A STRONG ECONOMY FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS
48TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ADELAIDE
Thank you, President Swan.
Inequality in Australia is now at a 75-year high. If you were alive when inequality was this bad and you don’t have life membership, I’d encourage you to see Wayne Swan afterwards.
It is a pleasure to speak in favour of this important chapter alongside my friends Chris and Jim, because this chapter goes to the heart of what a Shorten Labor Government would deliver for the economy.
If you’re a billionaire, then the Liberals have been a great government. They’ve never seen a tax loophole they won’t defend. If he’s re-elected at the election, Scott Morrison will be back fighting once more for tax cuts for the biggest companies in Australia. Because, as he said less than six months ago, ‘we don't flip flop on these things’.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 6 DECEMBER 2018
Lionel Murphy put it best when he said, 'Mr Neal is entitled to be an agitator,' in support of the notion that our civil society is richer when we encourage people to dissent, to complain, to speak out, on issues where they have a different view.
In our schools we frequently have student representative councils and debating competitions. Here in the parliament we have the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program, PACER, which even today is bringing to this building school students to engage in the process of parliament. It is bringing students to our national capital so they can better understand our civil society. When I was at school, I protested in Martin Place against education changes being made by Terry Metherell, an experience from which I learned a great deal, not just about education but about the process of making a difference, as students do when they join peaceful protests against laws with which they disagree.
So it was surprising to hear the Prime Minister say, 'We do not support our schools being turned into parliaments,' when in fact that is what a government program does in many schools, to allow students to learn about civics.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2018
Shane Madden was one of Canberra's finest lawyers. He was part of the senior leadership team when the ACT Department of Public Prosecutions was formed under Ken Crispin in 1991. ACT Bar Association President Steve Whybrow said:
Shane was a fine trial advocate whose dark emerald robes and pinstripe pants were a defining sartorial feature.Read more
MONDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: World leaders’ game of guess who at the G20, Malcolm Turnbull’s call for an early election, trade, inequality, encryption legislation.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and federal Member for Fenner. This weekend Scott Morrison was in Argentina, where Donald Trump was asking the questions so many Australians are asking: “where is Malcolm Trumble? What have you done with him? Why did you change the government?” Angela Merkel, like many Australians, is puzzled as to who Scott Morrison is. Like many Australians, having to consult their own cheat sheets in order to work out what the Liberal Party has done. Because unlike Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull actually faced an election. And indeed when he first entered parliament, unlike Scott Morrison, Malcolm Turnbull fairly won a contested preselection.Read more
2GB MONEY WITH ROSS GREENWOOD
TUESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2018
SUBJECTS: Liberal Party’s big economic announcement…of a Budget date; Julia Banks; Labor’s plans to right the economic wrongs of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Governments.
ROSS GREENWOOD: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer, he is on the line right now. Thanks for your time, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Ross. Great to be back with you.
GREENWOOD: Will this government actually see that May 18 election date? Do you believe, given the fact that had Julia banks defecting to the crossbenchers and now the government does not control either in its own entirety the House of Representatives or the Senate?
LEIGH: Ross, I've been in the parliament for eight years now and rarely have I seen such chaos and dysfunction as what we're seeing today. Julia Banks’ defection was just another episode of any government that's been just lurching from crisis to crisis. This is making Tony Abbott’s reinstatement of knights and dames look like stable and responsible government. Whenever the election is called, we're ready to go.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 27 NOVEMBER 2018
I rise to speak on behalf of the opposition in respect of the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017. It is 729 days since Senator Farrell introduced opposition legislation in the Senate to ban foreign donations from our political system. Labor believes that political donations from foreign sources are eroding our political system, and urgent attention is required to address this. If you care about foreign cybermeddling in elections, you should care about foreign donations affecting Australian election outcomes.
After the government opposed our bill in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition sought to progress this urgent reform here, in the House. The government again refused to support this change, so Labor made the unilateral step of saying that we would voluntarily refuse foreign donations. More than a year ago, we acted to say that we would not take foreign political donations, not because the law banned us from doing so but because it is the right thing to do.
I today join with my colleague Senator Farrell in calling on the Prime Minister and every Liberal and National party member of this House to immediately—this moment—stop taking foreign donations. Don't wait for this bill to become law. The member for Mitchell just said that he believes that foreign donations are ‘inappropriate’, yet if you went to his political party right now as a foreign donor with a cheque to give to the Liberal Party of Australia, they would take that money. I say to the Liberal Party of Australia: Say no to British citizens like Lord Ashcroft. Say no to American political donors like Peter Briger. Say no to foreign political donations from any noncitizen, and say it today. Do not take another dollar in foreign donations. Do not wait for this bill to pass the parliament. Act right now, while you can.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 NOVEMBER 2018
I rise to pay tribute to the life of Dr John Mark Beaton, who passed away in his sleep on 6 November 2018, at the age of 74.
A successful anthropologist, John joined the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2001. As others have noted, he has not just been at the academy but was the academy. In my own experience with him, he was gentle and generous, warm and funny—somebody who brought life to an institution that could otherwise have been terribly stuffy.Read more
FEDERATION CHAMBER, 26 NOVEMBER 2018
I second the motion.
It is one of those things in sport: you at least expect the other side to take the playing field. But today we are seeing the coalition abandon the playing field. If you look at the speaking lists for the main chamber and for the Federation Chamber, it's like they've just given up and gone home, putting their tail between their legs. In the Federation Chamber today we're looking at a list with something in the order of 20 Labor or independent speakers and just a handful of coalition speakers.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more