Media


It's time for territory rights - Transcript, ABC Canberra Drive

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RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC CANBERRA DRIVE

WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 2021
 
SUBJECT: Territory rights and voluntary assisted dying.

ANNA VIDOT, HOST: Interesting development this week on Australian states’ moves to allow people who are suffering under certain circumstances to be assisted to end their own lives. This is a decision the territories are currently not allowed to make for themselves, the ACT and Northern Territory both currently and quite steadily lobbying the federal government or Parliament really to change that. But this week, Tasmania became the third state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, joining Victoria and Western Australia. South Australia will consider doing the same later this year. It took a while for Tasmania to get to this point. It's the fourth time these laws have been considered over just over a decade, and this latest effort took about three years to get from inception to successful passage through Tasmania's upper house last night. The ACT and Northern Territory are blocked from even debating similar legislation in our legislative assemblies, because of a piece of Commonwealth legislation. The Federal Labor MP for Fenner Andrew Leigh is among those who want that to change, and he joins me this evening. Andrew Leigh, what do you make of the news overnight, first of all, that Tasmania has now joined Victoria and Western Australia to allow voluntary assisted dying?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: It's pretty remarkable, isn't it, Anna? I remember when there was one survey that looked at attitudes to euthanasia across the country. It found that the attitudes were coolest among Tasmanians. But now we've got half the states where voluntary assisted dying with safeguards is legal. As you mentioned, South Australia is looking into it. The Queensland Law Reform Commission is looking into it. It can't be that long until New South Wales makes moves in this direction. And yet, here in the ACT - the most progressive jurisdiction in Australia – we’re banned from even talking about it thanks to an anachronistic 24-year-old bill called the Andrews Bill, which prevents the territories from legislating on voluntary assisted dying.

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Bad behaviour in Parliament shouldn't be tolerated - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 23 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: The need to change the culture of sexual harassment and entitlement in Parliament House; Support for a Royal Commission into veterans’ suicide; JobKeeper.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is our #JobKeeperWarrior. He joins us each Tuesday on the program. G’day, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Marcus. How are you?

PAUL: Well, thank you, mate. Now a couple of things I wanted to touch on. An awful story emerged in the press overnight in relation to, well, a bit of hanky panky going on there in the Parliament. Stuff that really should be outside of federal parliament. I'm going to be honest with you mate, I think Australians are getting a bit sick and tired of hearing of all of this rubbish. Parliament is a building that should be, as far as I'm concerned and I think most Australians would agree, it's building that needs to be set aside for lawmaking rather than extracurricular activities. I mean, what do you make of this news overnight?

LEIGH: More Animal House than Parliament House, isn't it, Marcus? It does remind you that there are people out there who forget what a privilege it is to serve the public, whether that's in elected office or working for a Member of Parliament. There are people who would give their eye teeth for that chance, and every day we go into to do those jobs we should see them as a privilege. But some of these guys seem to reckon that they’re born to rule, that they've got a right to treat the place abominably. It's just awful behaviour, it shouldn't be tolerated in any side of politics.

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Corporate welfare doesn't pass pub test - Transcript, 6PR Perth Live

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RADIO INTERVIEW

6PR PERTH LIVE WITH OLIVER PETERSON

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECT: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed.

OLIVER PETERSON, HOST: More than 30 ASX listed companies have recorded higher profits in the last six months of last year than the previous year. That's after they received hundreds of millions of dollars in JobKeeper subsidies. On the line, joining me live from Canberra this afternoon in Parliament House is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Andrew, good afternoon.

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

PETERSON: You've been naming and shaming these companies which have profited from JobKeeper. Now we've got one fifth of the companies listed on the ASX, it turns out, grew their earnings through the pandemic with thanks to JobKeeper. That doesn't seem to pass the pub test, Andrew?

LEIGH: It certainly doesn't, does it? JobKeeper was meant to be helping out firms that would otherwise have hit the skids. And yet it has gone - a huge amount of it - has gone to firms whose profits were rising. You think of firms like Harvey Norman that had their best ever profit year in 2020. Those firms didn't need taxpayer handouts. Good luck to them on their profitability, but the idea that JobKeeper - a program designed to keep battlers in work - should be funding billionaires buying their next racehorse is just an abomination.

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Australia can't afford corporate welfare - Transcript, 2CC Drive

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed; the Morrison Government withdrawing support too soon for those who need it; unemployment rate.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: I'll bet you're very pleased you're not in the Senate, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Yes, always pleased. Every day, I get out of bed in the morning and I'm pleased I'm not in the Senate. It's a delight to be in the people's house.

DELANEY: Indeed. What do you make of that motion that was passed by the Senate? Is it bigoted, as the Greens senator suggested, or is it just a merely a reflection of common sense?

LEIGH: Leon, we've just had some massive rallies across Australia over the issue of sexual harassment, which we know affects two-fifths of women. We've had a woman allegedly raped within 50 metres of the Prime Minister's office. The idea that motions like this are what the Senate should be debating seems utterly ludicrous to me. Let's focus on the big issues.

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Billions wasted where it wasn't needed - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

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RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECT: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed.

LEON BYNER, HOST: I'm going to talk to a bloke who is a former professor of economics at the Australian National University, and he's got some very interesting data about JobKeeper. I'm talking about the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, thanks for joining us today.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Always a pleasure, Leon.

BYNER: Now, you've uncovered that one fifth of JobKeeper payments made to major listed companies in the second half of last year went to firms who grew their profits during the pandemic. Just explain this.

LEIGH: That’s right, Leon. So JobKeeper could be claimed based on a forecast downturn, but not all firms who said their profits were going to go down actually saw them fall. And this new report from Ownership Matters highlighted that for listed companies, a fifth of the money went to firms that very clearly didn't need it, that had a better 2020 than 2019. You think of firms like Harvey Norman or Premier Investments, which owns Just Jeans and Smiggle - these retailers saw a bonanza profit in 2020. They didn't need money, but they got it anyway. And if these findings are replicated right across the JobKeeper recipients, that would be somewhere between $10 and $20 billion going to firms with rising profits.

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Government waste on colossal scale - Transcript, Sky News First Edition

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TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed; Tax cuts; the Morrison Government’s poor plans for workers.

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: There are fresh concerns this morning, one fifth of JobKeeper payments made to major listed companies in the second quarter of 2020 went to firms who grew their profits during the pandemic. Joining me live now is Labor MP, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good to see you. Thanks for joining us this morning.

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

STEFANOVIC: So what is your issue with this?

LEIGH: JobKeeper was meant to keep battlers in jobs, not to have money flowing to billionaire shareholders to buy the next yacht. And this new report shows really troubling findings about the extent to which JobKeeper was going to firms whose profits were rising. Think of firms like Harvey Norman or Premier Investments, big retailers who saw the best ever sales in 2020. Firms like that didn't need JobKeeper, and this report suggests that about a fifth of the money could have been going to firms with rising profits. We only know about the listed companies because the government hasn't released the rest of the information. But if this is true across the entire program, Pete, that means more than $10 billion was wasted. That's money that could extend JobKeeper for another six months right now.

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Morrison's JobKeeper waste exposed - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed; the need for Indigenous recognition.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: One fifth of JobKeeper payments to major listed companies in the second half of last year went to firms who grew profits during the pandemic, sparking fresh concerns the $83 billion scheme has been abused by parts of corporate Australia. Is it any wonder the critics have called JobKeeper in some form corporate welfare? Fresh analysis from corporate governance advisory firm Ownership Matters has shown 66 of the Australian stock exchange's top 300 companies claimed a total of $1.38 billion in JobKeeper payments for the six months to the end of December. Of those, 58 reported positive profit figures during the period, and around half or 34 companies told investors their underlying earnings had improved. Now our #JobKeeperWarrior on this issue, of course, is Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning to you mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be back with you.

PAUL: Thank you. Look, the irony of course - I'm reading the story on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘business profits in a welfare rainbow’, right underneath is a half-page advertisement for Harvey Norman. 60 months interest free, no deposit, no interest. Would have cost-

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No place for bullying or sexual harassment in Labor - Transcript, 2CC Breakfast

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC STEPHEN CENATIEMPO BREAKFAST SHOW

WEDNESDAY, 17 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: The right for all women to feel safe and respected in the workplace; the need for an independent complaints process removed from the political parties; the Morrison Government’s inaction on the [email protected] recommendations; the need for men to call out bad behaviour in the workplace.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO, HOST: One man that is actually doing the right thing rather than trying to score points off this is Labor Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh, who hasn't been on the program for a while. Andrew, good to have you back.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Stephen. Great to be with you, although happy to chat with you anytime, mate. Pick up the phone anytime you want to talk.

CENATIEMPO: And you're welcome here anytime you've got something to say. And look, I've been very, very critical of people trying to score cheap political points off what are some disgraceful allegations. You've actually come out and encouraged women within your own party to come forward and report any instances of harassment or abuse. And it turns out from a Facebook page that has seen the light of day recently that there is quite a number of them.

LEIGH: These allegations were pretty horrific to me, Steve, and I certainly don't want to be in a Labor Party that has in it people who bully their staff. We're a party that believes in workers’ rights, and that's got to go beyond policies that advance workers’ rights - it's also got to be reflected in how we treat our own staff. We need to be a model employer. In that sense, anyone that's doing the wrong thing by their staff needs to be called out, needs to have their behaviour pulled into line.

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Morrison too small for the moment - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 16 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: March For Justice and the Prime Minister’s insufficient response; the right for all women to feel safe and respected in the workplace; the Morrison Government’s inaction on the [email protected] recommendations; the Morrison Government withdrawing support for workers too soon.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh, good morning to you, mate.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you, you too. Let's talk first about the Women's March. What did you make of yesterday?

LEIGH: It was a real moment in history, Marcus. Over 5,000 people gathered outside Parliament House and just to walk among the marchers was to feel that you were part of a real moment in history. I think the Prime Minister doesn't quite understand what's going on, when he meets such an extraordinarily powerful upswelling of passion, emotion and reason with a little response when he said in Parliament ‘not far from here, such matters even now are being met with bullets’. You know, it’s just-

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Culture in Parliament needs to change - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

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RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 9 MARCH 2021

SUBJECT: Liberals failing women - and failing to read the room - on International Women’s Day; the need for change within Parliament and an independent complaints process for staff; JobKeeper being misused as BonusKeeper and DividendKeeper; charities under pressure.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Right now it's time to catch up with one of our warriors, our #JobKeeperWarrior, Andrew Leigh MP. Good morning to you, Andrew. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Great morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.

PAUL: Thank you very much. Let's start first of all with the comments on International Women's Day yesterday. You weren't at your local railway station handing out Dave Shama roses, were you?

[laughter]

LEIGH: One of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen, I’ve got to say. I mean, Dave’s not a bad bloke, but talk about tin-eared. In the current environment, people want to be closing the gender pay gap. They want to be dealing with family violence, they want to focus on sexual harassment in the workplace. They don’t want their local MP handing out flowers.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.