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.

Government needs to make poverty national priority - Transcript, 2SM

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Parliamentary Friends of Cycling; Anti-Poverty Week; social housing; the Morrison Government’s cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker; food insecurity.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Hello, mate. How are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Marcus. Great to be with you. 

PAUL: Yeah, nice to talk to you as well. Now you have just launched the Parliamentary Friends of Cycling. Tell me all about this, mate. It’s a great idea. 

LEIGH: Absolutely. We're on the bike. Helen Haines, Dave Sharma and I decided that it was important to have a group that represented cyclists, as so many cyclists around Australia do it to stay fit, to commute, to just hang out with the kids. So Steven Hodge, who is one of Australia's great cyclists, got us all together and set up this group, which will campaign to get more people cycling more often.

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Government needs to focus on productivity and equity - Transcript, ABC Canberra Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; Budget in reply.

ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Federal Member for Fenner and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. And he, like many, was watching very closely Anthony Albanese’s words last night. He’s Opposition Leader. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you.

SHIRLEY: Given childcare is such a central theme of the Opposition's reply last night, what do you make of Ruth's comments, for instance, on how to structurally make the standard better - not just provide more money and places?

LEIGH: I think Ruth’s spot on. We need to think about early childhood as education, not mere babysitting. Anyone who's tried to look after three of their own children, as I have, will have huge respect for someone who sits down and looks after 13 children for an entire day. Ensuring that you've got a high-quality play based learning is absolutely vital. So one of the things we did when we were last in government was to improve education standards for early childhood educators, to reduce ratios and to ensure that there was real respect around the sector. But there's also this affordability question, and that was what Anthony was going to last night. We know that childcare fees have increased by an average of $3,800 a year since 2013. We know that many families are simply just priced out of childcare, and for families with a couple of kids, then often it's just not worth both parents working a full five days. That burden falls disproportionately on women.

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Older workers left behind by Budget - Transcript, 2SER The Wire

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SER THE WIRE
THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: The Federal Budget leaving behind women, older workers, the homeless and those in insecure housing; tax cuts; population.

ROD CHAMBERS, HOST: I asked the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh what were his first impressions of this big spending budget.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: My overall perspective on the budget, Rod, is it is a human capital recession that we've suffered and the budget doesn't really invest in the drivers of human capital. There's not enough investment in health, we still don't have an Australian Centre for Disease Control unlike every other advanced country. There's barely any investment in education, in schools and vocational training and universities, which is the sort of human capital investment you would expect at a time when we're facing such a substantial human capital crisis.

CHAMBERS: Certainly, the tax cuts seem to be the main tools to provide stimulus. Do you think this is going to be effective?

LEIGH: I think it'll have some impact. But fundamentally, we have some deep-seated economic challenges. We know that productivity was going backwards last year, that wage growth was in the doldrums, retail spending was down. A Morrison Stagnation predated the Morrison Recession. So really, what we need at the moment is reforms that go to the underlying structural weaknesses in the economy and seek to not only give the economy a sugar hit, but provide lasting economic growth.

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Budget leaving women behind - Transcript, 2GB Money News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2GB MONEY NEWS
THURSDAY, 8 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Budget leaving women behind; Budget in reply.

BROOKE CORTE, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh is Labor's Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Hi, Andrew, welcome to Money News. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thanks, Brooke. Glad to be with you.

CORTE:Now, Scott Morrison is saying this is a budget for all Australians and the government is adamant it's not gendered. Do you think women have been ignored?

LEIGH:I do. I think that women haven't gotten their fair share of the budget response. This has been a human capital crisis. It's particularly adversely affected the services sector, but the budget responses neglected health and education, neglected the services sector. You've got a desultory women's economic security statement - about as big as you'd expect from a prime minister who names his chooks after former prime ministers’ wives - and you haven't got the investments in childcare, in family violence, in sexual harassment, in aged care, in all of those female dominated sectors where women have been suffering so much of the burden of COVID-19. They haven't been receiving the attention and the response.

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Irresponsible lending not solution economy needs - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 8 OCTOBER 2020

On 24 September 2020, Westpac copped the biggest fine in Australian corporate history—$1.3 billion. Ironically, it was that day that the Treasurer chose to announce that the government planned to roll back responsible lending standards. Responsible lending standards were put in place for one simple reason—to protect consumers and to protect the economy against the risk of irresponsible lending. Irresponsible lending isn't a matter of theory; it played a major role in the subprime debt crisis that led to the global financial crisis. Irresponsible lending helped fuel the property bubble in Australian cities.

Responsible lending laws apply to consumer credit, including mortgages, personal loans, payday loans, car loans and credit cards. Those laws don't apply to loans that are predominantly for business purposes. They require credit providers to make reasonable inquiries about a person's financial situation, their requirements and objectives; take reasonable steps to verify this information; and assess whether the credit is 'not unsuitable' before providing a loan. If those laws were to be axed, then lenders wouldn't be required to verify information on loan applications except in limited circumstances. They could turn a blind eye to brokers who provided false information. Again, this isn't a theoretical proposition. The banking royal commission heard from customers who had been hurt as a result of exactly this behaviour.

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Budget doesn't set up Australia for productive and egalitarian future - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 OCTOBER 2020

In 2009, the coalition launched their so-called debt truck. It had on the side of it the figure at which debt was then projected to peak—$315 billion. That's a third of projected peak debt under the Liberals today.

If they were being honest then with this budget they would have launched their very own 'debt road train'. What does Australia get for $1 trillion—1 with 12 zeros after it?

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Vale Susan Ryan - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 OCTOBER 2020

Susan Ryan was the first in her family and the first in her school to win a scholarship to go to the University of Sydney. She studied education and, like many women of that generation, expected to go on to a career in teaching. After graduating, she married public servant, and later diplomat, Richard Butler. She recalled, 'Because of this, I lost my scholarship and had to pay back the scholarship money,' and she noted that this wouldn't have happened had she been a man.

In 1965, they moved to Canberra. For the next six years, she was active in the ACT, becoming a founding member of the wonderful Belconnen sub-branch of the Labor Party. She spent two periods living overseas when Butler was posted first to Vienna and then to New York. There, she was influenced, as Christine Wallace has noted, by the work of Kate Millett and Betty Friedan—and, of course, Germaine Greer was then part of the mix, along with Gloria Steinem.

Susan returned to Canberra in 1971 with her two children but without Butler, who she divorced the following year.

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Missed opportunities in the Budget - Transcript, 2CC Canberra Live

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA LIVE
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Budget; the Morrison Government’s lack of investment in education, childcare and productivity; the University of Canberra; the Morrison Government undermining universities; tax cuts.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Last night was budget night, as you know, and Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has promised the earth - but has he delivered anything other than dirt? Well, let's find out what the opinion is of the Opposition. Joining me now Shadow Assistant Minister of Treasury and Federal Member for Fenner Dr Andrew Legh. Good afternoon.

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

DELANEY: Thanks very much for joining us today. Now, obviously, you're in the Opposition. It's your job to oppose and criticise. So let's start with asking the difficult question. Is there anything in last night's budget that you think was bang on, where they hit the nail on the head and they got an absolutely right?

LEIGH: Look, there’s a decent mental health package. I think there's sensible reforms there. There are more university places, though not as many as there should be. And we've been calling for some time for low and middle income earners to get a tax cut sooner, and so we’re pleased that the government’s heeded that call. But with a trillion dollars in debt, I don't think there's enough to show for it. You know, a trillion is a pretty massive number - one with 12 zeros after it. Australia’s never had this much debt before, and yet right across the next four years the government's projecting unemployment will be higher than it was last year. The Morrison Recession is looking like lasting a long time.

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What Did Australia Get for $1 Trillion? - Speech, Institute of Public Accountants Budget Breakfast

WHAT DID AUSTRALIA GET FOR ONE TRILLION DOLLARS?

INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS 2020 FEDERAL BUDGET BREAKFAST

CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

A trillion dollars is a lot of money – one with twelve zeros after it.

That’s where Australia’s debt will peak. To put it in perspective, when the Liberals launched their ‘debt truck’ scare campaign in 2009, they did so with the figure ‘$315 billion’ emblazoned on the side – one third of the level of projected peak debt under the Coalition today.

On the budget forecasts, there are no surpluses forecast anywhere in the 2020s. The one manufacturing industry that does well out of this budget is manufacturers of red ink, because it’s red ink as far as the eye can see.

So the question is, what do we get from that spending and is the spending that’s being done as part of this budget spending that delivers a Keynesian Double? That both stimulates the economy and sets us up for prosperity in the future? That sets us up to build back better?

It’s important to remember that Australia came into this crisis from a position of weakness. Last year, productivity went backwards, investment was in the doldrums, wage growth was among the slowest on record. We had problems in retail and a downturn in construction. Before the Morrison Recession, Australia was in the Morrison Stagnation.

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Coalition Budget fails to forward plan - Transcript, ABC Radio Melbourne

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO MELBOURNE
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal budget; the Morrison Government’s lack of plan for full employment, for climate change, for universities, for older workers, for childcare, for productivity; the Government’s track record on Sports Rorts, Reef Rorts, HelloWorld, the Paladin scandal, Robodebt and Watergate.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI, HOST: I’ve left Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury waiting, and I apologise Mr Leigh for doing that. But I did want to get a quick response from you to the budget last night. Is it the right amount of money spent the right way?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Hello, Virginia. Great to be with you and your listeners. We’re concerned about the size of the debt that Australia is racking up and what we get for it. So a trillion dollars of debt, but there's no plan for full employment, for climate change, for universities, for older workers, for childcare or for productivity. So we think that if you're going to be racking up that much debt - no surplus until the 2030s at the earliest - you could have gotten more for the economy. We're worried that older workers are being left out, that there's wage subsidies for hiring under-35s but for nearly a million older workers who are on unemployment benefits there's no incentive for employers to bring them on.

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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.