May 13, 2016

Transcript of television interview – Today Show

Subjects: Save Our Albo campaign; Mark Latham; election funding; minor parties; election campaign; negative gearing; Bill Shorten

KARL STEFANOVIC:  Albo, good morning to you first of all.

ALBANESE: G’day, good to be with you.

STEFANOVIC: Even in the studio here at Channel Nine the guys saw the front page of the Tele the other day and well, they are backing you. There they are, the Today Show Crew, showing absolutely no bias. Cuts to shot of floor crew wearing Save our Albo t-shirts.

ALBANESE: It looks magnificent. There’s no Save our Pyne T-shirts in here.

PYNE: Hang on. Hang on.  Here we go. (Holding up shirt with message Pyne Delivers.) There’s the real one.

STEFANOVIC: Just hold the other one up for us again.

PYNE: Hang on. I’ve lost it. Gone. Here we go. (Holds up Save our Albo t-shirt) Save our Albo.

STEFANOVIC: A round of applause for Pyney. One in, all in. One in, all in.

PYNE: (Holding up Pyne Delivers shirt). This is the real one though – Pyne delivers baby, Pyne delivers.

STEFANOVIC:  I tell you what, I think Albo’s shirt is a bit nicer.

PYNE: No, it’s not. I’ve got a collar.


PYNE: Yes because it’s more expensive.


ALBANESE: I’m the working class version, the working class version.

PYNE: That’s the Daily Telegraph version, that’s The Australian version.

STEFANOVIC:  As Sylvia points out, it’s a white collar. Here, Albo, Mark Latham says this morning that front page of the Tele cost you 25 per cent of your primary vote because of the bourgeois Left that you are up against in your seat. Are you in trouble there?

ALBANESE: I’m not taking advice off Mark Latham about anything.

STEFANOVIC: He makes some sense though this morning, doesn’t he to an extent?

ALABNESE He very rarely does Karl. He very rarely does. That’s something Christopher and I would agree on. Look, if people think they can afford the luxury of voting one Green and two me and that I will get the vote, then yes there could be difficulty. That’s why I’m not taking it for granted. I’m out there campaigning, campaigning hard every day.

STEFANOVIC:  You know that you are up against it within the Greens. He’s almost splitting your vote isn’t he, and splitting the union vote. Are you splitting the union funding as well?

ALBANESE: Well, l raise my own money. I am not funded by anyone but my supporters.

STEFANOVIC: No union help?

ALBANESE: No, no dollars. I had a big dinner with Bob Hawke for my 20th anniversary. I’ve got other functions coming up, small donations from the local community and I have got to say I’ve got a few donations this week from people who’ve seen the campaign, seen what Jim Casey is saying, which is that he would prefer, my opponent would prefer, an Abbott Government because you get better protests. He’s into people being oppressed so they rise up. I am into lifting people up in my electorate and around the country.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, is the Prime Minister going to start his engine in this electoral campaign, because it doesn’t look like he has started it at all yet?

PYNE: Well, just quickly on the Albanese and the Greens issue, the serious point to make of course is that only the major parties can deliver. Only the Liberal Party and the Labor Party can form government, so people who want to vote for independents or minor parties have got to understand that those minor parties and independents can knock from the sidelines, they can whinge about issues, but they can’t actually make things happen and that’s why…

STEFANOVIC: So you won’t do a deal with the Greens in Albo’s seat? You’ll do whatever you can to help him win? Are you serious?

PYNE: We’ve never preferenced the Greens ahead of Labor and we are not about to start now.

STEFANOVIC: Ok, good. In terms of the other question that I was asking you, Malcolm Turnbull, is he going to get started in this campaign, because he has been off to a really sluggish start.

PYNE: Karl, that is ridiculous.

STEFANOVIC: It’s not ridiculous. It’s true.

PYNE: The person who has had a shocking week this week is Bill Shorten. He’s got the Greens saying he is going to be in government with them. He is saying there is going to be a second election after this election if there is a hung Parliament. He’s got 12 candidates saying they don’t support the Labor Party’s border protection policies. He’s lost his candidate for Fremantle, who is fighting back, and the new candidate for Fremantle doesn’t support the Opposition’s border protection policies. Labor has had a chaotic week and if they win the election that is the kind of chaos that we can look forward to, just like we did in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd period. It’s same old Labor.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, the real estate industry is this morning saying that they are going to come out really hard against you on negative gearing. They are rallying the troops. It’s going to be an anti-mining-tax-style attack. It will be effective and it will be well funded. How are you going to counter it?

ALBANESE: Well, we are countering it by the fact that people out there are concerned about housing affordability. They want their kids and grandkids to get an opportunity to get into the housing market.

STEFANOVIC: But how are you going to combat that campaign? It will be effective.

ALBANESE: Well we expect vested interests to get out there and campaign in their own interests. They’ll be seen for what it is if they do that. The fact is that our policy, out there, dealing with the issue of housing affordability, is critical and I find that it has been particularly well received in my electorate where people in Sydney know that house prices are freezing people out of the market and that if someone goes to an auction they don’t want to be competing with investors, they actually want to own their own home. That’s what we want to see.

PYNE: Karl, two weeks ago Anthony Albanese said that the negative gearing policy had nothing to do with housing affordability.

ALBANESE: That’s not right.

PYNE: When we put that very question to him about pushing down house prices and pushing up new prices and increasing rents he said, “oh it won’t do any of those things, it’s got nothing to do with housing affordability,” and then we had a day or two when Anthony had to come back from that positon. Today he is saying precisely the opposite.

ALBANESE: Well that’s not right, housing prices won’t go down.

PYNE: Then how is it useful for housing affordability?

ALBANESE:  What will occur, what all of the stats show and the Grattan Institute shows, they won’t increase by as much.

STEFANOVIC: Just on Chris’s point then, what he is saying is true. If you are saying that housing prices won’t go down, what does that do for affordability?

ALBANESE: Because what it will do over a period of time, what we have seen is these extraordinary increases and the Grattan Institute modelling and other modelling shows they won’t go up by as much.

PYNE: You are all over the shop.

ALBANESE: You can’t just fix it with one measure but what we know from the Reserve Bank itself, the Reserve Bank of Australia, in their memo this week, effectively endorsed our policy.

PYNE: It’s about supply Anthony.

ALBANESE And how do you increase supply? By concentrating on new construction, not old construction.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, The Daily Telegraph has pointed out something that no-one noticed I think during the week. They have taken a stab at Bill Shorten’s quote man boobs. They even got an image consultant in to say how much voters don’t like it. You are first up on that Christopher. Do you like man boobs?

PYNE: Well Karl, that’s a very leading question.

STEFANOVIC: What do you mean? It’s not leading.

PYNE: It’s a very hard one to answer. My view is that people should not take personal pot shots at people’s appearance.


PYNE: I am no oil painting and as much as I love Anthony Albanese, I don’t think he should be taking pot shots at people’s appearance either.

STEFANOVIC: I agree. Bill Shorten is doing his best to get fit and that’s what you want in a leader of any party don’t you?

ALBANESE: That’s a good thing.

PYNE: Good on him. Good on him.

STEFANOVIC: This is the paper that backed you. What are you going to say against the paper?

ALBANESE: Well, I am doing my bit to get fit too.

PYNE: How are your man boobs going Anthony?

ALBANESE: Well my new puppy, she’s keeping me very fit.

PYNE: That’s a bit too much information, I think.

ALBANESE: Well walking the puppy around the park, meeting the voters. Get yourself a dog, mate.

STEFANOVIC: We’ve got to go. See you next week. Talk to you soon.