Nov 29, 2016

Transcript of doorstop – Parliament House, Canberra

Subjects: Passenger Movement Charge; Backpacker Tax; Security; Tim Hammond; Ed Husic 

ANTHONY ALBANESE: This morning we will revisit in the House of Representatives the Government’s new Backpacker Tax but also the Passenger Movement Charge increase. Last night when this legislation was introduced I raised a question, as to whether it is competent for the House of Representatives to consider legislation that purports to bind not just this Government but the next Parliament to have no further increase in the Passenger Movement Charge.

This is a farcical situation whereby, the Government, which went to the election in July promising no increase in the passenger movement charge, is purporting to argue that they are going to have a five-year, freeze, which of course they can’t do. It’s up to the Government of the day to legislate, just as they’re legislating for a $5 increase today, to legislate next year, or the year after, or the Parliament after.

So this is a con that they used to get this legislation through the Parliament and Labor will be continuing to oppose the increase in the Passenger Movement Charge, on the floor of the Parliament and we will also be arguing that the legislation simply doesn’t stack up because it purports to do something that it cannot do. The Government knows that and the Speaker will be ruling on it as a matter of urgency this morning.

JOURNALIST: If I may, firstly the proposed security changes to Parliament House, what do you make of this proposal?

ALBANESE: I haven’t been briefed on it so when it comes to security, I’ll have proper briefings and then respond appropriately. So I don’t believe that it is appropriate to make comments without being fully informed when it comes to issues of security, around this building or anywhere else.

JOURNALIST: And on the ABCC do you share Dave Noonan’s views that the sun will come up tomorrow if the legislation is passed? Are you that relaxed about it?

ALBANESE: Well the thing is about this legislation that the Government is so desperate to get it carried, but they haven’t really put forward an argument for it. We know that the legislation is draconian in its nature, in that it attempts to take away the rights that all Australians enjoy, the rights to representation, the rights to silence, the rights to proper legal processes, and the rule of law is important. It’s important that all trade unions obey the rule of law, but it’s also important that Tim not walk in front of the camera, but he’s new, he’s new, from Western Australia, and he’s a bit tall too.

ED HUSIC: That’s the first time I’ve agreed with Anthony Albanese on anything.

ALBANESE: And I’ve just been, what do you call that? That’s not a photo bomb, that’s more a media doorstop bomb Ed Husic. And he left a stain on my left shoulder. Thanks for that Ed, I’ll be smelling you all day.

TIM HAMMOND: Merry Christmas mate, cleaning on me.

ALBANESE: Okay, where were we?

JOURNALIST: Great question.

ALBANESE: I’m done.