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Prime Minister Albanese in Marrickville

Prime Minister Albanese share with us what life is line in the top job in an interview at the Marrickville library.

Prime Minister Albanese in Marrickville

A little over a year ago Australia elected Inner West local Anthony Albanese as our country’s 31st Prime Minister. After winning the election, his first public appearance was at Marrickville library in his own electorate of Grayndler, where he was greeted with tooting horns, applause, and cheers of excitement.

In that time a lot has changed politically and economically. But despite these challenges, Albanese, who is warmly known as ‘Albo’, remains a humble man who epitomises the rags-to-riches story.

A year on, speaking to Neighbourhood Media he reflected on how becoming Prime Minister has impacted his day-to-day life as Anthony Albanese the Marrickville local. We also spoke about his past year in Australia’s top job and, the biggest challenges he and Australia have yet to conquer.

How has becoming Prime Minister changed Anthony Albanese?

Given his background, Albanese emphasised that “being Prime Minister is such an honour”. An honour that he “will never take for granted.”

When we reflect upon the Prime Minister’s past as a local Marrickville boy raised in public housing, by a single mother - who received a disability pension - it is clear that his childhood was far from luxurious. It was this upbringing that played a major part in moulding him into the man he is today as a Prime Minister doing his best to look out for those of us doing it tough, in ever increasingly difficult times.

When asked how life has changed since election night 2022 Albo said;

“Some normal day-to-day things are a bit more difficult now that I am Prime Minister.”

“It’s hard to pop into the local shops or go for a drink at the Henson… I still need to get used to the fact that people call me ‘Prime Minister’ when I go for a walk with Toto… But I still do my best to do the sort of activities that help me feel grounded and keep things real. And my son Nathan is pretty good at keeping me down to earth.”

Reflecting on the first year as PM

Albanese reflected on his first year as PM; “Last year, Australia voted for change. On election night, I promised to lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves. My team and I have worked every day since to keep that promise,” he continued, “We’ve set about delivering on the commitments we took to the election, including cheaper medicines and cheaper child care, which I know will make a big difference to inner west families.”

While plans are currently underway to deliver on these promises the Prime Minister understands that year one is only just the beginning.

“In our first year, we’ve set a strong foundation for a better future, and we’re focused on the work ahead – and on building to last.”

Biggest challenges facing Australia

Looking around at the economic environment he is faced with Albanese understands just how difficult the past 12-18 months have been for everybody.

As a government, Albanese told Neighbourhood Media; “Our biggest challenge has been dealing with the immediate issues we inherited, the biggest being global inflation… So we’ve been focused on cleaning up that mess while working hard to take pressure off families.”

Vision for the future

As we discussed his vision for Australia’s future, the conversation circled back to the issue of inflation, which has been at the forefront of most people’s minds over the past 12 months. As such, Anthony explained that inflation was a key factor in forming the core of his government’s 2023 budget as we look ahead.

“I know a lot of people in Grayndler, and around the country, are feeling under pressure from rising costs. That’s why my Government is focused on taking pressure off people, while making sure that we don’t put more pressure on inflation.

Portrait of Prime Minister Albanese in Marrickville

“The centrepiece of our recent Budget was our biggest ever investment in bulk-billing - tripling the bulk billing incentive, which would help 11 million Australians, and many from the Grayndler community, to see a GP for free.” He further explained, “We’ve implemented our cheaper medicines policy – which we expanded in our recent budget - and cheaper child care kicks in on July 1… we’re increasing Jobseeker and Rent Assistance, and expanding the Single Parent Payment to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“We’ve passed our Energy Price Relief Plan and soon eligible households and small businesses will start seeing rebates on their energy bills.”

To execute this vision Mr Alabanese understands that he will need to work with his State & Local counterparts.

“I want to provide Australians with stability in an uncertain time. But I also know we must build for the future,” said Albanese. “I’ve said before the election that Australians had ‘conflict fatigue’. What they want is a government that gets on with the job. That’s what I am committed to: being a responsible, mature government that gets things done.”

Anthony Albanese on NSW State Changes

As our interview came to a close, we reflected upon the changes that have taken place at a State level, with NSW switching from a Liberal to a Labor-led government. We asked the Prime Minister how he feels about the prospect of working with New South Wales’ new Premier, Chris Minns.

“Chris Minns will be an outstanding Premier of New South Wales. We’ve had great discussions so far and I look forward to a productive relationship. But I want to be clear: I work constructively with Premiers from both sides of the political spectrum. I look for solutions rather than divisions.

Finally, as a resident of Marrickville, changes to the Local government, particularly the proposed de-amalgamation of the Inner West Council, could have a bearing on Albanese’s life both politically & personally.

“I will always work with my local government – whichever form it ends up taking – to provide essential services to the people of Grayndler and the Inner West. I value the work that they do, and Darcy Byrne has been a great Mayor.”

On behalf of small, independent publishers, Neighbourhood Media would like to thank the Prime Minister for taking the time to speak with us in Marrickville.


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