Australian Prime Minister Radio interview – Triple M Mackay and the Whitsundays

Prime Minister

: It’s good to see that the Revitalisation Project kicks off today. Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, he’s kicking things off. He joins us at the moment. Look, Prime Minister, can we just call you Albo?

ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Too many syllables in that for you, is there?

PETERS: I mean, we’re thinking AA, but that’s something else.

DAVE SHIPSTON, HOST: That’s very true.

PRIME MINISTER: Indeed it is. No, Albo is absolutely fine. I’m looking forward to being in Mackay today.

SHIPSTON: Look mate, you’ve been busy over the weekend, sadly enough that you had to attend a candlelight vigil, which for something that we wish didn’t happen in Sydney, but on a lighter night here in Mackay. I mean, the Riverside Revitalisation Project, this is a massive thing for our locals. What does it mean for the Government to be pumping in some money into something that’s very important to our region?

PRIME MINISTER: It just will uplift the whole region. When I was Infrastructure Minister, we had a program to support the CBD there, just to revitalise it, give it a bit of spark. And this Riverside Revitalisation Project is a cracker. It’s a really good upgrade. This is the first stage we’re opening today. It’s a joint project between the Commonwealth and the local council and I’m really looking forward to it. Programs like this make it really good for local residents. But also, of course, Mackay is one of the tourism capitals that’ll be great for visitors, like myself.

PETERS: It is one of the very few blue rivers in Mackay.

SHIPSTON: You’re right there? You’re so excited, Dave, you’re choking up on the other side of the desk.

PETERS: I was, yeah. There’s only a handful of blue rivers in Australia and this is one of them, so why wouldn’t we celebrate?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, absolutely. And you know, we have other programs, of course, in Mackay. We’ve got the ring road project that’s going gangbusters there. That started the first stage of that more than ten years ago when I was the Minister. So, it’ll be great to be back there today. It’s a great city. It helps to drive the national economy, of course, with the local projects and agriculture, but also the important workforce it provides for the resources sector there.

SHIPSTON: Look, it is one of the jewels of our region. Like Dave was trying to say before you got choked up, Dave. You got very choked up, didn’t you?

PETERS: I get emotional.

SHIPSTON: Do you have an official ribbon to cut today, Albo? You got a golden pair of scissors. What’s the go, mate?

PRIME MINISTER: I think the Council’s in charge of that. But I understand there will be a ribbon.

SHIPSTON: Oh, good.

PETERS: When it’s all sorted and done, once it’s all finished, can you come back up here and cut the ribbon while on a Jet Ski so the ribbon will be across the river?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I could try to do that. Whether I would be successful or not is, well, it depends how you define success. It would be very successful for the onlookers to see what would be a complete debacle.

SHIPSTON: I could just see your name there now. Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister, “who did”. Like uou know, if we suggested that you do something like that, you would do something like that. You know, you come across like the guy that would do something like that.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I would try to do something like that, badly, no doubt.

PETERS: Well, look, we almost had a former mayor go into the drink trying to fish out a rubber duck.

SHIPSTON: That’s right. I remember that. That was Deirdre Comerford. Hey, we’re just talking about being, you know, the blue river water throughout Mackay here, Albo. We’re talking earlier this morning. Are you a fisherman at all? Do you know your fish very well?

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, I’m not a huge fisherman because of the time factor.

SHIPSTON: Yeah, right.

PRIME MINISTER: It’s a very relaxing pursuit. I must say that.

SHIPSTON: We found out this morning that some fish can change their sex. They can go from male to female.

PRIME MINISTER: I knew that fun fact.

SHIPSTON: Oh, you did. I didn’t know that till today. I was 43 when I found out that fact. That’s ridiculous.

PRIME MINISTER: No, no, you should, you got to look at the education system, it’s failing.

PETERS: I don’t care. As long as they taste good, I don’t care.

SHIPSTON: It’s very true. Albo mate, it’s always good to talk to you. We can’t wait to see you in Mackay today for the Revitalisation Project.

PRIME MINISTER: What’s the weather like today?

PETERS: Beautiful.

PRIME MINISTER: I’m in Canberra. And it’s pretty miserable at this point in time.

SHIPSTON: Look, there’s a couple of clouds floating by. Blue skies otherwise, it’s going to be a cracking day on the water, that’s for sure.

PETERS: Bring your togs.

PRIME MINISTER: Well, I’ll try not to dive into that beautiful blue river.

SHIPSTON: Not with the speedos on anyway. Hey, before we let you go, I’ve been told that you like a bit of a request, so we’re going to let you choose a song this morning, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER: Can we get Flame Trees by Chisels?

SHIPSTON: We can do that. And you know what, Josh, your media advisor knows you so well because he said, I bet you any money it’ll be this. So, he was absolutely correct.

PRIME MINISTER: It’s so good. It’s a good morning song, you know, to get you going. Bit of inspiration from Barnsie, who’s been through a hard time with his heart and everything, but he’s fighting fit.

SHIPSTON: Look, you are the Prime Minister of the country. We cannot fight with that. Anthony Albanese, welcome to Mackay later today. Here’s your song. Chisel, Flame Trees on Triple M. Thanks for joining us, mate. Appreciate your time.

PRIME MINISTER: Thanks, guys.

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