Growing inequality is changing the face of Tasmania - Op Ed, The Mercury

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER AND SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHARITIES AND NOT-FOR-PROFITS

SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK, SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

GROWING INEQUALITY IS CHANGING THE FACE OF TASMANIA

Over the past generation, Australia has become more unequal, and Tasmania has slipped further behind.

In the late 1970s, Tasmanian household incomes were 90 per cent of household incomes in NSW. Today, that figure is down to 78 per cent.

As novelist Richard Flanagan put it in a recent speech to the National Press Club: “Our society grows increasingly more unequal, more disenfranchised, angrier, more fearful. Even in my home town of Hobart, as snow settles on the mountain, there is the deeply shameful spectacle of a tent village of the homeless, the number of which increase daily.”

Fairness is fundamental to Australia’s national identity. Australians prefer saying “mate” to “sir”, and generally don’t have private areas on our beaches. Gated estates are rare, and many of us sit in the front seat of the taxi.

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Clean up and build networks - Op Ed, The Chronicle

Clean up the park and build networks

The Chronicle, 5 June 2018

Two car tyres, a desk chair, building materials, and dozens of bags of rubbish. After just a couple of hours, that was the collection of garbage we had collected from Lyneham Wetlands and its surrounding paths.

Over recent years, I’ve been working with colleagues in the Legislative Assembly to arrange Saturday afternoon clean-up events in our local community. With Andrew Barr, Rachel Stephen-Smith, Gordon Ramsay, Tara Cheyne, Michael Pettersson, Suzanne Orr and others, we’ve joined with the local community to help pick up rubbish in Umbagong District Park, the North Mitchell Grasslands, John Knight Park and Yerrabi Pond.

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Labor will ensure we share the benefits of prosperity - Transcript, Sky News Agenda

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS AM AGENDA

MONDAY, 4 JUNE 2018

SUBJECTS: CBA penalties, Banking Royal Commission, By-elections, asylum seekers.

KIERAN GILBERT: Andrew Leigh, any reaction to that breaking news, CBA to pay a record $700 million in civil penalties, plus costs in that AUSTRAC case.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Kieran, that is a huge amount of money. They said earlier that they'd put aside $375 million, so now to go to $700 million really does speak to the gravity of what has happened here and again reinforces the call that we've been making for the past two years for a Royal Commission. We've seen from CBA alone scandals ranging from children's bank accounts to charging dead people for work that hadn't been done.

GILBERT: So do you think that this might be the start of a reckoning within the big banks? Certainly in the CBA that they have to face up to some of this?

LEIGH: I certainly think the big banks do need to face up to this. I think there have been a whole range of problems that have been revealed through the Royal Commission process. It's why Labor argued so strongly for it and it also reinforces the importance right now of not giving a $17 billion tax cut to the big banks.

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Morrison takes Australian shoppers offline - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

ED HUSIC, SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

MORRISON TAKES AUSTRALIAN SHOPPERS OFFLINE

Today’s announcement from Amazon that it will no longer allow Australians to access its international sites will reduce consumer choice and is an utter embarrassment for the Treasurer.

Amazon has announced that due to implementation difficulties associated with the government’s legislated model of GST collection on product purchases under $1000, Australians shoppers will from 1 July this year no longer be able to purchase goods on Amazon overseas sites such as amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

Online platforms like Amazon have previously warned these sorts of changes would occur if the Government pressed ahead with its preferred model of GST collection on small parcels.

This is a direct response to how the Government has sought to implement this reform.

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Committee backs Labor’s call for more tax transparency, humiliates SloMo - Media Release

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

COMMITTEE BACKS LABOR’S CALL FOR MORE TAX TRANSPARENCY, HUMILIATES SLOMO

The Senate report into multinational tax avoidance has backed Labor’s call to bring more firms out of the shadows and into the sunlight.

Labor already has a Private Senator’s Bill in Parliament to restore a key Labor Government transparency measure. We call on all parties to support this important bill.

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More than a year of inaction from Malcolm Turnbull - Speech, House of Representatives

SPEECH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2018

I move the second reading amendment that has been circulated in my name:

That all words after “That” be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

“whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House calls upon the Government to seriously tackle phoenixing and the black economy, including by urgently introducing legislation requiring every company director to be issued with a unique Director Identification Number”.

A couple of years ago, the Australian Taxation Office conducted a number of audits into illegal phoenixing activity. Following one of those audits, a Tasmanian business owner was charged with fraud for phoenix activity, which was alleged to have involved an original company that operated a chain of restaurants.

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The great Australian dream has turned into a nightmare under Malcolm Turnbull - Speech, House of Representatives

SPEECH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

TUESDAY, 29 MAY 2018

In Tasmania today people are camping out in tents in the Hobart Showground. One of them, Rachel, is due to give birth in October, and she is having to suffer through icy Tasmanian temperatures. She says:

… if I can't see it, it's not happening. Just stay in a ball and you'll be fine.

That's Rachel's way of dealing with the homelessness crisis Tasmania is currently struggling with.

One of my own constituents, Adrian, wrote to me about his family's struggles. His children and grandchildren are finding it difficult to get into the housing market. He currently shares his house with his married daughter and her husband. Since his eldest was born 40 years ago, he has had only six months of living without his offspring. Lina, a woman in my electorate, recently wrote to me about living out of a suitcase after losing her mother. Annie, an older woman, has been left with few housing options after finding herself with little superannuation and no family.

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The tale of two tax cuts - Op Ed, Business Insider

This is why Labor won't yet support the government's whole six-year income tax cuts plan

Business Insider Australia, 29 May 2018

Imagine that one day your boss tells everyone that the firm has a terrific three-part plan for pay rises. Part one will give everyone a $10 a week pay rise, starting in a matter of weeks. ‘What about parts two and three?’, you ask. You’ve heard a rumour that they give a lot more to the senior executives, and might lead to layoffs. He shouts angrily: ‘If you don’t support the whole plan, you can pack your things and get out!’.

That, in a nutshell, is how Treasurer Scott Morrison is presenting the personal income tax cuts in its 2018 budget. One part of the tax cuts, due to take effect in just under six weeks, is targeted towards low and middle-income earners. Another tranche, due to take effect in just over six years, gives the most to those who have the most.

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Dairy farmers deserve better - Op Ed, The Age

JOEL FITZGIBBON, SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION AND PRODUCTIVITY 

Dairy farmers deserve better

The Age, 29 May 2018

In 2016, dairy farmers Bec and Glen Casey heard from milk producer Murray Goulburn that they would be cutting the price of milk. Worse, Murray Goulburn told them that it had been overpaying its producers, and would have to claw back some of the money they had been paid. The decision cost the Caseys’ 320-head operation a full two years of profit. Bec said that Glen ‘feels like someone's come in and taken half the herd from underneath him’.

In one sense, milk is big business. The average Australian drinks over 100 litres of milk a year. Add in butter, cheese and exports, and dairy farming turns out to be the fourth-largest agricultural sector.

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LGBT+ Rights are Human Rights - Op Ed, Star Observer

LGBT+ Rights are Human Rights

Star Observer, Friday 22 May 2018

Over the past half century, Australia has made significant progress. We have decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting adults. We have removed many forms of institutionalised discrimination against LGBT+ Australians. And we have belatedly legislated same-sex marriage.

There is more to be done in Australia, but there is much more to be done around the world.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au