Doorstop interview – Sydney | Prime Minister of Australia
ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: Well, these are fantastic facilities for the Sydney Swans here at Moore Park. An important facility not just to assist with the future success of the Swans, both their men’s and women’s teams, but also an important community facility, where community activity will occur. Everything from the Red Cross, to basketball, to charity events, including of course, the Clontarf Foundation that’s so important for giving Indigenous young people those educational opportunities to succeed in life. It’s been a real pleasure to be here at the opening for the Sydney Swans. And I look forward to many more years of activity here making a difference for the local community and for the people of Sydney.
CHRIS MINNS, NEW SOUTH WALES PREMIER: Thanks, PM. Look, I too want to congratulate the Swans for this amazing achievement. The old Royal Hall of Industry has been transformed into a community hub, and the headquarters for the Sydney Swans. Like the PM has said, it’s really encouraging to see the Swans partner with community organisations, particularly Indigenous organisations, to bring along the next generation of AFL players and bring the community together. The key, I think, evolution in the AFL and for professional sport across Australia has been the introduction of women’s leagues in soccer, AFL and rugby league, this is no different. And if you look at, particularly young female professional athletes, they’re saying constantly now, you can’t be what you can’t see. Well, they can see now. And we’re seeing wonderful female athletes perform at the highest levels, which means future generations of young girls are going to be playing sport deep into the future, which is a fantastic thing for the state.
JOURNALIST: Gladys Berejiklian acted –
PRIME MINISTER: I’m going to take a couple of questions or a question if there are any, then I’ll hand over to Chris.
JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, just on the ICAC findings this morning, do you think Gladys Berejiklian was right to resign?
PRIME MINISTER: I’ll leave those questions to New South Wales. Are there any national issues you’ve got?
JOURNALIST: I’d like the opportunity to ask both of you – there seems to be a real lack of intellectual curiosity about evaluating the COVID response, having a Royal Commission, a serious inquiry into what various governments and authorities did. You’ve now had findings in both states, in New South Wales and Victoria, that people were discriminated against in the handing out in fines, for example. But no one seems to want to conduct a serious exercise in finding out what works and what shouldn’t be repeated next time. Why is that?
PRIME MINISTER: Well, that’s not true. And I’d encourage you to have a look, for example, at the Shergold Report that has been done. A pretty comprehensive report looking at the impact of COVID. I’ve said that there will be an inquiry of some form when we get through all this. But as someone who got their COVID booster yesterday, I assure you that there are still, of course, issues ongoing with COVID. And my Government has been working with state and territory governments to concentrate on the response to COVID, which is still ongoing, including the pressure that’s on the hospital system.
JOURNALIST: There have been some concerns from unions about the pension age ticking up to 67 from the first of July. Many say it’s a choice between the health of their bodies and their jobs. Is there any consideration of rolling that age back?
PRIME MINSITER: That, of course, was legislated some time ago. But I am very optimistic about the economy and the latest figures show that, including the lower inflation figures this week. What we’re seeing in the economy is lower inflation, larger surplus, and record number of jobs created. I’m very proud that my Government has presided over that, turning a $78 billion deficit that was forecast into a surplus that will be in excess of the $4.2 billion dollars that we suggested would be the case in May when we handed down our Budget. We’re continuing to deal with cost of living issues, including working with state and territory governments in order to take pressure off people. And our opponents just say no to everything. They said no to the Energy Price Relief Plan that we worked out with the New South Wales and other state governments. They say no to public housing, 30,000 additional units in the Housing Australia Future Fund. They’re saying no to cheaper medicines. And the one policy that Peter Dutton has come up with, he can’t provide a costing for. My Government is very proud of the work that we’re doing. We will continue to work with state and territory governments. And now, I’m off to speak with states. I’m off to regional Victoria now.