Deadline for institutions to sign up to redress today - Media Release

LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
MEMBER FOR BARTON

MARK DREYFUS
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
MEMBER FOR FENNER

DEADLINE FOR INSTITUTIONS TO SIGN UP TO REDRESS TODAY

The deadline for recalcitrant institutions named by the Royal Commission to commit to signing up to the National Redress Scheme is today.

It has been almost five years since Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse handed down its interim report recommending the establishment of a National Redress Scheme.

Survivors of institutional child sexual abuse have waited long enough for redress. Many have passed away without receiving redress because many institutions have failed to sign up to the scheme.

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The Risks and Rewards of Being a High Court Associate - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

THE RISKS AND REWARDS OF BEING A HIGH COURT ASSOCIATE

The Canberra Times, 29 June 2020

There’s no job quite like being a High Court associate. One moment you’re sitting your last law exams. The next you’re working at the most powerful court in Australia, getting to see how the nation’s most brilliant minds argue and decide the toughest cases.

While being a High Court associate is exhilarating, it’s also unusual. Never in my life have I done a job that’s so intensely personal. Technically, you’re employed by the court. But practically, your employment rests on the judge who chose you. Associateships last a year, during which your role includes anything from writing a legal memorandum to fetching the judge’s lunch. You’re a valet, an apprentice, a researcher, a sounding board, an attendant, and a fact-checker. The job of a judge’s associate dates back centuries, and it has an old-world feel about it.

From mid-1996 to mid-1997, I was fortunate enough to work as a High Court associate to Michael Kirby. Kirby was, and is, an extraordinary human being, who treated me with kindness and respect, and taught me more about law than anyone else in the world.

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Robodebt scheme has done massive harm to Australian people - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA DRIVE

TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Labor’s calls for a Royal Commission into Robodebt; Liberals Undermining Superannuation (Again)

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

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

DELANEY: Well thanks for joining us once again. First of all, why do we need a royal commission on this issue? Don't we already know what went wrong?

LEIGH: I think we need to get to the absolute bottom of what's happened with this significant scheme. I mean, this is a scheme designed to extract one and a half billion dollars of unlawful debts from the Australian people. Hundreds of thousands of people are having their debts repaid, and indeed pretty much everybody who came to my office has had their debts repaid. A whole lot of Canberrans have been affected by this. I've had constituents who had the debt collectors sicced onto them as a result of a process in which the Morrison Government took the humans out of Human Services and just allowed computer algorithms to run amok, ruining people's lives.

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Liberals again defend the indefensible - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 17 JUNE 2020

In The Mikado, the Lord High Executioner sings, 'I've got a little list,' and the coalition have a little list as well. Their little list is of their mates that they would like to avoid public scrutiny. That's what they're doing with this vote that we are about to have in this place. Yet again, for the third time in as many days, they are going to come into this place and defend the indefensible.

Why do I say it's indefensible? It's because none of them are standing up to defend it.

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No defence for lack of transparency - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 JUNE 2020

I was just pausing for a moment to see if perhaps there was one member of the coalition who might defend their current position. I'm perfectly happy to yield to anyone on the other side who wants to defend the position that they are about to vote for.

I think they're hoping that people will see the word 'tax' and just tune out. But let's be very clear about what we're debating in the House right now: the government wants to throw an invisibility cloak over their mates so they can evade scrutiny. It is as simple as that.

This is a measure that should have been a temporary exemption for a couple of years. That's what it was to have been when the Keating government put it in place in 1995. But it was the Howard government that said, 'You know, this is a pretty good lurk for some of our mates. Let's make it permanent.'

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Morrison over promises and under delivers - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 JUNE 2020

Another day and another promise that the Prime Minister will likely fail to deliver on.

The coalition promised a draft bill to establish a national integrity commission by last Christmas, but for those who want a federal ICAC there was nothing under the Christmas tree. This government promised immediate support for bushfire victims. Months later, only four per cent have received help.

They said six million people were receiving the JobKeeper payment and then admitted that the truth was about half as many. They have left the arts sector behind, and the university sector has been deliberately excluded. There might be a pandemic going on, but they're not too busy to fight the culture wars. Among charities, just one in 13 can access the JobKeeper program, and some face the real prospect of going bust.

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Taxation needs transparency and consistency - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 JUNE 2020

Louis Brandeis famously said that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the issue we're facing here is squarely an issue of sunlight.

As the member for Mayo has highlighted, it's also an issue of consistency. Why should a company that was formed before 1995 be treated differently to a company formed after 1995? The coalition likes to talk about new businesses and about the importance of level playing fields. Well, this is the very antithesis of that. This is advantaging older businesses and it's tilting the playing field towards them. Why should 1,500 firms that were established before 1995 have access to a different transparency regime than every other private firm? It makes no sense whatsoever and it is a bizarre quirk of history.

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Time Teddy Sheean's valour was recognised with Victoria Cross - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 JUNE 2020

‘What more can you ask of a man or a boy than to give his life for his country and to save his mates.’

These are the words of Garth Sheean, the nephew of Ordinary Seaman Edward 'Teddy' Sheean.

This is Teddy Sheean's story—a story of bravery, of sacrifice and of underacknowledged valour.

Almost 80 years ago, at just 17 years of age, Teddy Sheean followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Royal Australian Navy. It was there he met his mate, Able Seaman Jack Bird. The now 96-year-old Jack says Teddy Sheean 'could fight like a thrashing machine'.

It was both combat and comradery that he'd be remembered for.

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Free trade is under fire - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 11 JUNE 2020

Free trade is under fire. We've seen a massive increase in the number of protectionist measures around the world and significant pressure being placed on the global trading system. It's critical to realise the value that openness has played in building the modern Australian economy.

Australia's trade barriers were brought down largely by successive Labor governments: the 25 per cent tariff cut by Gough Whitlam in 1973, and the significant tariff cuts in 1988 and 1991 by the Hawke government. The process of trade liberalisation delivered significant competitiveness into the Australian economy and ensured that we created many more jobs. It improved the living standards for many Australian households.

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HomeBuilder worsens inequality - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 11 JUNE 2020

From the party that brought us knighthoods, robodebt and the right to bigotry, we shouldn't expect much. But, even by their standards, HomeBuilder is a home blunder.

It's a policy that worsens inequality and does nothing for growth. With six months to start, that narrows eligibility down to one group of people: those who were going to build anyway.

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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.