Radio Interview - KIIS 106.5 Kyle & Jackie O

20 Jan 2023
Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern; DJ Albo; Kyle's wedding; demerit points; achievements in Government; public service; Australia Day

KYLE SANDILANDS, HOST: Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia, good morning.

JACKIE O, HOST: Morning.

KYLE: Nice to hear you. How are you, buddy?

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Happy New Year to you both.

KYLE: You too.

JACKIE O: You too. Well, it was big news yesterday with the New Zealand Prime Minister resigning.

KYLE: You got the heads up, right? She gave you a text before she announced that, Ms Ardern?

PRIME MINISTER: She did. She's been a friend of mine for a period of time now, since before I was Prime Minister. But particularly as PM, she was the first person I welcome to Kirribilli House. And we had a ministerial meeting here in Sydney, between our respective governments. And then when we travelled to the Queen's funeral, we spent a fair bit of time together. There was the realm countries, they tended to put ourselves, New Zealand and Justin Trudeau of Canada together.

KYLE: That is a good table to be at, Albo. If you had a party, that is the table that you'd want to be at, right? You don't want to be with the flops?

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. And Jacinda was great company. And she did, I think, an outstanding job as Prime Minister of New Zealand. And she has gone out on her own terms. There's an old saying in this job, 'Not many people get to go out, they get carried out either with attacks from behind or in front'.

JACKIE O: I love that. And you know what I loved is that she was asked, 'How would you like to be remembered as Prime Minister?' And she said, 'As someone who was kind'. And I thought that was an interesting thing to say, because I think a lot of prime ministers, not many, or presidents, would say they want to be remembered as someone who was kind, because they may see that as a weakness. But with her, she was able to run a country, she was a very strong woman. But at the same time, she was kind.

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. And she showed that you could be kind but be strong at the same time. And it's really interesting, I think, out there in politics, I used the word kindness in my victory speech on the 21st of May last year. And so many people since then have mentioned, 'It was nice on the night that you said you wanted to be kind'. I wouldn't have thought that was a big statement to make.

KYLE: Quite powerful.

PRIME MINISTER: It was. People really noticed that. And with Jacinda, she showed that you could have empathy at the same time as you had intellect and decisiveness. And she certainly showed that as Prime Minister.

JACKIE O: I think it's really important. So, you two, you feel like quite similar in that way where you do feel you can run a country and be the two.

PRIME MINISTER: We are also probably the only two people who have been elected to high office in any country and both being DJs. So, we had that in common as well.

JACKIE O: Will you be DJing at Kyle's wedding, which is coming up pretty soon?

KYLE: You keep putting this on the poor bloke. He promised this before he was Prime Minister. He is running the joint now.

JACKIE O: He said if he was Prime Minister, he would still do it.

PRIME MINISTER: I promised it. I'm waiting for the invite. I'm waiting for the date to slot it in the diary.

KYLE: Prime Minister, it's April 29. Tegan asked me this morning on text, 'Did you want a proper invite for the Prime Minister? Or what's happening there?' And I said, 'He probably won't come'.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I need the proper invite. I've got a whole bureaucracy now for my diary.

KYLE: We will get you the invite.

JACKIE O: Do you, with your schedule, do you have it just in the calendar like we all do in the iPhone? Can you look at it now or do you have something more official?

PRIME MINISTER: No, no, I certainly need to, in order to keep on top of what are often incredibly busy days. And sometimes I get a shock though, because I'm not completely in control of my diary. And I have a look at it. And it's like, 'Hang on, why am I going there?'

KYLE: You'll know when it's Kyle's wedding, you'll know.

JACKIE O: So, can you look at your diary now and see what's on for 29th of April?

PRIME MINISTER: I can, except I'm talking on it.

JACKIE O: Speaker phone, my friend.

KYLE: When you're our age, we can't scroll and speak.

JACKIE O: I used to tell my mum this all the time. I've said, 'Mum I've sent you a photo, go look at it'. And she goes, 'But how?' And I said, 'Put it on speaker and then just look like you would normally'.

PRIME MINISTER: I can do that but the listeners might wonder what the pause is.

KYLE: He can look at it at his leisure.

JACKIE O: Fair enough.

PRIME MINISTER: I do know that Parliament is not sitting on that day.

KYLE: Great.

JACKIE O: That is brilliant. That's a good sign.

KYLE: That is a good sign. Okay, we'll get the invite ready.

PRIME MINISTER: It is a good start.

KYLE: By the way, did you notice in the New South Wales state election, it's all about demerit points on the licence. One place wants to give it back after, your mob, Labor, they want to give it back after a year, which I think is great because it helps people still be able to drive to work, do school, all that stuff. And then the other mob want to wait three years. But I was wondering, how many demerit points do you have left?

PRIME MINISTER: I have lost exactly zero points. But I will give you the big tip. It helps when you're not allowed to drive.

KYLE: So, you can't just jump in behind the wheel now? Like, there's rules, right? You have to be driven. You have to be in that bomb-proof car and all that stuff?

PRIME MINISTER: There are rules in place to keep me safe. We live in an unsafe world, unfortunately. I miss being able to just duck up the shops to go to the supermarket.

KYLE: So, Albo, you can't wake up Saturday morning and can't say the missus, 'Babe, I'm just whipping down to Bunnings. I'll be back in half'. You can't do that?

JACKIE O: But then there's a car always waiting for you?

PRIME MINISTER: No, there's not. You have to give a little bit of notice.

KYLE: It is like Uber.

JACKIE O: Wait, what kind of notice do you have to give?

PRIME MINISTER: I'm not going to go into the security detail on air.

KYLE: I guess there is a protocol.

JACKIE O: Did you see Prince Harry in his book literally described in great detail how to get to the King in Buckingham Palace?

PRIME MINISTER: I'm not sure that's a good idea. But I won't be doing a tell-all detail about all that. But they do a fantastic job, I can say that. They are very good and they are as discreet as they can possibly be.

KYLE: You know, if I was the Prime Minister, I'd have them all dressed in military uniforms with all the weapons.

PRIME MINISTER: Of course, you would.

KYLE: I am more of a show pony.

PRIME MINISTER: To draw attention.

KYLE: Have you got, you are obviously flat out all the time running our whole country, is there anything you think you guys have done that has not been sort of advertised properly to the rest of us, to us normal folk, that you want to highlight some greatness of yours?

PRIME MINISTER: I think some of the little things that we've done that people wouldn't notice, I brought together, I will give you an example, I brought together all of the secretaries of each of the departments at the end of last year for an end of year Christmas gathering.

KYLE: That could get ugly sometimes. You should have seen our radio one. It was a mess.

PRIME MINISTER: There was no fun to be had here. And we just went through, in a coordinated way, each of the departments, what they got right in the first six months of the new Government, what their ideas were for the coming year and for the rest of this term. And it was a really productive way.

KYLE: Inclusive.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, the other thing I've done is that every Minister went to their departments and had similar discussions to try and get the best out of the public service, to respect them and show them that respect. But also, to get their ideas. There are thousands of really smart people who've gone into public service not just to tick boxes and fill in paper, but to contribute to their country. And they have ideas. And we need to tap into that resource. So, I think one of the things I've tried to do is to use the Commonwealth public service in a more respectful way and utilise them as an asset for the country.

KYLE: If you worked for the Government, you'd think that your ideas aren't cared about. But that's really progressive. And I like that.

HOST: And I got a question for you, Prime Minister. With the public service, are you allowing them to not have Australia Day off next week and have a different day off?

PRIME MINISTER: It's up to each of the departments, like it's up to employers in other areas as well. So, for some employers they are doing that saying, 'You want to work on Australia Day, you can have another day off'. And I think that's fine to have some flexibility in the system. I myself will have a very busy Australia Day and the day beforehand as well. I have a full schedule. And I'm really looking forward to it.

KYLE: Are you having a bender over at Kirribilli or anything? Any big events? Anything going on?

PRIME MINISTER: I'll be in Canberra. We have on the day before there's a reception for all the current office holders as Australian of the Year and Senior Australian and Young Australian, etc. They come for a big morning tea. There's a hundred people coming to the Lodge. And then there's some further events, including the announcement on the evening of the 25th of January of the new position to Australian of the Year, etc. That is at the Arboretum in Canberra. And then the next morning, there's a citizenship ceremony on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin.

KYLE: Very busy. Does your missus ever say, 'God, are the people coming around again?' My missus says, 'Can you stop inviting people around?'

PRIME MINISTER: No, it is part of the gig. And then on the evening, I'll come back to Sydney. I'll do something in my electorate, in the Inner West. And then in the evening, there's the Australia Day concert on the steps of the Opera House.

KYLE: That’s right. That will be fun.

PRIME MINISTER: I'll be heading along there as well. So, it'll be a very busy, busy day. But it'll be a great day.

KYLE: Sounds fabulous.

JACKIE O: Thank you, Prime Minister.

KYLE: You're doing a great job. Everything looks good. No one seems to be -

JACKIE O: - hating on you, too much.

KYLE: That's good.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much, guys. And I look forward to coming into the studio there soon.

KYLE: By the way, don't pop into my old office in the Cross. I've moved over to Milsons Point.

PRIME MINISTER: You've moved?

KYLE: I know.

PRIME MINISTER: How could you move? You had the whole set-up there.

KYLE: I know. Because the roof fell in and the landlord was like, 'It is going to take six months'. And I said I'm out of here. I've moved. I'll send you the new address.

JACKIE O: You will be closer to Kirribilli.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, if you are at Milsons Point, I can just drop around from Kirribilli when I am in Sydney.

KYLE: Let us know, because the last thing we want is a bunch of feds showing up unannounced. So, just a little heads up.

PRIME MINISTER: You'll know I'm coming.

JACKIE O: Now, Prime Minister we're playing the $100,000 noise next, where people have to guess what the noise is. I'm going to play it to you. And feel free to have a guess.

KYLE: No one can get it. But here it is. Have a listen, Albo. What is that? What do you think that sounds like that?

PRIME MINISTER: That sounds like something being hung up or finished, some communication you're turning off.

JACKIE O: Right, like a phone.

KYLE: It does sound a bit like that. That's not right, by the way.

JACKIE O: Not right. No $100,000 for you.

KYLE: Imagine if he won.

PRIME MINISTER: Does it have something to do with a turntable?

JACKIE O: No, that has been said.

KYLE: Albo, thanks. Appreciate it. Go and finish your day. There is the Prime Minister.

JACKIE O: I feel he really wanted to win that.

PRIME MINISTER: That will stick with me all day today now. I'll be trying to think. I'll ring you on Monday with a new suggestion.

KYLE: What's that noise? That noise has been driving me crazy.