Australian Prime Minister Radio Interview – 96FM Perth

Prime Minister

: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is with us. Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Great to be here.

LISA: You have indeed been chaperoning the Chinese Premier Li around town, rock lobster has been on the agenda.

PRIME MINISTER: It has, and it was on the menu yesterday at lunch.

DEAN ‘CLAIRSY’ CLAIRS, HOST: Of course, it was.

PRIME MINISTER: Just as a subtle way of pitching up for the impediments that are there for the great rock lobsters that come from here in WA and also South Australia and some other places as well around Australia. One of the things about the impediments and the pitch is, we want the income and the economic benefit of trade with China. But China gets a good deal too, because they get the best products in the world.

LISA: We’ve got mining resources, wine, tourism and rock lobsters. We’ve got game here in WA.

PRIME MINISTER: You sure do. Here’s an interesting fun fact for you. Seventy five per cent of WAs exports go to one country, China. It really, really matters for jobs and economic activity here, which is why it was important to bring Premier Li here. I brought Prime Minister Kishida here of Japan a year ago, and it’s important that world leaders get to see that it’s not about the Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra triangle. We’re a big nation and I thought it was terrific that Premier Li agreed to go to Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. Three great cities, our national capital, Adelaide was all about the pandas.

CLAIRSY: We heard about that.

PRIME MINISTER: All about the pandas.

LISA: We wouldn’t say no to a panda.

PRIME MINISTER: No, we’re pro-panda. We’re getting two.

CLAIRSY: Yeah, we are getting two apparently.

PRIME MINISTER: We’re getting two younger ones. And we hope that those younger pandas produce little young pandas.

CLAIRSY: Because the last pair, it wasn’t working for them.

LISA: Can we have first dibs?

PRIME MINISTER: They didn’t really, no, they didn’t get it on so to speak. But we are hoping that occurs. But here, of course, the Chinese Australian community as well is very strong here. It was a great reception yesterday, organised by the Chung Wah Association, and it was a really good visit. We got to see as well, Kings Park, of course, we had the business roundtable and those pictures of myself and Premier Li with the beautiful Swan River and the landscape in the background, it’s such a great city here, will be beamed, of course, would have been beamed to over a billion people there in China. So, it’s like a big free ad –

LISA: Yes, it is –

PRIME MINISTER: Of come to WA, help the tourism and hospitality industry.

CLAIRSY: Yeah. Apart from the press that we’ve seen and that impact, how deep are the talks this time around?

PRIME MINISTER: Really deep. We now have met in China when I visited last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Whitlam Government recognising China, but also we’ve met on the sidelines of events like the G20 and other big international forums. And that means that you build those people to people relations. So, one of the things that Premier Li said yesterday at the luncheon that I agree with, is that state to state relations begin with people to people relations. And so being able to engage directly. We have differences with China. We point them out in a constructive way and try to work them through. We don’t want to be defined by our differences. We don’t want to also pretend that they’re not there.

CLAIRSY: You don’t want to back down?

PRIME MINISTER: No. We have different political systems, but we’ve been able to achieve a stabilisation of the relationship without giving up any of our values.

LISA: Anyone coming to work in the city yesterday would have noticed how long Premier Li’s motorcade is.

CLAIRSY: It was quite a trek.

LISA: It was big. Do you have a big one like that when you go overseas?

PRIME MINISTER: Sometimes you get pretty large motorcades. They want to put on a show.


PRIME MINISTER: And so it depends where you are, of course.

LISA: So, it’s not you’re doing, it’s theirs?

PRIME MINISTER: Exactly. So here, the WA Police and the AFP were responsible for ensuring that occurs. But when major events happen that involve more than just one leader, then you have whole cities affected by it. At the G20 last year in New Delhi, it was very unusual to be in India and not see a lot of people, but there weren’t a lot of people there. And when events have happened in Australia as well that have multiple leaders, then it does have an impact. But the benefit is that Perth has got enormous publicity globally, not just in China, but throughout the region. It’s big news, the Chinese Premier coming here, and that’s a good thing for jobs and economic activity.

CLAIRSY: Because of that, there was a little blockage of traffic in the city yesterday. Our boss didn’t quite make it in time for a meeting, so he’d like to thank Premier Li for avoiding the meeting.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, there are a lot of people, I notice whenever it happens, it’s an interesting human instinct that’s developed, people film motorcades on their phones.

LISA: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: I don’t know where it goes.

LISA: Ever since the Zapruder film, people have filmed motorcades.

PRIME MINISTER: We went along the terrace there, there were a lot of people filming.

CLAIRSY: You go to concerts, people film everything.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it’s better to film a motorcade than a concert. I find it incredibly frustrating when people watch an entire gig on their phone.

LISA: Stay home.

PRIME MINISTER: I saw Florence and the Machine a couple of years ago at the Sydney Opera House forecourt there. She, I think what she did was say, “right, okay, get out, take your shot now, put your phones away.” That was a good thing. I think that’s a really good precedent.

LISA: So, enough about politics and so on. I want to hear more about –

PRIME MINISTER: Well we’re on to Florence then.

LISA: It’s a good segue because I want to hear more about Nick Cave playing the piano at The Lodge.

CLAIRSY: Yeah. What was going on there?

LISA: We were just talking about you taking Nick Cave to the King’s Coronation and then he’s caught up with you at The Lodge when he’s come to tour with one of the guys from Radiohead. You had him over for breakfast.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, well, Colin Greenwood.

LISA: Yes.

PRIME MINISTER: The bass player from Radiohead. Toured with Nick Cave. A two person gig. It was really interesting. I went along with my son.

LISA: Okay.

PRIME MINISTER: And it was. It was terrific. It was quite interesting. Nick Cave’s got an amazing album with just him, a double album, just him on piano. So, you really get to the essence of the songs.

LISA: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: And he’s a great songwriter, of course, but having Colin Greenwood there as well, just adds to it.

LISA: Do you remember what he played on the piano when he came to The Lodge?

CLAIRSY: I hope it wasn’t chopsticks.

PRIME MINISTER: No, no. He just got on and checked it out. I can’t play the piano. Hazel Hawke used to play the piano.

LISA: Really? At The Lodge?

PRIME MINISTER: That piano. And so I don’t know who’s played it since, but Nick Cave has certainly played the piano at The Lodge.

LISA: That’s just awesome.

PRIME MINISTER: It was a moment as they say. Nick went to the King’s Coronation as a savings measure, amongst other benefits. What we did was we picked the Australian contingency who were based in London.

CLAIRSY: So, that’s why Sam Kerr was there.

PRIME MINISTER: Sam Kerr was the flag bearer.


PRIME MINISTER: And Adam Hills and Nick Cave. And we had a nurse who worked for the NHS, who did amazing work during the pandemic, and so we had a full collection of people. It was good.

CLAIRSY: I hadn’t thought of that being a savings measure. Very nice. Nice touch. Now, Coronation, breakfast at your place. Is there a chance that one N Cave may roll up to the wedding? Is he playing the piano at the wedding?

PRIME MINISTER: He lives in London. That’s unlikely.

CLAIRSY: Well, it may be funded. I know you’d fund it yourself. But, how are the wedding plans going Anthony?


CLAIRSY: Anything?

PRIME MINISTER: We’ve been a bit busy. You know. I’m here in Perth today. I’ll be in Sydney tomorrow morning and then in Tasmania tomorrow afternoon.

CLAIRSY: Right, okay.

PRIME MINISTER: And then back in Canberra on the weekend.

LISA: So, there’s time for a bit of tablescaping in between on the plane.

PRIME MINISTER: We will, of course, do it. We’re locked in.

CLAIRSY: Okay. Well done.

PRIME MINISTER: And it’s quite a nice time to be engaged. It’s good.

LISA: Now, as a rugby league man who has previously backed Papua New Guinea’s bid to be the next NRL club, how do you feel about Perth trying to get a dog in that fight again?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, look, I think good luck to Perth. I’ve seen the Bunnies play here in Perth. I saw them play the Titans here.

LISA: Okay.

PRIME MINISTER: At the, I’m not sure what the ground’s called. They change names all the time.

LISA: Especially that one.

PRIME MINISTER: So, look, I think there’s a big market here for rugby league.

LISA: The crowd would have been there. Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: Shout out to one of my mates here who lives at Freo, Clayton. I grew up with him and played rugby league with, junior footy. He came over here and worked on the docks at Fremantle and he’s a huge Bunnies fan. And so there’s a lot of people who follow rugby league here. There’s a good local competition here as well. And so I think there’s a market for it. And I think the idea is that Perth would team up with either the Jets or the Bears in Sydney. I know that John Singleton, Singo, is very keen on the Perth Jets. I’m aware of that.

CLAIRSY: Perth Jets.

PRIME MINISTER: We’ll see how it goes.

CLAIRSY: Yeah, well, there’s been a push ever since the Reds folded.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, the old Western Reds with Mark Geyer who’s now on brekkie radio in Sydney.

CLAIRSY: Yeah, absolutely. Oh, there you go.

LISA: All right. Well, we must let you get away, you’ve got a plane to catch and you’re on Spicks and Specks next week.

CLAIRSY: That’ll be fun.

PRIME MINISTER: Recording, I don’t know when they show it.

LISA: We’ll keep an eye out for that one.

PRIME MINISTER: It’s coming, yeah. So, that’ll be a good bit of fun.

CLAIRSY: You will want to get a good night where you can get a few early answers and get your confidence up against Myf.

LISA: I would go in with great confidence if I was you. Not too many people have had Nick Cave for lunch, playing the piano, breakfast, playing piano at The Lodge.

CLAIRSY: They’ll be so jealous.

LISA: Thank you so much for stopping by.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks guys.

/Public Release. View in full here.