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.

Tax havens causing real problems - Transcript, 2GB Money News





SUBJECTS: Barnaby Joyce’s $80 million water buy back; Labor’s plans to crack down on tax havens; Facebook scare campaigns; negative gearing; Labor’s plans to give everyday Australians a pay rise.

HOST: Somebody who’s always great with his time here on Money News, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh, who is on the line right now. Many thanks for your time, Andrew. 


HOST: Look. I want to start in regards to Labor today giving a hint that it might set up a royal commission into water buybacks under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. Now it's interesting, I had a yarn with Clive Palmer a week or so ago and there's two areas that he says he believes with all of his advertising he's gaining votes. One is in the very north of Queensland, in the coal mining areas where Adani is controversial, and of course the CFMEU is urging Labor to get on with building Adani. The other place he says is in the Murray-Darling Basin, where he believes he's actually taking votes off the Nationals. Why would a royal commission into water buybacks be so important for Australia?

LEIGH: We need to first see where the department comes back to with regard to the questions that we've asked. As Tony Burke said, we've put a number of questions to the department about why they seem to have paid Versace prices for a Reject Shop product. It looks as though they've been not only dealing with a company headquartered in notorious tax haven, the Cayman Islands, but also on the face of it significantly overpaying. We've said to the department we want answers on that within the next 24 hours and certainly a royal commission remains on the table.

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Australian healthcare will always be better under Labor - Transcript, Doorstop


SUBJECTS: The Liberals’ cuts to health, Labor’s Cancer Plan, the environment.

ELIDA FAITH, LABOR CANDIDATE FOR LEICHHARDT: Good morning. My name is Elida Faith and I’m the Labor candidate for Leichhardt. I’m here today with Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh and Queensland paramedic Jen Miran. We’re outside the Cairns Hospital. Our hospital has seen $7.2 million in cuts from this LNP Government. Let's not forget that the Cairns Hospital doesn't just serve as the Cairns and the hinterland, it reaches as far as the Torres Strait and the Cape. We have dedicated doctors, nurses, hospital workers and paramedics that are under-resourced and overworked. Now, I've been hearing a lot of stories, people have been sharing with me what their experiences have been and they have been absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating. It is not okay that a 69-year-old woman has to sit in the emergency department for three and a half hours with her 91-year-old mother. It is not ok that our paramedics are sitting in the halls of the emergency department, waiting to transfer their patients, instead of being out in the community saving lives.

Now I know that Warren Entsch has been here this morning and I hope he looked every single worker and patient in the eye and told them why tax cuts to the big end of town is more important than their jobs and quality health care at the hospital. Now we know the LNP, in order to give tax cuts to the big end of town, has to cut services by $40 billion a year every year by 2030. And I want to know from Warren Entsch today just how much of that $40 billion in cuts is going to come out of our Cairns Hospital, because our hospital cannot stand any more cuts. I'd like to hand over to Andrew now.

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Diamonds, Dynamite and Distrust: How Transparency Can Help Rebuild Public Confidence - Speech, Melbourne





I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, on whose lands we gather today and pay my respect to their elders. Thanks to Andrew Porter and Stephen Woodhill for bringing together this conversation and to KPMG Chairman Alison Kitchen and the team at KPMG for their hospitality. It’s great to be in Melbourne. I started my day running around the Tan this morning, and at one point realised that there were four people around me, all clad head-to-toe in black. A very Melbourne moment.

You’ve asked me to speak today on trust and transparency, so my focus will be not only on the choice ahead for Australia on May 18, but also on the long-term challenge for business and government of boosting the strength of our civic society.

Capital is a familiar concept to economists: it’s an asset that produces a valuable return. A return to capital is why governments look to encourage physical capital investment, it’s why Labor is going into the election with an Australian Investment Guarantee and an ambitious infrastructure plan. Human capital is another kind of asset that produces a return. It's why Labor is advocating stronger investment in early childhood, in schools, in apprenticeships and in universities. 

A third kind capital is social capital. This is the notion that the ties that bind us together have an inherent value - that there is as a an economic return from those networks of trust and reciprocity. This is self-evidently true in our own lives. Each of us know that a life lived together is a better life. But it's also true in markets. One of my favourite examples is the diamond markets, which demonstrate the two polar extremes of trust.

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Labor's bigger, better, fairer tax cuts - Transcript, RN Drive




MONDAY, 15 APRIL 2019 

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans for a fairer Australia; Healthcare funding.

PATRICIA KARVELAS: To talk through some of these issues I'm joined by a panel and you won't expect this, so keep listening. Nicki Hutley is a partner at Deloitte Access Economics, responsible for the report and the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has agreed to join us to answer questions on what they've come up with. Welcome to both of you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day, Patricia. Great to be with you.


KARVELAS: So Nicki, I’ll start with you. Deloitte is arguing that Labor's policies would lower economic growth eventually by a third of a percent. Can you take me through the rationale that got you there?

HUTLEY: Yes, so I think it's important to know that there's a whole load of explanatory, you know, suggestions accompanying that number and what it is, what it is based on is saying that on the basis of tax policy alone that would be the impact on the economy. So compared to what the Coalition are offering, the Opposition are saying that they will have fewer tax cuts in the hands of people - so those tranches that the Coalition are promising to higher income earners, particularly further out at this stage not going ahead although they do have more at the lower end of the spectrum, and there are another raft of generous tax concessions that will be pulled back, in the form of negative gearing and franking credits and so on. And as a general rule of thumb when you take, you know - we are comparing two scenarios of one versus the other and saying that compared to the Coalition policies the higher amounts of tax collected have a negative impact on on the economy. But that said, there are a lot of other factors that are not taken into account and it's important to consider those things when we look at the picture as a whole. But of course people do tend to grab the headline.

KARVELAS: Andrew, what's your response to this analysis from Deloitte? Do you accept that there will be an economic cost from these revenue raising measures?

LEIGH: No I don't Patricia. This was a report that came out last month. There's no detail in the report as to how it's arrived at this figure of a third of a percentage point. That's just a one liner on page five and it looks only at the tax impact. So we don't accept that that's the impact of our bigger, better, fairer tax cuts in the economy - we actually think they'll have a stronger growth benefit. The report doesn't even look at the benefits for the Australian economy of Labor's spending on infrastructure, our spending on healthcare, our spending on education. If you uncap university places, get 200,000 more young people to university then that's got to have a productivity gain. If you put in place our competition reforms, that'll have a big gain. If you have a bit of stability in political leadership - not three prime ministers, three treasurers over six years but a stable, united government - then that will also have a growth gain. And if you ensure that you put aside those fiscal buffers which as Labor would do, paying down debt faster than the Coalition would, then you're better able to deal with a situation in which the world economy starts to wobble and we have to ensure that Australia doesn't go into recession - as the last Labor government had to do.

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Helping Melbournians navigate the tax system - Speech, Melbourne




I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders.

Thank you to Provost Mark Considine and Melbourne University Law School Dean Pip Nicholson for your hospitality. I’d particularly like to acknowledge my colleagues. Labor’s Melbourne candidate Luke Creasey is an educator and somebody who is passionate about social justice and is enthusiastic about today's announcement. Peter Khalil, a Melbourne University alumnus, an internationalist and somebody with whom I've had many conversations about the importance of providing better supports to disadvantaged members of our community. Ged Kearney, who has spent her life standing up for working people and who is one of our most thoughtful voices in the Labor team about how to ensure that we have public services that work for all.

I’d especially like to thank Sunita Jogarajan and Kate Fischer Doherty, whose thought leadership is bringing the tax clinic project together at the moment. This is an enormously exciting announcement for us, an announcement that a Shorten Labor Government would provide $150,000 in ongoing funding for a tax clinic here at Melbourne University. Not a one off trial, but ongoing support.

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Labor kicking goals for Kippax - Transcript, Doorstop





SUBJECTS: Labor’s $1 million in funding for the Holt District Playing Fields in Kippax.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks very much for being here today. My name's Andrew Leigh, the Federal Member for Fenner. I’m enormously proud to announce that a Shorten Labor Government would contribute $1 million towards the upgrade of the facilities here at the Holt Kippax District Playing Fields. Playing fields are places where memories are made and friendships are forged. I was talking to my son Theodore on the way over and he was chatting about his favourite sporting grounds. I think we can all remember as kids the importance of those local sporting facilities. 

We've got to keep on upgrading our sporting facilities, making sure that they're prepared for developments like the influx of women and girls playing AFL. The upgrade will help to serve AFL, cricket and rugby league. It will be a vital resource for the community and is part of federal Labor's commitment to improving the quality of sporting facilities. I'll hand over now to Yvette Berry and Gordon Ramsay to say a few words. 

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A reds under the bonnet scare campaign - Transcript, ABC Melbourne





SUBJECTS:  Electric vehicles, Labor’s cancer plan, Adani. 

RAF EPSTEIN: Tim Wilson is the Liberal MP for the seat of Goldstein. He's also the head of the House Economics Committee. He's been running an Inquiry into Labor's changes to dividend imputation. Tim Wilson, thanks for coming in.  

TIM WILSON: Thanks, Raf. It’s wonderful to be here. It's even better to represent a community that is going to have its first Medicare licensed MRI. I see a copy of my letter in front of you. 

EPSTEIN: Yes, well one of your constituents has a bone to pick with you but we'll get to that, we'll get to that. Andrew Leigh also joins us in our Canberra studio. He's the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. He's the Labor MP for the seat of Fenner in Canberra. Andrew Leigh. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: G’day Raf. Great to be back with you.  

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Labor’s centrist economic agenda - Speech, Melbourne




11 APRIL 2019

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation and pay respect to their elders. My thanks to Per Capita, particularly Executive Director Emma Dawson, for the chance to speak with you today.

Last month, journalist David Speers asked senior Liberal Party frontbencher Linda Reynolds a reasonable question: ‘Do you agree that flexibility in wages and keeping wages at modest levels is a deliberate feature of our economic architecture?’.

‘No, absolutely not’, replied Reynolds. ‘For Bill Shorten to even suggest that…’

‘I’m quoting Mathias Cormann’, Speers pointed out.

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Labor will restore and boost emergency relief funding in Canberra - Transcript, Canberra


SUBJECTS: Labor’s plan to restore and boost emergency relief funding in Canberra.

DAVID SMITH: Look, it's great to be here in the Electorate of Bean. My name is David Smith, Labor Senator for the ACT and we're here at one of the great social enterprises of the ACT, Communities at Work at their headquarters and alongside me is our Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and Families, Jenny McAllister and I'm also with Andrew Leigh, Member for Fenner and Alicia Payne, our candidate for Canberra.

One of the things that Labor is well aware of is that the fight against inequality is real. It's real here in Canberra. Here in Canberra at any time up to 35,000 Canberrans are living in poverty and that includes people who are working one or two jobs. That includes 9,000 children across the Territory.

Communities@Work does amazing work right across children’s services and senior services but there's particular work that they do in emergency relief work and that's why we're here today to talk about Labor's commitments both locally and nationally to restoring funding to this critical work here and across the country.

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Giving Aussie hotels owners greater control of their business - Transcript, ABC Tasmania Mornings





SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to give Aussie hotels owners greater control of their business, Budget 2019.

CATHERINE ZENGERER: Tourism might be booming right across Tasmania, but if you are an accommodation provider and you are listed with one of the major online booking companies such as Expedia and Booking.com, then you may have had to sign a contract to say that you can't actually offer a discount for your own accommodation that undercuts what by the listing is on their pages. It's a contract known as a price parity clause and it's something that Labor is saying that they will get rid of if they're elected. We're certainly seeing a lot of politicians coming to Tasmania as we head towards a possible election. Andrew Leigh is one of them. He is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer for Labor and he's in our Launceston studio. Good morning. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER:Good morning Catherine. Great to be with you. 

ZENGERER: So what's prompted this policy review by Labor?

LEIGH: It's the situation you described in which many Australians are now booking through one of these multinational online platforms, such as Kayak or Priceline,Booking.com or Expedia. They go by a host of names, but there's two of them that control 85 per cent of the market and they're taking a whopping share of the accommodation bill. So if you use one of these platforms, then when you stay at a hotel, up to a third of the total bill can go to amultinational. One of the ways in which they managed to get such a large share of revenues is by telling hotels that they can't offer a better deal on their own websites. These so-called price parity clauses are banned in a host of European countries and we think that it's appropriate to ban them in Australia. It tilts the playing field too far away from our local tourism providers and too much in favour of the big multinational duopoly. It's fine to charge something for putting a booking in place, but 30 per cent - really? That's just over the top.

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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.