FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2019
Subjects: Scott Morrison’s mishandling of the economy, climate change, nuclear power.
ROSS GREENWOOD: The Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury is Andrew Leigh. He's always great with his time in the program and he joins me this evening. Andrew, many thanks for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Ross. Welcome back. Great to be chatting with you.
GREENWOOD: Okeydoke. I want to go to a couple of bits and pieces here. Number one - the surplus, Australia's budget having a surplus right now. We haven't seen an actual surplus for more than a decade. How important is it for Australia to have a budget surplus?
LEIGH: Labor believes that Australia can meet the surplus target but also do more to support consumer spending. As you noted, the ‘cash splash’ has turned into a retail trickle. These July and August figures now seem to suggest that Australians have simply put that additional money into savings rather than putting it back into the economy-
ABC NEWS RADIO
FRIDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2019
Subjects: Scott Morrison’s Lowy address.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: I think it's deeply dangerous for Australia to start flirting with protectionism and isolationism. That might be a bad idea for a country like the United States with over 300 million people, but it's a terrible idea for a medium sized economy like Australia with 25 million people. Our prosperity depends on engaging with the world. We've benefited massively from migration, trade and foreign investment. Sure we can do all of those things better and we should be better engaged with international organisations, but the idea that a retreat into narrow tribal nationalism is a success story for Australia is a crazy one.
MANDY PRESLAND, HOST: Mr Morrison says he's putting Australia first. What's wrong with that?Read more
ABC RN DRIVE
MONDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: Australian economy floundering under the Liberals; Interest Rate Decision; Retirement Income Review.
TOM TILLEY: The Reserve Bank is widely expected to cut its official cash rate to the new historic low of 0.75 per cent. So is that actually going to solve our economic problems, or is it just going to push up house prices? We'll get to interest rates in just a moment. First, let's go to the Government's review of the retirement income system. This hasn't been done since superannuation was first made compulsory back in 1992. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Andrew, welcome to the show. The government started out by-
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thanks, Tom. Great to be with you.
ABC RADIO CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: ACT cannabis legislation.
ANNA VIDOT: On the line with me is the Member for Fenner, the federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Andrew Leigh, what do you make first of all of the passage of this legislation through the Assembly yesterday?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Anna. Good to be with you. I think this is a modest change - as Andrew Barr has put it, evolution rather than revolution. It's been nearly a generation since the ACT first introduced Simple CannabisOffence Notices, which decriminalised possession of small amounts of marijuana. That's something that other jurisdictions in Australia have since followed, with South Australia and the Northern Territory among them. All they're doing is now saying in the ACT that those $100 fines will no longer be levied. There’s about 100 people a year, as I understand, who pay a $100 fine for having a small amount of marijuana and no longer will they have those fines. This means that the police can focus on frying bigger fish, focus on the offences that are of considerably more concern to the community.
ABC RADIO SYDNEY
MONDAY, 23 SEPTEMBER 2019
Subjects: The Morrison Government's inaction costing Australian drivers big bucks.
WENDY HARMER: Who we’ve got on to have a chat about this ‘Your car, Your choice’ is Andrew Leigh. He’s the Federal Labor MP for Fenner in the ACT and he's also Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. He has been on this case for a couple of years now. He says that really we should be looking at this issue really carefully. The ACCC, as Robbie mentioned, has been arguing that dealers should have to hand over this information to independent mechanic, they’ve been saying this for two years now but nothing has happened. Why not? We would like you to share your own experiences in dealing with this - 1300 222 702 is our number. Andrew Leigh joins us now. Hello, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Wendy. How are you?
HARMER: Good, good. Why have you taken this up as a cause?
LEIGH: It seems a basic issue of fairness to me, that if you're an independent mechanic you should have the data you need to fix modern cars. They’re extraordinarily complicated. The typical modern car has 10 million lines of software code. To put that into perspective, a Boeing 787 has only 6 million lines of software code. So if you don't have the software, it's pretty hard to fix a lot of problems.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 18 SEPTEMBER 2019
The sad history that brings this bill to the House is necessary to recount at the outset. On 30 July 2013, former agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon announced that Labor would establish the post of an inspector-general of animal welfare and live animal exports. Our position was to build on Australia's regulatory framework, to recognise that while the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System had improved conditions of animal welfare it was necessary to have independent oversight.
That inspector-general would have added an additional layer of assurance that the regulatory system was delivering appropriate animal welfare. It would have placed no additional regulatory burdens on exports, nor on trading partners. However, just a few short months later, on 31 October 2013, the member for New England, then the agriculture minister, abolished the Inspector-General of Animal Welfare and Live Animal Exports.Read more
KEYNOTE ADDRESS – AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
PHILANTHROPY MEETS PARLIAMENT SUMMIT 2019
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2019
The obituary was blunt: ‘Sir Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people than ever before, died yesterday’. There was just one problem - Alfred Nobel was very much alive. It was his brother Ludwig who had died. So Alfred Nobel had a rare opportunity to see how the world thought of his life. He had no wife, no children - just an obituary sitting in front of him, which read ‘The Merchant of Death is dead’. Nobel had made his fortune by inventing dynamite, which revolutionized not just the mining and construction industries, but also the armaments sector. When he read his premature obituary, he was 54 years old.
In his remaining years, Nobel focused on philanthropy. His will set aside 94 per cent of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes. Today that gift is worth more than half a billion Australian dollars. The Nobel Prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, Medicine and Economics are considered the most prestigious prizes in their fields.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 17 SEPTEMBER 2019
We have just learned that Joe Isaac, one of the pre-eminent post-war economists in Australia's history has passed away. His work is highly relevant to the issues we're discussing today. I want to take a moment to pay tribute to the late, great Joe Isaac.
He was born on 11 March in 1922 in Penang. His family moved to Java soon after he was born and his early education was in Dutch. His family was evacuated to Perth at the time of the Japanese invasion. He then went on to study at Queen's College, where my grandfather Keith Leigh and Max Corden also got their education. He went on to do his PhD at the London School of Economics, where he studied with Coase, Hayek, Tawney, Laksi and his supervisor, Phelps Brown.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 12 SEPTEMBER 2019
It's a pleasure to follow the members for Whitlam and Kingsford Smith in discussing the important bill before the House—the Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Members’ Interests First) Bill 2019. About 12 million Australians hold insurance - for life, total and permanent disability, and income protection - through their superannuation funds. Total premiums, according to the Productivity Commission, are around $9 billion. It's worth noting that not all of that money appears to be well spent. The best example of that is that the Productivity Commission estimates that, of that $9 billion, $1.9 billion is for unintended duplicate policies.
The Productivity Commission's report points out that current settings are more a function of history than of considered policy design. It notes that many members benefit from lower costs and the ready access of default group insurance in superannuation but that problems remain. The Productivity Commission points out that insurance accounts for one-third of the complaints made on superannuation.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 12 SEPTEMBER 2019
Twelve-year-old Indigenous boy Dujuan Hoosan has just appealed to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to reduce Australian incarceration, pointing out that Indigenous-led education and an emphasis on languages are key to keeping Indigenous young people out of jail.
Australia is entering a second convict age, with the highest share of the population incarcerated than at any time since 1899. Since 1985, the incarceration rate has gone up 130 per cent. Now 0.22 per cent of Australian adults are behind bars. Among Indigenous Australians, the incarceration rate is 2.5 per cent. Almost one in four Indigenous men born in the 1970s will go to jail during their lifetime. A higher share of Indigenous Australians are now incarcerated than African Americans.Read more