Radio interview - 4BC Breakfast with Laurel, Gary & Mark

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister

HOST: Good morning and welcome to the show. Hi, everybody.

HOST: Very special guest live in the studio this morning. He must be important because there is an entourage.

HOST: An entourage.

HOST: Quite a few people taking photos. Our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. He's grabbing the chicken already. Excuse me.

PRIME MINISTER: Good morning.

HOST: Prime Minister, welcome. Welcome to the 4BC studios.

PRIME MINISTER: Good to be here.

HOST: It's lovely to have you here. Many famous people have squeezed that chicken including Barry Gibb and Hugh Jackman and now the Prime Minister of Australia.

HOST: I'm not quite sure why the chicken is there. But anyway.

HOST: Don't ask.

PRIME MINISTER: I won't ask. In memory of the Roosters losing to the Bunnies.

HOST: Let's go back to that great game.

PRIME MINISTER: One of my favourite memories of this year.

HOST: Let's not talk about the weekend.

HOST: Prime Minister, we have a lot to get through. We're going to get there very soon. But we are going to go to a song first of all. Tell me, I know you're a vinyl collector, we mentioned that last time when we played Ted Mulry Gang and you said you didn't have any of that. Do you have any Hunters and Collectors?

PRIME MINISTER: I have a lot of Hunters and Collectors. Human Frailty.

HOST: Cut? Do you have Cut?

PRIME MINISTER: I've got Cut. I've got a live album. And I've got the like big, almost, 45s, it's 33, I'm sure, but I haven't played it for a while, that has Talking to a Stranger and all of that, the really early stuff.

HOST: The wonderful video clip.

HOST: Were you at uni or something and seeing them live?

PRIME MINISTER: I saw Hunters and Collectors a lot in pubs and when there was that period of music that was just fantastic to be young and in Australia, with Hunters and Collectors and Oils and Chisels and some great bands, Spiderbait. You could see Spiderbait in a local pub. It was great.

HOST: Regurgitator.

PRIME MINISTER: Regurgitator was very, very much bigger in Brisbane than they were in Sydney, I've got to say. Go-Betweens.

HOST: Another Brissy band.

PRIME MINISTER: Powderfinger, of course.

HOST: He is on a roll.

PRIME MINISTER: I am on a roll now. I was getting into Queensland bands.

HOST: He's got them all catalogued.

PRIME MINISTER: I DJ'ed here in Brisbane and I did an entire set of Queensland. The Veronicas, Regurgitator and the full bit.

HOST: Well, since you've been a DJ, you can get this one going. It is Hunters and Collectors. This is Holy Grail. And what a great song. Our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, is in the studio right now. We'll chat a lot more straight after this song. Laurel, Gary and Mark 882 4BC.


HOST: Spinning the plastic there was our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, who's in the studio at the moment. Hunters and Collectors and Holy Grail.

HOST: I saw him moving. It was like he was in the mosh pit down on the front of the Carringbah Hotel or something.

HOST: He dances better than Trump. I'll give him that.

PRIME MINISTER: It is a great song from a great band.

HOST: See, the trouble with Trump, he does a little jump to the right and then he keeps going to the right.

PRIME MINISTER: No, he's fallen off the edge, I think.

HOST: A long time ago.

HOST: Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, what brings you to beautiful Brisbane?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I was here last night for the PM's XIII game between Australia and PNG.

HOST: And you had a win.

PRIME MINISTER: At Suncorp. We had a win. I had to have one win on the weekend. So, it was terrific actually, 60-14. And it was 38-0 and PNG scored 14 points in a row, which was just fantastic. It was a very pro Papua New Guinea crowd, even the Aussies were hoping that PNG would do well. And I was there with Prime Minister Marape. And it's a really important bit of soft diplomacy as well. It's a national game in Papua New Guinea.

HOST: Would you like to see a PNG team in the NRL?

PRIME MINISTER: I would love to see one from PNG and the Pacific. If you have look at the first grade lists of every club, they have players from around the Pacific, including from PNG. And it would be a terrific thing. People like David Mead and others have played. Alex Johnson is normally the PNG fullback. He, of course, was busy. But it would be just great. They had their Grand Final on Saturday and packed out crowd, 20,000 people in Port Moresby, went for 100 minutes. They are just so passionate about it.

HOST: Now, you've just practically gotten back from Queen Elizabeth The Second's funeral. You're popping off to another funeral today.

PRIME MINISTER: I am. We're up to Tokyo today. And I'm taking Prime Minister Marape up but also going with John Howard, Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull, who also served during the prime ministership of Shinzo Abe.

HOST: Abbott and Turnbull are in separate sections of the plane, I hope.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, Malcolm Turnbull is coming separately from the US.

HOST: That is going to be an interesting flight, isn't it?

PRIME MINISTER: But they will be all there together. And it's a good thing. Japan is a very important partner of Australia. Shinzo Abe was really important in setting up the Quad, which is Australia, the US, India and Japan, and the cooperation agreements which are there. And it's a good sign of respect that you have three former prime ministers and the current guy, me, all heading up there this morning.

HOST: Speaking of respect, the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum will be going ahead next year. A date has not been set on that. Do you know when the referendum will be?

PRIME MINISTER: No, I'm waiting to have consultation on that. And I want to make sure that the Voice to Parliament isn't my proposal, it's our proposal. It's Australia's proposal. I want to embrace people as much support as possible. We know how hard it is to get a referendum up. But it's a pretty simple proposition. The Constitution is our national birth certificate. And at the moment, it pretends that nothing happened until 1788. And it is good manners and also it should be a source of pride to recognise that we have shared this continent with the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet.

HOST: And can we put an emphasis on learning this in school? When I went to school, when my dad went to school, we learned that, you know, they arrived on the ships, there was someone standing up on the cliff with a spear, and they all disappeared into the desert and learn to live there, but seaboard, you know, Indigenous people, their lifestyle was on the water, and then all of a sudden, they had to learn to live elsewhere and unfortunately, didn't live.

PRIME MINISTER: And part of learning about our history is truth-telling as well. And the truth is that Indigenous people suffered a lot. Not all, but many did. Massacres occurred. And we need to be truthful about that. Not as a way of being shamed, but just as being fair dinkum. It is the Australian way.

HOST: And become part of the curriculum.


HOST: Prime Minister, I know we've only got you for a couple more minutes. But I really do want to touch on this one as well. The Optus data breach, when does this change to a federal level and you go, 'Boy, we really need to guarantee that people won't be taken advantage of with all this information that's gone out'. And they're talking about people having their identity stolen and all those things.

PRIME MINISTER: Look, this is a huge wake-up call for the corporate sector, in terms of protecting the data which is there. And we want to make sure, as well, that we change some of the privacy provisions there so that if people are caught up like this, the banks can be let know, so that they can protect their customers as well. But this is a massive breach that has occurred. We know that in today's world, there are actors, some state actors, but also some criminal organisations who want to get access to people's data.

HOST: And I think we've got you for another 50 seconds. And in 50 seconds, next month's Budget?

HOST: How do you do it so that we get a benefit right now? People are suffering right now.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, we'll have legislation in this week for cheaper child care. We've already carried legislation through the House of Reps for cheaper pharmaceuticals to reduce cost by $12.50. We will be doing what we can to take pressure off families. We know people are doing it tough.

HOST: All right, Prime Minister, we need to let you go. You got to get on a plane. No more funerals for you, okay? I think we've had enough now.

HOST: I started to feel my pulse when I saw you walk through the door.

HOST: You do that every morning.

PRIME MINISTER: It was a great honour to represent Australia at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. And I think that Australians, regardless of their views about the Constitution, it was a moment of national unity.

HOST: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, thanks for your time this morning.