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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Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control - Transcript, ABC Statewide Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC STATEWIDE DRIVE

WEDNESDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2018
 
SUBJECT: Launch of the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control.

FIONA WYLLIE: Labor MP Dr Andrew Leigh is a member of the group and believes we shouldn't let our gun laws be eroded and joins us now on Statewide Drive. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks. Great to be with you. 
WYLLIE: Your commitment to gun control stems from a very personal connection to the Port Arthur tragedy. Can you tell us what happened?
 
LEIGH: In 1996-97 I was working as a summer clerk at Minter Ellison, a Sydney law firm and each of us were assigned a mentor. Mine was a woman by the name of Zoe Hall, a young lawyer who was wonderfully energetic and incredibly thoughtful at looking after me. She went on a holiday down to Tasmania and tragically ended up being one of the victims of the Port Arthur massacre.
 
WYLLIE: That must have touched you very deeply and everyone who knew her. Did you start campaigning at that time?
 
LEIGH: I've always been concerned about getting gun safety right. Australia is a country which has managed to maintain a strong sports shooting culture but in the decade before Port Arthur we'd had an average of one gun massacre a year. Nearly 100 victims to mass shootings in that decade leading up to Port Arthur. What's striking is that in the decade after we had no mass shootings. I got interested when I became an economics professor in looking at whether we could actually measure the impact of the gun buyback on gun homicides and suicides. And the research I did with Canadian economist Christine Neill found that in fact the number of lives saved every year was about 200. Some of them were averted homicides but most were averted suicides – because tragically the person most likely to kill you with a gun is yourself.

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A message of remonstrance - Speech, House of Representatives

A MESSAGE OF REMONSTRANCE

House of Representatives, 18 September 2018

For the first time in its 29-year history, the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly has brought to this parliament a message of remonstrance, and it does this asking that the ACT assembly have removed the bar to it having the deeply difficult conversation about voluntary assisted dying.

It was 21 years ago that this parliament took that power away from the ACT assembly.

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Government has run out of legislation - Speech, House of Representatives

THE GOVERNMENT HAS RUN OUT OF LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE

House of Representatives, 18 September 2018

It is a pleasure to be debating this bill. I note for the benefit of the House that the only reason we are now in the House debating this uncontroversial tax bill is that Labor voted to stop the filibuster in the Senate.

Twice the government in the Senate voted to keep on filibustering this piece of legislation. There is one very simple reason for that, which is that the government has run out of legislation in the Senate.

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We'll keep on campaigning for the AIS - Speech, Federation Chamber

WE'LL KEEP ON CAMPAIGNING FOR THE AIS

Federation Chamber, 17 September 2018

Founded in 1981, the Australian Institute of Sport has been a vital part of our nation's sporting prowess, responsible for training some of our sporting legends, among them Michael Klim, Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Petria Thomas, Anna Meares and Michael Milton.

And yet the Australian Institute of Sport is now under threat due to staffing cuts and neglect. Since the coalition came into office, the number of Canberra based staff has fallen from 173 to 140. The institute has lost 70 sports specialists, and executives have indicated that there are more losses to come.

Several sports bodies avoid the institute altogether, and many refer to it as a ‘ghost town’.

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Horse and sparrow economics - Speech, House of Representatives

HORSE AND SPARROW ECONOMICS

House of Representatives, 17 September 2018

Before they called it trickledown economics, there was a term known as 'horse and sparrow' economics.

The idea of horse and sparrow economics was that, if you want the sparrows to eat better, you just have to feed the horses enough and eventually there'll be enough left on the road for the sparrows.

That is fundamentally the way in which the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government thinks about economic policy. 

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