Mar 19, 2012

Transcript of doorstop interview – Parliament House

Issues: Opposition pairing

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, I think common decency is what is called for here. You have the bizarre situation of Warren Entsch on the radio this morning purporting to be some sort of medical expert, commonsense is required here, if someone is sick, historically in this Parliament, people haven’t played political games with it. We saw last year political games being played over the birth of Craig Thomson’s child, now we see political games being played by the opposition.

QUESTION:  Is the Labor Party trying to – or do you know if Mr Thomson is trying to get a more thorough doctor’s certificate?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I have no idea, that’s a matter for Mr Thomson.  The last thing that anyone needs is the Leader of the House, or the manager of Opposition Business interfering in what is a personal health issue.  Sure, commonsense shows that that is what is required, it is extraordinary, the behaviour of the opposition, it seems that there’s no form of behaviour or convention or standards of which the opposition isn’t prepared to play political games with. I’d call upon them just to have a bit of commonsense and get on with it.

QUESTION:  Last year a pair was denied for a funeral, so are you really surprised that they’re doing this?

ANTHONY ALBANESE:  I just think that the ongoing relentless negativity of the opposition, the ongoing trashing of what’s just common standards of decency towards each other as human beings should apply here.  The fact that a pair was denied last year to a funeral, not just someone in terms of, from the Government’s side in Simon Crean, but someone from the opposition’s side, in terms of Malcolm Turnbull, for Margaret Olley’s funeral, was I think a bit of a low point.

Surely the opposition should come to their senses and just behave a bit decently, that’s what I think the Australian public expect.

Thank you.