Coalition needs to take responsibility for poor decisions - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

Imagine you're facing a heatwave and your city has just experienced the worst air quality in the world.

Now imagine you're facing those threats while living alone.

Now imagine that your only way of communicating is about to be cut off.

That was the situation that Canberra woman Jenelle Outhwaite faced last month when she learned the CapTel service that she relies on was going to be axed by the Morrison government. Like thousands of Australians, Ms Outhwaite has hearing difficulties and relies on this vital service for everyday communications.

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Randomista revolution for foreign aid - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

Foreign aid is close to my heart, having as a child grown up in Indonesia, in Banda Aceh and Jakarta, seeing firsthand the impact of Australia's aid program on those communities. For want of simple treatments like oral rehydration, children have died around the world. Australian aid saves lives. It's been estimated by Reverend Tim Costello that the cuts to Australia's aid budget may have cost as many as 200,000 lives around the world. That's because our aid is going to health programs and to anti-poverty programs. It is directly assisting some of the world's most vulnerable. Australian aid is absolutely critical, as it looks to improve the wellbeing of the world's poorest.

My predecessor as member for Fraser was Bob McMullan, who once told me that his most rewarding job in two decades of politics was to serve as Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance in the Rudd government. In that capacity, he put in place Australia's disability-inclusive development program. In practice, this meant that Australia's school-building program in Indonesia ensured that schools built with Australian aid money had ramps leading to their front doors—so Indonesian children in wheelchairs were able to attend school for the first time thanks to Australia's aid program. My maternal uncle, Keith Stebbins, spent his career in Papua New Guinea, working with the education department and writing textbooks for that country. He spent a lot of time in remote areas of Papua New Guinea, working in those communities and seeing the impact that a great education can have on life prospects.

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Canberra, the celebration capital - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

It is festival season in Australia's greatest city and over the weekend around 200,000 Canberrans came to the National Multicultural Festival, enjoying Korean deep fried chicken with cheese, Croatian cevapi, Tibetan momos, South Indian puri, North Indian butter chicken, debating the critical question as to whether the German or the Serbian stall produced the better sausage and enjoying some 220kg of potatoes prepared by the Czech association.

This weekend it continues with the Canberra Show coming up. Around 50,000 people attended last year and, with this being the first year that Canberrans can take light rail to the Canberra Show, hopefully that record will be broken. We have a host of exciting activities coming up.

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Labor stands for integrity and transparency - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

It is a pleasure to move this bill today, expanding the reach of the ACT Integrity Commission. The ACT Integrity Commission passed the ACT Assembly in November 2018. It reflects the Barr government's strong commitment to tackling integrity issues within the ACT.

Labor stands for integrity and transparency. We have zero tolerance for corruption. In the ACT, as in the rest of Australia, the public has a right to trust that their public officials can stand up to justified scrutiny. This was a bill which passed the ACT Assembly with support from the ACT Liberals and the ACT Greens. It is vital that the ACT Integrity Commission has the same coverage of bodies in jurisdictions such as Victoria. In Victoria, the Integrity Commission covers the police but, as a result of the way in which policing services are delivered in the ACT, this is not possible within the scope of the ACT Self Government Act as it presently stands.

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ACT Integrity Commission a small piece of much larger debate - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA DRIVE
MONDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

SUBJECT: ACT Integrity Commission.

ANNA VIDOT: Andrew Leigh has introduced a Private Member's Bill which would give the ACT Integrity Commission oversight of the Australian Federal Police. Now of course, the fun intricacies of being the capital territory within the Commonwealth means that ACT Policing will not fall under the remit of the new ACT anti-corruption watchdog, in part because they're a branch of the AFP. So to explain why he wants the whole of the AFP included in the ACT remit instead, Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh joins me from Parliament House. Andrew Leigh, what exactly are you seeking to do with this bill?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Anna. Great to be with you and your listeners. This is a bill which is aimed at ensuring that the ACT Integrity Commission has the same scope of powers as, say, the Victorian Integrity Commission. I think most people when they think about a body which is looking at corruption would imagine that that would cover public servants, politicians and include the police. But because of the way in which the ACT gets its policing services through a contract with the federal government, that's currently not possible under the Self-Government Act. I’d assume that the Morrison Government would have been quite happy to work with the Barr Government in ensuring that they had the integrity commission that the ACT wanted, that had passed the Assembly. But it turns out the Morrison Government doesn't want a full blown integrity commission here in the ACT, so I've needed to move this private member's bill in an attempt to put pressure on the government to do the right thing.

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Inaction on climate change will cost us more - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS
MONDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

SUBJECTS: Australia’s stagnant economy; the cost of climate change inaction.

ANNELISE NIELSEN: Now we're joined by Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Andrew, thank you for your time.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Annelise.

NIELSEN: Now we haven't been talking too much about an economy lately. It’s all been emissions targets, but it's obviously a huge issue especially leading up to the federal budget. You're saying that when you take a longer term look at the Australian economy, things aren't looking as good as we might be led to believe.

LEIGH: Annelise, I'm really worried not only about the fact that growth is down and wage growth is down and investment is down, but also that productivity actually declined in 2018-19. Australian firms are less innovative than they were. We're seeing less job mobility, less geographic mobility. All the signs are pointing towards an Australian economy that's more stultified and less dynamic than it should be.

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In our economic interest to act on climate change - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2020

SUBJECTS: Prime Minister snooze; Economic stagnation; Cost of inaction on climate change; Integrity Commission; Coalition division; Bettina Arndt.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. The Australian economy faces significant challenges. Productivity fell in 2018-19. On many indicators the Australian economy is more stagnant than it was and is underperforming many advanced countries.  We know we have challenges in meeting the Closing the Gap targets, on meeting our international commitments on climate change. On test scores, Australian school students are a full year of achievement behind where they were two decades ago.

Yet the government doesn't have a plan to deal with these issues. Scott Morrison had a plot to become prime minister, but no plan as to what to do when he got there. He doesn't have a plan for the economy. He doesn't have a plan for growth. He doesn't have a plan for climate change. Scott Morrison likes to talk about pulling the doona over your head, but when it comes to leadership, he is captain snooze. He has absolutely no ability to deal with the big challenges. He just wants to sit back, pull the doona over his head and not worry about the big issues.

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We need to rev up Australia’s stagnant economy - Op Ed, Canberra Times

WE NEED TO REV UP AUSTRALIA'S STAGNANT ECONOMY

The Canberra Times, 24 February 2020

On many of the standard measures, the Australian economy is in a bad way. Since 2013, economic growth has slowed. Wage growth is the worst on record. Household spending is growing at its slowest pace since the Global Financial Crisis. Retail is amid its deepest downturn since 1990, with Harris Scarfe, Dimmeys, Bardot and Jeanswest among those to hit the wall. New car sales last year fell 8 percent, with fewer vehicles sold than at any time since 2011. Construction is now shrinking at its fastest rate since 1999. Business investment is at its lowest level since the 1990s recession.

But that’s just the surface metrics. It is a sad fact is that Australia’s economy is less productive, less nimble, and less dynamic than many other advanced countries. Indeed, on many indicators, the economy has become more stagnant over time.

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Australia's Stagnant Economy - Speech, Melbourne

AUSTRALIA’S STAGNANT ECONOMY

JOHN CAIN FOUNDATION

MELBOURNE

19 FEBRUARY 2020

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people, on whose lands we meet today.

It’s less than two months since John Cain left us, and just over a week since the outpouring of public recognition that his memorial service evoked. As a child of the Cain era, his passing still feels raw. My parents grew up in Melbourne, and we visited regularly. I recall the sense of fresh possibility when the Cain Government’s 1982 election ended three decades of Liberal rule. The Cain Government was a reformist government – reforming liquor laws, investing in public health and education, taking on the gun lobby and the tobacco lobby.

Unlike the showponies and charlatans of today, John Cain took public service seriously. ‘It’s no good being in office for three years, or four, or five’, he said. ‘I want to see long-term change’. He drew on evidence, reformed the public service, and worked with the caucus and the broader labour movement. ‘It’s hard to make decisions on complex issues’, he noted. ‘It’s is more difficult if the process is defective.’

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Give a little love to our nation's capital - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 13 FEBRUARY 2020

It has been 17 years since the 2003 Canberra bushfires but the memory loomed large over the capital in the recent summer months. Emergency services battled multiple fires in record-breaking heat. My constituents in Jervis Bay were evacuated as the fires closed in.

One blaze still burns, despite the rain. The Orroral Valley fire, which started in Namadgi National Park on 27 January and burned out of control for more than a fortnight, is now contained, but it has burned more than 86,000 hectares, around 30 per cent of the land area of the ACT.

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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.