Radio Interview - Hughesy, Ed and Erin on 2Day FM

15 Sep 2022
Prime Minister
Prime Minister’s visit to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral; King Charles III; Albanese Government’s first months in office; Rabbitohs semi-final

DAVE HUGHES, HOST: The Prime Minister of our nation joins us. Welcome to the show, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.


ERIN MOLAN, HOST: Good morning. Great to hear your voice. You've got a busy couple of days coming up or a busy few days.

PRIME MINISTER: We sure do. We'll depart tonight, taking as well with us the ten Australians, which was a part of the protocols that were written down for the commemoration of the life of Queen Elizabeth II, and we'll travel to London tonight. We'll get there on Friday night, and then a very busy weekend prior to the funeral service, which I will have a great honour of attending with the Governor-General and those Australians on Monday.

HUGHES: Are you blown away by the outpouring of emotion and respect that's been shown for the Queen?

PRIME MINISTER: It has been enormous. And it's not surprising really, I mean for all of our lifetimes, Queen Elizabeth is the only head of state that we have known. And in a time of enormous change, the pace of change has never been like this in human history, a constant reassuring presence has been Queen Elizabeth II. A life of service, that regardless of people's views, on other issues, on constitutional issues, I think that you can respect the life of the Queen and I think Australians certainly have and are giving thanks for her extraordinary contribution to Australia, to the Commonwealth, and indeed to the world.

MOLAN: Prime Minister, can you relate to King Charles' frustration at his pen not working? You're often in those situations where you're doing something publicly, do you get it?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, look, it's a human response. We're all humans.


PRIME MINISTER: And these things happen. And you've got to remember as well, that King Charles has lost, not just the sovereign, he's lost his mum.

MOLAN: Yeah, we were saying that earlier, absolutely.

PRIME MINISTER: And it's so soon after losing his father. And it must be a time of enormous pressure on him. And I think that was just an outpouring that is perfectly understandable, and just a reminder, that he is a human being at the end of the day and human beings from time to time get frustrated.

HUGHES: But you know what, the world though, it seems that even the polls that have been done that people are warming to King Charles, like a lot of people didn't think they would. And so his popularity is actually going through the roof, which is great to see. Back to your situation, your popularity as Prime Minister has gone through the roof as well. Are you enjoying the role?

PRIME MINISTER: I am enjoying it. And as you know, we've spoken for a long period of time, I had thought about what I wanted to do in Government and we're doing that. We have passed our climate change legislation, we'll introduce in a couple of weeks when Parliament resumes, we'll introduce our legislation for an Anti-Corruption Commission, we'll be introducing our legislation as well for cheaper childcare. But we're also dealing with things that were unexpected, we had the wave of COVID that we dealt with over winter, as best as possible. We had to deal with as well, some of the energy issues that weren't anticipated. And of course now, dealing with what is a sombre time for the nation. And it's been written down in the protocols for a long period of time, for a lot longer than I've been Prime Minister and I've been following those, I think there's something to be said for observing tradition at a time like this. And I've been doing that and doing my best to represent the national interest.

MOLAN: You talk about the fact that King Charles is human, as are you. You're going to be meeting the new King and lots of world leaders. Do you get a little bit nervous or a little bit anxious about the next few days yourself?

PRIME MINISTER: Of course I do. I have a sense of history and a sense of the occasion. I don't think there has been a gathering in world history quite like what we will see over the weekend and on Monday. There are a range of issues that we've had to put in place including security issues, we arrive Friday night into London, and on Saturday morning, I'll travel down to one of the British Prime Minister's residences down in Kent, to meet with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. We'll have a reception at Australia House at lunchtime. I will have an audience with King Charles over the weekend as well and then attend, in addition, Sunday night there's a reception for leaders of countries and heads of state with King Charles -

ED KAVALEE, HOST: Then it's paintball.

PRIME MINISTER: It's quite a busy weekend.

HUGHES: What about on the plane ride over, you've got ten people with you? Is it an overnight flight or how many hours is the flight gonna be?

PRIME MINISTER: It's long, I haven't added it all up with all the time changes, but we have three flights really. We stop off in Singapore and then in Dubai on the way over.

MOLAN: Do you choose the music given it's your plane?

PRIME MINISTER: I always choose the music but fortunately headphones mean I'm not imposing it on everyone.

HUGHES: Is it flatbeds for everyone?

KAVALEE: Come on mate, of course!

PRIME MINISTER: Well, for some.

KAVALEE: Yeah man, that's the stuff, Anthony Albanese!

HUGHES: Just quickly, the South Sydney Rabbitohs are playing on the weekend. Are you going to be able to watch the Rabbitohs?

PRIME MINISTER: I'm trying to work out what time 8:00, I actually was doing that last night, trying to work out what time 8:00 is in London, 8:00 Sydney time is on Saturday night.

MOLAN: Actually our EP Sasha is really good at time conversions, because I get her to do them all the time.

PRIME MINISTER: Can you get her to text me?

MOLAN: I'll text you, yep.

KAVALEE: And you got to get the travel pass, the NRL travel pass so you can watch it too, Prime Minister, I've been tripped up before, trust me.

PRIME MINISTER: That will be under control, but I'm very confident that whenever I watch it, which mightn't be live, because of the diary of which I am not in control. So I am confident about how Souths will go on Saturday night.

HUGHES: Are you a no spoilers guy, if you watch it delayed, are you no spoilers or not?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh absolutely, no spoilers, but I do find it difficult. I actually said to the Souths CEO, I spoke to after the game last weekend on Sunday night and I think it's the first semi-final that Souths have played in that I haven't been at the ground on since the 1980s, which sounds really impressive except for the fact that we didn't make the finals for such a long period of time.

MOLAN: That's a really good point. In fact, Russell Crowe -

PRIME MINISTER: Including the entire time I was on the board of Souths which was seven years, we never ever made the finals.

MOLAN: Rusty's in Dublin, so you might be able to catch up with him and watch it together. And I can tell you 11am UK time on Saturday is when the game will be on live.


MOLAN: 11am UK time Saturday.

PRIME MINISTER: That actually might fit, because I have the breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister, and then the lunch reception at Australia House, so we might be travelling in the car, we'll see what the WiFi's like.

HUGHES: There you go, it's beer o'clock, 11am.

KAVALEE: Thank you, Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister, it's Hughesy, Ed and Erin.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks guys.