Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – Nova 106.9 Brisbane

Prime Minister

: We’ve got the Prime Minister in the studio. Prime Minister.


SUSIE O’NEILL, HOST: Welcome, Prime Minister.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Something was happening there.

ASH: You haven’t got your headphones on. Last time we had you on, we asked you for the correct way. Good morning, by the way. But we asked you for the correct way to pronounce your name and you told us.


PRIME MINISTER: Exactly. But, you know, Albo’s easier, in the great Australian tradition.

SUSIE: When did you get to Brisbane? Were you there last night at the Met? I was performing in a DJ set and there was rumours that you were going to be there.

PRIME MINISTER: You were performing?

SUSIE: Were you there? Is that why you came up to Brisbane?

PRIME MINISTER: No. If I had have known, because I was here last night, I was at a business function that was much more sedate than your DJ set. Oh, look at that. You’re going off there.

DAVID “LUTTSY” LUTTERAL, HOST: Yeah, there was a huge crowd. Over a thousand people.


ASH: Packed a nightclub. Suse DJ’d for the first time ever.

PRIME MINISTER: And what did you? What did you play?

SUSIE: I finished with Sweet Caroline.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, that’ll always get them going.

SUSIE: Yeah, but it’s not about me. It’s about you. What are you doing up here in Brisbane?

PRIME MINISTER: I have yesterday, we did a big announcement to make batteries here. Some $540 million as part of our Future Made in Australia plan. We want to bring manufacturing here to Queensland and to the whole country, because we need to be more resilient. That’s one of the lessons of the pandemic, is the risks that we have, if we stop making things. And we have everything that goes into a battery, we should be making them here.

LUTTSY: A big money spinner for us.

ASH: And it’s the way that it has been working? We’ve kind of been producing the necessary ingredients and then shipping it overseas to sort of put your cake together?

PRIME MINISTER: That’s exactly right. We’re the world’s biggest producer of lithium, and we chuck it all overseas, wait for someone else to add the jobs and the value, and then import it back. What we should be doing is adding value ourselves, creating jobs ourselves and producing the economic benefit here. And Queensland has such an exciting opportunity because you have these large deposits of the things that we need, vanadium and lithium and copper and everything else that will power this century. But you also have something that’s pretty good, too, we have around Australia, and that’s space. We can have large solar farms producing clean energy and then using that clean energy to produce hydrogen and then using that to produce green metals. So, green aluminium, green steel, batteries, solar panels, there’s a whole range of things that we can be producing here that will make an enormous difference to us. One of the things, on one of my visits to Queensland during the pandemic, I did three road trips down the coast. Well, two down the coast, one from Cairns and one from Townsville, and then another one from Barcaldine through Emerald and then to Rocky and then down. And it struck me, when you get to Maryborough, because of the rail manufacturing there, you’ve seen this explosion, a really successful regional town. We need to replicate that. And that is just one of the examples of what we can do in this country.

LUTTSY: So, when you say solar farms, you mean, like, for example, when you drive from LA to Vegas, you see these, like, expanses of solar panels? Is that what you’re talking about?

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah. And you see it –

LUTTSY: Literally like hundreds of football fields.

PRIME MINISTER: Literally. Exactly. And it’s there now, at places like, if you go between Mount Isa and Townsville, you have projects like Big Kennedy and Little Kennedy, which is a big wind farm, and a little wind farm. You have Kidston, which is using solar, huge operations that are producing energy, and you can use that clean energy to produce green hydrogen, which is essentially a fuel source that you can then make steel and aluminium, etc. So, Rio Tinto in Gladstone have recently signed a $3.5 billion deal, one company for renewable energy into that site where they produce aluminium.

LUTTSY: Just for their Gladstone site?

PRIME MINISTER: Just for their Gladstone site. So, there’s a lot of change happening, but our task is to seize the opportunity which is there and to be optimistic about it. The whole global economy is changing as the world goes to net zero. And to take that opportunity so that we get the advantage. And we’re so well positioned. I mean, we’ve got the fastest growing region of the world in human history just to our north, and that can be a big bonus for us, for our future.

LUTTSY: And that helps punters as well. Like, does that help Queenslanders and their bottom line?

PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. It gives them jobs. It gives them income for Queensland. And because Queensland’s the most regional of our states, in terms of your population, there’s a lot of people here in southeast Queensland.

LUTTSY: Everyone’s moving here too.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it’s a great place to live.

LUTTSY: A lot of South Sydney fans move here every week.

PRIME MINISTER: There’s always a random Souths guy.

LUTTSY: There’s a lot of random Souths guys.

PRIME MINISTER: I noticed watching a few of the games over Magic Round, no matter who was playing, there were Souths people, loyalists there, they were crying some of them in the stands.

ASH: PM, moving on from that for a second. I know it’s something that everyone’s passionate about in the room, but particularly David and Suse. You talk about seizing opportunities and making the most of things for Queenslanders. The Olympics is on our doorstep. We’ve got it. It’s coming. There’s, you know, there’s no denying that. Are you confident that we’re going to be able to put on a decent Olympics? Are you comfortable with where we are at, at the moment? Because it seems to be up in the air and there’s a lot of debate around the Olympic Games. So, what’s your thoughts on that?

PRIME MINISTER: You bet I am. It’ll be a cracker. Look, I live in Sydney, or used to, now in Canberra most of the time. And I remember around about this time, we’re eight years away, before the Sydney Olympics there was a lot of cynicism. There was, “oh, will it all work? Will it be worth it?” People talking about, “Oh, I’m going to rent out my place and leave Sydney.” Those who left Sydney during that time regret it. It was awesome. And the Brisbane Games will be fantastic. We had big Budget announcements for Olympic based sports, including a very substantial, the largest ever increase in funding for the Australian Institute of Sport. It will be a huge opportunity to showcase this great city and great state to the whole world. So, it’s a flow on effect as well. And I’m very confident that Queensland will do it very well.

LUTTSY: And you’ve pushed in hard. The feds have actually pushed in hard with, you know, billions of dollars. Hopefully we’ll get Brisbane Arena, Brisbane live, going. Our concern is like, and can you lean on, can you use your persuasive skills to lean on making sure that Brisbane gets around? I know it’s not even your area, but a new round stadium, like the Nathan thing is a joke and again, not your problem. State problem. But they’re your colleagues. We need to put, we need to put a line through that, we just need that for people that live in Brisbane, which is us. We need to put a line through that because that’s, it can’t be, it cannot be. The Olympics would be a joke if we have it there.

PRIME MINISTER: Look, I’m not micromanaging the Olympics.

LUTTSY: I know, I know. Not your problem, I’ll say that.

PRIME MINISTER: I think it will be a huge success. I think when it goes ahead, people will be enthusiastic about it. I was here when Brisbane won the Games and the excitement that was there was palpable. You could feel it. And I just think the energy of, think about Magic Round. I mean, I didn’t get up here this year, it’s just so good walking around. People are happy, they’re engaged with each other, strangers are talking to strangers on the street, people walking around in their gear.

LUTTSY: It’s Magic Round times a thousand.

PRIME MINISTER: It will be fantastic. It’ll be great.

SUSIE: Are you hoping to be Prime Minister at that period?


SUSIE: Yeah.

PRIME MINISTER: Not necessarily. I’m two years in, yesterday, it was my two-year birthday yesterday.

SUSIE: There’ll be an election this year?

PRIME MINISTER: Next year is when it is due.

SUSIE: Next year.

PRIME MINISTER: Next year. Every three years, which isn’t long enough, really, but. everyone else has four years.

LUTTSY: I know you play tennis, but you did your calf recently. Can I recommend pickleball?

PRIME MINISTER: Pickleball? I am dying to play pickleball.

ASH: We’ve got a Tuesday night league next time you’re in town.

LUTTSY: You are welcome.

PRIME MINISTER: Tuesday night you’re on.

LUTTSY: And, like, you do less calf muscles doing pickleball.

PRIME MINISTER: Tennis for mature people.

LUTTSY: Let’s go mature.


SUSIE: What are you up to today, Prime Minister?

PRIME MINISTER: Today I am going back to Sydney. I’m doing a big speech at the Olympic Stadium funnily enough, in Sydney, there at Homebush for the two-year anniversary of the election and what we’ve been doing and where we’re headed. So, a big day today.

SUSIE: Okay, good luck.

ASH: Well, congratulations on two years in the hot seat.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much.

ASH: And thanks for dropping in. We’re sorry, we didn’t order any Guzman for you. It literally turned up just before you arrived. We would have got your breakfast burrito.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, you could have, you know, slipped me half or something. I’m being offered here, for those actually listening rather than watching, I’m being offered a semi chewed end.

PRODUCER: When the Prime Minister asks you for something, you deliver.

PRIME MINISTER: Sometimes, you know, you don’t want to get what you asked for. And that is one of those occasions. But thank you for the generous offer.

LUTTSY: And mum, just text me asking if there’s a wedding in the air?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, there is.

SUSIE: Is it today?


LUTTSY: Big fan, by the way she is.

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, good on your mum. Listen to your mother. Yeah, no, we’re very happy. We’re engaged of course. We’ve got engaged earlier this year.

LUTTSY: So no date?

PRIME MINISTER: No date yet. Well, the problem is my diary. Trying to find a time off. Because we want to have not just a wedding. You want to have, you know, at least a week or two. So, we will, but we’re very happy and we will set a date when we can.

PRODUCER: Have your honeymoon a Magic Round next year. Bring her up for the three days.

LUTTSY: Go to a Raiders game.

PRIME MINISTER: We met, of course, when I was at a dinner in Melbourne and I got sledged as I got to the microphone. “He’s a good bloke, and all of this. But he’s only got one thing wrong with him. He’s a Souths supporter.” And I said, “There’s always a random Souths guy in the room.” And Jodie yelled out, “Up the Rabbitohs.” And that’s how we met. I’m dead serious. And it turned out she lived in Stanmore in my electorate, but I didn’t know that. And then I ran into her again a couple of weeks later. So, South Sydney, bringing people together. We’re lovers, not fighters.

ASH: Should play the South Sydney anthem as she walks down the aisle.

PRIME MINISTER: Her parents, are more fanatical than I. I was on the board for years. Her parents go to every game. They go to the Charity Shield. They catch the train and the bus. They live up the Central Coast. They’re good Coasties. And they are very passionate, her whole family.

LUTTSY: You have to marry this woman. She is made for you.


LUTTSY: That’s crazy.

PRIME MINISTER: Yeah. No, it’s a very strange way to meet someone, isn’t it? Who would’ve thought that romance could begin there?

PRODUCER: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and coming in here today.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, guys.

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