SUBJECTS: Climate change; NRL.
LAWRENCE MOONEY, HOST: He’s a boy from Marrickville who one day may very well be running the country. When not spinning records as a party DJ, he can be found as the Parliamentary Leader of the Labor Party. Welcome Federal Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, to Moonman in the Morning. Welcome Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Big claps.
JESS EVA, HOST: I was the only one, I just want to point that out.
ALBANESE: Well, I couldn’t clap myself.
EVA: It’s a bit up yourself to clap yourself.
MOONEY: Albo, Sydney is finally having some rain after a fire season that has stretched since early November. And all through it, climate change, of course, has been part of the conversation. Now let me ask you this. Climate change and the environment and global warming, they are political poison as far as I can see. The carbon tax has brought down a Government and a Prime Minister. The ETS. The NEG brought down the great Malcolm Turnbull. Is it in fact political poison?
ALBANESE: Well, its political necessity. And I think that when you have a look at the intensity of this bushfire season, the fact that it was predicted by the science, including way back in 2008, Ross Garnaut produced a report for the Government that spoke about the bushfire seasons in 2020 as being more intense, going for longer, and that’s what we’re seeing. And governments have to do the right thing. So yes, it’s politically difficult, but climate change is real. We’ve lost 28 lives in this season. Many more injured. Thousands of properties lost, and people traumatised. I don’t believe we have a choice but to take climate change seriously.
MOONEY: I think the upsurge is this irresistible force that we all want a change. And I think that governments of any colour will be dragged along with that will.
ALBANESE: And change is often hard. It’s much easier to just scare people and promote fear over change. But the truth is change happens and the role of Government is to shape that change and to shape it in a way that benefits people. And we can do that. More jobs, less emissions, less prices. That’s my objective.
MOONEY: Now, you’re standing amongst here, just to give you the idea of the political landscape, I don’t know how Jess actually votes.
ALBANESE: Well, she clapped me, at least.
EVA: I did. That’s a good sign.
ALBANESE: I took that as a sign.
MOONEY: I am a bleeding heart left-wing pinko. But Paigey is a different kettle of fish. Now, he quoted you from an interview before you came in.
CHRIS PAIGE, HOST: I said on paper that I shouldn’t like Albo. Because you said your two greatest loves in life are the Australian Labor Party and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. And Moonman always points out to me that I’m a Roosters-supporting Tory, allegedly.
ALBANESE: Gee, that’s a bad combination.
PAIGE: I like Albo. I said I like Albo. I can’t help it.
MOONEY: So, there you go. You’re appealing across that divide. That is very good numbers there.
ALBANESE: Well, I knew that I could appeal to some conservative voters. But to appeal to conservative voting Roosters supporters gives me a great deal of heart, I’ve got to say.
PAIGE: It’s greatest rivalry and it’s what makes rugby league great and I love it.
ALBANESE: And isn’t it good that Latrell Mitchell will be playing in the mighty red and green this year?
PAIGE: Well, that’s what I want to talk about. We’re going to talk some footy with Albo next, because we need to take a break. It’s Moonman in the morning. Anthony Albanese is our guest in the studio. And Albo, we touched on it before the break. You’re a die-hard Souths fan and you’ve just poached Latrell Mitchell from the Roosters. How do you feel about having Latrell at the Rabbitohs?
ALBANESE: I’m terribly excited by a backline that has Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts running off Cody Walker. Let alone Dane Gagai on the end of the backline. It’s pretty awesome prospects. So, we’ll wait and see.
MOONEY: I was actually standing behind you at the Roosters-Rabbitohs final and there was an absolute pasting going on. And I thought I won’t say hello. You were just going through too much pain.
EVA: You were just standing behind him at the finals?
MOONEY: I was behind the glass and Albo was sitting out with the supporters. So, I was sipping Chardonnay. I’m not going out there.
EVA: Not breathing the real air, breathing the air conditioner.
ALBANESE: It was a bloodbath, that is the truth. But we did have a whole lot of players out injured. And hopefully this year will be a little bit luckier. We still got one Burgess. We still got big Tom.
PAIGE: Good luck for 2020.
EVA: I actually wasn’t sure if there were going to cuddle or punch each other. That could have gone either way.
ALBANESE: I do notice that the NRL have put on Souths vs Cronulla as round one. And I don’t think that’s an accident that the Leader of the Labor Party’s team versus Scott Morrison’s team.
PAIGE: You know, he takes sharks losses badly. It was the 1997 Grand Final wasn’t it?
ALBANESE: Let’s not go there. He wasn’t even a Cronulla supporter then, of course.
EVA: Is there a rumour in Parliament that can support or deny those rumours that happened in Engadine?
ALBANESE: Well, he wasn’t a Cronulla supporter then.
EVA: But he still liked McDonalds.
ALBANESE: That’s the truth. The Sutherland Shire, from the golden sands of Cronulla to the golden arches of Engadine.
EVA: Moon has been bigging it up a little bit over the last 12 months, ‘My mate Albo, my mate Albo. This time last year, I was hanging out with Albo at the Sydney Opera House while he was playing Malcolm Turnbull’. He said that you were also responsible for creating the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb?
ALBANESE: The Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. No that was after.
PAIGE: Apparently, you’re an early adopter.
ALBANESE: Look, what goes on tour stays on tour. But it is true that it was a thing that before you’re officially allowed to climb on the Harbour Bridge, you got to climb on the Harbour Bridge sometimes.
EVA: Without a harness?
MOONEY: The people that worked on the Harbour Bridge didn’t have a harness back then.
ALBANESE: It is really wide. That’s just to help create the experience. The only people who’ve ever fallen off the Harbour Bridge have jumped off. It’s like 10 feet wide, the steps, as you go up there. Have you done the bridge climb?
EVA: No, I’m doing the bridge to climb next week.
ALBANESE: It is a fantastic experience. It’s great.
EVA: It looks like you guys have such a great opportunity with climate change to be strong, positive leaders and create a new legacy. Do you find that to be a great opportunity for you and your Party?
ALBANESE: Oh, absolutely. And to make a huge difference for the present because we’re being impacted on it now, but to have that legacy for the long-term is really important. I think about my son, his kids to come, hopefully not for a very long time. But we have a responsibility to future generations to take action.
PAIGE: Now Albo, it’s been great speaking to you. We’ve got to take a break but as Moon mentioned off the top, among your other roles, you are DJ Albo. When we come back could DJ Albo, we’ve got the turntables here, could you spin the next track on Triple M and do a DJ Albo for us?
ALBANESE: That would be an honour.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.