Media


The Golden Whistle - Op Ed, Sydney Morning Herald

THE GOLDEN WHISTLE

The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 January 2019

When investigative journalist Bastian Obermayer received the millions of leaked files from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, he was not having a good day. As the German reporter told Fraud Magazine, the rest of his family were sick, and he had just changed his sons’ sheets when the email arrived. ‘It went from being a bad day to a very good one’.

The Mossack Fonseca leak showed that the Panamanian law firm had established shell companies that were being used to perpetrate tax fraud and dodging global sanctions. The Icelandic Prime Minister resigned, as did other prominent officials. The Australian Tax Office began investigations into 800 people identified in what became known as ‘the Panama Papers’.

Just knowing an insider might blow the whistle makes firms less likely to break the law. A recent study of Israel’s tax whistleblowing scheme concluded that it significantly increased the amount of tax paid; particularly in industries that are more prone to tax evasion. The scheme had a powerful deterrent effect on tax dodging. Once firms knew that there was an incentive for employees to report wrongdoing, they were more inclined to pay what they owed. Tax revenue increased by more than one-quarter.

Whether it’s tax or other kinds of corporate fraud, whistleblowers are crucial. A study by Alexander Dyck and coauthors analysed hundreds of US corporate fraud cases. They found that the Securities and Exchange Commission caught just 7 percent, while auditors detected only 10 percent. By contrast, the media uncovered 13 percent of fraud cases, while the employees exposed another 17 percent.

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Making unfair contract terms illegal: Third Party Support - Media Release

MADELEINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR RESOURCES

MEMBER FOR BRAND

 

ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS

MEMBER FOR FENNER 

 

MAKING UNFAIR CONTRACT TERMS ILLEGAL: THIRD PARTY SUPPORT

‘Some big businesses have been snubbing their noses at the current legislation as it lacks any capacity to punish those who abuse their power. The ACCC, who governs this activity, are basically powerless to make certain big businesses stop adding these unfair terms. If the changes proposed by Mr Leigh are made then we will see an immediate change of attitude and behaviour from those recalcitrant businesses or they will be paying big hefty fines.’

Peter Strong, Council of Small Businesses of Australia chief executive.

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Coalition acting like opposition in exile -Transcript, AM Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 28 JANUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Labor’s positive policies for the economy, Tony Abbott and Warringah, Labor’s plan to level the playing field for first home buyers, Coalition resignations, political parenting.

KIERAN GILBERT:  Joining us now is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Andrew Leigh, thanks so much for your time.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Kieran.

GILBERT: Well, no secrets as to what the government's main argument will be not just this week, but after the budget and right up until the election in May.

LEIGH: Well, their main argument will be that they're not Labor. That seems to be their entire focus these days.

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Labor backs small business by making unfair contract terms illegal - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN MP

SHADOW TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

 

MADELEINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR SMALL BUSINESS

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR RESOURCES

MEMBER FOR BRAND

 

ANDREW LEIGH MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY

SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE IN SERVICES

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS

MEMBER FOR FENNER 

 

LABOR BACKS SMALL BUSINESS BY MAKING UNFAIR CONTRACT TERMS ILLEGAL

A Shorten Government will protect small business by making unfair contract terms illegal and punishable with significant fines of up to $10 million.

Australia’s current laws aren’t tough enough. While contracts terms that unfairly exploit a power imbalance between the two parties can be voided by a court, there’s no punishment for the entity exploiting its market power. This means there’s nothing discouraging the big end of town from pushing smaller dependent firms to sign onto unfair arrangements.

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Banks are overstepping - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

WEDNESDAY, 23 JANUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Banks, credit squeeze.

LEON BYNER: Let's talk to the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning. Do you agree that we might and should expect this?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Leon, and good morning your listeners. I certainly am concerned when you see this kind of behaviour going on by banks. I mean, it's one thing to make sure that you're doing your due diligence on a borrower, but it's another thing to be engaging in this sort of pretty intrusive involvement in people's lives. Just because you can see in your neighbour’s bathroom window, you shouldn’t start making comments on their body when you see them in the street. And the fact is we've got a bit of a credit squeeze on at the moment. The Council of Financial Regulators has warned of this last year. Philip Lowe the head of the Reserve Bank has warned about credit - having been quite loose for a number of years - now potentially becoming too tight. I think this is just the latest manifestation of it.

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Refugees add to our rich tapestry - Op Ed, The Chronicle

REFUGEES ADD TO OUR RICH TAPESTRY

The Chronicle, 22 January 2019

A decade ago, Pakao Sorn came close to dying as she took her first steps towards a new life. Fleeing Burma on foot, she endured crowded detention centres, rough terrain, and so much rainfall that she thought she might drown.

A few years later, she found out that she had been granted refugee status in Australia. Her first thought was ‘Oh my god, so far away. I never flew before.’

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Political parenting is a conversation we need to have - Transcript, ABC News 24

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

ABC NEWS 24 AFTERNOON LIVE

MONDAY, 21 JANUARY 2019

SUBJECTS: Politics and parenting, gender balance in political parties, Kelly O’Dwyer.

GEMMA VENESS: Returning to our earlier story, the resignation of Kelly O'Dwyer. For more on this, we're joined by the ABC’s chief political writer Annabel Crab and Labor MP Andrew Leigh also joins us from Canberra. Andrew Leigh, I will start with you. Kelly O'Dwyer's decision to quit politics and, as she has said, her desire for a third child - is this another point scored for the notion that work-life balance in federal politics could be a myth?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: It’s a personal decision for Kelly and I wish her and her husband Jon all the best as they manage their lives from here on. The conversation has been partly around the challenge for the Liberal Party having now so few women, particularly in its senior ranks. They are closer to one in five, we're closer to one in two, and that means that they are more vulnerable to any particular resignation. But it’s opened up the conversation around juggling parenting and politics and that's something that I think is important for all political parents to talk about. Obviously women have it tougher, but making sure that that work-life balance is effective gives us a broader range of people who would be willing to put their hands up and go into politics if they think they don't have to choose between politics and a family.

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Political parenting can be mortifying, but the imperfections can be glorious - Op Ed, The Guardian

POLITICAL PARENTING CAN BE MORTIFYING – BUT THE IMPERFECTIONS CAN BE GLORIOUS

The Guardian, 16 January 2016

At first glance, it seemed the last photo you’d put on the front of your Christmas card. Gweneth and I were smiling at the cameras, along with our eldest two boys. What we didn’t realise was that our toddler had left the group, and was sitting a metre away, with the world’s biggest scowl on his face.

But when we sent out the card, friends loved it. People didn’t want to see airbrushed politics; they preferred to know that our kids were just as grumpy as everyone else’s. Then someone put it online, and within a week, it had found its way into the global media, including a cameo appearance on the US Today Show.

Combining politics with parenting can be hazardous. A few months afterwards, I was live on my local ABC radio station when the interviewer asked “is that your child howling in the background?” I was torn as to whether to stick to my theme of castigating the Coalition’s economic mismanagement, or explaining that when you have three young boys, silence is as rare as a sleep-in.

Mixing kids with life can have mortifying results, yet the imperfections can be glorious. If you go to the website of Robert Kelly, the Korea expert whose BBC interview was interrupted when his children gatecrashed his home office, you’ll see his bio page starts with “Firstly, yes, I am ‘BBC Dad‘ – the guy who got interrupted on BBC news by his kids in March 2017. Here and here are our family statements on that event.” Kelly is one of the foremost experts on the inter-Korean tinderbox, but most of the world knows him for his irrepressible kids.

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Stuart Robert gets it wrong - Media Release

STUART ROBERT GETS IT WRONG

Back at the desk after a year being investigated by ASIC, justifying his business dealings, and being forced to repay a $38,000 internet bill, Stuart Robert has blundered again.

In a media release today, Mr Robert states that Labor voted against the Coalition’s Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law.

In fact, Labor supported that bill through both the House and the Senate.

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Shine a light on our quiet achievers - Op Ed, The Chronicle

SHINE A LIGHT ON OUR QUIET ACHIEVERS

The Chronicle, 8 January 2019

WHEN working with people with disabilities, Pam Beckhouse kept faith that her students had the capacity to learn.

“Be positive. Never stop. Keep trying,” she counsels. 

“One day, something will happen and you’ll realise they were taking it in all that time.”

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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.