Transcript - Doorstop - Toronto - Thursday, 14 October 2021

Transcript - Doorstop - Toronto - Thursday, 14 October 2021 Main Image

By Joel Fitzgibbon

14 October 2021

JOEL FITZGIBBON, MEMBER FOR HUNTER: Good morning, everyone. Thanks for coming to Toronto on what is a most glorious day. It’s a great day for me, both to be welcoming the parliamentary leader back to the Hunter electorate and, of course, to be standing up publicly for the first time with Labor’s candidate in Hunter, Dan Repacholi. He’ll do an amazing job and I’m very confident he will retain Hunter for the Australian Labor Party. Albo, of course, has never been a stranger to the Hunter region generally. In fact, for all of his adult life, in particular since he’s been a member of Parliament, he in particular was a regular visitor here when he was Infrastructure Minister. And during that time, in fact, he spent a lot of time here investing taxpayers’ money in much-needed infrastructure projects right through our region, including, not far from here, the Glendale interchange, but even more particularly the Hunter Expressway – a $1.7 billion project which not only gets people to work more quickly and more safely but really has transformed the region’s economy, spurring new industries right up and down that corridor. Just a couple of examples of what Anthony Albanese has done for us here in the Hunter region. There are many other examples. He was a much-loved Local Government Minister in those days and had amazing relationships with local government leaders right throughout the region. Recently, I announced that I wouldn’t be contesting the next election and I think it’s fair to say that that’s not an easy decision for any MP, particularly one who has been around as long as I have. But it was made easier for me by two points. First of all, I was confident we were deliver an excellent candidate here in Hunter. And that allowed me to walk away knowing that Labor is in safe hands, that Labor is well-placed to hold the seat. And second, I was able to walk away knowing that Anthony Albanese has rebuilt the party since the debacle of the 2019 election. He’s steadied the ship. He’s turned our focus to the things that really matter for working families. And in doing so, he’s rebuilt Labor’s stocks and therefore I can now depart very, very confident, very confident that Labor will win the next federal election and Anthony Albanese will be our next prime minister. And on that basis, I’m very pleased to welcome him here today. Albo.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Thanks, mate. Well, thanks very much Fitzy for the warm welcome. And every year, Fitzy and I have dinner with an ever-dwindling group, the class of ’96. It happens to be I was elected on my birthday, with Joel, on March 2, 1996. So, each and every year we do that. And we, unfortunately though, have on nine occasions on elections since then only been in a position to form government twice. I’m absolutely determined that we will form government because Australia needs a federal Labor Government. And Joel recognises that, and I want to thank his contribution, over such a long period of time, to the great cause of Labor. The fact is that we’ve made a difference to this local community in those two short terms, too short, that we were in office. Projects like the Glendale interchange, community infrastructure projects, projects most importantly like the Hunter Expressway. The Howard Government talked about it a lot. They just didn’t do it. It took a federal Labor Government to deliver that $1.7 billion project – the largest ever federal investment in the Hunter in history since Federation. And of that $1.7 billion, $1.5 of it was from the Commonwealth, a large investment that created jobs, that made an enormous difference to this region. And what I want is to make sure that we continue to represent this beautiful community of the Hunter. And in Dan Repacholi we have a candidate who will carry on that legacy, who will join the other fine members in this area, Sharon Claydon, Pat Conroy, Meryl Swanson, in representing the interests of people here in the Hunter who need a Labor government. And this week, at the NSW conference on Saturday, I have outlined the next part of our plan for a Future Made in Australia, our Buy Australian Plan. What that is, is using the procurement, basically the purchases of goods and services that governments throughout Australia do, to support Australian jobs and to support the Australian economy. That, over the last three years, was about $200 billion. Now, what we will do is make sure that on projects, as we did with the Hunter Expressway, make sure that the projects are broken up into smaller packages so that Australian firms can compete. What we'll do is make sure that we establish our Future Made in Australia office as part of the Department of Finance, working with the Finance Minister and the Industry Minister to drive those Australian jobs. We'll make sure that support’s given to small business, support for Indigenous enterprises, to make sure that those employers, businesses that get those contracts are ones that support permanent work. And that's a big issue here in the Hunter. So it's just the latest plank that we've made. So if you take our Buy Australian Plan, with Future Made in Australia, together with our National Reconstruction Plan, a $15 billion fund to support existing industries to transform, but also new industries. If you support as well, our apprenticeship program to make sure that 10 per cent of workers on any business, any project funded by the Federal Government, are apprentices or trainees. If you look at all of those things together, including our Rewiring the Nation program, some $20 billion to make sure that renewables can fit into the grid as part of dealing with climate change and stabilising the grid and lowering energy prices, what you can have is a return to manufacturing here in Australia, a return to growth, our jobs in regions like the Hunter. And the Hunter has an enormous potential to benefit from this. And in Dan Repacholi we have a great candidate to maximise this, to be a voice for this region. Dan’s someone who became an apprentice at the age of 15. He's someone who strongly supports the need to upskill Australia and to give young people the opportunities that come from that. Dan Repacholi then went to work, of course, in the mining industry and understands issues like same job, same pay, understands the impact that casualisation of the workforce is having, understands the need to stand up for the hard-won conditions of miners in this region. Dan Repacholi also has run a small business. And at the moment, he helps to manage an enterprise that works with around about 60 people. He understands what it is like to run a business like that here in the Hunter. And that firm is providing support for blue collar workers in this region. Dan, of course is raising his family here and they're here with us today and I want to welcome Alex and their kids, Zoe and Asher. Dan’s someone who is ideal to replace Joel in this seat. Someone who's going to be able to represent this seat, I hope, for as long as Joel did in the future. Someone who's got a family here, someone who understands the concerns of the Hunter. And I’m very proud to be supporting his campaign. He's someone who's represented Australia at five Olympic Games, someone who's represented Australia and won medals at Commonwealth Games, someone who's in the Cessnock Hall of Fame already. Now I hope that he ends up in the Cessnock hall of fame of politics as well, along with Joel and the other fine members who've represented this region. People like Joel's father, and, of course, Bob Brown, who represented this part of the Hunter. I'm sure that that will be the case. I look forward to campaigning with Dan, in the lead-up to the federal election. But importantly, having Dan Repacholi as part of my Labor government team there in Canberra, making a difference each and every day to the working lives of the people of this fine community. Dan.
DANIEL REPACHOLI, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR HUNTER: Thank you, Anthony, and thank you, Joel, for those kind words. It was very, very good to hear. I just want to explain to you guys all why I've chosen to come here and do this and run for the Labor Party. I want jobs. Jobs in the area, secure workforce for employees and employers everywhere in our region. So, I run a small engineering shop with around 60 people and we can't find employees right now. I could do with 20 people right now and I can't find them because of what the Government's currently done with 143,000 less trainees and apprentices in the area. We can't find them. In the whole of Australia there’s 143,000 less people. And I don't want my lovely girls to go through that, through time. So, we need to get secure work for young people and for people who want to transition from other workplaces into other areas and learn new trades and new skills. So that's the main reason why I'm running. Also running because I want to make a difference here. I want to make a difference in the Hunter. And I believe I can. I support workers, I support employees as well as employers. I understand that both sides have massive struggles in life. And I know what we need to do to keep working with that and working together. And with a Labor government, we will get that. So over time, I hope to spend a lot more time with everyone here in the future and working together and helping make Australia better with a Labor government and also the Hunter better as well. Thank you.
JOURNALIST: Albo, given the sensitivity around regional travel out of Sydney at this point of the COVID pandemic, should you be here?
ALBANESE: Yeah, absolutely. I have approval to be here today. As I do whenever I travel. I'm coming directly here and then I will leave to depart. But it's a good thing that we're starting to open up. I would have liked to have been here earlier, to be frank. And I would have been here earlier. But we had to wait until the restrictions were lifted. I note, in a social media post this morning that Joel put up, that the rates of vaccinations are increasing here in the Hunter. I'll say this, under a Labor government, we would never have taken vaccines that were due for the Hunter and given them to Sydney. That is a classic example of where the Hunter is taken for granted. Taken for granted, except when it's needed for opportunistic reasons. That's why the Hunter Expressway never happened under the Howard Government. It's as simple as that.
JOURNALIST: Can you understand the anger in the Labor rank and file at what has seemed like a captain’s pick?
ALBANESE: Look, I absolutely respect that many members will feel frustrated that we're living under conditions where it's not business as usual. That's what we're dealing with here. Branches haven't been able to meet. The sort of criteria which is taking place is not business as usual. We held a state conference on Saturday whereby I gave my leader’s address online from my electorate office in Marrickville, rather than the Sydney Town Hall. Unfortunately, all of our lives have been disrupted. What we've tried to do, though, is to put in place processes to ensure that we have candidates at the next election. And I'm very confident that as people get to know Dan, as I have, virtually, again, we've had a number of discussions and video calls, that he's an impressive candidate. He's someone who people will be proud of as their local Labor representative. And I'm confident that that will be the case.
JOURNALIST: But the COVID pandemic probably wouldn’t have stopped the normal processes being allowed to happen.
ALBANESE: Well, they do, because people haven't had branch meetings, people haven't had the criteria which are normally there. That’s just a fact of one of the things that we are dealing with. And that's occurred in terms of Federal Parliament next week, when they sit as well, I have to have a COVID test again tomorrow. I've lost count of how many I've had.
JOURNALIST: (Inaudible)
ALBANESE: Well, what we've been trying to do is to maximise local participation while making sure that we have the strongest candidates possible in electorates. I’m convinced that Dan is a very strong candidate. And I've ascertained that for myself. But also, in talking to locals here, I think that we can be, quite frankly, I'm very proud that someone like Dan, it's a big call for him. He doesn't have to do this. He’s a pretty successful bloke. If you ask Joel Fitzgibbon, would he have preferred to play for the Newcastle Knights at fullback, not just the Cessnock Goannas, and play State of Origin than be the Member for Hunter, he might have thought about that. I've got to tell you, if I was good enough to play first grade for South Sydney, I would have certainly done that first, before the road in which I've gone on. But Dan Repacholi’s someone who's had an extraordinary life up to this point. He's a leader. And he's someone who will lead this community as the representative in the national Parliament as the local representative. He's embedded in this community. His beautiful young girls here at school, raising a family here, working here. He's worked in small business. He's worked in the mining sector. He's represented Australia. I think he is an outstanding candidate for this electorate and he will be a great Labor representative.
JOURNALIST: The captain’s pick (inaudible) as part of some sort of factional deal. Is that true?
ALBANESE: No. Not at all.
JOURNALIST: You’ve been holding rank and file votes in other electorates, online or by other means. Why not here?
ALBANESE: You might have noticed that we haven't done that. We haven't been able to do that. Where are the rank and file ballots being held at the moment? They're trying to work out a process whereby we can get candidates in non-held seats. This is a held seat. This is a Labor-held seat. It's been Labor for a very long period of time. We want to make sure that it stays in Labor hands.
JOURNALIST: As Joel’s pointed out quite a bit, he’s spent most of his career in Opposition. Why should the voters here vote for someone when the party hasn’t been successful (inaudible)?
ALBANESE: Because we're going to be. Because we have not just a plan for the moment, we have a plan for the future. For the moment, if the government had have listened to what we were saying about getting enough supply of vaccines, we wouldn't have had the lockdown that we've had now. We wouldn't be in the circumstances of the constraints on our way of life right now. If we had have had purpose-built quarantine, we wouldn't have had the outbreak that arose from one limo driver in Sydney taking someone to hotel quarantine unvaccinated and without a mask. If we had have listened to the health experts, you would have had the lockdown, when it was just in Bondi and the eastern suburbs of Sydney, you would have had that earlier and you might not have had the spread to Newcastle and the Hunter and the Central Coast that we've seen. We also have a plan for the future. And at the next election, the people of the Hunter will be asking themselves this: What is this Government's achievement after almost a decade in office? After three terms? What's their big economic reform? Where's their big infrastructure project, like the Hunter Expressway or the Glendale interchange? Where's their big social policy reform? We still don't have an energy policy in this country. We've had more than 20 attempted landings. And this week, we had the farcical situation of Barnaby Joyce waiting for the National Party to tell him what he can tell Scott Morrison he's allowed to say if he goes to Glasgow to represent Australia at a global forum. The fact is that this Government are out of ideas and they're out of time. It's time that they went to the opposition benches because they've acted like an opposition in exile on the government benches for so long. Labor has a plan for national reconstruction through the National Reconstruction Fund. We have a plan to address the issues that Dan spoke about with skills through the creation of Jobs and Skills Australia, taking the principles that I did as Infrastructure Minister, with Infrastructure Australia, that recommended Hunter Expressway, that made sure that money went where productivity was going to be boosted, where jobs were going to be maximised. Not getting out of political map of red seats and blue seats to decide where funding went. Jobs and Skills Australia will be a body that includes private sector representatives that will make recommendations of where the jobs are going to be in 5,10,15 years’ time and make sure that Australians are trained for them. We have a plan for secure work to recognise secure workers, one of the objectives of the Fair Work Act, properly definee casualisation, outlaw the breaches that have occurred to ensure that same job, same pay occurs and that labour hire companies involved in cowboy practices can't get away with it. We will criminalise wage theft for the first time. We'll have 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave. We will, for people, growing families in this area, have cheaper child care, we'll move to universal child care. The Government had a big splash in some of the tabloids on Sunday about child care that will help something like one quarter of families that Labor's plan will help. We want to move towards that. Why is it that when these young girls hit the age of five, then everyone accepts that they go to public school and that the Government has a role in their education, but up to then it's a free for all, it's up to the market and they're by themselves? Whereas 90 per cent of brain development in a human being occurs in the first five years. We're going to invest in people. We're not frightened, either, of having, including here in the Hunter, we're not saying one thing in Sydney and one thing in the Hunter, we support net zero by 2050. No ifs, no buts. We believe that that working with the industry, and working with unions, can add to employment. That's something that business understands, something that the Coalition Government don’t.
JOURNALIST: The result of the last election here in the Hunter was, frankly, a bit of a disaster for Labor. And it’s probably still haunting you today. What’s so different now that makes you electable? What overturns that?
ALBANESE: We have a coherent plan for secure jobs, firstly, including a Future Made in Australia. We have a coherent plan for cheaper child care, for making a difference in terms of education and health. We have a coherent plan for moving Australia forward and our place in the world, including being a part of global action on climate change. We have a coherent plan across the board that will make lives better for working people. We have strong candidates like Dan prepared to put themselves forward to achieve that. And we, I think, aren't in a position like Scott Morrison is of always blaming someone else, of always never taking responsibility. This is a bloke who said, ‘I don't hold a hose, mate’, and then said it wasn't a race, the rollout of vaccines and safe quarantine. Well, it was a race. And the fact that we're at the back of the field is the reason why you're wearing a mask and why we're in lockdown across whole parts of New South Wales and in a whole range of the country today. The fact is that this Government have been complacent, have been arrogant. And any government that's been in office for a long period of time, you see it, they run through the first 11, then the second 11, they're up to the fifth 11. They've lost, in recent times, not just Abbott and Turnbull with knocking off prime ministers. McCormack's on the backbench. They've lost Julie Bishop. They've lost Mathias Cormann. They've lost Michael Keenan. They’re down to really desperate, desperate ranks. And it is time that they spent time getting their act together. Labor has a plan for the future. We have an experienced front bench being joined by newer members coming in with regeneration, whether they be people who are now sitting on our backbench with incredible talent, or whether they be people like Dan Repacholi putting themselves forward to be first time members. I'm very confident that we will win the next election. And I'm confident, not just that, but my plan has always been, as well, about making sure that we put in place structures and policies that ensure we’re a long-term government.
JOURNALIST: Anthony, Joel has raised a number of concerns over the past year. Has he been heard?
ALBANESE: Look, Joel and I agree on a range of things and from time to time, you know, hold the front page, we haven't always agreed. And that's fine. That's absolutely fine. Throughout it all, we’ve always been mates. Some of the things I think he's been correct on. Obviously, some of the things I disagree with. That's fine in a democratic party like we're in. But let me say this, Joel Fitzgibbon has always had one focus, which is the election of a Labor government. Not as the end in itself, but because he understands, as does Dan, as do my entire team, that we need a Labor government. We need a Labor government that doesn't leave people behind and doesn't hold people back. A Labor government that doesn't just forget people because they happen to be in the wrong seat, or they happen to be of the wrong gender, or they happen to be of a group that the government doesn't agree with them. We want to represent those people. The people I grew up with in council housing, who, frankly, a lot greater chance of going not to the Federal Parliament but going somewhere else. You know, I grew up with people who did it tough and who are still doing it tough. And each and every day, when I'm in Federal Parliament, I still think about issues like what would my Mum think. A single mum, made the courageous decision to keep me, battled through a disability on an invalid pension and raised a bloke who's running for prime minister of the country. What that says is that we need to look after people because society can benefit not just individuals. But it says something else as well. It says something about opportunity in this country. This bloke behind me wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, either. He has represented Australia. He's done Australia proud. And he knows, and I've spoken to him a fair bit now, and he's someone who really has my respect. He really wants to look after people who need a Labor government. That's why he's running. That's why he's running. Because we need to hold on to every seat that we've got. And I'm confident we'll do that. We also need to win seats. So I'll be spending a bit of time here but I'll be spending a lot of time in Robertson as well, let me tell you. You know, how is it that this Government can’t even work out an answer on PEP 11? How is it that they have a Minister for Resources, resources are pretty important for this electorate, they have a Resources Minister who's not in the Cabinet but who then goes out and makes a promise, or says he supports a $250 billion fund, and when asked about it says, ‘No, that's not government policy’. He's the Minister. He's the Minister. It says it all about this ramshackle lot we have, I won’t say led by Scott Morrison because he's not leading. He's given up. Well, I want to lead this country. I want to lead this country because I believe we’re a great country. But we can be even better. We're located in the fastest growing region of the world in human history. That presents us with incredible opportunity going forward. And we should take that opportunity that we have in the interest not so much of me and Dan and Joel, but the interests of these young girls here, and others as well. That’s our job.
JOURNALIST: The UN is now talking about developed countries reducing emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. Is Labor willing to adopt a strong interim target like that? And will you take clearer climate policies to this election?
ALBANESE: We’ll take very clear policies to the election. I've said the whole way through, unlike Mr Morrison who can't say anything about anything until Barnaby Joyce lectures him, I've said very clearly that we'll wait until the Glasgow summit. But one of the first announcements I made was net zero by 2050. I made that very clearly. I think there's enormous opportunities presented as a result of that. And I said as well there would be a couple of events this year. And I was right. One of those was the election of the Biden administration. The second is the Glasgow climate conference. This Government had been absent from climate change action. And Scott Morrison may well be absent from the very debate itself. But what's happening is that businesses, including ones in the resources sector, are taking action by themselves. They've just moved way past. The business community, the National Farmers’ Federation, everyone's just moved past. They’re getting on with things. But how much better would it be if they were doing that with leadership and in partnership with the Federal Government?
JOURNALIST: Speaking of net zero, what will the Australian (inaudible)
ALBANESE: You know, we have a policy that says very clearly, when it comes to coal, there will continue to be demand for metallurgical coal. There's nothing to stop, either, a new thermal coal power plant being built in Australia right now, except the market. Except the market. The market is speaking there. And international markets will speak as well. Those decisions will be taken in the boardrooms of Tokyo and other places.
JOURNALIST: Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest says that carbon capture and storage is a failure. Do you agree with that?
ALBANESE: I'll make my own positions rather than comment on that of individual businesses.
JOURNALIST: There was a big announcement on green hydrogen yesterday. What role does it play, in your view?
ALBANESE: It plays a critical role. And it's an example of how if we embrace opportunities, this Government speaks about technology but they oppose it. This is a Government that said that people driving electric vehicles would end the weekend. This is a Government that said that we would take away people's utes from them. And no one's talking about that. We have a policy to make electric vehicles cheaper. And when it comes to green hydrogen, there’s enormous opportunity for growth in the regions. And the growth will be in the regions. You won't have green hydrogen in Marrickville. You'll have it in the Hunter and the Illawarra. I've been down to BlueScope Steel and been through that facility with the local members, Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird. I've spoken with the executives there. They are looking towards green steel in the future. They are looking at a range of new technologies that can drive things cheaper. I've been to the nickel refinery at Kwinana. Why is it that we're not making batteries here? Why is it that, as much as our resources being exported are really important, and that should continue, what we should be doing is looking at ways in which we value add here so that more jobs are created here. And that's something we have an opportunity to do. Tritium in southeast Queensland is producing the fastest electric vehicle charging stations in the world with Australian science and innovation, produced and manufactured by Australian workers in Queensland and exporting them to the United States and to Europe. That’s in spite of the Government, not because of it.
JOURNALIST: On radio this morning, you would not say whether you're comfortable with Anthony Byrne attending Parliament as a Labor MP. Can you clarify if you are comfortable?
ALBANESE: He hasn’t attended Parliament. What I said was he hasn't attended Parliament because of the restrictions that are there for Victoria. Those restrictions are still in place.
JOURNALIST: They can attend virtually, though. Are you comfortable with that?
ALBANESE: Well, nothing can stop someone attending Parliament virtually. That’s not a decision for me. The fact is, Christian Porter will be sitting in the Parliament next week. I await the information of up to a million dollars that was given for a private legal matter from sources are known for Christian Porter. If that's allowed to stand, it will render completely redundant the processes of our register of pecuniary interests. We have branch stacking, Michael Sukkar’s still sitting in the Parliament as a Minister. Kevin Andrews.
JOURNALIST: But we’re asking whether you’re comfortable for Anthony Byrne to sit in Parliament, virtually or otherwise?
ALBANESE: That’s not a decision for me. Kevin Andrews will be not sitting in Parliament after the next election, not because he made Joel's decision to retire, but because his branches were stacked against him. You've had mass branch stacking In Victoria. We have preselections against sitting members here in New South Wales, first term sitting members in Reid and Lindsay, under challenge for their preselection because of factional disputes here in the Liberal Party. You have Craig Kelly there, proudly put in by Scott Morrison at the last election, who's now harassing and now on your phones, whether you want it or not, sending you text messages. These are all issues that the Government have to confront. And the difference between Labor and the Coalition is that I support a National Anti-Corruption Commission with teeth. I support the processes of the ICAC. I support the processes of IBAC. What we'll have next week is a former premier and another former premier and others potentially giving evidence before the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Gladys Berejiklian continued to sit as the Premier of New South Wales after revelations were given a long time ago, before the ICAC, about a whole range of matters relating to the use of public funds whilst she was the Premier.
JOURNALIST: Do you intend on speaking to Anthony Byrne about it?
ALBANESE: I intend on respecting the IBAC processes. And what I do is respect these anti-corruption bodies, not undermine them, like we've seen Scott Morrison undermine the ICAC. I respect those processes. And those processes need to be allowed to take their course without political interference. That's the whole idea of an independent anti-corruption body. That's what I'm respecting, rather than undermining by interfering in those processes. And that's why, as Leader, if you look at the action I've taken, I expelled John Setka from the Labor Party within weeks of becoming leader, I intervened into the New South Wales branch which led to a restructuring of the New South Wales branch in the wake of various issues that had been raised here, including the replacement of all of the key personnel in the New South Wales branch head office. I, along with Dan Andrews, intervened into the Victorian branch within 48 hours to expel Adam Somyurek from the Labor Party and to suspend all the activities of the Victorian branch for a range of years. We had a complete independent audit of the entire Victorian branch membership by one of the big four accounting firms. That led to many members who couldn't prove their bona fides being excluded from the membership. As part of that, we intervened to take control, through the National Executive, of all state and federal preselections over a period of years going forward, so that no one was allowed to benefit from any activity that had occurred in previous years. I took strong, decisive action. Jenny Macklin and Steve Bracks, two people beyond reproach, in charge of those processes. And as a result of that, various people in Victoria, including unions, talk myself and other members of National Executive to court. Some of those proceedings are still occurring. So you look at what the action I've taken as leader of the Labor Party and compare that with the Coalition. You have the Labor Party determined to stamp out corruption and inappropriate activity wherever we find it. A Government that has failed to introduce a National Anti-Corruption Commission, they still have Andrew Laming chairing committees and sitting in their party room, they still have Michael Sukkar and the branch stackers in Victoria all sitting there, they still have Christian Porter sitting in their party room with those substantial donations for a private legal case there, they still have no one know about the Angus Taylor letter with regard to the alleged statements of the Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, no answers given to all of that, a refusal by Government ministers to cooperate with police inquiries and give evidence. And you have as well, a Prime Minister, over issues related to Brittany Higgins, who can't tell us what his office knew about various incidents, has to have the head of his department, his former chief of staff, do an inquiry into that process and then not tell us what's happened. We still don't know. He could have just asked his office and told the Parliament. He hasn't done so. So let me tell you this. Next week, we won't be taking any backward steps from this Government when it comes to these issues. Because I'm proud of my record and I'll continue to have that record going forward.
JOURNALIST: New South Wales is calling on the Federal Government to step in to ensure that it is mandatory for all health care workers to get vaccinated. (Inaudible)
ALBANESE: Well, we should take health advice and the Federal Government should try showing leadership, just for a change. Who knows. They might find they like it. Thanks very much.