Media


The urgent case for a diverse nation - The Australian

My latest opinion piece in The Australian looks at how increased diversity in our community can enrich Australians socially, culturally and economically. Here's the details:

Urgent case for a diverse nation, The Australian, 24 July 2014

PROGRESSIVES are often most comfortable making a political or moral case for diversity: that it is a necessary corollary of liberalism in a multi-ethnic societ­y or, more optimistically, a social good in itself.

This is no longer enough. Our ideas must expand beyond platit­udes about multiculturalism giving us good places to eat. We need to recognise the real economic and social benefits that flow from diversity and acknowledge the challenges so we can find ways to maintain cohesive societies in the face of these.

To see the positive impact of diversity, go to Silicon Valley. Half of all start-up teams include a first-generation migrant, from Russian-born Sergey Brin at Google to Hungarian-born Andy Grove at Intel.

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The need for a carbon price and financial advice reforms - Sky PM Agenda

Tonight I joined Sky PM Agenda host David Speers and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steven Ciobo to discuss the need for a carbon price, the federal budget and the Abbott government's reforms to financial advice.

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS PM AGENDA

WEDNESDAY, 16 JULY 2014

SUBJECT/S: Carbon price repeal, Budget, Changes to Financial Advice, Senate.

David Speers: You’re watching PM Agenda, good to have you with us, let’s bring in our panellists this afternoon. We're joined by the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Steve Ciobo, welcome to you both.

Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Treasurer: Thanks David.

Speers: Let’s start on the Carbon Tax, a lot of people, not just me I'm sure, are wondering when is this finally going to be voted on in the Senate? Um, we know where you stand, we know where you stand, we know where I think everybody stands.

Steven Ciobo, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer: We know where the Australian people stand, David.

Speers: Well, when is there going to be a vote?

Leigh: The great thing about Parliament which really surprised me before I came in David is the disconnect between the House of Reps and the Senate. I spend far more time with Steve's beautiful face then I do with my Labor Senate colleagues. So the Senate is a beast unto itself, and this Senate seems to be even more unusual.

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Tax office staff blow the whistle on hit to revenue

There are worrying reports in today's Canberra Times that compliance functions at the Tax Office will be severely affected by the loss of 3,000 staff. Here's my comments in response:

MEDIA RELEASE

TAX OFFICE STAFF BLOW THE WHISTLE ON HIT TO REVENUE 

There is fresh evidence that the Abbott Government’s cuts to the Australian Tax Office will cost the Budget far more than they will save, with outgoing tax staff admitting that revenue collection risks being ‘gutted’ by a loss of skilled, specialist staff.

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Banking and financial reforms must put consumers first - ABC News Radio

Today I chatted with ABC News Radio's Marius Benson about the importance of getting banking and financial sector reform right for Australian consumers. Here's the transcript:

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC News Radio

TUESDAY 15 JULY 2014

SUBJECT/S:         Australia’s banking and financial system; changes to Future of Financial Advice laws

MARIUS BENSON: The future of Australia's banking and financial system could become clearer today with the release of a report by former banker David Murray. That system is dominated by the big four banks and there's been criticism that their record profits of recent years have been underwritten by taxpayer-backed guarantees, but the public hasn't benefited from their success. The Murray Report will also look at the financial advice industry as the government moves ahead with its plans for changes to its Future of Financial Advice laws. For a Labor view on changes in the Australian financial world, I’m speaking to the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh.

Andrew Leigh, good morning.

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ATO staff cuts mean millions in tax dodges

The Abbott Government is cutting thousands of staff from the Australian Taxation Office in the name of budget 'savings'. But there are real concerns these cuts will actually cost Australia millions more than they save through lost revenue.

MEDIA RELEASE

ATO STAFF CUTS MEANS MILLIONS IN TAX DODGES

The Abbott Government’s deep staff cuts at the Australian Tax Office (ATO) will result in a hit to the federal budget, with new evidence revealing every dollar cut from spending on staff will sacrifice up to $6 in unpaid tax.

The ATO shed 900 staff in the 2013-2014 financial year and will lose a further 2,100 staff by the end of October as part of the government’s drive for savings.

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Keeping a carbon price is the best way to fight climate change - Sky AM Agenda

This morning I joined Sky AM Agenda host Kieran Gilbert and Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Darren Chester to discuss the repeal of the carbon tax and the importance of negotiation in the Senate. Here's the transcript:

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 14 JULY 2014

SUBJECT/S:         Climate change; the new Senate; federal budget

KIERAN GILBERT: Thanks for your company on AM Agenda. With me now, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Darren Chester, and also the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Before we get into our discussion I just want to play you a little bit of what the Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, had to say to the media here in Canberra ahead of the introduction of the repeal again of the carbon tax to Parliament at midday today:

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Scattering public servants across Australia will make the APS less effective

This morning I spoke with 2CC's Mark Parton about why moving public servants out of Canberra would create a less effective APS. Here's the transcript:

E&EO TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC - BREAKFAST WITH MARK PARTON

TOPICS:  Relocating Australian public servants; carbon pricing

Mark Parton: Let’s go to Andrew Leigh, Federal Member for Fraser for the ALP. He’s on the line - good morning Andrew.

Andrew Leigh: Morning Mark.

Mark Parton: We’ve just had a chat to Andrew Wilkie, he wants to throw the public servants all round the country - he’s  dreaming, isn’t he?

Andrew Leigh: Well I can see where the electoral demographics come from with this. Tasmania has got a lot of seats, even though in fact I think I have twice as many voters as Andrew. I think I’ve got the largest seat in Australia and he’s got one of the smallest. But it just doesn’t make any sense…

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Charities commission ‘options’ paper ignores the only option not-for-profits really want

With the release of the government's Options Paper on replacements for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, I've again called for Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews to listen to the voices of leading Australian charities and keep the commission intact.

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Hockey urged to fully implement Labor's reforms on global tax dodging

With reports today that the Treasurer is preparing to legislate "new" measures so global companies pay their share of tax, I was keen to remind the public of the Abbott Government's backward steps in this area. Joe Hockey's measures aren’t new and they don't embrace what Labor sought to put in place.

MEDIA RELEASE

HOCKEY’S HOT AIR SOLUTION TO MULTINATIONAL PROFIT-SHIFTING

The Abbott Government’s measures on multinational profit-shifting are still considerably weaker than those announced last year by Labor.

Since coming to office, the Government’s only policy announcements on multinational profit-shifting have been to reverse sensible Labor measures.

 

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Tasmanian pensioners worried by the budget

During a visit to Tasmania today, my colleague, Shadow Minister for Regional Development Julie Collins, and I met with pensioners to discuss the federal budget. We got a warm reception but not surprisingly, they gave the budget the thumbs down. Julie and I subsequently issued this joint media release:

ANDREW LEIGH MP - SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASUER

JULIE COLLINS MP - SHADOW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

ABBOTT GOVERNMENT’S BUDGET FAILS PENSIONERS

The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh, has confirmed the Abbott Government’s Budget is no friend to Tasmania’s pensioners.

Speaking with members of the Tasmanian Pensioner Association in Hobart today Dr Leigh said the Abbott Government’s Budget would affect Tasmanians who could least afford any loss of financial support.

“This Budget not only breaks promises, it breaks the social contract with older Australians,” Dr Leigh said.

 

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.