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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Volunteering is in a slump, it's time for some caremongering - Op Ed, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

VOLUNTEERING IS IN A SLUMP - IT'S TIME FOR SOME CAREMONGERING

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, 4 December 2020

When masks became mandatory in Melbourne, Sewing for Charity Australia got to work. Across Australia, it mobilised over 3000 volunteers to sew colourful masks and send them to Victoria. ‘In a time of pandemic we have to come together’, said founder Cass Gell. ‘I have my kids threading elastics.’

As sporting events were cancelled, former Socceroo Craig Foster encouraged teams to replace playing for points with playing for lives. ‘Play for Lives’ mobilised athletes to pack food hampers, transport essential medications and deliver Meals on Wheels.

The initiative was especially timely because coronavirus had caused two-thirds of volunteers to cut back on their efforts. Some charities had to reshape how they delivered services, while in other cases older volunteers simply had to self-isolate.

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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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Let's change the way we think about giving to charity - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

LET'S CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT GIVING TO CHARITY

The Canberra Times, December 1 2020

Just as coronavirus hit, Dawn was diagnosed with stage four cancer.

The preschool teacher mentioned it to the parents of one of the children in her class. Not long afterwards, the family said they wanted to give her a gift of $10,000. They had been saving it for a holiday, but figured Dawn could better use the money in her battle with cancer.

When coronavirus hit at the start of 2020, countless Australians reached out to help those around them. Three young women who had lost their jobs went out to their first dinner in months to celebrate a birthday. A couple at the next table heard their story, and quietly paid the bill before slipping out. The women were reduced to tears at the generosity of complete strangers.

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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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Can we make work work? - Op Ed, Inside Story

CAN WE MAKE WORK WORK?

Inside Story, 27 November 2020

Liberty Ashes is a private waste collection company operating in New York City. Over a six-year period, one of the company’s garbage trucks severed the fingers of three employees. Two pinkies and one ring finger were lost because the truck lacked a safety latch.

Garbage collection is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Each year, around one in 2000 workers in the industry lose their lives. Standard economic theory tells us that a risk of this magnitude should be accompanied by substantially higher pay. But the median hourly wage for American garbage collectors is only US$17.40, which hardly seems sufficient to make up for a death rate comparable to serving in a war zone, not to mention the daily risk of other injuries.

In You’re Paid What You’re Worth: And Other Myths of the Modern Economy, sociologist Jake Rosenfeld outlines many of the injustices that underpin the American economy. In Oklahoma City, Walmart workers took up a canned goods collection to support people who couldn’t afford food. The beneficiaries? Fellow Walmart employees who weren’t able to make ends meet on the company’s meagre salaries. Across the United States, home-care workers subsisted on an average hourly wage of $10 an hour. Many couldn’t find full-time work, so they worked multiple shifts at different aged care homes. This precarious arrangement not only made life tough for workers, it also helped to spread Covid-19 among aged Americans when the pandemic struck.

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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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Government must be held to account over Robodebt - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2020

SUBJECTS: Robodebt; Ministerial accountability; Labor’s positive policies.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Back in 1984, Bob Hawke stood down Mick Young from cabinet for failing to declare a stuffed Paddington Bear at customs. We know in New South Wales in more modern history, we had a premier rolled over a bottle of plonk. But we're wondering whether Scott Morrison will stand aside Alan Tudge or even Stuart Robert following the $1.2 billion Robodebt settlement. We know there was a class action. We know that unfortunately, a number of people took their lives and it was just a big, big mess. That's why you do not allow computers to take over social services – I don’t give a stuff what anybody says and how much money it saves, you cannot allow computer systems to generate bills. Because the chances are quite often there'll be errors in there, and that's exactly what happened with Robodebt. And now, as a result of this, taxpayers – you, me and everybody else who goes to work each and every day - are going to have to foot this bill to repay the money and to compensate victims of Robodebt $1.2 billion. Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury is Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew. 

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

PAUL: Yeah, you too, as always. You’re becoming a regular and I enjoy our chats, I really do.

LEIGH: Likewise.

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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.