Australian Prime Minister Radio Interview – Hit WA

Prime Minister

Joining us right now in the studio is the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese. Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. Wonderful to be back in Perth.

ALDWORTH: It’s so weird saying that like, it’s like we see each other so often. It’s just like I want to be casual a little bit but I’m like no, he is the Prime Minister of the country. I better be pretty serious when I do the introduction. Thanks for coming back into WA. We appreciate it.

PRIME MINISTER: Good. And this time I brought Premier Li with me.

ALDWORTH: Yes.

PRIME MINISTER: So yesterday when we were at Kings Park there, that footage would have been like a big ad come to WA to over a billion people.

ALDWORTH: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: That would have seen that in China.

ALDWORTH: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: So it’s really important that I’m Prime Minister for the whole country, not just the East Coast. I know that in the past WA, hasn’t been given the attention that it deserves. But I always love being here.

ALDWORTH: You’ve been here a number of times.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, well, I’m promised 10 times a year and I’ve more than delivered on that. So yeah.

CARLY PORTCH, HOST: Well, that’s good to hear politician over-delivering for once.

ALDWORTH: My mate saw your motorcade yesterday on Kwinana Freeway yesterday. That’s something that you don’t do too often. That must have been pretty cool.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it, security concerns in today’s world. So up in Kings Park too, there were police on horseback and we had a chopper in the air. We don’t normally get that.

ALDWORTH: We don’t.

PRIME MINISTER: But it was a really good event. WA exports 75 per cent of them, go to one country to China. And what that represents is jobs and economic activity here and revenue for West Australians. And so we had an important business roundtable yesterday, then there was a community event at lunchtime. That was packed out they could have fitted they told me there were 300 people at the community lunch. They told me they could have fitted 3,000. Yeah, there was extraordinary demand. And that’s a good thing and it’s important that we have good relations with our economic partners.

ALDWORTH: For sure. Now I know a number of things were discussed and I just wanted to, quickly want to touch as you talked about the trading and whatnot, rock lobsters unfortunately didn’t get mentioned. I’ve got a mate out at Ledge Point. He was an Aussie lobster man at one point, Jason. Yeah. Like what have we got to do? I know you even served it up at one point, you know?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, we had it at lunch just giving it –

ALDWORTH: You could have just passively like –

PRIME MINISTER: Give it a nudge along. Well, we certainly did. Look I’m pretty confident that we’ll resolve that final issue.

ALDWORTH: Okay.

PRIME MINISTER: We’ve resolved barley and meat and timber and coal and so many products. Wine, of course has made a big difference.

ALDWORTH: Big priority for Carly. Glad that we dealt with that.

PRIME MINISTER: Well it’s very important.

PORTCH: It really is.

PRIME MINISTER: And great for the Margaret River here. There’s such fantastic wine that was certainly served yesterday to the Premier and his delegation.

PORTCH: Now I often wonder, you’re in a very precarious situation right with these diplomatic situations, because literally first impressions last and you have to watch all of your mannerisms. So when you go into these things, do you have someone help you out with like small talk or because there’s a lot of pressure and I get a bit of social anxiety, I don’t know about you. But this is literally there’s a lot riding on someone liking you and making a good first impression.

PRIME MINISTER: I think the key is to be yourself.

ALDWORTH: No, not for me.

PRIME MINISTER: I just engage very directly, pretty honestly but respectfully as well. There’s no point, you know, banging the table. You’ve got to put Australia’s views very clearly. And I take that responsibility seriously, but also be a bit warm, as well. So Premier Li and I have now met a number of times. I went to China last year to Shanghai and Beijing. That was the first visit since 2016 of an Australian PM. And we’ve also met on the sideline of other international events. Here on Monday he asked to see my office. I took him into my own personal office. He has met Jodie, my partner a couple of times and they got to have a chat. He met my son as well on Monday, and we just engage. One of the things that he said yesterday at lunch I thought was quite perceptive. He said state to state relations, like relations between countries begin with people to people relations.

PORTCH: That is a good point.

PRIME MINISTER: And that’s the thing and just as me coming to Perth regularly and engaging, we’re pretty familiar with each other now. It’s much more relaxed. If I come in here, and we’ve never met before, it’s a different form of interview.

ALDWORTH: In saying that, we’ve always got along but let’s be real, right?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, that’s true, because you’re pretty relaxed.

ALDWORTH: I’m chill.

PRIME MINISTER: We’ve got this got this wonderful spotlight.

PORTCH: I just want to shift gears for half a second, and this has been something that has been on the agenda for a while, that is women’s safety in this country. I actually wanted to take this opportunity to play a piece of audio. So to set the scene I was one of the many women that shares, women right across this country and men across this country’s concerns, with the statistics around domestic violence. So I marched. Now, this kind of really hit home the national crisis that this is. So I was covering it for the show, I literally turned to the woman next to me out of a sea of thousands, and asked her why she was marching. And this to me kind of sums up the crisis that we’re in. So if you just indulge me for half a second and listen to the random woman’s take on domestic violence and how it affected her.

PORTCH: Claire, why is it important for you too march today?

MARCH PARTICIPANT: Because the abject failure that allowed a dangerous man to get bail and kill my friend. She passed away on Monday. She is the 30th woman in Australia to die at the hands of a domestic partner since the start of this year. It is outrageous that this is still something we deal with and we have to be out here doing this. When will we be safe?

PORTCH: And having the Prime Minister of Australia in front of me right now, and speaking on behalf of women in this country. When will we be safe Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER: That is a very powerful statement from a woman who is distressed for understandable reasons. It shouldn’t happen. We need to tackle the scourge of domestic and family violence. The fact that more than a woman has, more than one woman a week has died at the hands of a partner or former partner this year is a terrible statistic. But the statistics don’t tell the human story of the impact that has on women, on their kids, on people who know them, such as that young woman being brave enough to express her feelings so directly there. Look, my Government is determined to make a difference. We’re working with the different state and territory governments. But we also acknowledge that this isn’t just a matter of governments, it’s a whole of society problem. And so we need to address the behavior of men. We need to address issues such as online impact that some of the misogynistic material that floats around and goes to some of our youngest Australians as well, are no doubt impacted by it. We need to address perpetrators.

PORTCH: I think that’s the thing that as women we want. We’re kind of seeing the onus keep being put on the victims and getting themselves to a safe space. So on a federal level, you spoke about state and we’ve seen some amazing reforms there. But on a federal level, what are we doing?

PRIME MINISTER: Most of the laws when it comes to perpetrators, of course, and crimes, such as bail laws are state laws. That’s the truth. But what we’re doing as well, at a federal level is bringing together state and territory governments so that we get best practice replicated. So they have the strength of looking at what has worked. We had a Royal Commission in Victoria, there are many lessons learnt there.

ALDWORTH: Could we see an all-round Royal Commission? I’ve heard a lot of people pushing for that.

PORTCH: We need to hear from the victims.

PRIME MINISTER: We know what needs to happen. So many of the lessons that have come from that we need education, of people. We need to make sure that we address the online issues which are there. We need to address what happens with perpetrators, as well as we do need to provide more safe spaces. I know in my home state of New South Wales, there was major, the biggest ever announcement for public housing in yesterday’s New South Wales Budget. Some of that takes the billion dollars that we’ve allocated for housing for women and children escaping domestic violence, will make an enormous difference as well. Because sometimes, if people don’t have somewhere to go, they feel trapped in an unsafe situation.

PORTCH: Absolutely.

ALDWORTH: Thank you so much for your time today Prime Minister, we appreciate you coming back into our studio it’s always a great chat and thank you so much for your time.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks very much.

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