Australian Prime Minister Radio Interview – 4CC Breakfast

Prime Minister

: Well, he is in town today and he’s here to make a big announcement in regards to minerals, funding helping deliver future made here in Australia and around the Gladstone region. It’s the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. Morning, Prime Minister.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good to be with you, Hammo. And I’m looking forward to being back in Gladstone this morning for what’s a really exciting announcement. Good for jobs, good for industry, good for the region. It’s going to make an enormous difference there and it’s an example of how we are going to deliver a future made in Australia.

HAMMO: All right. Now, it’s around about $400 million in new loans for the funding?

PRIME MINISTER: That’s right. It’s $400 million in new loans to the Australian company Alpha HPA. And it’s to deliver Australia’s first high purity alumina processing facility right there in Gladstone. 490 jobs during construction. More than 200 ongoing jobs for this critical minerals project. It will make an enormous difference. We have these wonderful critical minerals under the ground. What we need to do is to value add wherever we can, rather than export them overseas and wait for the value to be added, wait for the jobs to be created and then import it back. So, this is a really good project and it’s won the support of the Government and this will make a big difference. High purity alumina is a critical mineral that’s used in LED lighting, it’s used in semiconductors, lithium ion batteries and other high-tech applications. So, this is how we move Australia up that value chain.

HAMMO: Okay, it will secure our jobs in manufacturing, but also, most importantly, and a lot of people have been talking about clean, reliable energy, too.

PRIME MINISTER: That’s right. And this is about the good, secure, local jobs that can come from clean, reliable energy. And it’s a part of a process that we’re seeing happen right around the world. So, we are in a race, we’re in a competition. And this is the new competition, not the old protectionism, one where governments realise that, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, they realise we need to make more things, we need to be more self reliant. And there’s nowhere better than the industrial centre of Gladstone to be a big winner from this process. We’ll continue to export industries, of course. And I’ll be also today there celebrating APLNG’s 1000th cargo shipment. So, that will be a very positive event indeed as well. So, I’m really looking forward to today there in Central Queensland.

HAMMO: Great, and we’re looking forward to seeing you as well. Just quickly with that, is this expected to actually overtake China as the world’s largest producer of high purity alumina?

PRIME MINISTER: Look, certainly we can be competitive. And why can we be competitive? Because of the resources that we have here. We have incredible resources in the ground, but also, of course, in the sky. Which means that when you look right across the board, we can use, of course, just a couple of weeks ago, there was a very exciting green hydrogen announcement as well there in Gladstone. You have investment from people like Twiggy Forrest and others. There you have companies that are able to invest, to value add, to create clean energy, to use that to drive the change through the economy. Rio Tinto recently signed the biggest renewable energy deal that has been signed in Australia. And so we want good, secure jobs there in Gladstone and throughout the region. It will be a powerhouse, it will continue to be a major exporter of course, there’s a role for that. But where we can, why wouldn’t you want a value add and make more things here and therefore secure those jobs and that economic activity here in Australia as well.

HAMMO: And the ongoing jobs from it as well. All right, thank you very much, Prime Minister. And now, before we go, can we take your Prime Minister hat off for a second?

PRIME MINISTER: I can for a second.

HAMMO: Ok. I’ll call you Albo then. Albo, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. What’s going on there? Come on.

PRIME MINISTER: Mate, we’re a resilient bunch. We went from 1971 to 2014 without a win. That’s 43 years of my life, including a long time there, I was on the board in the 90s and at the beginning of this century, we got kicked out of the comp, fought our way back. So, you know, we’ll come back here. Just a few tough weeks we’ve had, but we’re only a couple of points, I might add, behind Newcastle and some other teams as well. If we’re on six points, I think gets you at the bottom of the eight at the moment. The season isn’t over yet. We were running first this time last year and it all ended in tears. So, I’m very confident that when we get our back line back, we’ve missed out on AJ on the wing and Campbell Graham and Jai Arrow, a great Queenslander. And when we get our full team on the paddock, I’m very confident that we’ll turn the season around. But you got to be optimistic when you’re a rugby league fan.

HAMMO: Oh, definitely.

PRIME MINISTER: Even when there are hard times.

HAMMO: True. The good thing is mate, you’ll get points this week.

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. I’m very confident that we’ll get the two points this week.

HAMMO: Because, everybody, the Rabbitohs are having a bye.

PRIME MINISTER: I’m very confident. I’m in the Courier Mail tipping competition and I, of course, tip Souths every week as a loyalist and it’s really doing me some damage, I gotta say.

HAMMO: I’ll have to look it up and see how we go. We’re only 45 days out from Origin as well. Now, do you want to have a couple of just, we’ll have a couple of sideys on the side, next Cowboys versus Rabbitohs game. Obviously I’m going to go for the Cowboys.

PRIME MINISTER: The Cows, well, if it was this week, you’d be about 20 to one on, I reckon.

HAMMO: All right, so we’ll have a side bet there. The other side bet I want to have with you is with State of Origin.

PRIME MINISTER: One of the things about Origin is that, I love State of Origin. I love the game. I doesn’t ruin my weekend if Queensland win. I’m sort of old enough to remember the old days which weren’t State of Origin where New South Wales flogged Queensland.

HAMMO: Oh, here we go.

PRIME MINISTER: All the time. No, no, we did. And State of Origin is a much fairer thing. And you seem to fire up each and every year. Even when you’re not favourites, you win. It’s extraordinary and I look forward to it. I just think it’s fantastic. rugby league. and I enjoy the game very much. Last year I watched it, one of the games at The Lodge with, I had Jimmy Chalmers and Anika Wells and Chis around, great Queenslanders, to watch, and they were surprised that I wasn’t upset when Queensland won. When Souths lose, it actually ruins the weekend if they play on a Friday night, for me. Origin I just think, is the best players excelling and it’s always wonderful regardless of the result.

HAMMO: Yeah, well, it’s 100 day countdown to the Olympics, but 45 days countdown down to the State of Origin. I think most Queenslanders and New South Wales supporters would be looking more forward to the Origin than the Olympics, that’s for sure.

PRIME MINISTER: Ponga or Walsh at fullback. Mate, here’s a big call for you.

HAMMO: Oh, okay. At full back, do you think?

PRIME MINISTER: Who would you pick?

HAMMO: It depends if Ponga’s fit or not.

PRIME MINISTER: Come on, get off the fence. Come on.

HAMMO: Hey, come on. I’ll go Ponga. There we go. There we go. Ponga.

PRIME MINISTER: They are both magnificent footballers.

HAMMO: Yeah. Prime Minister, thank you very much for joining us this morning. Enjoy your stay in Gladstone while you’re here.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, thanks very much, mate.

HAMMO: There’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese joining us on the program. A big announcement coming to Gladstone today in regards to critical minerals funding helping delivering a future made here in Australia.

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