The Secret GST Distribution Report - Speech, Federation Chamber


Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018

Another critical issue that the government is failing to act on is the GST distribution report. The Productivity Commission handed its report on GST distribution to the government on 15 May. The government has to table the report in parliament 25 sitting days after receipt. There will be only 15 sitting days between receiving the report and the date of the by-elections in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia that occur during the winter break.

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Tackling the housing affordability crisis - Speech, Parliament House


I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and thank Hedley Davis and Denita Wawn, as well as my ACT colleague Zed Seselja.
As you know, Australia is facing a housing affordability crisis. We now have the lowest home ownership rate that we've had in 60 years. There are over 500,000 Australians in rental stress and almost no housing that is affordable for low-income Australians. In the early 1980s the ratio of house prices to incomes was 2:1. Now, it's over 5:1. We're a nation that is increasingly struggling to house our young people.

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Turnbull must act on poor choice and rotten apples - Media Release


Malcolm Turnbull needs to stop focusing on giving big business a billion dollar handout and instead ensure they are playing by the rules.
Apple has been fined $9 million by the Federal Court for making false or misleading claims to customers with faulty iPhones and iPads in a case that backs Labor’s calls for increased fines for breaches of consumer law.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had taken the tech giant to court amid complaints it had told customers they weren't entitled to a repair or replacement after they had a third party fix devices that were disabled by an iOS software update.

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Liberals must stop taking foreign donations - Speech, Federation Chamber

Federation Chamber

18 June, 2018

Over the years, the Liberal Party has accepted a number of significant foreign donations, including $14,000 from Kazumasa Ikoma of Japan, $50,000 from Kin Chao Sun of Hong Kong and $1.5 million from British citizen Michael Ashcroft. For over a year, Labor has refused to take foreign donations, but the Liberal Party still remains open to taking foreign cash.

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Coalition's attack a waste of taxpayer dollars - Transcript, Sky News Agenda




MONDAY, 18 JUNE 2018
SUBJECTS: Dividend imputation reform, Income tax cuts.
KIERAN GILBERT: With me now, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Thanks very much for your time. The Labor Party, a spokesperson has advised or pointed out this morning that the individual author within Treasury of this report which has questioned Labor’s numbers is a former staffer of Mitch Fifield and Kelly O’Dwyer and a former Vice President of the Young Liberals Student Association. The point though that Angus Taylor has made and others have made, Simon Birmingham, is that this has been ticked off by senior levels of Treasury. So is Labor really impugning the reputation of the Treasury in this?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, you’ve got to take a step back and recognise how Labor does our costings. We do them through the Parliamentary Budget Office, which is an equal status coster to the Treasury. And the whole purpose of the Charter of Budget Honesty, in setting up the Parliamentary Budget Office, is we wouldn’t have the kind of debacle we’re seeing from the Coalition today. Our policies have been costed by a body which has an equal status to the Treasury. To spend taxpayer money attacking Labor policies is a terrible waste. Why aren’t they spending resources working out how to scrap the tampon tax? This should be paid for Liberal Party funds if they want to attack Labor policies.

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Alex Hutchinson's Endure explores the mind-body influence on sports performance - Review, Sydney Morning Herald

Alex Hutchinson's Endure explores the mind-body influence on sports performance

Andrew Leigh

The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2018


Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Alex Hutchinson

HarperCollins, $39.99

Humans are amazing. Members of our species have held their breath for 24 minutes, deadlifted 500 kilograms, free dived deeper than 200 metres, and pulled a 99 tonne truck. Humans have long jumped nearly 9 metres and high jumped almost 2½ metres. A person has swum 225 kilometres. Another skydived at 1300 kilometres an hour.

And we keep getting better. Cycling and swimming were among the sports that saw new world records set at the Commonwealth Games. There have been 100 metre races in which almost everyone finished in less than 10 seconds. Sometimes the improvement is remarkable, as when competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi doubled the hot dog eating record in 2001, devouring a gut-churning 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

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Rising to the challenge of inequality - Essay, Inside Story



Inside Story, 15 June 2018.

When Jane found herself jobless, homeless and separated from her partner, she began staying in her campervan in Hawkesbury, on the Sydney fringe. There was a time, she said, when she had 11 cents in her bank account and wouldn’t have more for another nine days. She survived off charity. “Most Australians don’t know what real hunger feels like,” she says. Sometimes, men would approach her campervan to ask for sexual favours.

For another group of Sydneysiders, life looks very different. Later this month the Art Gallery of New South Wales will host its inaugural ArchiBall, the most expensive and exclusive gala dinner it has ever hosted. Sitting under Nolans and Drysdales, guests will sip Moët, enjoy a meal designed by celebrity chef Matt Moran, and listen to a famous Australian singer whose name is being kept secret. Tickets are $2000 each.

Australian inequality has risen markedly over the past generation. Homes on Point Piper’s Wolseley Road can cost $50,000 per square metre; and if you’d like to park Australia’s most expensive sports car in your garage, Pagani’s Huayra Roadster — powered by a 562kw engine — will set you back $5.5 million. Many stores are struggling, but luxury retailing in Australia has surged.

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Stop the war on charities - Media Release


Labor will support the set of principles outlined today the Hands Off Our Charities Alliance, in order to ensure that the not for profit sector remains viable and our democracy stays intact.

This began as a debate about foreign donations but somehow, in the hands of Malcolm Turnbull, it has morphed into a war on charities and not for profits.

We’ve heard from multiple charities over many weeks about their concerns that the foreign donation bill will stop them from advocating for their communities and make it harder to raise money to support communities in need.

There is bipartisan support for banning foreign political donations, but banning donations to political parties should not entail cutting down free speech.

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You cut the public service, you get worse public services - Transcript, Doorstop







SUBJECTS: Banking Royal Commission; Job cuts at the ATO.

CATHY O'TOOLE, MEMBER FOR HERBERT: It's really fantastic to have the Honourable Andrew Leigh here with me this morning. He's our acting Shadow Treasurer and our Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Andrew has been here talking to the people in this community about the devastation that they have experienced in terms of the activities of the banks. And with the Royal Commission into banking and finance this has been a very important opportunity for the people in our community to have their voices heard. So I'll hand over to Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, ACTING SHADOW TREASURER: Thanks very much, Cathy. It's great to be here with Cathy, a hard working local member fighting for the interests of Townsville. We've been engaged in two main issues over the last couple of days. The first is a banking forum, hearing some of the stories of how people have been personally affected by banking malfeasance. We know that Malcolm Turnbull fought for nearly two years against this Royal Commission into the banks which is now uncovering scandal after scandal. Following the Storm Financial collapse, the people of Townsville don't need any more reasons to see that a Royal Commission into the banks is critical. Labor's call has been vindicated, and more and more evidence is emerging from the Royal Commission. 

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Worst time for a big bank handout - Transcript, ABC North Queensland





SUBJECT: Banking Royal Commission.

MICHAEL CLARKE: Last night a forum was held to discuss cases of financial misconduct. It was put together to discuss the issue with the Labor Party and in town at the moment is the ALP's Acting Shadow Treasurer, Andrew Leigh who joins us this morning along with the Member for Herbert, Cathy O'Toole. Good to see you both. Thanks for being with us today. Andrew Leigh, why have a discussion about banking issues in Townsville when there is this Royal Commission underway across the country?

ANDREW LEIGH, ACTING SHADOW TREASURER: Michael, we want to hear directly from people about their stories about how the banks have affected them. We know that Townsville was hard hit by the Storm Financial scandal that not only saw people lose their homes but in some cases, end up with over a million dollar’s worth of debt. That led the last Labor Government to put in place a series of reforms that required financial advisers to act in the best interests of their client. Not a very high bar you'd think! We were surprised when the Liberals and Nationals tried to wind that back when they won office. We then argued for almost two years for this Royal Commission that we finally had. Malcolm Turnbull was telling us it was a stunt and we know it's anything but. We've seen the scandals coming through, dead people being charged for financial advice, one bank playing with kids school bank accounts, the head of AMP having to step down, one in twenty bits of advice the ANZ has given were not in the best interest of the client. And then last night we were hearing a lot of the texture around that and how that's directly affected Townsville residents and the changes that they want to see.

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