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.

Illegal phoenixing a scourge on Australia - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 8 DECEMBER 2020

It's a pleasure to follow my friend and colleague the member for Kingsford Smith, who articulated the concerns that Labor has over this bill.

It is a fact in Australia that illegal phoenixing is a scourge on the community. One story that struck me particularly was from a constituent by the name of Megan, who told me the tale of when she was seven years old and her dad lost his job. The factory where he was working closed, his full-time job vanished and he got no pay-out. Megan said she really liked it at the time. He was home a lot. He helped her organise her toys and they would walk to school every day. It was only afterwards that she realised that he'd been the victim of a phoenix director who had shut down the firm and stolen the employees' entitlements and that the reason he was walking Megan to school every day was that the family couldn't afford the petrol.

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Australia can’t afford to be lining pockets of billionaires - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 8 DECEMBER 2020

Last week, Tesco announced that it will repay half a billion pounds of taxpayer support. The British retailer had been under fire since paying shareholders a £315 million dividend in October. Last week, Tesco's chairman said:

We're financially strong enough to be able to return this to the public and we are conscious of our responsibilities to society.

We firmly believe now that this is the right thing to do …

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Australians want job security - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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

TUESDAY, 8 DECEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: BonusKeeper; Industrial Relations proposals; Sports rorts.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Imagine, if you will for just a moment, getting $70 million in taxpayer subsidies for JobKeeper and then using that money to perhaps dole out executive bonuses and dividends. Well, that's what Solomon Lew's Premier Investments have apparently done, and there are increasing calls for Premier to repay around $70 million in government subsidies. Let's speak to Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury about this. Morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with @MPinthemorning.

PAUL: Thank you. You and I have discussed this before at length. It’s JobKeeper, but you effectively have renamed it BonusKeeper, it that right?

LEIGH: Absolutely, Marcus, just for a small number of firms. Of course, most businesses did exactly the right thing when the pandemic hit. They used that money to support workers. But a small number of firms - and I'm sad to say that Premier Investment seems to be one of them - have used the money to pay out significant dividends, a large portion of which goes to their billionaire owner, and to pay executive bonuses. And I said: if you're doing so well that you can take taxpayer subsidies and pay it out to millionaires and billionaires, maybe you should give it back to the taxpayer first. Maybe we can support some of those people in nursing homes who are suffering right now, and we can support some of those people who are going to lose their jobs between now and Christmas. There are people out there really hurting, and I don't think it's the people with billion dollar wealth or million dollar salaries.

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Morrison Government's failure to act cost charities $30 million - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 DECEMBER 2020

I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

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

(b) charities employ over one million Australians and contribute nearly one-tenth of Australia's national income;

(c) charities are the first line of support for the most vulnerable in our communities during times of economic and social upheaval;

(d) meeting the requirements of Australia's seven different fundraising regimes is wasting the time and energy of Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations; and

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

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Australia cannot close itself off from the world - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2020

Australia benefits from investment, but we haven't had enough of it in recent years. In preparing my remarks today, I turned to the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on actual business expenditure. It showed that, if you looked at 2013, the year that the government came to office, business investment was around $160 billion. By 2019 it had fallen to around $120 billion, and this year looks to be somewhere around $100 billion. So, Australia has an investment problem, and foreign investment can be an important part of rectifying that.

Foreign investment, as the shadow Treasurer has noted, has played an important role in Australia's history and Labor has been supportive in a broad sense of the role that foreign investment has played. You need only look at the Japanese investment in our beef industry; American firms such as Kraft, Schweppes, Kodak, Heinz; General Motors and Ford—before the car industry was goaded to leave the country by the coalition; foreign investment in our oil and gas sectors—Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips; and foreign investment in the movie industry. Among the movies made in Australia are The Matrix, Mission Impossible 2, The Great Gatsby, Babe and Wolverine. Australia has not only imported foreign capital but also the know-how, the additional productivity and the competitive benefits that can come from foreign investment.

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Mass participation sporting events need our support - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3 DECEMBER 2020

In a usual year, there are 21,000 mass participation sporting events across Australia, including fun runs, ocean swims, community cycling events and challenging obstacle course races. They attract millions of participants, employ tens of thousands of people, raise tens of millions for charity and contribute more than a billion dollars to the economy. They keep us healthy and, most importantly, they're fun. We enter for the adrenaline and the medal, but it's the race experience and the friendships that keep us coming back for marathons, triathlons and Spartan events.

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Morrison Government needs to come clean on JobKeeper - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DECEMBER 1 2020

Company profits are rising – and so is unemployment. The sharemarket is booming, yet households are battling.

The government is right to say that workers would’ve been worse without JobKeeper. That’s why Labor urged them put it in place. But that doesn’t mean the $100 billion program should avoid scrutiny.

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Giving Tuesday a day to celebrate philanthropy - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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

TUESDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: China; Giving Tuesday; Charities.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh joins us on the program each and every Tuesday. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. How are you?

PAUL: Good, thank you, mate. Can we deal with this issue first? No doubt you were shocked by this image that was posted on Chinese state sponsored Twitter accounts over the last 24 hours. What did you make of it?

LEIGH: Utterly appalled. I felt the Prime Minister put it very well when he spoke before. Just shocking to all Australians.

PAUL: What are we going to do about it, Andrew? We've really - we’re lying down in the bed that we've made with China, if you like. We've been so reliant on them for so long. We bet on red every time and now things are coming up not so rosy.

LEIGH: The Prime Minister's rightly demanded an apology from China, and I'd hoped that that would be forthcoming very swiftly. That’s a false image which is repugnant, and disgusting to all Australians.

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Climate change inaction costing us all - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 NOVEMBER 2020

According to the energy minister, the Morrison government has 'strong targets, clear plans and an enviable track record' on reducing emissions. Some might take that at face value, but, coming from the minister that brought us 'Grassgate', 'Watergate' and 'Clovergate', I thought I'd see what some experts have to say.

The NewClimate Institute ranked Australia dead-last out of 57 countries for climate policy. Climate Action Tracker say Australia's climate policies are 'insufficient' to meet the agreements we signed up to in Paris.

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Superannuation system envy of the world - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2020

SUBJECT: Charities struggling for volunteers; Coronavirus vaccinations; Superannuation.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. And he's a regular now on the program, each and every Tuesday. Andrew, good morning to you mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Top of the morning to you.

PAUL: Great to have your company. Have you been well?

LEIGH: I have, indeed. I ran my first ultramarathon on the weekend - did a 50km trail run and pulled up alright. So life is good.

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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.