Pinky, Host: Now my sidekick Anthony is on holidays at the moment so I’ve found another Anthony to fill in. It's the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, good morning.
Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister: G’day Pinky, I hope I'm a pretty reasonable fill in.
Host: I hope so, too. Look, I'll give you a quick update on how we're travelling in CQ at the moment. The CQ Capras are fifth on the ladder for the Hostplus Cup. We have ocean swimmers from all over the country coming to Great Keppel Island, Woppaburra, this weekend to swim 20kms around it. And we've had an independent community group, the Shelter Collective, refurbishing 20 unused cottages to provide safe, accessible and affordable housing solutions for all people, no matter their circumstances. And I have to say, they are very deserving of a visit from you I think.
Prime Minister: I think that sounds exactly right. I'll have to get the detail. I'll get my people to speak to your people to get those details.
Host: Yes let’s get talking.
Prime Minister: Sounds fantastic.
Host: Okay, brilliant. Yes, it is amazing work. Very inspirational.
Prime Minister: I'd certainly much rather visit them and talk to those inspirational people than try and swim 20kms around Great Keppel.
Host: Tell me about it. But yes, very amazing stuff happening here. Look, how long can homeowners expect the RBA to leave interest rates alone? So many people, as you know, are anxious about the fixed interest rates finishing and the whopping amounts of money needed just to keep a roof over their head at the moment.
Prime Minister: Well, the RBA are independent, of course, at arm's length of government, so they make decisions that we can't control. But what we can do is do our bit to put downward pressure on inflation. That's exactly what we're doing. That's why we have produced the first Budget surplus in fifteen years and use that to pay off some of the trillion dollars of debt that we inherited. It's why we're providing cost of living relief in the way that we are. So, the Energy Price Relief Plan to reduce people's bills rather than pay a cash handout, cheaper childcare so that people are paying less for childcare, 1.2 million families, fee free TAFE. All of those measures are aimed at putting downward pressure on inflation, whilst at the same time we are providing cost of living relief to families.
Host: Well, on the subject of cost of living and lowering the cost of living for Australians, I did have one of our regular callers pose this question to you from Groundsman.
Caller: My question would be, can we reduce the cost of fuel in the country? We're the ones that don't have a transport system that's viable for all of us to catch trains and buses and all that like the city.
Host: Public transport, correct.
Caller: How about they take some of the money from down south and give it to us up here to reduce the cost of fuel?
Host: What do you think about that suggestion?
Prime Minister: You know what we've got to do? We've got to address issues like fuel security. I was gobsmacked when the former government said, ‘oh, yes, we're going to have fuel reserves, but we'll keep them in the Gulf of Mexico.’ We do need to take measures that do put downward pressure there. And one of the things that we need to deal with properly is the issue of supply because that puts real pressure on the system.
Host: Now, also, the Bruce Highway is a constant source of pain. I'm sure you know for Australians travelling through and locals of CQ, particularly the stretch between Rocky and Gladstone. There is money to get it upgraded and that has been allocated, do you know when that will start?
Prime Minister: We want that to flow as soon as possible. When I was a Minister, we put $7.6 billion into the Bruce Highway in that six years. Previously, the Howard government only put $1.3 in over twelve years. I'm very familiar with that stretch of road, including I've had a couple of road trips, or more than a couple, right up and down, visiting every single place in Central Queensland. I'm fully aware of what a challenge it is, having driven it myself.
Host: I guess, like everybody, it's the ones who are actually using it daily for commuting or professional drivers who are really copping it the most and having to deal with the strain of that. Also, any clearer idea on when we are required to vote regarding the Voice to Parliament?
Prime Minister: Well, it will be soon, it will be after the Grand Finals. So we're looking at October, November, we'll be announcing a date in consultation with the Electoral Commission and I sincerely hope that Australians vote ‘Yes’.
Host: Well, thank you so much for giving us some of your valuable time this morning. We are all really looking forward to two grand finals here, NRL and AFL, of course. And I will definitely get back to your people regarding a visit to the Shelter Collective.
Prime Minister: Indeed, that would be fantastic and I am looking forward to watching my Bunnies in the NRL Grand Final.
Host: There we go, hopefully they get there.
Prime Minister: I'm always confident, until I'm not.
Host: No worries. Great talking to you and we'll chat again soon.
Prime Minister: Thanks very much.