Speaking


Audio Recordings

For audio recordings of my speeches and conversations at events across the country, please see this podcast below. It's also available on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.




Written Speeches

Below you will find transcripts of doorstops, speeches and media interviews.

Government deaf to logic on university funding - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 21 OCTOBER 2020

The Education Legislation Amendment (Up-front Payments Tuition Protection) Bill 2020 before us tonight is largely uncontroversial and Labor will be supporting it. So my remarks tonight will be largely directed towards the second reading amendment, which goes to the ‘Job-Ready Graduates’ bill. That bill passed the parliament with the government using the guillotine twice. I was on the speaking list when it first came before the House and was unceremoniously cut off. Again, when it came back for debate in the House, I was on the list but was unable to have an opportunity to speak.

Having spent six years working at the Australian National University—finishing up as a professor there—there were contributions I wanted to make on the ‘Job-Ready Graduates’ bill. But the government wasn't willing to hear them.

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Chinese Australians should be celebrated, not interrogated - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 21 OCTOBER 2020

Billy Sing, Victor Chang, Terence Tao, Alec Fong Lim, Bing Lee, Melissa Wu, Kylie Kwong and Jenny Kee are just some of the thousands of Chinese Australians who've given so much to this country. Yet last week we saw a spectacle which should never have appeared in this place.

Prior to a parliamentary committee hearing Yun Jiang, one of the witnesses, put forward a written statement in which she talked about the toxic environment faced by Chinese Australians who engage in public debates. 'Some Chinese Australians are choosing to remain silent,' she said, 'because they don't want their loyalties to be questioned in the public arena.'

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Morrison Government just one scandal after another - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal ICAC; Air Rorts; Sports Rorts; WaterGate; JamLands; NSW community grants.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: This fellow is also from the Australian Capital Territory, Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh, who's written to more than 200 big companies - Apple, Maccas, Microsoft. He wants to get to the bottom of whether or not they've received JobKeeper subsidies and used the money to pay shareholder dividends or executive bonuses. I mean, that's not what the money was for. Absolutely, that's not what the money was for. And look, again, this is why we need to have a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption. I'm not obviously suggesting any corrupt behaviour by the government here, but certainly all this money needs to be accounted for and I would hate to think big business has received a bit of a leg up during this pandemic to pay, you know, bonuses to those who probably don’t need it. Let's be honest. 20 after 7, Andrew, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Happy birthday to your mum. I hope she's out of hospital soon, mate.

PAUL: Oh, very kind, mate. Thank you so much. Yeah, me too. Look, it’s a long haul. What - two fractures in your pelvis and, you know, at least another month. Poor thing. Anyway.

LEIGH: Yeah, falls are just such a serious issue for older people, aren’t they?

PAUL: Absolutely. Absolutely. And Mum, we wish you all the best. And there you go, Andrew does as well. Thank you, it's very kind, mate. Now, under the Morison Government we've had Sports Rorts, WaterGate, JamLands and Paladin. We've had the big stack with over 60 former Liberal staffers, ministers and candidates and donors appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. I mean, where does it all end, Andrew? There’s so much going on.

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Morrison's JobMaker spin doesn't match substance - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 19 OCTOBER 2020

We know that the Prime Minister has a marketing background, and never has this been clearer than when the Treasurer announced the program we're debating tonight. The Treasurer's budget speech stated:

Treasury estimates that this will support around 450,000 jobs for young people.

Support 450,000 jobs: what would most people take that as meaning? I imagine most people listening thought, 'Beauty, 450,000 more jobs!' But, no, that wasn't what the Treasurer meant. The Treasurer meant that the total number of people who could be eligible for this program is 450,000. The maximum possible number of applicants is 450,000.

Putting aside the fact, that, obviously, some of those people would have found a job absent the program, you have another example of the government's marketing spin over policy substance.

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Liberals out of touch on climate change - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 19 OCTOBER 2020

For the sake of our children it's time to set aside childish things. It's time to set aside the coalition's denialism on climate change. Climate change is happening and humans are causing it. Since the industrial era, temperatures have risen one degree on average and 1½ degrees in some parts of the world.

- The Member for Hughes interjecting.

Thank you, Mr Hydroxychloroquine. I appreciate the interjections.

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Australia needs a federal ICAC - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 19 OCTOBER 2020

Under the Morrison government we've had sports rorts, 'Watergate', Jam Land and Paladin. We've had the 'big stack' with over 60 former Liberal staffers, ministers, candidates and donors appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The Federal Police want to know why taxpayers paid a Liberal donor 10 times as much as the land was worth, and all Australians want to know why Stuart Robert and Angus Taylor are still ministers.

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JobKeeper shouldn't be funnelled to billionaires - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA MORNINGS

MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECT: Misuse of JobKeeper.

LEON BYNER, HOST: You've heard of JobKeeper. You know what it is, don't you? Right. Well, there are some in the community who say no, for many companies paying very generous salaries and dividends to their shareholders, we'd rather call it DividendKeeper. This is where companies use the subsidy, which was designed to keep workers hit by the coronavirus recession connected to their jobs, to prop up payments to shareholders. So if that money is being used for this purpose - and it certainly isn't what was legitimately put out by the government, they wanted to do the right thing by the workers. But unfortunately, it's been abused. So let's talk to Labor frontbencher, Andrew Leigh, who's written to more than 200 companies - including Apple, McDonald's, Microsoft - asking them to reveal whether they receive JobKeeper subsidies and use the money to pay shareholder dividends. Dr Andrew Leigh, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Leon. Great to be with you.

BYNER: Do you think you're gonna get an honest answer?

LEIGH: I've certainly gotten some responses rolling in so far, mostly those who are saying that they haven't received it. But I'd like to think that if a firm is receiving significant taxpayer subsidies, that they would respond when a federal Member of Parliament wrote to them to ask them about it.

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Global Handwashing Day and Randomistas - Transcript, ABC Melbourne Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC MELBOURNE DRIVE
THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Global Handwashing Day; Randomistas.

RAF EPSTEIN, HOST: Someone has written about this in his book Randomistas, is known to you in another guise - his day job. Andrew Leigh's day job is being part of the Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s finance team. He is of course an MP from Canberra as well. Andrew Leigh, thanks for joining us.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Raf. Happy Global Handwashing Day.

EPSTEIN: Thank you. No one's ever said that to me before. Who is Mr Semmelweis? What did he do?

LEIGH: Ignaz Semmelweis was a doctor who worked at Vienna General Hospital in the mid-19th century, and he noticed this really interesting pattern Raf. They admitted patients on alternate days into the maternity ward where babies were delivered by midwives and the maternity ward where babies were delivered by doctors. And he noticed that mothers admitted into the clinic run by midwives had a death rate less than one in 20, while those admitted to the hospital run by doctors had a death rate of more than one in 10. The mothers actually knew this - some of them would actually deliver in the streets rather than be admitted into the ward run by doctors. So he went through various theories. Was it that the doctors were delivering when women lay on their sides? Was something to do with the bell that the priest rang? Eventually he figured out that it had to do with dirty hands. And so he began insisting that doctors wash their hands with chlorine wash and the death rate in the doctors’ ward plummeted. And that was the start of the hand washing movement.

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Government needs to make poverty national priority - Transcript, 2SM

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Parliamentary Friends of Cycling; Anti-Poverty Week; social housing; the Morrison Government’s cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker; food insecurity.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Hello, mate. How are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Marcus. Great to be with you. 

PAUL: Yeah, nice to talk to you as well. Now you have just launched the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling. Tell me all about this, mate. It’s a great idea. 

LEIGH: Absolutely. We're on the bike. Helen Haines, Dave Sharma and I decided that it was important to have a group that represented cyclists, as so many cyclists around Australia do it to stay fit, to commute, to just hang out with the kids. So Steven Hodge, who is one of Australia's great cyclists, got us all together and set up this group, which will campaign to get more people cycling more often.

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Government needs to focus on productivity and equity - Transcript, ABC Canberra Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; Budget in reply.

ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Federal Member for Fenner and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. And he, like many, was watching very closely Anthony Albanese’s words last night. He’s Opposition Leader. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you.

SHIRLEY: Given childcare is such a central theme of the Opposition's reply last night, what do you make of Ruth's comments, for instance, on how to structurally make the standard better - not just provide more money and places?

LEIGH: I think Ruth’s spot on. We need to think about early childhood as education, not mere babysitting. Anyone who's tried to look after three of their own children, as I have, will have huge respect for someone who sits down and looks after 13 children for an entire day. Ensuring that you've got a high-quality play based learning is absolutely vital. So one of the things we did when we were last in government was to improve education standards for early childhood educators, to reduce ratios and to ensure that there was real respect around the sector. But there's also this affordability question, and that was what Anthony was going to last night. We know that childcare fees have increased by an average of $3,800 a year since 2013. We know that many families are simply just priced out of childcare, and for families with a couple of kids, then often it's just not worth both parents working a full five days. That burden falls disproportionately on women.

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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.