Triple M Brisbane Winter

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Interviews

Tuesday, 6th July 2021

Triple M Brisbane Winter

Discussing the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the vaccine rollout and more.

SUBJECTS: South Sydney Rabbitohs; vaccine rollout; Morrison Government failing Australians during a health pandemic; need for national quarantine; Toowoomba proposal; arts industry being left behind; women in politics; Barnaby Joyce.


HOST: Joining us now is the Leader of the Opposition, a mad-keen South Sydney Rabbitohs fan to boot, Anthony Albanese. Hello, mate.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: G'day. I have got my Souths mask. I just took it off for the interview, but we're all here.

HOST: They can win the comp, can't they?

ALBANESE: Of course, they can win the comp. We got the super coach. Thanks Broncos. And we've got an amazing backline. And Latrell, if he stays fit - we really suffered when he went out last year for that key game.

HOST: I'm just going to cut to the chase, Albo. As I could describe it, the vaccine rollout has been nothing short of what I call a cluster dump. But if you were in the job, what would you have done? Would have I been vaccinated by now? I am 41.

ALBANESE: You would have. And what we would have done was to do extra deals last year with Moderna, get more Pfizer, do more deals earlier in bigger amounts. This has been just hopeless. We are last in the developed world. Dead last. And we're not in the top 100 of countries. There are developing countries that are struggling to get by from day to day that have done the rollout better than us.

HOST: But dumb it down for us. Without pointing the blame, I mean, the states have got to cop a bit of responsibility. 

ALBANESE: I think the states have been fantastic. The Federal Government was responsible for the access to the vaccine. And the supply is the problem. And I say that about Labor and Liberal states, they have all been terrific in my view. The problem has been the Federal Government that had just two jobs. They had to fix the vaccine, get access to it. And secondly, they had to fix up national quarantine, which is where the breaches have come from. And they've done neither. Last year they were saying, 'We are at the front of the queue'. They were too busy patting themselves on the back. And the real tragedy is Australians were magnificent last year. We did really well as a country. Everyone did well and pitched in. And they sat back.

HOST: They got the economy going alright. The economy was all right. I know they've done something, and they did a good job with the economy. But they've dropped the ball on this.

ALBANESE: They've completely dropped the ball. And it means that the economy has lockdowns. We had 12 million people in lockdown last week. I'm here in Brisbane. I haven't been home for a month. Because if I go to New South Wales, I can't get out again. So I've got the whole week in Queensland. I just spent 15 days in Canberra, which is a great city but not one I choose to spend 15 days in a row in.

HOST: You got into the wrong job if you don't want to be in Canberra. 

ALBANESE: Oh, I do, but you want to get out on the weekend. My job is to get out and about. So I'm out and about this week. We're doing things here in Brisbane and Gladstone and Mackay and in Cairns and we did Toowoomba yesterday. 

HOST: You want this hub in Toowoomba. You want this quarantine hub at Wagner's, is that right? 

ALBANESE: Absolutely. 

HOST: The big factor is that the Government says, and I don't want to get too political, that you've got to be close to a hospital. And Toowoomba Hospital can't, if there was an absolute outbreak, they could not house them. It's an hour and 45 minutes from there. I understand it makes sense up there. But you can see that point of view as well. 

ALBANESE: No, it's an excuse. It's nonsense. There's one at Howard Springs in Darwin that isn't in the middle of Darwin. It's out of Darwin. Darwin Hospital, it’s not very much bigger than Toowoomba. And the truth is that you can put in some appropriate health facilities there as well. And it's right at the airport. It was put forward last October. It could have been operating by January. We would have had Australians home by now, not stranded overseas. And we wouldn't have had those breakouts from hotels.

HOST: Albo, look, the truth is the economy did do well. So then why aren't they throwing money at the people who need it, who are doing it tough, specifically my friends and family in the performing arts industry? 

ALBANESE: Well, they should be, mate. You're dead right.

HOST: Would you?

ALBANESE: Yes, we would. And we've called for it. For more than a year, we've been calling for more support. I'm proud to represent my electorate that has the largest number of people in the arts of any electorate in Australia. And musos and people who rely upon the live music industry in particular are just doing it so tough.

HOST: Can I ask this about something that has come out today, a poll? The Prime Minister's approval rating with females has gone down again, but yet he's still the preferred PM. Why is that? Why is he holding? And does that worry you?

ALBANESE: No, not at all. At a time of crisis, which is what we're dealing with, people look to authority. But his rating is lower than any premier in the country. And he continues to be exposed for the Government's attitude towards women. We had Julia Banks out there last night.

HOST: She took a swipe, didn't she? 

ALBANESE: She took a huge swipe, saying that she found the Prime Minister menacing in her dealings with him. And she's now out of politics, of course. And it's a tragedy, because she's a quality person.

HOST: Albo, you are a good bloke. You must love having Barnaby back in the firing line so you can actually go to combat. You have got to see some qualities of Barnaby that you like.

ALBANESE: There are some elements there that are terrific. Any bloke who will make as many stuff-ups and dump resources from the show…

HOST: You would have a beer with him, wouldn't you? 

ALBANESE: I'd have a beer with him. But I just wouldn't put him in charge of anything. That is the problem here.

HOST: The everyday bloke wants to know this, because you guys throw a lot of shade at each other but at the end of the day you put the guns down and you actually go have a drink, don't you?

ALBANESE: I'll be happy to have a beer with Barnaby. And I have done so. I get on quite well with him. But you know, he's an erratic fellow. You don't want an erratic fellow as your Deputy Prime Minister.

HOST: Albo, thank you so much for coming in and joining us on Winter Breakfast today. Mate, we appreciate your time on Triple M.

ALBANESE: Fantastic. Have a great day.

ENDS

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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

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