Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – KIIS 106.5 Kyle & Jackie O

Prime Minister

Prime Minister, you’re on Kyle and Jackie. And also Sunrise. Good morning.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Good morning. How are you going, everyone?


PRIME MINISTER: This is very loose. Who would have thought that Kyle and Jackie O’s show going to Melbourne would be loose?

SANDILANDS: Exactly. Now, Prime Minister, it’s also my wedding anniversary today as well. Can you believe it?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, gee, that’s gone quick. That was a fantastic occasion, wasn’t it?

SANDILANDS: Do you want to ask, yes, Shirvo wants to ask you a question, Prime Minister.

MATT SHIRVINGTON: PM, we saw some of the photos of Kyle’s wedding. What happened behind the scenes when the cameras were turned off?

SANDILANDS: Let’s not get too detailed there, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER: It was all good. And I got to sit next to Kyle’s mum and she is lovely. And we got chatting away and we had a very good time. It was very disciplined. There was good dancing and a bit of singing.

NATALIE BARR: Were you up on the floor, were you, Albo?

PRIME MINISTER: It was terrific. What goes on at a wedding stays at the wedding.

SANDILANDS: That’s right. He’s no fool. Well, look, I’m not sure what to do. We’ve got the Prime Minister and the leading television show.

NATALIE BARR: We’ll let him talk to you now. And we can have him next. We will pass him around.

SANDILANDS: Appreciate it. Sorry, Albo.

PRIME MINISTER: That was a first, talking to Sunrise on the radio.

SANDILANDS: I know. What are you doing today, Prime Minister? I saw you at the rally yesterday, or over the weekend, telling everyone, men need to make a difference. Men need to change and blokes need to call other blokes out if you know someone’s being abusive in their relationship or just being like a gronky bloke. I agree. Why were people booing and hissing? What was the problem? Weren’t you doing what they wanted to be done, shining the light on the problem?

PRIME MINISTER: It was fine, Kyle. People, particularly women, are frustrated and angry. When once every four days, on average, a woman is dying at the hands of a domestic partner, that is shocking. And we all need to change, you know, this isn’t just governments, this is civil society. This is a cultural change that we need to be a part of. And we’ll all benefit. Respectful relationships are good for everyone. And so, we’ve got the national plan to end violence against women and children and we’re working with state and territory governments. We’ll have a National Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the full range of issues. The legal system, is it working properly? How can we not just support victims, the focus has got to be on perpetrators and on prevention, stopping it happening.

LAST: What do you see is the answer to that? What do you think is the answer? Or at least trying to kind of, I guess in a way you’ve got to make sure that this next generation that are coming through are really educated on all of this.


LAST: And I also think a lot of it can come from other problems and I think therapy is a massive issue. You know, not a lot of people seek therapy when they are the perpetrator. There are things going on there.

SANDILANDS: Well, they’re in denial.

LAST: They’re in denial. It’s such a huge problem and I don’t know, where do you as the Government even begin to try and fix it?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, you’re right, Jackie. It is such a huge problem. The truth is that there’s not a single thing that you can do that will fix it. There’s a full range of issues that you need to deal with. You need to deal with perpetrators, you need to provide a safe place for women to be able to go. So, issues like homes for them to go to.

SANDILANDS: That’s the first thing. I grew up in this situation. And still to this day, if a young mum, like, let’s say with two kids getting the tripe flogged out of her on a regular basis, she’s got limited options. She’s financially hamstrung through the offender, she has the children, she’s got to leave everything she knows to get away from that horrific situation. And it just doesn’t seem, I know there’s lots of little foundations, but I think the first thing we need to do is make the safe haven, a place where a mum can get her kids at three in the morning, ring someone, get picked up and taken away and be safe. I think that’s where it should start. Because that’s something we can do immediately. The other stuff is longer format education, you know, re-educating an entire, you know, group of people on how to behave. But first things first, I feel.

PRIME MINISTER: You’re right, Kyle. And last year we passed legislation to provide 4,000 homes for women and children escaping domestic violence as part of our Housing Australia Future Fund. The other thing we’ve done in terms of financing, there was a report that showed essentially, recommended by Doctor Anne Summers, who’s an academic, did a really powerful report about single parenting payment that it used to cut off at a much younger age before people hit the youngest child, hit the teen years. We’ve increased that up to 14 so that women don’t feel as though they don’t have an option of leaving what is a violent relationship. And that’s been really important. Ten days paid domestic violence leave is really important as well. People who were working and they felt as though they couldn’t get in that, that’s part of a transition when they’re in that situation as well, is really important. And that passed the Parliament with very broad support. Domestic violence workers, we need more of them on the ground as well. We need training for frontline workers who are dealing with these issues. You know, there’s a full suite of measures that we need. And it’s not just governments. This discussion is a part of dealing with the issue. We’ve got to talk about it. When I was younger in the neighbourhood I grew up, like every neighbourhood, there were issues and they weren’t spoken about.

SANDILANDS: It was a shameful thing. People hid it because they were ashamed and, you know, it was hard to deal with. And you’re right, society didn’t talk about it. But I think it’s a good thing. Like, I heard something on the news on the weekend, you know, call out your mate. Blokes should be calling out other blokes that are doing the wrong thing. I 100 per cent agree with that. The first thing, if you’ve got a mate who’s flogging his missus, you’ve got to say, you’ve got to stop this. It’s not on in any way. But if men don’t bring it up, I think that’s a great way to start. Blokes telling blokes, enough is enough.

LAST: Such a big problem, though. You’re right in terms of funding. Like, I do work for Two Good charity and they help women now get back out into the workforce and become financially independent, which is one of the big things they need to do to be able to leave that situation permanently and not go back, which so many do. But I was so surprised at how much that cost per person. I can’t remember the exact amount.

SANDILANDS: A boggling amount.

LAST: But it really was. And I thought, my god, this problem is extremely difficult to fix when there are so many women in this situation.

SANDILANDS: They’re trapped in that situation too.

PRIME MINISTER: There is. We’ve put $2.3 billion into this issue in our first two budgets, but clearly there’s more that we’ve got to do. And it has just reached a point where women basically organised the marches right around the country over the last few days. And the fact that tens of thousands of Australians marched to say, enough is enough.

SANDILANDS: It was good.

PRIME MINISTER: It is. But it’s a pity that it was necessary, frankly.

SANDILANDS: Yes, it’s terrible. But also, there was on the news, you were like, we wanted to, asked to speak at this thing and then this woman beside you went, that’s a lie. I’m sure you’re not going to get up on stage and lie. So, what was going on there? It was like it sort of muddied the waters and mixed the messages of what you were there to do, which is focus the spotlight. Why was that organiser saying, ‘Oh, that’s a lie?’ What was going on?

PRIME MINISTER: Look, just congratulations to her and the other organisers for organising the rally.

SANDILANDS: It’s quite emotional, I suppose, isn’t it? It’s emotionally driven.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, people are really frustrated, you know, I get that completely. And good on them for organising. I was happy to go along and March and just participate in that way to show solidarity. So, it is, I think, really important that people in leadership positions, I noticed premiers around the whole country were out there marching as well over the weekend.

SANDILANDS: Well, keep an eye on this whole thing, Prime Minister. I’m glad you got your eye on it. It is a problem. I’m glad you guys have focused on that. And thanks for coming on this morning. We appreciate that.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks very much. And congratulations, guys. Broadcasting now to an even larger audience.

SANDILANDS: It’s the beginning of the national takeover, I like to call it. A 20-year plan in the making.

LAST: Hey, one less interview for you now.

SANDILANDS: Prime Minister. Appreciate that, bro.

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