We’re a policy-rich opposition and proud of it - Transcript, Sky News Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AGENDA

MONDAY, 24 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: Julie Bishop, the Coalition’s policy black hole, Newspoll. 

KIERAN GILBERT, HOST: Welcome back to the program. With me now is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh. Good morning and welcome to you, I want to play for our viewers some comments made by Julie Bishop on 60 minutes and then I'll get your thoughts on them.

JULIE BISHOP, LIBERAL MP: I think the question term probably does more damage to the reputation of the political class than any other issue. There's far too much throwing of insults and vicious behaviour, name calling and alike, and the public see that as no better than school children. In fact, not as well behaved as school children. As a minister and as a shadow minister, you are judged on your ability to strike a blow against your political opponent.

GILBERT: The former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop there with Chris Uhlmann on Nine Network. What do you make of those remarks? Do you agree that the tone of Question Time should improve?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Question Time’s a peculiarly Australian institution, Kieran, and it’s one in which there is a good deal more shouting than there is in the more genteel British equivalent. I think sometimes people do forget their old debating injunction that interjections should only be hurled if they are concise, witty and pertinent. But it's important that we make sure that Question Time does show us that our best. I'm not sure we always live up to that standard-

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Independent mechanics will benefit if we break manufacturer's secret code - Op Ed, The Australian

INDEPENDENT MECHANICS WILL BENEFIT IF WE BREAK MANUFACTURER'S SECRET CODE

The Australian, 24 September 2018

Just imagine if your local plumber told you that they couldn’t fix your new toilet, because the manufacturer wouldn’t give them the instruction manuals. Instead, you had to go to an ‘authorised plumber’ - approved by the manufacturer.

Sounds farcical, doesn’t it? But this is the situation that tens of thousands of independent mechanics find themselves in across Australia, as they struggle to get software updates from vehicle manufacturers.

Modern cars are computers on wheels, with dozens of onboard computers controlling everything from the engine to the entertainment system. Like your smartphone, the software gets regular updates. When a part is changed, the system will sometimes ask the mechanic to enter a special code.

Independent mechanics are happy to pay a fair rate for these data, but right now some makers are outright refusing to share them. The result is that independent mechanics get less business, drivers get less choice, and everyone gets frustrated.

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The little islands that are costing you big money - Speech, ANU

TAX HAVENS: THE LITTLE ISLANDS THAT ARE COSTING YOU BIG MONEY

TAX AND TRANSFER POLICY INSTITUTE

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, CANBERRA

FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we’re meeting today, and pay my respects to their elders past and present.

Friends, we can’t put it off any longer. The time has come to talk about Peter.

As you may know, Peter is the CEO and owner of the famous company Peter & Co.[i] Peter is well connected and has the means to create an anonymous shell company where ownership disclosure regulations are relaxed. I hear he’s chosen the Cayman Islands.  

Many banks in tax havens cater to the wealthy and are not reliable in sharing information with foreign tax authorities, so Peter has opened an account under the shell company’s name in another tax haven. Word on the street is that Peter has selected Panama for this part of his business dealings.

The last piece of the elaborate puzzle is for Peter & Co. to buy consulting and legal services from his Cayman shell company, with the money wired to his shell company’s Panama account.

The arrangement, on paper, looks legitimate at first glance, but the result is Peter reducing his company’s tax-assessable income – shifting profits out of Australia.

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Tackling tax havens - Media Release

TACKLING TAX HAVENS 

A Shorten Labor Government will clamp down on unsubstantiated allowances for travel to tax havens and target ‘passport shopping’ through measures raising more than $9 million over the forward estimates.

Globally, around $600 billion of profits are estimated to be shifted to tax havens, representing almost 40 percent of multinational profits

Tax havens are used by drug-runners, extortionists and money-launderers. They are used to hide the proceeds of fraud, corruption and tax evasion. According to one estimate, around four-fifths of money in offshore bank accounts is there in breach of other countries’ tax laws.

Under Australian tax law, a company executive can receive tax-free allowances related to travel to Bermuda, Panama and similar jurisdictions.

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Putting fuel in the tanks of women's organizations - Transcript, RN Drive

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RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RN DRIVE

THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECTS: School funding, gender advocacy toolkit, women in politics, housing.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Welcome to RN Drive.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks, Patricia. Great to be with you.
 
KARVELAS: The federal government announced it will adopt a new funding model that uses parental tax data to calculate the school's wealth. That means wealthier schools should get funding and needier schools would get more as well. Does Labor think that's a good idea?

LEIGH: Patricia, we’re certainly open to refinements that target need. Labor's the party that's founded on the notion of fairness and equity. So if we can improve targeting, then that makes sense-

KARVELAS: So you support it?

LEIGH: But the key question here is whether or not the government intends to put the money back into public schools that it's ripped out. I mean, you remember in the 2013 election Tony Abbott went to the election with signs at polling booths saying you can vote Labor or Liberal-

KARVELAS: That's some time ago. The government has actually funded state schools, has delivered on the Gonski model.

LEIGH: No, it hasn't. No. They have ripped $14 billion out of schools and I love the way Josh Frydenberg talks about how he's capping spending and then with the next breath says that he's not cutting from schools. And the fact is their first budget cut $30 billion from schools and then they reduced it to a $22 billion cut, now to a $17 billion cut. Now they've done a special deal for Catholic and independent schools. But 2.5 million Australian kids who attend public schools are still missing out.

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Vital we don't backslide on Australia’s gun laws - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. Thanks for joining us for this important event on gun safety. We had last night a terrific turnout for the launch of Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control. The launch marked 21 years since the National Firearms Agreement came to a close. John Alexander and I are co-chairs of the group, both of us with our own connections with gun safety. I will get John to say a bit of his connection. Mine comes both as being a researcher who worked on the impact of the National Firearms Agreement, but also as somebody who lost my law mentor, Zoe Hall, in the Port Arthur Massacre. We are joined today by Terry Slevin from the Public Health Association, by Lesley Podesta from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, and by Walter Mikac, whose story of determination in the face of a tragedy that would have floored almost anyone is an extraordinary Australian story. You will hear from each them today before we go to you for questions. So thank you for joining us today. It is vital that we don't backslide on Australia’s gun laws and recognise that they’ve saved around 200 lives a year. Which means around 4,000 Australians are alive today, who would not have been alive were it not for the visionary National Firearms Agreement and the buyback, licensing and registration that comes with it.

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The risk of more guns is that you have more gun deaths - Transcript, ABC Radio Hobart

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO HOBART

THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018
 
SUBJECT: Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control.
 
HOST: Let’s go to Canberra now, where a new alliance has been launched to deal with protecting the firearms legislation – you’ll remember that was the legislation that was introduced with the agreement of State, Territory and Federal Governments after Port Arthur. This morning there'll be the launch of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance. There are two co-chairs, Andrew Leigh MP who is Labor of course and John Alexander Liberal MP and a number of other organizations joining with it and including Walter Mikac, founding patron of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Of course, he lost his wife and daughters at Port Arthur and they join us now. Good morning.
 
WALTER MIKAC: Good morning.
 
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning. Great to be with you.
 
HOST: Thanks. Andrew, if we can come to you first of all. Why do you feel the need to have the Australian Gun Safety Alliance, such a formal launch?
 
LEIGH: The issue of gun safety has always been important to me. When I was a junior lawyer, my mentor was a woman by the name of Zoe Hall, who was visiting Tasmania at the time of the massacre and tragically became one of the final victims of Martin Bryant. I stayed interested in the issue of gun policy and as an economics professor I did some research on the impact of the National Firearms Agreement on gun homicide and suicide, estimating that around 200 lives were saved every year as a result of those visionary reforms. Then, as a parliamentarian, I saw the risks of backsliding. I greatly admired the bipartisan spirit which led to the National Firearms Agreement 21 years ago and thought that it was important to reinvest in that. Alongside John Alexander, who is the Australian of great distinction, we launched Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control.

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The Gender Equity Toolkit

The Gender Equity Toolkit was created by Joanna Richards while seconded to my office. 

Joanna spoke to parliamentarians, community organisers, advocates and experts about the things grassroots campaigners should know when taking their message to parliament. 

The toolkit is available here.

If you or your organisation would like a print version of the booklet, please contact my office. 

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Respecting our bipartisan gun laws - Transcript, 2CC Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA

THURSDAY, 20 SEPTEMBER 2018

SUBJECT: Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control, TPP, Clive Palmer, strawberries.

TIM SHAW, HOST: I really want to commend the work of Dr Andrew Leigh and John Alexander. These are two federal representatives, one for Labor, one for the Liberal Coalition. But the bipartisanship that goes on in our parliament, we don't talk about it enough. Gai Brodtman has done incredible work with the women of the parliament on serious issues such as endometriosis. And so too John Alexander and Dr Andrew Leigh, they’re co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control. They’ll be joined today by Walter Mikac, the founding patron of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation. You remember Mr Mikac, he lost his wife and two beautiful daughters in the horror of the Port Arthur massacre. They're meeting today in the Senate courtyard at the launch of the Australian Gun Safety Alliance. And this is such an important conversation to have and I'm pleased to have with Dr Andrew Leigh. Dr Leigh, welcome back to 2CC Breakfast.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSIATNT TREASURER: Thanks, Tim. Great to be with you.

SHAW: Why are you so passionate about this issue?

LEIGH: I have a personal connection to the Port Arthur massacre. When I was 24 years old, I was working at a Sydney law firm and each of us were assigned a mentor. Mine was a 28 year old woman by the name of Zoe Hall, who was the most wonderful, generous, caring mentor. She was tragically one of the final victims of the Port Arthur massacre while she was taking a holiday down in Tasmania. Now, it’s generally known we had a gun massacre a year in the decade leading up to it and none afterwards. But when I became an economics professor, I researched the impact so the gun buyback on firearm homicides and suicides with my co-author Christine Neill. We ended up finding out that the impact was huge, about 200 lives saved every year since then. This means over 4000 Australians walking around who would otherwise have been victims of gun deaths if we hadn’t had the buyback and the licensing and registration changes that followed Port Arthur.

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Australia needs to remain steady as a beacon for gun control - Speech, Parliament House

LAUNCHING THE PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF GUN CONTROL

Parliament House, 19 September 2018

I’d like to thank parliamentary colleagues from all sides of the Parliament for joining us tonight to launch the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control, particularly my co-chair John Alexander. Welcome back Tim Fischer, it’s terrific to have you here. I also welcome the extraordinary Walter Mikac, CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Lesley Podesta, and public health experts who have joined us here for this important event.

In 1996, I was a summer clerk at the Sydney law firm of Minter Ellison. Each of us were assigned a mentor. Mine was an energetic, charismatic 28 year old by the name of Zoe Hall. I couldn’t have gotten a better mentor. Zoe was somebody who kept on reaching out to say ‘how are you doing’, offering little bits of advice. And then she took a holiday to Port Arthur and became one of the victims of the Port Arthur massacre.

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