using the power of government purchasing to drive jobs here in Australia. And one of the things that we need to do is to back up businesses like this. It's an incredible risk that businesses make, to invest to make a difference for the future, to build up. Companies like this don't happen by accident. They happen because of hard work. And we need to back that hard work and entrepreneurship that Australians like Ross show each and every day.

I also want to make some comments about the rather extraordinary claim by Keith Pitt, and by some in the National Party and in the Government, to establish a further $250 billion fund to back up businesses where the risk has meant they're unable to maintain or obtain capital. This on top of a trillion dollars of debt that the Government has created. It's an extraordinary proposition. We know now what the cost of climate change is here in Australia. And what they want to do, in doing this, is to try and saddle taxpayers with another quarter billion dollars of debt in order to back in their inaction. This is a Government that have had more than 20 different energy policies, none of which have landed. And here again, the simple proposition of net zero by 2050, that's adopted by all of our major trading partners, that's supported by the BCA, supported by the National Farmers’ Federation, supported by all of our major banks, all of our major resources companies, companies like Telstra and Qantas, supported by every state and territory government in the country. And here you have Scott Morrison, once again, failing to lead. This is a test of leadership and he is failing. If you look at state and territory governments, the targets that they have for emissions reduction, they're much higher, if you add them up, than the Government's current commitment of 26 to 28 per cent by 2030. If the Government does nothing at all at the federal level, you will have a higher target reached through the plans that are in place by state and territory governments. But what you have is a stubborn Government, a stubborn Government that’s saddled us with a trillion dollars of debt, a stubborn Government that hasn't stood up for Australian manufacturing and Australian jobs, an Australian Government that doesn't support the cheaper energy that will come from investment in renewables, an Australian government that risks our businesses being saddled with penalties from overseas as a result of the stubborn refusal to act. Well, a government that I lead will act, it will act in support of businesses here in south-western Sydney, it will act in supporting manufacturing jobs, it will act in supporting entrepreneurship, such as that shown by this business. What we need is a government that is as strong and committed to the future as the Australian people have shown themselves to be during this pandemic. Happy to take questions.

JOURNALIST: The French ambassador is returning to Canberra. The French say the ambassador will help define the future relationship with Australia and defend their interests over Australia’s decision in terminating the subs deal. What does that mean? And what do you think needs to happen next?

ALBANESE: Well, Mr Morrison has his work cut out for him if he's going to repair the sense of trust and relationship not just with France, but with the European Union as well. Labor supports the AUKUS arrangements. But there was no need to have the breakdown in relationships with France and with the European Union that have occurred.

JOURNALIST: Dan Tehan’s been rebuffed by his French counterpart (inaudible). Do you think our relationship with the French can be mended?

ALBANESE: Well, I certainly hope that it can be. It's an important relationship. France is an important player in our region in the Indo-Pacific and we have historically had a good relationship with France. It is a pity that those issues don't seem to have been worked through in a diplomatic way by Mr Morrison in the decisions that were taken.

JOURNALIST: APRA has tightened lending rules for home buyers (inaudible)? 

ALBANESE: Well, we need to address the issue of housing affordability. And one of the ways that can be done is through the regulators. But this Government don't have a plan to deal with housing affordability. They opposed Labor's announcement I made as a centrepiece of my Budget Reply this year for 30,000 additional social and affordable housing units. We'll have much more to say about making housing more affordable in this country. What's clear, though, is that under this Government, housing affordability has got worse. It's got tougher for people to get into the housing market. And that's a real problem in cities like Sydney that have been identified now as the third most unaffordable city for housing in the world. Now, when you look at the amount of geography that we have, compared with our neighbours in Asia and in Europe and North America, it makes no sense that housing affordability is so low whereby Sydney is the third least affordable in the world and Melbourne is also in the top 10 of unaffordability. So we need to do much better. The Federal Government needs to work with state and territory governments to address these issues. What we've seen from the Federal Government is a ‘she'll be right mate’ attitude. And for younger Australians in particular, many of them have just given up on any prospect of home ownership. We need to do much better.

JOURNALIST: Tony Abbott has landed in Taiwan in a tense period. He’s backed the island democracy’s bid for the CPTPP. Would Labor also back their bid and what do you make of the timing of this trip?

ALBANESE: Look, we’ll make our own announcements. Tony Abbott is a private citizen. He's entitled to travel. And it's a matter for him. Labor and the Coalition both have the same policy, a policy of One China, a policy that recognises China, in terms of Beijing, in terms of our diplomatic, formal relationships. That doesn't stop there being people-to-people relationships outside of that.

JOURNALIST: The Government has been accused of abandoning more than a hundred detainees in PNG as it ends its offshore processing deal with the country and has also been criticised by former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who signed the offshore arrangement in 2012. What do you make of this?

ALBANESE: Look, what’s very clear is that this Government have presided over a circumstance whereby there's been enormous costs, both in terms of to people but also to the Australian economy and taxpayers. It is beyond my comprehension why this Government stubbornly refuses to accept the generous offer of New Zealand to take some people who've been found to be refugees. This is an arrangement that has been on the table for some time. The Government from time to time goes back and talks about it but it never actually does anything. And that is so symptomatic of a Government that, frankly, has been in office for too long. When you look at this Government and its failure to act, whether it's these issues or whether it be the issue of a national integrity commission, which it now promised more than 1000 days ago, and this week we've seen further backtracking on that issue. What we need is a government that is prepared to actually implement policies and implement reform. And that includes restoring faith in the confidence of our political system. To do that, we need a National Anti-Corruption Commission. The Government's model is more like a goldfish than a watchdog. A goldfish that is ornamental, that doesn't make any noise and that just swims around and is good to look at but doesn't really bother anybody. What we actually need is a watchdog with teeth, with bite. This Government's scared of that because they're frightened that they may be bitten. And it's not surprising given they have presided over sports rorts, they’ve presided over a range of conduct and abuse of taxpayer funds. And bear in mind this, that the former Premier of New South Wales and her appearance before the ICAC will be about a misuse of taxpayer funds. This Government federally make anything that's happened in New South Wales look like small change. They have misspent on a regular interval, whether it's sports rorts, commuter car rorts for train stations, having commuter car parks where the train stations aren't even there, for regional rorts. The abuse of taxpayer funds by this Government has been extraordinary. And that's before you get to Christian Porter, who thinks he can just sit on the backbench, having received up to a million dollars from donors that he refuses to disclose for what was a private legal matter which would make the register of pecuniary interests completely redundant if that's allowed to stand.

JOURNALIST: (Inaudible) Should the Government commit to a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 and when will Labor release its own mid-term target?

ALBANESE: Well, the Government should commit to a higher target than 26 to 28 per cent by 2030. The state and territory governments all have targets that are higher than that. If you add them all up, it adds up to a higher target without the Federal Government doing anything at all. Labor has said consistently, I've made it clear some time ago, that there'd be two big events this year that we would wait for before we finalised our commitments going forward. And they were the US election and the election of the Biden administration above Scott Morrison's good friend, Donald Trump, has made a difference to the global debate on climate change. And secondly, the Glasgow conference will make a difference as well. There are now around about a hundred leaders of countries around the world who have committed to travel to Glasgow. This will be an important conference. This is a conference that isn't just about the environment, it’s about our economy. And it's about jobs and it's about our future. And that's why Scott Morrison should be there as he should be at the G20. It's important that Australia be represented at these forums. Now we know that this Government under Scott Morrison have been absent from the climate change debate in any serious way. He shouldn't be absent from the conference as well. Thanks very much.

ENDS

Sign up to get the latest news from Anthony

See the latest News
About Anthony
Meet AnthonyAnthony's Story

Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

DisclaimerPrivacyTerms

Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our offices stand and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge the sorrow of the Stolen Generations and the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We also recognise the resilience, strength and pride of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Authorised by Anthony Albanese. 334a Marrickville Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204.