Media


Banning foreign donations without hurting charities - Op Ed, Pro Bono

SENATOR DON FARRELL

SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT

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

BANNING FOREIGN DONATIONS WITHOUT HURTING CHARITIES

Pro Bono, 26 November 2018

In 2009, Rhonda Galbally and Bruce Bonyhady founded the National Disability and Carer Alliance, which auspiced the ‘Every Australian Counts’ campaign. It had an ambitious goal: to build the community case for a National Disability Insurance Scheme. For decades, people had talked about the inadequate patchwork of disability supports, but the cost and complexity had seen it relegated to the bottom of the priority list. In 2013, Parliament passed the scheme into law with bipartisan support.

Community groups are often the drivers of social change. From encouraging supermarkets to phase out battery-farmed eggs to demanding a Royal Commission into misconduct in the financial sector, our charities and not-for-profits have been at the forefront. Even when political leaders are supportive, these groups can build a broad coalition. Franklin D. Roosevelt is quoted (perhaps apocryphally) telling progressive activists who came to see him in the White House: ‘I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it’.

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A message for the ‘cheer squad media’ - Op Ed, Crikey

A MESSAGE FOR THE ‘CHEER SQUAD MEDIA’

Crikey, 26 November 2018

When is it wrong to write 5.3 percent as “around 5 and a half percent”? Not when the Reserve Bank does it. According to Nick Cater and Judith Sloan, the answer seems to be “when the writer is a member of the Labor Party”.

Over recent weeks, the duo has mounted a bizarre attack on an opinion article that I had published online in the New York Times at the start of October. The critiques are as fatuous as they are false.

Apparently it was perfectly fine for Josh Frydenberg to write on the UK Spectator website in 2012 that Julia Gillard was ‘dumbing down... our foreign policy’ and ‘cheapens our parliament with a trumped up and false charge of misogyny’. But for me to discuss the challenges of the Australian economy on the New York Times website (with no direct critique of the current government) is tantamount to high treason.

Being fact-checked by Cater and Sloan is like getting a lecture on business ethics from Christopher Skase. Both angrily fault my 9 October article for its failure to use statistics released on 18 October. It’s not clear whether they are clumsy or deliberately trying to deceive their readers. Worse yet, perhaps they just don’t care about the truth - just whether they can score a partisan point.

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Victoria rejected fear campaigns - Transcript, ABC Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC CANBERRA

MONDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: The Banking Royal Commission; Victorian State Election; National Integrity Commission; Labor’s Fair Go Action plan.

ADAM SHIRLEY: Which bank should sponsor the Australian of the Year awards? For some time the Commonwealth Bank has been a corporate partner of the Australian of the Year Awards, which if you don't know celebrates some of this country's most dynamic, highly achieving and downright extraordinary citizens of this country. But some are grumbling about the Commonwealth Bank's involvement because parts of its behaviour along with other financial institutions have been anything but pristine. The Royal Commission into financial institutions has revealed this to be true. One of those placing a question mark on the bank's future involvement with the awards is Dr Andrew Leigh. He is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Member for Fenner and he's with us today. Dr Leigh, is it time the Commonwealth Bank stepped away?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you. This is an issue that my colleague Matt Thistlethwaite has raised, based on a whole lot of the evidence that we've been hearing out of the first the parliamentary committees, where the government was fighting against the royal commission, and then of course the royal commission since then. And the point he's making is that the Australian of the Year awards are among our most significant awards in Australia and they’re a moment where the announcement is emblazoned with the marketing of the Commonwealth Bank. No one's saying here that the Commonwealth Bank shouldn't be engaged in good citizen corporate philanthropy, but the question is whether that crucial announcement for Australia ought to also be a marketing opportunity for the Commonwealth Bank.

SHIRLEY: And where do you sit on that? Do you see real merit in Matt Thistlethwaite’ s concept and his question?

LEIGH: Look, I do and I think Matt’s very thoughtful on this issue and has been there hearing a lot of the evidence coming forward against the Commonwealth Bank's bad behaviour. I think the Commonwealth Bank is stepping back from the marketing for a couple of years, so we don't have the Australian of the Year emblazoned with Commonwealth Bank logos, presented by Commonwealth marketing, I think that's probably where many Australians would sit. I think they'd say, look the conduct of the big banks is not such that we would necessarily want them to be tied at the hip to the marketing on Australia Day when we're making these announcements.

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Rough time for blue collar workers in Scott Morrison’s Australia - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

CANBERRA

MONDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Labor’s plans to right the economic wrongs of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Governments.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer.

If you're a millionaire or a multinational, then under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, every day is your lucky day. You've got a government that will defend every single tax break, a government that will fight for the rights of tax haven users every step of the way.

But if you are a blue collar worker in Scott Morrison’s Australia, the past few years have been tough. As the Reserve Bank Governor told us last week, real wages have barely budged under the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments. We've seen penalty rates cut, we’ve seen energy bills flying as high as Scott Morrison's jet on a bus tour. Over the last few years, the government has shown an inability to tackle climate change, an unwillingness to look at inequality, it’s been an absolute failure on the energy front.

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Labor's policy will rebalance the market - Transcript, RN Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW 

ABC RN DRIVE

MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Levelling the playing field for first home buyers, Labor’s commitment to a National Integrity Commission.

PATRICIA KARVELAS: As house prices in Melbourne and Sydney continue to fall, there are fresh calls for Labour to abandon its planned changes to negative gearing. The opposition has proposed limiting negative gearing on existing dwellings, although the change would not apply to those already using the tax break. The government says the policy would hurt mortgage holders who've already seen the value of their home drop and they’ve won the backing of Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond, who described the impact as a nuclear bomb this morning. Andrew Leigh’s the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Welcome back to RN Drive.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Patricia. Great to be chatting with you.

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Announcing Labor's policy of free tax clinics - Transcript, 6PR

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

6PR PERTH LIVE

MONDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to fund free tax clinics, Labor’s commitment to a National Integrity Commission, levelling the playing field for first home buyers.

OLIVER PETERSON: Shadow Treasurer Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good afternoon, Olly. How are you?

PETERSON: Very well. What brings you to Perth?

LEIGH: I'm here to announce a Labor policy of free tax clinics, building on some great work that Annette Morgan and her team’s been doing at Curtin University. They’re providing tax help for low income individuals who are often struggling with disputes with the tax office or complicated tax affairs. It’s a great way of helping people who are really not sure how to make their way through the tax system get the help they need. Millionaires and multinationals can afford to pay high priced accountants, but for many low income people caught up in problems with tax, they don't know where else to turn.

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BHP decision based on laws the Coalition voted against - Media Release

BHP DECISION BASED ON LAWS THE COALITION VOTED AGAINST

The Coalition voted against laws that helped secure a $529 million transfer pricing settlement between the Australian Taxation Office and BHP.

These laws, passed by the former Labor Government in 2013, were opposed by Liberal and National Party members on the grounds that they were ‘retrospective’. 

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg owe the Australian people an apology. If they had their way, the budget would be millions of dollars worse off.

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Phoenix operators burn more than just businesses - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP 

GOLD COAST

MONDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Labor's plans to crack down on dodgy phoenix directors.

DES HARDMAN, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR FORDE: Good morning everybody. My name’s Des Hardman, I’m Labor’s candidate for Forde at the next federal election. I'm here today with Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and our candidate for Moncrieff Tracey Bell, as well as Bernard Moolman from Ozzie Electrical and Solar. Today, Andrew’s been down on the Gold Coast, talking to business owners about our proposed changes to laws for phoenixing companies and the impact that we expect that we can make and have and to improve the lives of working people here in our community. It really is a shame that companies can take advantage of the current situation and the current laws to their own advantage without giving any consideration whatsoever to the impact that they're having on the lives of working people and their families in our community. 

TRACEY BELL, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR MONCRIEFF: I'm Tracy Bell. I’m the candidate for Moncrieff. I'm really, really happy to see this policy and to be standing with Labor and beside Andrew and Des here to announce this. We really, I see firsthand how the effects are, how this affects the normal everyday working people. I'm a director of child care centre and I'm having these conversations myself with families, even this morning, who can't afford to pay their things because they haven't been paid for reasons like this.

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Good for transparency, productivity, competition and reducing inequality - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

SYDNEY

WEDNESDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Labor's plans to make remittances simpler and fairer.

SAM CROSBY, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR REID: I'm Sam Crosby, I’m the candidate for Reid. Reid is overwhelmingly one of Sydney’s most multicultural communities. We outstrip just about every index in the country or national average in the country for multiculturalism and migrant communities, which are obviously one of the big beneficiaries of this policy or losers under the current system. So when Andrew told me about this I thought what a fantastic idea, what a genuine help for people. So, very happy to be here.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: The basic principle of this policy is that financial institutions shouldn’t make money by bamboozling their customers. Only one in five people now realise that in addition to the flat fee, they also pay an exchange rate spread. That exchange rate spread can be big. One study suggests that if you send a $1000 to a developing country, it costs $77. That’s 7.7 per cent eaten up in transaction fees. That $77 cost is $23 more than people in America pay, it's more than people in Britain and Canada pay.

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Hackett's history goes by the book - Op Ed, The Chronicle

HACKETT'S HISTORY

The Chronicle, 6 November 2018

Hackett shops used to have a post office, a Shell service station, a pharmacy, a butcher and a bakery. Today, it features a bike store, florist, skin clinic, exercise centre, hairdresser, Thai restaurant and osteopath. In December 1962, a four bedroom Hackett home cost just £6250. Since that era, Hackett has more dwellings, but fewer residents - 2,991 in 2016, compared with 4,384 in 1971.

It’s said that understanding yourself starts with knowing your history and local geography. Thanks to a new history of Hackett, local residents can get a better insight into both. Produced by the Hackett Community Association, we launched the book at Hackett’s recent birthday celebrations. Many former residents came along, including those who had attended the former Hackett Primary School.

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