Video interview – country caller
Harry Clarke, Host: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, it must be a privilege to honour some some legends of Far North Queensland with the Australian Icons awards.
Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister: Absolutely fantastic. All these people, everyone, from the Catholic Priest, the fine Mr Brophy, has been running the fights in places when rodeos happen. I’ve met him before at the Birdsville Races. To other local heroes as well, it’s just fantastic and a great honour to be here to celebrate Mt Isa’s 100 years.
Clarke: And it was at Bob Katter’s invitation that you came up here. Do you think you would be pretty popular up here in Katter country? Did you expect such a warm reception?
Prime Minister: I’ve always been welcomed here in Mt Isa. But it’s one of the things – when you get out into regional Australia, people are friendly, people are engaging and they’re warm. And there’s a great sense of community and you feel it as soon as you go into a place like this.
Clarke: And now outside the frivolity of the rodeo, there’s some important business affecting regional Australia. You’re visiting the mine tomorrow, and then there’s some funding for rural agriculture – $38 million, I believe, announced today.
Prime Minister: Yeah, that’s right. Well, we know that regional Australia has faced drought before, and they’re going to face drought again. We’re worried about the upcoming season. We need to make sure that we prepare as best as possible. And that’s what this additional funding designed to do – to make sure we look at where best practice is and spread it. Also, going into the mine, this region will really benefit from the growth in critical minerals: copper, vanadium, everything that is in this region. It is a very exciting future for North West Queensland. And it’s been terrific to be here so far today. I’m looking forward to further discussions tomorrow. And I am looking forward with the rodeo tonight.
Clarke: Now, you’re invited down to the hallowed red turf of Buchanan Park. But you’re not going to jump on the back of a steer?
Prime Minister: I don’t think anyone wants to see me on the back of the steer.
Clarke: I disagree. I think everybody would like to see that, Prime Minister.
Prime Minister: Yeah, for about the three seconds that it would last.
Clarke: All the best. And good to see you up in the far North West.
Prime Minister: Fantastic to be here.