Subjects: Early election, Morrison Government dysfunction.
BEN FORDHAM: Albo, good afternoon.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: G’day Ben.
FORDHAM: Sure, we need to go to an early election do we?
ALBANESE: Well, quite clearly the Government has stopped being able to function. This week we saw a Government that wasn’t pursuing its legislation, it wasn’t pursuing policies. It was pursuing vendettas really within the Government, whether it be Malcolm Turnbull saying from New York that Peter Dutton should be referred to the High Court, Julie Bishop walking through the Press Gallery, happened to run into 30 or 40 journalists who got told that she may well vote to refer Peter Dutton to the High Court, whether it be Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce sitting on the backbench but as envoys with responsibility for policy, being a humiliation really for the Cabinet Ministers who are in charge of those policies. What we saw was Julia Banks standing up and saying that she would not run for Parliament at the next election because of bullying within the Liberal Party during the chaos that occurred three weeks ago. But most importantly, we had the existing Prime Minister, the current one, saying that he couldn’t really say why Malcolm Turnbull was removed .
FORDHAM: You have summarised all of their nightmares very succinctly there Albo, but I think, look, no-one’s got short memories on these things. We can think back to when Labor was in power not so long ago and there was plenty of drama in that time as well. In fact, I remember you calling a press conference at some stage and shedding tears over some of the internal dramas with the Labor Party, so it’s not really foreign to you either.
ALBANESE: No and certainly we did the wrong thing in 2010 when we removed an elected Prime Minister in his first term and we suffered for it. What has occurred with what’s now the ATM Government – the Abbott Turnbull and Morrison Government – is that this is the only ATM in the country where you can’t get anything out of it. It’s rusted and nothing is coming out of it. And the Government isn’t functioning. The Australian people should get a say in who the Prime Minister is which is why the sensible thing is to go to an election. I just heard your statement that Scott Morrison says if they lose the Wentworth by-election, they still won’t have an election. Well I’ve got news for Mr Morrison – if you can’t control confidence on the floor of the Parliament, you don’t have a choice. You have an election. And this Wentworth by-election is turning out to be a disaster already. We had Mr Bragg, who was the former Federal Director of the Liberal Party, withdrawing so a woman could win. Not only did a female candidate not win that pre-selection last night, they didn’t run second, they didn’t even run third. They ran fourth, showing complete contempt for what Scott Morrison had made very clear were his wishes. And Scott Morrison is from NSW. It just shows there is no authority in the show at all, which is why I say that Scott Morrison should call an election and give the Australian people a say and let’s get some certainty to policy direction in this country.
FORDHAM: I appreciate you coming on. Have a good weekend.
ALBANESE: Thanks very much Ben.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.