5AA Adelaide Breakfast with David Penberthy and Will Goodings
Political leaders and sport, Australian steel industry, tobacco excise
David Penberthy: Hey it’s time for two tribes, we usually do it on Wednesdays after 8:30 but Chris Pyne was …
Will Goodings: On a plane.
David Penberthy: … he was out in the west I think.
Will Goodings: Yep, he was flying back to Adelaide.
David Penberthy: So we’ve got Anthony Albanese and Chris Pyne together this morning. Chris Pyne, good morning to you.
Christopher Pyne: Good morning David, and good morning Anthony.
David Penberthy: Good morning Anthony Albanese.
Anthony Albanese: Good morning lads. You leave Kurt Tippett alone.
Will Goodings: Oh come on.
David Penberthy: Oh you’re not one of those Sydney bandwagon jumpers are you Albo?
Christopher Pyne: Exactly [indistinct].
Anthony Albanese: Well I’m actually a Hawks fan.
David Penberthy: I thought you were a Hawks fan.
Anthony Albanese: I’m a Hawks fan, but I won’t …
Christopher Pyne: [Talks over] you wouldn’t know
Anthony Albanese: Well, let’s compete Christopher. I play in the Community Cup, you should come and participate mate.
Christopher Pyne: Oh, you’ve got an answer to every single line don’t you.
Anthony Albanese: I saw the Swannies beat GWS last Saturday, I know more about AFL than your Prime Minister.
Christopher Pyne: Oh God.
Anthony Albanese: Who’s pretending?
Christopher Pyne: Why can’t you let somebody have a bit of fun for a change.
Christopher Pyne: You’ve always got to rain on everybody’s parade.
Anthony Albanese: I wish he’d have fun. He went to the AFL Grand Final and didn’t leave the luncheon room.
Christopher Pyne: Your premier Bob Carr, he used to take a book on the civil war to the rugby.
Anthony Albanese: [Talks over] He was hopeless. He was completely hopeless when it came to sport.
Christopher Pyne: He used to sit there and read his book.
Anthony Albanese: Absolutely he did. I took him when Souths got [indistinct] …
David Penberthy: [Interrupts] This is the political equivalent of my dad’s tougher than your dad.
Will Goodings: [Laughs].
David Penberthy: Whose leader knows less about football?
Anthony Albanese: I’ve got a great Bob Carr story here. Souths got kicked out of the comp and I was on the horn and I convinced him you’ve got to come, we’ve come back, it’s a great Cinderella story, we sold out, it was trial game that sold out at Sydney Football Stadium as it was then. Bob Carr convinced, eventually he came, and then he left before the game started.
Anthony Albanese: I got- Simon Crean was the Labor Leader, he came up from Melbourne, sat there watched the whole game. He left before the game. And I rang him up after and he said what’s the problem, I came? I said you came for the lunch, it’s about the football Bob. And he was the local member.
David Penberthy: He was a huge sports fan, Bob Carr. Famously said that …
Anthony Albanese: He was. He didn’t pretend, nor should Malcolm.
David Penberthy: He famously said that- no it was Keating wasn’t it, who said about Blocker Roach kicked a lot of tries for Balmain. But Bob Carr was the one who predicted that New South Wales would beat Victoria in the State of Origin one year [laughs] .
Anthony Albanese: That’s right [laughs].
Christopher Pyne: What Bob Carr didn’t know about pilates is not worth knowing.
David Penberthy: Hey Chris, we want to kick off with you just about this issue of compulsory procurement of Australian steel. Obviously in light of the dramas at Arrium that’s been a big talker. And I’m not sure if you would have seen today’s ‘Tiser yet, but the State Government’s taken out full page ads calling on all other state governments to put Australian steel first. What do you make of that campaign? Do you support it? Do you think that there’s a way where Australia could almost mandate the purchase of Australian steel without offending the free trade obligations?
Christopher Pyne: Well I don’t believe in mandating, no, because it creates a monopoly for Arrium steel in construction steel, and a monopoly for BlueScope in flat steel, and that means that taxpayers can basically be charged any price that they decide. So I think mandating is a bad, reckless policy. It was Labor’s policy last Friday morning, they dumped it yesterday. So their mandating of Australian steel in government construction was dumped by them yesterday. I do encourage though the idea of Australian steel, and that’s why we have industry participation plans with government construction. Most of the construction’s done by state and territory governments, so I welcome the South Australian Government’s new commitment to using Australian steel, particularly out of Arrium. I wish they’d use more in things like the Royal Adelaide Hospital et cetera, but they’re certainly leading the way now nationally in asking the other states to follow their lead. And the one small tweak that they’ve made which I think is good is that not just- that state and territory governments don’t just have to say they’re using Australian standard steel …
Christopher Pyne: … they have to make sure it’s certified as Australian standard steel, [indistinct] an improvement. So I do support their campaign, but I don’t support mandating.
David Penberthy: Chris Pyne can we also ask you, we got a text through from one of our listeners, Keith at Seaton, saying he’d love to ask you guys to ask Mr Pyne if there’ll be a huge increase in cigarette tax. Been a Liberal voter for 34 years, as is my brother, and both smokers. If the proposed hike is in the Budget I’ll not be voting for the Liberals this year.
Christopher Pyne: Well Labor has a proposal to double the income- the tobacco tax, they’ve got a proposal to smash negative gearing, increase the rents, house rents, reduce the value of houses, they also want to double the tobacco tax, and that’s …
Anthony Albanese: [Interrupts] Question was about your policy Christopher.
Christopher Pyne: We’ll announce our policy around taxation in the Budget, and I won’t be pre-empting that. But the one thing that does reduce the cost of health to the community is a reduction in smoking, that’s for sure. Notice that Anthony’s been [laughs] Anthony’s chatting to commuters as they pass him. You’re at a railway station aren’t you Anthony?
Anthony Albanese: Oh I can’t get a question in here, so.
David Penberthy: Are you handing out how to vote cards or something Albo, what are you doing?
Anthony Albanese: [Laughs] I’m handing out pamphlets at Petersham train station.
David Penberthy: Doing a big of branch stacking while we’re on air.
Anthony Albanese: In Sydney- no, I’m talking to the mob. Christopher should try it some time.
Christopher Pyne: I do.
David Penberthy: [Laughs] Nah he’s always out and about.
Christopher Pyne: You should go supermarketing with me…
David Penberthy: Hey Albo, what is Labor’s position on cigarette tax, how much are they going to cost if you guys get in?
Anthony Albanese: What’s interesting about the question that was just asked of Christopher is that he responded with what our policy was.
Christopher Pyne: Yeah, you’re going to double it.
Anthony Albanese: Our policy is to increase the taxation on cigarettes. We’ve said that. We’ve said where the money will come from. We’re an Opposition that has fully costed policies out. Yeah, it’s a difficult decision, but Christopher is right when he says that. Price does have an impact on usage, and in terms of health reducing the amount of smokers in our community is a positive thing that should happen. Generations have changed substantially, I’m very pleased that- I’ve got a 15-year-old son and I’m pleased that none of his mates – I asked him actually this week – none of his mates smoke or try it. When I was 15 – I’ve never had a cigarette in my life – but heaps of my mates sort of all did, all tried it at about that young age, and it’s a terrible thing. I buried my cousin, gave a eulogy at a funeral last month, who was diagnosed with lung cancer three weeks prior. And he was far too young to go, and it’s a terrible thing. And if we can reduce it in society then that’s a good thing. I reckon Christopher’s confirmed this morning that they’ll be increasing the tobacco tax in the Budget.
Christopher Pyne: No I haven’t, I said that there’ll be- everything will be revealed in the Budget, I confirmed no such thing.
Anthony Albanese: I’ll take that as a yes.
David Penberthy: Well all will be revealed in a couple of weeks.
Christopher Pyne: I’m not going to pre-empt the Budget.
David Penberthy: All will be revealed …
Will Goodings: Not long now.
David Penberthy: … in a couple of weeks when it comes out. We’ll leave it there. Chris Pyne and Anthony Albanese, good on you both for joining us and we’ll do it again next week. Have a good weekend.
Christopher Pyne: Thank you.
Anthony Albanese: Good to be with you, I’ll go back to talking to the good burgers of Petersham.
Christopher Pyne: Don’t scare them Anthony.
David Penberthy: Thank you guys.