Subjects: Linkfield Road Overpass, Liberal Party leadership chaos.
DEBORAH KNIGHT: Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese has announced a major road announcement in Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson. Anthony Albanese joins us now. Very, very good of you to stand up and announce a policy in the middle of all of this Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well, what we are doing is being constructive. This is what the Australian people want to see. Today we have announced the duplication of the Linkfield Road Overpass. It runs in between Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson and Luke Howarth’s electorate of Petrie and I stood up with Ali France and Corinne Mulholland - they are our great candidates for these seats. They are concerned about issues like traffic congestion. They are concerned about schools and hospitals. The Liberal Party have put their hand up and said this government business is too hard for us.
KNIGHT: All right. The Labor Party has been there before Albo. You are hardly the ones to cast judgement. We’ve been through the Rudd and Gillard years, but are you surprised by the confusion here?
ALBANESE: And I said in June 2010 that that was a mistake. I said it at the time. I said it publicly. I maintained that position and here we are seeing for the fourth term in a row an elected Prime Minister deposed. We should change prime ministers at Federal elections when everyone gets to vote, not under these circumstances, and I think the idea that Peter Dutton, who would appear to be the favourite, who is supported by 10 percent of Australians, as the Liberal Leader - it would be quite extraordinary if he comes through this process.
KNIGHT: Well we have seen the Solicitor General bring down advice stating that he believes that Peter Dutton is eligible to sit in Parliament. Still some question marks about that though. Are you happy with that advice? Is that good enough?
ALBANESE: Well, the advice doesn’t say that of course. The advice says that maybe, on the balance of probability, he may be OK. This is the same Solicitor General who told us that Barnaby Joyce was OK. What the Solicitor General also indicates in that advice is that the High Court might decide a different view from the Solicitor General.
KNIGHT: Will Labor be taking this to the High Court?
ALBANESE: Well when you look at the High Court, well we can’t take it.
KNIGHT: Can you refer it?
ALBANESE: The Parliament can refer it. The High Court have also made a decision over the issue of David Gillespie that it requires the Parliament to refer. I would have thought it was impossible frankly, for Peter Dutton to be sworn in as Prime Minister while there is a cloud over his eligibility to sit in the Parliament.
KNIGHT: Well it looks as though we will be having a three-way contest. Who would Labor like to see as Prime Minister?
ALBANESE: Look, that’s the business for the Liberal Party. What we know is that the Liberal Party have become a rabble. Whoever gets elected will inherit just rubble and will be incapable of uniting their own party, let alone the sort of unity that is required to lead the nation. We are a country that has big challenges ahead with what is happening in the global economy - the uncertainty that is there in foreign affairs; the need to give people opportunities in life as the economy changes. And what we have got at the moment frankly is just a mess and yesterday when the Government gave up on the Parliament and moved that it be adjourned at a time when we had legislation before the Parliament to outlaw modern slavery, it’s quite clear that this Government isn’t capable of government and whoever is successful at midday should go visit the Governor General and give the Australian people a say. That’s the feedback that I have had in Sydney this morning and now in Brisbane.
KNIGHT: All right. Anthony Albanese, thank you for your time.
FRIDAY, 24 AUGUST, 2018