Prime Minister of Australia

08/09/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/08/2023 21:25

Radio interview - The Fox 101.9 Melbourne with Fifi, Fev and Nick

HOST: Prime Minister, welcome back to the show.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: It's always an incentive just to hear the intro.

HOST: Wouldn't it be great if you could walk out of Parliament and that just played as you walked in, like Conor McGregor style?

HOST: Yeah, he's not a wrestler.

PRIME MINISTER: That'd be pretty cool. But I'm not sure the Opposition would appreciate it. But I think it'd get a bit of a laugh. Hopefully, people have a sense of humour. You got to keep your sense of humour in this job.

HOST: I'm sure you do. And we can see how busy you are at the moment, Prime Minister, and I want to start with this. I mean, you were in the Northern Territory last week for Garma. There's so much talk about the Voice at the moment, and it's no secret the support for the Voice referendum is low. Is Australia ready for this referendum? And, Prime Minister, what can you tell us, and a lot of people who don't maybe even understand this?

PRIME MINISTER: I believe Australia is ready. We're the only former colony in the world that hasn't recognised its first peoples. And what this is about is a very simple proposition. It recognises Indigenous people in our Constitution, that is, we didn't begin in 1788. That should be a source of great pride for our nation to share this continent with the oldest continuous culture on Earth. And secondly, it's about listening to Aboriginal people through an advisory body, because you get better results when you listen to people who are directly affected. Now, that advisory body would just have the power of its ideas. We know that where we have listened to Aboriginal people, that's where we're getting better results in areas like Indigenous rangers programs, community health programs, justice reinvestment. So, it's a simple proposition that for most of your listeners, for the Indigenous population in Australia is under 4%, it won't affect directly the lives of the 96%, but it just might help to make a difference to close the gap. Because we know that if we keep doing the same thing, you get the same results.

HOST: Of course.

PRIME MINISTER: And at the moment, there's a massive gap, an eight-year life expectancy gap, gaps in infant mortality, health outcomes. A young Indigenous male is more likely to go to jail than to university. We need to do better than that. This is an opportunity. It is an optimistic call for reconciliation, to come together as a nation. And I am very hopeful that people will vote 'Yes' in the referendum, which will take place in coming months.

HOST: I was about to say, can we get a scoop? When is it? But that has yet to be decided.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it'll be after the Footy Grand Final, sometime in the period after that. It won't be too late in the year because you have the wet season at the top end and we want to make sure that people who live right around Australia can get the opportunity to vote. So, we're just talking through with the Australian Electoral Commission.

HOST: November?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it'll be around October or November.

HOST: In between AFL Grand Final and Melbourne Cup day.

HOST: Perfect.

HOST: Now, Prime Minister, at least it's not in the next few weeks. Because we do things a bit differently on this show and only a month or two ago, we spoke to you when we were doing our 27 hour marathon show. I don't know whether we've told you yet, we are in the Guinness Book of Records.


HOST: Your motivation got us through that, Prime Minister.

HOST: You spoke to us before you hopped on a plane to Singapore, so we really appreciate it.

PRIME MINISTER: Well done, I think I helped along there.

HOST: Yeah, definitely.

PRIME MINISTER: I'm claiming a little bit of credit, but well done, 27 hours.

HOST: It was a big effort and we may need your help again, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER: You're not going for 28, are you?

HOST: No, we're doing something more ambitious. So, in nine days, we are heading over to Las Vegas and we are partying for 24 hours around the clock, Hangover style.

PRIME MINISTER: What could go wrong?

HOST: That's why we want to ask you a question.

HOST: Yes. So, we were wondering, is there a possibility for that 24 hours we could have some sort of indemnity. What do we call?

HOST: Diplomatic immunity.

HOST: Diplomatic immunity for whatever gets up on our trip over in Vegas?

HOST: Speak to your mate Biden.

PRIME MINISTER: I reckon we have got a Consulate in Los Angeles, which is not far from Vegas of course, and I reckon we need to put them on alert.

HOST: Yeah, put them on alert.

PRIME MINISTER: So they're ready to help out should anything untoward happen and you need the Australian Government's intervention.

HOST: Thank you.

HOST: So we have it?

PRIME MINISTER: I will certainly do that and I'm actually talking tomorrow afternoon to the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. There's a big forum and there's about 20, I think there are, US Congress people, will be here in Canberra. I'm hosting drinkies for them at The Lodge, so I reckon I need to find one there as well and try and find you a local member who can talk with people and make sure you're looked after as well.

HOST: Hey Albo, do you want me to come?

PRIME MINISTER: I can always ring President Biden as well.

HOST: Yes!

HOST: Do you want me to come up to Sydney? I will be able to chat with them and drop me Fi and Nick in it.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it's in Canberra, mate. You'd be very welcome.

HOST: Yeah, I'll come up.

PRIME MINISTER: You'd be very welcome for drinks tomorrow afternoon.

HOST: Yeah, I can sit there mate.

HOST: Drinks at The Lodge, love it.

HOST: We'll have a free pass, by the time I finish with that, we'll have a free pass. Hey Albo, what about the Matildas? They're everywhere. Now, you have said, and one of the great Prime Ministers, Bob Hawke, after we won the America's Cup, said 'you'd be a bum if you didn't have a day off today for everyone that worked.' If we get to the final, which is a big chance, will we have the next day off? Public holiday?

PRIME MINISTER: I've got the National Cabinet on next Wednesday.

HOST: Don't worry about that.

PRIME MINISTER: Well it's their decision, unfortunately.

HOST: You're the boss, mate. The big dog.

PRIME MINISTER: I'll be putting to them an argument that, if we win, I think, is when the celebrations will really start. And we've got to be a chance, those two goals on Monday night were just extraordinary. They were fantastic. And the quarter final -

HOST: Against the French.

PRIME MINISTER: Is on this Saturday against the French. I might have a little side hustle with President Macron there.

HOST: What will you bet on? Cash?

PRIME MINISTER: My friend from France.

HOST: Submarines?

PRIME MINISTER: No, it'll be something like wearing each other's shirt or something like that will be the go, I think. But I noticed he's already sent out a message overnight about Le Bleu making the quarterfinals. But the Matildas, I think, are inspiring a whole nation, but particularly what they're doing for young girls to inspire them to play and participate in team sport, Fev I reckon 20 years ago, if you had have said that you'd get 75,000 people watching women's soccer -

HOST: You would have dreaming.

PRIME MINISTER: You would have thought that was pretty ambitious. But it's absolutely happening and there'll be a sellout crowd there in Brisbane on Saturday at five o'clock, so I'm sure that people will be tuning in and the nation will stop to watch for that 90 minutes plus injury time.

HOST: It will be phenomenal. And when you're at that Cabinet Meeting, if we do get this public holiday, our preference would be a week later. Because we're in Vegas that week, so it won't mean anything to us. But on Vegas again, just one more thing.

PRIME MINISTER: Oh Vegas is just one big holiday isn't it?

HOST: Oh, it is. And we'd love you to come with us, but we understand maybe that's not a good look for you. But we know you DJ and we thought when we're at one of the big clubs, maybe at the Bellagio or one of the big pool parties we're at, we would love to request a banger on your behalf so it will feel like you're there on our Vegas 24 hours party. What song would get Albo up in a nightclub dancing?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh Vegas. I think you want something that people are going to sing along to and participate in. So maybe, Living on a Prayer, that always gets people.

HOST: Yes! Jovi.

HOST: Good song.

PRIME MINISTER: Or maybe, they'd have that the US, but of course as an Australian, you'd rather try and try and educate these Americans into the quality of Cold Chisel's Khe Sanh or something like that.

HOST: Well, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, for you, we will request Living on a Prayer or Khe Sanh at a Las Vegas nightclub in your honour and wish you were there.

PRIME MINISTER: And if they have Khe Sanh, wouldn't that be fantastic?

HOST: That would be. Hey, we've got strong allies with America and you're best mates with old Biden and last time we were on, I asked if he was a robot. Now, there has been people in their Ministry that's come out and said that there's aliens. Now, do you think there's aliens here?

PRIME MINISTER: I think in spite of the fact that sometimes I do wonder where people are coming from, I reckon there is no like secret thing. It's pretty extraordinary that in America, I think they've got some committee looking at it in the Senate or something. I think that probably says more about the people looking at it than it does about the aliens.

HOST: I love that answer, Anthony Albanese.

PRIME MINISTER: That was subtle. I'm not sure how diplomatic that was.

HOST: It was beautifully put. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, thank you for coming on the show again and we will be having a drink for you in Vegas, listening to Living on a Prayer.


HOST: Thank you.


HOST: Yeah, we will. Did we get? Yeah we got diplomatic immunity.

HOST: Thank you Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.