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.

Robodebt scheme has done massive harm to Australian people - Transcript, 2CC Radio





SUBJECTS: Federal Labor’s calls for a Royal Commission into Robodebt; Liberals Undermining Superannuation (Again)

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you and your listeners.

DELANEY: Well thanks for joining us once again. First of all, why do we need a royal commission on this issue? Don't we already know what went wrong?

LEIGH: I think we need to get to the absolute bottom of what's happened with this significant scheme. I mean, this is a scheme designed to extract one and a half billion dollars of unlawful debts from the Australian people. Hundreds of thousands of people are having their debts repaid, and indeed pretty much everybody who came to my office has had their debts repaid. A whole lot of Canberrans have been affected by this. I've had constituents who had the debt collectors sicced onto them as a result of a process in which the Morrison Government took the humans out of Human Services and just allowed computer algorithms to run amok, ruining people's lives.

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Liberals again defend the indefensible - Speech, House of Representatives


In The Mikado, the Lord High Executioner sings, 'I've got a little list,' and the coalition have a little list as well. Their little list is of their mates that they would like to avoid public scrutiny. That's what they're doing with this vote that we are about to have in this place. Yet again, for the third time in as many days, they are going to come into this place and defend the indefensible.

Why do I say it's indefensible? It's because none of them are standing up to defend it.

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No defence for lack of transparency - Speech, House of Representatives


I was just pausing for a moment to see if perhaps there was one member of the coalition who might defend their current position. I'm perfectly happy to yield to anyone on the other side who wants to defend the position that they are about to vote for.

I think they're hoping that people will see the word 'tax' and just tune out. But let's be very clear about what we're debating in the House right now: the government wants to throw an invisibility cloak over their mates so they can evade scrutiny. It is as simple as that.

This is a measure that should have been a temporary exemption for a couple of years. That's what it was to have been when the Keating government put it in place in 1995. But it was the Howard government that said, 'You know, this is a pretty good lurk for some of our mates. Let's make it permanent.'

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Morrison over promises and under delivers - Speech, House of Representatives


Another day and another promise that the Prime Minister will likely fail to deliver on.

The coalition promised a draft bill to establish a national integrity commission by last Christmas, but for those who want a federal ICAC there was nothing under the Christmas tree. This government promised immediate support for bushfire victims. Months later, only four per cent have received help.

They said six million people were receiving the JobKeeper payment and then admitted that the truth was about half as many. They have left the arts sector behind, and the university sector has been deliberately excluded. There might be a pandemic going on, but they're not too busy to fight the culture wars. Among charities, just one in 13 can access the JobKeeper program, and some face the real prospect of going bust.

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Taxation needs transparency and consistency - Speech, House of Representatives


Louis Brandeis famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the issue we're facing here is squarely an issue of sunlight.

As the member for Mayo has highlighted, it's also an issue of consistency. Why should a company that was formed before 1995 be treated differently to a company formed after 1995? The coalition likes to talk about new businesses and about the importance of level playing fields. Well, this is the very antithesis of that. This is advantaging older businesses and it's tilting the playing field towards them. Why should 1,500 firms that were established before 1995 have access to a different transparency regime than every other private firm? It makes no sense whatsoever and it is a bizarre quirk of history.

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Time Teddy Sheean's valour was recognised with Victoria Cross - Speech, House of Representatives


‘What more can you ask of a man or a boy than to give his life for his country and to save his mates.’

These are the words of Garth Sheean, the nephew of Ordinary Seaman Edward 'Teddy' Sheean.

This is Teddy Sheean's story—a story of bravery, of sacrifice and of underacknowledged valour.

Almost 80 years ago, at just 17 years of age, Teddy Sheean followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Royal Australian Navy. It was there he met his mate, Able Seaman Jack Bird. The now 96-year-old Jack says Teddy Sheean 'could fight like a thrashing machine'.

It was both combat and comradery that he'd be remembered for.

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Free trade is under fire - Speech, House of Representatives


Free trade is under fire. We've seen a massive increase in the number of protectionist measures around the world and significant pressure being placed on the global trading system. It's critical to realise the value that openness has played in building the modern Australian economy.

Australia's trade barriers were brought down largely by successive Labor governments: the 25 per cent tariff cut by Gough Whitlam in 1973, and the significant tariff cuts in 1988 and 1991 by the Hawke government. The process of trade liberalisation delivered significant competitiveness into the Australian economy and ensured that we created many more jobs. It improved the living standards for many Australian households.

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HomeBuilder worsens inequality - Speech, House of Representatives


From the party that brought us knighthoods, robodebt and the right to bigotry, we shouldn't expect much. But, even by their standards, HomeBuilder is a home blunder.

It's a policy that worsens inequality and does nothing for growth. With six months to start, that narrows eligibility down to one group of people: those who were going to build anyway.

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Community spirit amid coronavirus outbreak - Speech, House of Representatives


Wendy Saclier remembers meeting Mike, the man she would go on to marry, more than 50 years ago at a Tanzanian Independence Day function.

She was a speech therapist, and he was an archivist—a passion that continued right through his life. Mike Saclier worked, successively, at the Tasmanian state archives and headed up the Butlin archive on business and labour at the Australian National University for many decades. He was somebody who was serious about history, serious about labour history and serious about civil war history. He was a loving father to Rod and Ele, and to Leigh Hubbard, his adopted son, who re-entered his life some 15 years ago. When Leigh Hubbard came back into his father's life, he said that he wished he had re-engaged with his father sooner. He was fascinated by the fact that they both shared a passion for labour history and for the civil war, and it made him think about the role that genetics plays in one's life. As Leigh Hubbard told me:

'What Mike didn't know about civil war battles, generals and politics wasn't worth knowing.'

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Australian charities facing perfect storm - Speech, House of Representatives


I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) charities are the most trusted sector in Australian public life; and

(b) the Government's failure to act on fundraising reform is costing Australian charities over $1 million every month;

(2) acknowledges that:

(a) Australia's current framework of fundraising regulation creates unnecessary problems for charities and organisations who rely on donations from Australian supporters;

(b) current fundraising laws no longer meet the objectives that guided the decision to regulate donations;

(c) current fundraising compliance regimes do not allow charities to cultivate donor activity and make optimal use of the resources donors provide;

(d) meeting the requirements of Australia's seven different fundraising regimes is causing needless productivity loss for thousands of Australian charities and not-for-profits;

(e) Australia's current frameworks for investigation and enforcement have failed to adapt to the contemporary fundraising environment;

(f) current fundraising laws do not meet the donor-focused expectations and requirements that should govern fundraising regulation in the 21st century; and

(g) the mechanisms that regulate third party fundraisers should ensure the culture of third party fundraisers matches community perceptions of their clients;

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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.