Radio interview – 2SER Sydney
DANNY CHIFLEY, HOST: Who’s that we’ve got on the phone right now?
ANTHONY ALBANESE, PRIME MINISTER: G’day. Anthony Albanese here. How are you? Down in Canberra.
CHIFLEY: Oh my god. Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese. Thank you so much for calling today to subscribe to 2SER as part of our Radiothon. It’s very much appreciated.
PRIME MINISTER: My absolute pleasure. Although I don’t think I can win the album.
CHIFLEY: No. Unfortunately, due to your position, you might be ineligible for today’s record giveaway. But don’t worry about it, I’ll see if we’ve got something lying around here for you. I know you do enjoy your records.
PRIME MINISTER: I do, indeed. I’ve got a vinyl player at the Lodge here and one up in the office as well at Parliament House.
CHIFLEY: Oh, nice.
PRIME MINISTER: It helps make the day and evening a lot better, and thank you to 2SER for what you do and for what you have done for a long period of time now. Not just providing entertainment for your listeners, but being a real centre for people to get skills, who then go on to work in radio in other areas as well. You’ve played a vital role there for many, many years.
CHIFLEY: Yeah. I don’t know anyone who’s listened this morning might sort of have some doubts there as to the skills component of that whole thing. But I can’t speak for, I know that all of my colleagues do the same thing and I know that the big thing for them is just sort of volunteering just to make the world a kinder place. And I guess we’re collectively working as a society to make the world a kinder place at this point in time to be on the right side of history, because history is calling.
PRIME MINISTER: History is indeed calling. And on October 14, or in the lead up to it, indeed, these days a lot of people vote in advance. People will have an opportunity to vote Yes, to bring our country together and to recognise the great privilege we have of sharing this continent with the oldest continuous culture on earth. And it is a chance to show respect to the first Australians and to also give them a voice. All they’re asking for is a very modest request, an advisory committee. But you know that you get better outcomes when you talk to people who are directly affected. So, this is an important moment in our history. It’s the first referendum that we will have had this century, so they don’t come around very often. So I encourage people, you have until 8pm tonight to get on the roll if they’re not on the roll, or update their details if they’ve moved around, and to vote Yes when it comes to that opportunity on October 14.
CHIFLEY: Yeah, I know. And it’s one of those things, this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to be on the right side of history. It’s going to be one of those things where you’ll be able to look back on this and say, I voted Yes, I did the right thing, I tried to make the world a better place, I had the opportunity to make the world a better place and I took that opportunity. And just a reminder there, you got until 8pm this evening to go to the Australian Electoral Commission to update your details. I’m assuming you’ve updated yours there, Prime Minister?
PRIME MINISTER: I have indeed. I have indeed. I’m ready to go. And there were more than 200,000 people yesterday, marched right around the country in the capital cities, in regional towns. It showed the level of support which is there. There’s been a lot of misinformation out there, but it’s a really clear and simple proposition. I encourage people to have a look at what the actual question is. It’s straightforward, won’t change most people’s lives directly, but what it might just do is change Indigenous lives for the better. And that’s why it came from Indigenous people themselves, of course, when they gathered at Uluru from all around the country way back in 2017. And so it is an opportunity to move the country forward. It is a chance for us to show our fairness as well. Australians are fair people and people will wonder why it wasn’t done before. It’ll be like the Apology to Stolen Generations, or like marriage equality, where once it happened, all of the fear campaigns just melted away into nothing because they weren’t based in fact. And the fear campaign here isn’t based in fact either. A Yes vote is a vote for hope, it’s a vote for optimism, it’s a vote for a better future, as Indigenous Australians have asked us to do.
CHIFLEY: Exactly right. Choose hope and optimism over fear and you get the opportunity to do so as part of this referendum.
PRIME MINISTER: No country was ever changed for the better through a fear campaign.
CHIFLEY: Exactly right.
PRIME MINISTER: Simple as that.
CHIFLEY: Exactly right. Thank you so much for joining us this morning, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. I won’t ask you to give out your credit card details because you’re on air at the moment, but thank you for calling up to subscribe to 2SER as part of our 2023 Radiothon. Apologies that you didn’t get a chance to win today’s album giveaway. But I really appreciate everything that you’ve done and I will be hoping and praying that we all end up on the right side of history post referendum.
PRIME MINISTER: Absolutely. And young people get it. When I was at school, there was no such thing as an acknowledgement of country, it just didn’t happen. And that recognition of the fullness and richness of our history has been very, very positive and it has lifted us all up and we’ll be all lifted up and we’ll be a better, more unified country on October 15 if a majority of Australians in a majority of states vote Yes. So, make sure, if you feel inclined, don’t just vote Yes, but talk to people as well, have those discussions. Because it’s through the discussions with family and friends, with mums and dads, grandmas and grandpas, with people at their uni, people at school, people in workplaces – that’s how we’ll get there, and to make that positive step forward. Indigenous Australians have walked a long way, we’re just being asked to make a few short steps and to accept the hand of friendship which has been put out to us.
CHIFLEY: Exactly right. Can I play a song for you? I know you’re very busy at the moment. I really appreciate you taking the time to come and have a chat with us on 2SER, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, can I play you a request, please?
PRIME MINISTER: Yeah, you can indeed. If you’ve got, Paul Kelly’s written a fantastic song, If Not Now, Then When? About the referendum in support and he played in Adelaide over the weekend. He sung it and I think it’s a great song, and speaks about getting rid of the stone, from removing the stone from the shoe, which is a nice way to put it, a very Paul Kelly like poetic way of saying it.
CHIFLEY: Absolutely right. It’s so great that we’ve got Paul Kelly there spreading the good word about this one. Thank you so much for joining us here today on 2SER.
PRIME MINISTER: Thank you. We’ll catch up again soon.
CHIFLEY: We will indeed. I’ve still got that DJ slot ready for you whenever you want it
PRIME MINISTER: Easy, no worries. I have done for Community Cup there DJ’d at the Sando years ago and in a few places, so it’s been quite good fun occasionally. I haven’t done it for a little while.
CHIFLEY: Well, turntables are here and set up whenever you want it.
PRIME MINISTER: I’d have to dust it off. No worries. Thanks. Great to have a chat.
CHIFLEY: Lovely to have you on the show.