Australian Prime Minister Radio Interview – B105 Brisbane

Prime Minister

Good morning, Prime Minister.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Thank you for that lovely intro.

ACTON: You’re welcome.

ABBY COLEMAN, HOST: Nice of you to be up in Queensland. We’ve got a new Premier since you came up. I mean, you’ve always been, I guess, close to Steven Miles. You would have worked with him. But are you his boss or would you just say colleague?

PRIME MINISTER: No, colleague.

COLEMAN: Who bought the beer then, when you went out with him?

PRIME MINISTER: Someone else, I’ve got to say.

COLEMAN: Don’t say taxpayers.

PRIME MINISTER: No, someone else. But I was with him in Townsville and Rocky, as well as here in Brisbane yesterday and we had a terrific day. Announced a big new hydrogen hub is going to happen in Townsville. Hundreds of jobs, really exciting industry of the future. In Rocky, we went to the ring road that’s being built there, $1.7 billion. And in Brisbane, we went to the Disaster Coordination Centre there, here at Kedron, and got a briefing on the flash flooding that’s occurred. Thirty nine people being rescued. It was a chance as well to thank the amazing people we have in emergency services and the SES.

ACTON: We’ve already had a flat out year.

PRIME MINISTER: They’ve been on the clock since December with disaster after disaster. I’ve been now to that centre twice. I’ve been to the Gold Coast centre, I’ve been to Cairns, up in Wujal Wujal I went with the Premier. That community’s just been devastated. But the good thing, I guess, if something positive comes out of it, it’s just a reminder of how fantastic people are. Australians, Queenslanders in particular, in looking after each other. At the worst of times, we see the best of the character.

COLEMAN: Steven Miles has said that he’s going to do something. You’re talking about inflation, costs of living and everything and they’re saying that a lot of the essential commodities are the ones that’s driving up inflation that people can’t pull back from, which is the groceries, because he’s done some lovely videos of him making the school lunches. Have you seen them of Steven Miles?

ACTON: His wife standing behind the camera going, what a load of crap. Just because the camera is here mate, you’re never here every other day.

COLEMAN: But he’s saying that he wants to do sort of an inquiry into farmers aren’t getting paid enough and a lot of grocery, big shopping centres have pushed it up. Is there something that you’re going to be able to support, to be able to look into why they’re still charging people so much for food?

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. And the ACCC, the competition council, are doing an inquiry into exactly the full supply chain issues. So, if a farmer sells their products, whether it’s lamb or fruit or veggies, to the supermarkets for less, the prices should come down. I think that’s what annoys people, is that supermarkets, we do have a big duopoly, really, in this country, and we do need more competition, if possible. But we need to work out exactly why is it that that’s the case and make sure that there’s transparency and accountability there. So, inflation is heading in the right direction, there’ll be figures today. We hope that they’re still going in the right direction, but that’s the major challenge that we have. But we know people are doing it tough, which is why we want to give every Australian a tax cut, not just some.

STAV DAVISON, HOST: The thing is, when do we think it’s going to get better? Because last year was a rough year and there’s a lot of people I know, like good friends of mine, two full time working parents, kids who eat, are living week to week with really good jobs that pay well and they don’t see an end in sight. Everyone’s sitting around thinking, at what point am I going to get to have some of my money that I’m making?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, there are positive signs. Inflation the last time around fell down to 4.3% on an annual basis. That was a positive thing. Real wages are increasing for the first time in over a decade. For the last two quarters, people getting more money. And on July 1, people will get a tax cut. Every taxpayer, not just some. And for average workers, which is on $73,000, they’ll get double the tax cut. The average working family with mum and dad working earns $130,000. They’ll get more than double the tax cut.

ACTON: How much is that in the pocket?

PRIME MINISTER: In the pocket, essentially for the family, instead of getting $1,000, they’ll get around about $2,600.

ACTON: A week?

PRIME MINISTER: No, annually. That’s $1,600. So, we want people to earn more and we want people to keep more of what they earn. As well as cheaper childcare has reduced costs by double digits. The figures are out, Australians have saved $250 million on the basis of our cheaper medicines policy. Fee free TAFE 300,000 people have got TAFE courses for free – that’s made a difference. And the energy price relief plan has helped people here in Queensland as well.

DAVISON: Just had a thought there, because everyone is doing it tough. Are you able to, and will you buy a Powerball ticket for the $200 million draw tomorrow? Are you allowed to?

PRIME MINISTER: I don’t know. I’m really not a gambler –

COLEMAN: I mean, people that work there are still able to.

PRIME MINISTER: I’m sure I am allowed to.

COLEMAN: Well, you gamble with money all the time.

DAVISON: Would you stay as Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER: I think if I won it might be a bit problematic, though. That’s the thing.

COLEMAN: You would have to give a lot of handouts

ACTON: Because we talk about it, if you won it, would you stay in your job? Like you’re the Prime Minister of Australia. If you won $200 million, you’d still turn up to work and deal with people.

PRIME MINISTER: I do this because of the great privilege that it is. I’m well paid for doing it, but that’s not why I do it. I do it to make a difference each and every day and get to make decisions in the national interest.

COLEMAN: You’d have to buy your own beer after that, though.

PRIME MINISTER: I always buy my own beer anyway, to be fair.

ACTON: Join our syndo.

PRIME MINISTER: I’ll even buy you guys beer.

DAVISON: Yeah, I’d appreciate it. I think if you won $200 million, I want a bit more than a beer. Just saying.

PRIME MINISTER: Maybe some black snakes.

ACTON: That would also be weird for you though, because you’re used to dealing in those sort like $200 million on a country scale of economy, isn’t that much money.

PRIME MINISTER: It’s a lot of money for an individual.

ACTON: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: That’s one of the things that we’ve been dealing with is that the cost of living that we’re talking about has had a disproportionate impact on low and middle income earners. That’s the truth. So, people on my income aren’t doing it tough. A lot of people are out there, which is why we’ve put forward the tax changes we have in recognition of that. You can’t say, ‘oh well, there’s this cost of living pressures on people, but we’re not in a position to do anything because in 2019, before these pressures were there, decisions were made’.

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