Subjects; Greg Inglis, The Footy Show, Malcolm Turnbull’s comments, GST, Fuel taxation, Wentworth by-election, Katy Gallagher fundraiser
RICHARD PERNO: There’s your bloke Anthony Albanese. Souths you see. We won, the Roosters got in so chuck your (inaudible) tail between your legs and goodbye.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Don’t be rude about it. Gee you Roosters are good winners aren’t you? The way you treated Billy Slater on the weekend – I thought that was pretty ordinary too.
PERNO: Well I suppose it was ordinary, Anthony Albanese.
ALBANESE: Well he has been a great player for his club, his state and his country. I think that given he’d retired a little bit of generosity wouldn’t have hurt.
PERNO: Now if you could get Greg Inglis in a room Anthony Albanese, what would you say to him?
ALBANESE: I don’t think I could say anything to him that he wouldn’t be feeling himself. He has apologised for what clearly is an error of judgement. He was drinking the night before; he thought he would be okay to drive. It’s a salutary lesson that, as he said in his press conference, everyone needs a plan B. He is, let’s put it in perspective here, he has apologised, he has done the wrong thing, he has paid a heavy price. But that doesn’t change the good things that he has done. You spoke about why was he out in Dubbo. This is a bloke who drove to Dubbo and back to help young Indigenous people. There were 30,000 people at the Aboriginal Knockout Carnival. He paid for the footy jumpers and the gear and stuff for all the kids for that local team. He gave up his own time. He was filmed cleaning up at the ground after the game. He is a very humble bloke and he has my respect. He has made a mistake and has paid a heavy price for it.
PERNO: Yes, I could keep talking about the fact that if he went the wrong way, and he was over the speed limit and over the alcohol limit though Albo. He shouldn’t have been driving, he should have been getting better advice, he should have known better.
ALBANESE: Well that’s right and he has said that. But from time to time mate, if you’ve never made a mistake in your life…
PERNO: Never, never made a mistake.
ALBANESE: Put your hand up and I await your beatification.
PERNO: OK, I’ll stand up. Halo to you all Albo.
ALBANESE: But the fact is that he has conceded, he didn’t try and duck it. He has apologised for it, but this is a guy who has been a great role model. I think the thing that would hurt him most is the fact that he is that role model, particularly for Indigenous Australians. I know him well and he is an outstanding Australian who has made a mistake. That’s what happened and he has not tried to duck it. He has not tried to provide excuses. He was wrong to do it and he has paid a price.
PERNO: OK, so has The Footy Show. It’s gone after a quarter of a century.
ALBANESE: Well I’ve enjoyed The Footy Show over the years but I’ve probably watched it less and less. As time goes on these formats can get a bit stale. They tried various things, changing formats and moving people on but it didn’t seem to work. I think now, one of the reasons why it has suffered probably to be fair to it, is that now people can actually watch football games a lot more than they could in the past with a lot more games being shown on TV. It used to be that you got to watch the Sunday game of the round and, before that when I was young, the Saturday was the big game of the round and that was about it. Now you have footy on Friday night, three games on a Saturday, many of them of course on pay TV but people go to the local pub or club to watch it with their friends. So I think it probably isn’t all that surprising that time’s up.
PERNO: I think those sorts of things that went on in the show didn’t kind of last the test of time. Oh, by the way, Roosters captain Boyd Cordner is going to replace Greg Inglis as captain of the Kangaroos. That’s just come through.
ALBANESE: Yes well Boyd Cordner, of course, did a very good job with the NSW side this year so congratulations to him. I think it’s unfortunate that GI won’t get to fulfil that as a great Indigenous player. I think that when people think about the immortals, Greg Inglis will be a future immortal. He is probably the only player in the current Australian side that’s been named who is in that position.
PERNO: Okay, do you want to talk politics Anthony Albanese?
ALBANESE: Happy to just talk footy mate.
PERNO: Okay, all right. So what did you think about the AFL Grand Final – no I want to talk to you about, who are these ghosts that we’re talking about? Ghosts, these miserable ghosts as Turnbull called them, Rudd and Abbott. Do you agree with him?
ALBANESE: Well the fact is as Kevin Rudd has pointed out; he has been in New York for five years so it’s a bit unreasonable I think to put him in the same category as Tony Abbott. The fact is that Malcolm Turnbull has remained in the public eye and that’s not all that surprising because it must be pretty frustrating for him. He has been removed as the elected Prime Minister and no one will tell him why. More importantly, they won’t tell the Australian people why that happened.
PERNO: Well he could also become a miserable ghost himself Anthony.
ALBANESE: He’s in danger of doing that. It’s understandable that he is disappointed because of the way that the removal occurred – in the end a three way contest virtually. The fact that Scott Morrison keeps saying what a good job Malcolm Turnbull was doing but can’t say why he was replaced. And the fact is that he’s quite right that they were, at the least, competitive. They were on 49 per cent, which for a Government at this stage in the cycle is not a bad position to be in and he had led as preferred Prime Minister in 58 Newspolls in a row.
PERNO: Alright as far as being an ex-Member of Parliament, should they just leave, go away, get out of here, leave? Anthony what do you think?
ALBANESE: Well it’s a decision for them I think, but certainly if you’re someone like Tony Abbott at the moment I think that his colleagues would want him to leave. His colleagues in his local branches, many of them voted for an empty chair to represent them in Warringah rather than endorse Tony Abbott. I think that if there’s a good Independent candidate – if Michael Regan, who’s the Mayor of the Northern Beaches Council, decides to run as an Independent he’ll give that seat a real shake, because Tony Abbott has shown that he’s out of touch with the views of that electorate on the Northern Beaches on issues like marriage equality and climate change.
PERNO: Sure OK, let’s move to the rejig – what could happen, Anthony Albanese – of the GST. How are you reading this?
ALBANESE: Look well we’ll wait and see what the Government actually proposes. They seem to change their mind every week. We proposed whether there needed to be a legislative change with a floor on the GST level that would be given to states and Scott Morrison said it wasn’t necessary and he appears to have a different position when he’s over in Perth. We’ll see what his position is when he’s in the national capital in a weeks’ time.
PERNO: And Albo we’ll see what his position is once the Federal Election draws up and the bribes start being handed out. What do you think?
ALBANESE: Well I’m not sure what you mean exactly by that, but I think that one of the issues with the GST is you can’t say one thing in one state and another thing when you’re in a different state.
PERNO: That’s right.
ALBANESE: There’s a formula there. Quite clearly Western Australians have felt aggrieved at the hands of the Commonwealth. But one of the reasons why that’s occurred, I believe, is that they haven’t got their fair share of support for infrastructure investment from the national Government and that’s something that we’ve been pointing out over the last few years.
PERNO: Alright now 75 cents in the dollar that the states raise they reckon will go back to the states. When are we going to get rid of the double dipping on our petrol Anthony Albanese? We’re paying twice. You can call it a levy, you can call it what you want. We’re paying the GST, we’re paying a petrol tax as well. They’re getting it twice.
ALBANESE: Well the whole issue of fuel taxation, of course, is something that will require some revision over coming years as increasingly we move to electric vehicles. That’s something that Paul Fletcher, the former Minister for Urban Infrastructure, was interested in having a look at and indeed he was talking about having a committee of inquiry to look at it and wasn’t able to get it through his own Cabinet. So we await Government deliberations on that, like a lot of things. The problem with this Government is it’s stopped governing.
PERNO: Stopped governing?
ALBANESE: It’s stopped governing, it doesn’t do anything. It moves legislation in the Parliament and then you don’t hear it again – during the last sitting fortnight I was dealing with legislation that was introduced in 2016 and it just sat there. This is a Government that changes its mind on policy all of the time. It’s hard to keep up with it. So it’s hard to respond some of the time because by the time you’ve read a media release from the Government they’ve changed their policy position, or indeed, they’ve changed their Minister. I’ve dealt with four Infrastructure Ministers in the last couple of years.
PERNO: Yes and maybe who’s going to be Prime Minister next week as well. Two names or two words to throw at you Anthony Albanese – Kerryn Phelps.
ALBANESE: I think she’ll give Wentworth a real shake. She’s a formidable person, I know Kerryn reasonably well since her time with the AMA and as an advocate for marriage equality. We’ll wait and see how she goes in this by-election.
PERNO: But she doesn’t want you, she wants the Libs to be preferenced.
ALBANESE: Well these preferences don’t matter all that much for people who are going to finish, in all likelihood, first or second in the ballot. But we’ll wait and see what happens. But she’s entitled to say that. But of course one of the things that will happen is people themselves get to fill in their ballot paper.
PERNO: They do to, don’t they? Yes, I suppose that’s a democracy. Hey Albo the DJ at Katy Gallagher’s fundraiser on the 17th – you’ll be playing a DJ Albo role at Katy Gallagher’s fundraiser at Balthazaar in London Circuit in the city. Are you a good DJ?
ALBANESE: Some people think I am. So we’ll wait and see, you’ll have to come along –
PERNO: Is it BYO mirror ball or what?
ALBANESE: It’s not up to me to judge. It’s BYO dancing shoes.
PERNO: Are you a good dancer?
ALBANESE: See that’s why I get to DJ you see, because I get to play music I like and impose my taste on people.
PERNO: What sort of music? What are you going to play?
ALBANESE: Well my tastes are very much sort of independent music. I’m going to see The The at the Sydney Opera House tonight. So maybe you can play Uncertain Smile to the 2CC audience.
PERNO: No I’ll pass. No I’ll pass. Sorry pass.
ALBANESE: It’s a good song.
ALBANESE: They’ll like it. Your ratings will go up mate I promise.
PERNO: No we don’t need any more of those we’ve got plenty of those. Alright so it’s going to be Katy Gallagher’s fundraiser. Who’s the money for?
ALBANESE: I think it’s a fundraiser for Katy Gallagher’s election.
PERNO: Alright OK, it’s a warm and friendly for the warm and friendly.
ALBANESE: It’s a Labor Party event. It’s just a bit light-hearted. It’s better than having a rubber chicken event that so many fundraisers are like.
PERNO: What’s wrong with a rubber chicken?
ALBANESE: You haven’t had enough if you don’t know what’s wrong with it.
PERNO: Rubber chicken, OK. I’ll leave it I think there. Member for Grayndler, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Tourism.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.