Radio interview - Mix 95.4FM

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister

PETE, HOST: Mr Albanese, the Prime Minister of Australia. Good morning to you, sir. How are you?

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Greetings from Melbourne.

KYMBA, HOST: You know, the way Pete set that up, sounded like we were speaking to, like, a spoof version of you, like it was going to be a fake.

PETE: A fake caller.

KYMBA: How are you going? Quite a big week.

PRIME MINISTER: No, it's real. Well, every week is big in the job that I have the great honour of fulfilling. But this week I've been in Whyalla and Adelaide and Sydney and Melbourne and Canberra, and so it has been a big week, but it's been another very productive week. I was in Whyalla looking at green steel that's going to be produced there. I've been campaigning, of course, for a Yes vote in the referendum. We had the Employment White Paper this week, so it's been another busy week, opening Urgent Care Clinics around the country. So, we're getting on with the job of looking after the day to day, but also hoping that on October 14, Australians take the opportunity to -

PETE: So, a White Paper and green steel. There's a lot of colours going on at the moment.

PRIME MINISTER: Indeed there are, that's right.

KYMBA: Has the job been what you thought it would be? Are you in it now, going, 'It's a bit more than I thought', or, 'Oh no, it's okay, this is exactly what I expected'?

PRIME MINISTER: No, well, I'd been, served as Deputy Prime Minister a decade ago, so I had a lot of time to prepare, including on a couple of occasions, I was acting Prime Minister back in 2013. So, I regard it as just an incredible privilege, each and every day, to hold a position that I do. It's a great responsibility, but we are such a great country. We're the best country on earth. There's nowhere where you'd rather live than here in Australia. It is such a big country, I've got to say. And of course, I have visited Perth on average, once a month. In not just Perth, but Albany, Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland, Karratha, as well. I’m getting out and about right around the regions, as well.

PETE: Prime Minister, how many times do you go to Albany and people go, ‘Albany-ese’?

PRIME MINISTER: No, it made for some fantastic puns on the front page of the local paper two days in a row.

PETE: I bet it did.

PRIME MINISTER: Two days in a row.

KYMBA: They're desperate for a pun, mate.

PETE: Now, Prime Minister, the Voice, I mean, that's the reason why you're joining us this morning. Just quickly, we wanted to get some facts across for the Voice.


PETE: We've heard that there is early voting available from the Monday of that week. So, of course, the Saturday, October 14, we officially go to the polls for the Yes, No vote on the Voice to Parliament, but people can vote from the Monday?

PRIME MINISTER: From next week, in fact, from next Monday. So, there are two weeks of early voting, so people will have the opportunity to do that. And, of course, if people are going to be away as well, there's the opportunity for postal voting. Indeed, early voting in remote communities has started already. So, in places like Arnhem Land, were voting yesterday, we've had the Tiwi Islands voting, the Torres Strait Islands, in all of those places where you have mobile polling booths going around to communities, making sure that every Australian gets their say, which is so important.

KYMBA: Otherwise, it's rock up to the school on the 14th and just put in your vote?

PRIME MINISTER: Grab a democracy sausage and have a read of the question. It's very clear what this is asking for, it’s just two things. One, to recognise our first Australians in our nation's founding document. That's something that should have happened, really, in 1901. But it should be a source of great pride that share this continent with the oldest continuous culture on Earth. And secondly, it's about the form of recognition, that they have asked for themselves, is just a non-binding Advisory Committee, that's all the Voice is. An opportunity to listen to Indigenous Australians about matters that affect them. Because No vote is what we have now, effectively, and we know that that isn't working. We know that only four out of the 19 Closing the Gap targets on track to be met. We know that there's still an eight year life expectancy gap, that an Indigenous young male is more likely to go to jail than university. So, we need to listen to Indigenous Australians about matters that affect them, because that's how you get better results. Like with anything, if you go and talk with people who are directly affected, you will get better outcomes, you'll get more efficiency, you'll actually, I think, get savings. We're not talking about additional expenditure here, we're talking about getting things done better.

PETE: Prime Minister, thank you very much for joining us this morning. Just quickly, one word answer with the utmost of respect, the Pies or the Lions tomorrow for the AFL grand final?

PRIME MINISTER: I've got to go for the Lions, I think. It's going to be a cracker game, I just hope it's a close game. There's been too many blowouts in recent years, including the poor old Swans got blown out last time I was there, so I just hope it's a close game. They've been the best two teams all year, so it's fantastic that they are vying out in the grand final.

PETE: That was 54 words, but we'll take it. Thank you, Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Thanks for joining us, all the best.

PRIME MINISTER: I’m a politician, what do you expect.;

PETE: Of course. Right, yep, okay, 58 words. All right, good. Have a great weekend.;

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, you too, and enjoy the grand final.