Banks are overstepping - Transcript, 5AA Mornings





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


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





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


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


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


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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League and the ladder of life - Op Ed, The Daily Telegraph


The Daily Telegraph, 4 January 2019

Many of us like to think as rugby league as the great working class game. But despite its egalitarian beginnings, the early decades of league showed the kind of fixed hierarchy that would have made a baron blush. Souths won every premiership from 1925 to 1929. St George won every premiership from 1956 to 1966.

From the 1970s, things began to change. It became simpler for players to move across teams. New clubs were encouraged to enter the competition. In 1990, a salary cap was instituted, limiting the ability of the richest teams to snap up all the best players. It’s now been two decades since any team won back-to-back league premierships.

The story of rugby league illustrates that it is possible to move from a static, predictable environment into one that is more fluid, mobile, and surprising. But it didn’t happen by accident. Social mobility on the league ladder came about because we changed the rules. We didn’t let the free market rip.

It turns out that this commitment to mobility isn’t just restricted to the playing field. Most people, regardless of ideology, find the idea of a feudal society distasteful. Across the political spectrum, whether you’re talking to progressives or conservatives, almost everyone believes in a society where a child’s outcomes aren’t predestined from birth.

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Tyres and Tax Havens - Op Ed, The Herald Sun


The Herald Sun, 29 December 2018

At its worst, Melbourne’s Stawell tyre dump held nine million tyres. The tyre recycling firm that owned the site was refusing to clean it up. Authorities were worried about the fire risk. Eventually, the Environment Protection Authority stepped in. Over two months, they took away 380 truckloads of tyres, at a cost to the taxpayer of $4.5 million.

But when they looked at where to send the bill, the Authority discovered something fishy. Ownership of the dump had been shifted from the Used Tyre Recycling Corporation to a firm called Internet Marketing Solutions Corp. It was based in Panama. That’s right - one of Melbourne’s ugliest eyesores was technically owned by an internet company based in a beautiful nation on the other side of the world.

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Coalition waves the white flag on multinational tax dodging - Media Release


Nearly three years after promising a register designed to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, the Coalition has put the reform into the ‘too hard for us’ basket.

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How the Fat Duck slimmed its tax bill - Op Ed, The Age


The Age, 19 December 2018

In the 1600s, Louis XIV’s finance minister famously described the art of taxation as being to get the maximum amount of feathers from the goose, with the least amount of hissing. At London’s Fat Duck restaurant, they’ve taken a different approach. By using tax havens, Heston Blumenthal’s restaurants appear to have goosed the tax authorities. By flying the profits to the tax haven of Nevis, which charges no company tax on the profits of foreign companies, the famous restaurant chain seems to have feathered its own nest at the expense of the rest of us.

Heston Blumenthal, who also operates the Dinner restaurant at Melbourne’s Southbank, isn’t the only one apparently using tax havens. By one estimate, four out of every ten dollars of multinational profits are now routed through tax havens. Dubbed ‘Treasure Islands’ by one expert, places like Panama and Bermuda have become infamous for their willingness to house companies and their unwillingness to share information about them.

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