The Liberal Party is an opposition in exile - Doorstop, Parliament House





SUBJECT: Liberal Party leadership and policy paralysis.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. I don't often agree with Eric Abetz, but Eric Abetz was on the radio this morning saying that this isn't just about personalities, it's about policy. I think that's fundamentally right. The biggest environmental issue facing the planet is climate change and the Liberal Party is riven about it. One of the biggest issues facing Australian households is energy prices and the Liberal Party again doesn't know what to do.

The powerful and rising Tea Party faction within the Liberal Party is destroying consensus, destroying strong mainstream politics. The Liberal Party no longer knows whether it's a liberal or a conservative party. Only a spell in opposition will allow them to sort that out. Whether they chose Malcolm Turnbull or Peter Dutton or Scott Morrison or Julie Bishop, the fact remains that the Liberal Party is a party disunified, an opposition in exile. They are a party that is unable to make the big decisions that Australians need.

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Territorians should not have their rights restricted - Op Ed, The Riot ACT


The Riot ACT - 20 August, 2018

In 1997, as the Commonwealth parliament sought to remove legislative rights from the ACT and the Northern Territory, then Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT Kate Carnell appeared before a committee of this parliament to say “what is at issue here is nothing less than the democratic rights of the citizens of the ACT”.

She referred to the proposed Andrews Bill as “limiting our self-governing powers”. Ms Carnell emphasised the long-term effects of depriving citizens of democratic rights enjoyed by those in the states, but the Andrews Bill passed the parliament and the restriction of the democratic right of territorians is with us today.

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Let's bring the A-League to the capital - Op Ed, Queanbeyan Age


Queanbeyan Age - 18 August, 2018

If you know all the north Canberra Bels - Belnorth, Belsouth, Belwest, the Devils and the Foxes - if you know the Uniteds, Citys and FCs, the Medusas, the Gliders, the Pumas, Olympic, the Panthers and the Spurs, the Bulls, White Eagles and Wanderers, the Knights, the Magpies and the Blues, then you'll know these names: Warren, Grella, Zelic, Shipard, Valeri, Farina, Perry, Rogic, Arrows, Cosmos, Arzani.

Those great names of Australian soccer have all played a part in the growth of football here in Canberra as well as across the nation.

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Silence on the DIN - Media Release


Director identification numbers are the most important reform required to crack down on illegal phoenix activity. Yet the Turnbull Government is still no closer to implementing them.
Minister Kelly O’Dwyer yesterday released draft phoenix legislation that did not include director identification numbers.

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Australia is better off with immigration - Neumann & Leigh - Op Ed, Ten Daily

Australia is better off with immigration

Ten Daily, 16 August 2018

Diversity strengthens our culture and economy.

In 1981, economist Julian Simon published a groundbreaking book titled The Ultimate Resource, in which he pushed back at the prevailing view that the world was threatened by overpopulation. The ultimate resource, Simon argued, is people "skilled, spirited, and hopeful people who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit, and inevitably they will benefit not only themselves but the rest of us as well".

In today’s immigration debate, people often forget that the 2016 census showed nearly half of all Australians have either been born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas.

The Australian story is inherently linked to migration and our non-discriminatory immigration policy is our strength and our pride, having allowed for 7.5 million migrants to call Australia home since World War II.

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Australia can't afford the Government's willy nilly cash splash - Transcript, Sky News





SUBJECTS: NEG and coal-fired power stations, Government donation of $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

KIERAN GILBERT: With me now is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. Thanks very much for your time. The Government looks like it's going to be adopting the competition watchdog approach of providing finance underwriting, new dispatchable power whether it be coal or gas. What's Labor's view of that which was a recommendation by the ACCC and Rod Sims?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Let's be careful about misinterpreting the ACCC, Kieran. Certainly there is no private sector appetite for building more coal fired power plants. It seems strange that an ostensibly market-based party in the Liberals would be proposing that we spend taxpayer money on new coal fired power plants. It's true around the world where you're seeing a drop off in coal demand as countries move to meet their Paris targets. Australia has seen rising energy prices and rising emissions under the Liberals. We need to make sure that we are doing our part to bring down emissions otherwise other countries - 
GILBERT: When you say don't misinterpret, what else do you mean by that? From what I read of that competition watchdog review of energy price recently, he said there needs to be a capacity for federal government to underwrite new dispatchable power sources. You don't agree that that was the outcome?
LEIGH: I don't see anything in the ACCC report that suggests the taxpayer dollars should go to fund new coal-fired power plants, Kieran.

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Five new ideas about inequality - Speech, Melbourne




7 AUGUST 2018

Over the weekend, I read an intriguing story about the increasing size of superyachts. The article noted that one of the richest men in Australia has over recent years upgraded from a 21-metre long sports cruiser to a 27-metre flybridge cruiser. His latest is a 73-metre Hasna superyacht, worth $75 million. But it’s not the biggest privately owned yacht in Australia. Another rich-lister owns a 74-metre Italian-made yacht.

Yet as investment banker Mark Carnegie notes, no matter how large they get, ‘someone’s always got a bigger one’. Carnegie observes that people buy these megaboats ‘as a means of transport; a place to sleep; a venue to entertain; a floating activity centre; and, most important of all, to show off.’

In the world of luxury boats, one expert observes that ‘the client who 15 years ago would have been satisfied with a 40-metre yacht, which would then have been one of the largest yachts in the bay, is now surrounded by dozens of yachts of 60-70 metres, and this plants the seed that he really ought to upgrade.’ The world’s largest yachts now include multiple swimming pools, submersibles, jet skis, concert halls and dance floors. Running costs alone can be millions of dollars per year.

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Moving to Gungahlin - Op Ed, The Chronicle

Moving to Gungahlin

The Chronicle, 7 August 2018

In 1991, when it was officially launched as Canberra’s fourth town, Gungahlin had less than 400 residents. Now, it’s home to more than 70,000.

Originally spelt ‘Goongarline’, the region’s name means ‘white man’s house’ or ‘little rocky hill’.

As one of the fastest-growing parts of Australia, Gungahlin has plenty to recommend it. For those who like to exercise, there’s an Olympic-sized pool, a popular Saturday Parkrun and a flying fox at Yerrabi Pond for the kids. The strength of community is demonstrated by the active Gungahlin Community Council, and active faith groups at the Uniting Church, Anglican Church, Presbyterian Church and the Gungahlin Mosque.

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Trump ups the ante in trade war - Op Ed, Sydney Morning Herald


Sydney Morning Herald, 2 August 2018

After campaigning hard for tariffs on imported washing machines, US manufacturer Whirlpool was delighted in January when the Trump administration imposed new import duties. Whirlpool chief executive Marc Bitzer told an investor call: "This is, without any doubt, a positive catalyst for Whirlpool." The company’s share price jumped by about 10 per cent.

A few months later, things weren’t looking so rosy. The Trump administration announced that it would impose steel tariffs: meaning that the price of one of Whirlpool’s main raw materials would increase substantially. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bitzer warned investors in April that "there continues to be uncertainty regarding potential future tariffs and trade actions". Whirlpool’s share price had fallen by about 20 percent.

But the biggest losers weren’t shareholders, they were consumers. In the three months to the end of June, prices of washers and dryers in the US rose by one-fifth, the largest increase in more than a decade.

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Malcolm Turnbull has had one big economic idea since he became Prime Minister - Transcript, Sky News

MONDAY, 30 JULY 2018
SUBJECTS: Braddon and Longman by-elections; Newspoll; Corporate tax cuts; Labor’s economic plan.

KIERAN GILBERT: This is AM Agenda, with me now the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh. Thanks very much for your time. Obviously I spoke to Bill Shorten earlier, he's very happy this morning understandably given how much was at stake that week on Saturday, the Super Saturday by-elections.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: As he should be. Bill campaigned extraordinarily hard, particularly in Braddon and Longman but also in Mayo, Perth and Fremantle. We've seen this result not only a reinforcement of Bill's positive plan but also an utter repudiation of Malcolm Turnbull and Turnbullnomics. This idea that a big company tax cut is going to be good for the Australian economy has been rejected by many economists and now rejected by thousands of Australian voters.

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