Media


Liberal inaction costing charities millions - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

TUESDAY, 1 MARCH 2022

SUBJECTS: The Liberals dragging their feet on reform and costing charities millions; Ukraine.

GRAEME GOODINGS, HOST: Well, the Prime Minister has been under attack on the fundraising front. Dr Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities, claims Scott Morrison's failure to act on fundraising reform is costing Australian charities millions. Let's get him to explain this to us. Dr Andrew Leigh, good morning to you.

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

GOODINGS: Yeah. What's your major grievance?

LEIGH: Charities have called for years for fixing Australia's outdated charitable fundraising laws. They were designed in a pre-internet age, and they're just not fit for purpose for online fundraising. Right now, if a charity wants to fundraise online, it needs to register in seven different jurisdictions - paperwork that takes them a week. That means that the cost to Australian charities in complying is over a million dollars a month. Yet the government, despite being told to fix it by the Royal Commission on Natural Disaster Preparedness and a bipartisan Senate report, has done absolutely nothing. So regular charities continue to have to jump through unnecessary hoops. Meanwhile, Peter Dutton sets up a fundraiser which if he was a charity wouldn’t be allowed under current fundraising laws.

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Fascist flags, QAnon and extremist ties: the many faces of ‘freedom’ protesters - Op Ed, The RiotACT

FASCIST FLAGS, QANON AND EXTREMIST TIES: THE MANY FACES OF ‘FREEDOM’ PROTESTERS

The RiotACT, 23 February 2022

Over recent weeks, far-right antivax protests have cropped up in Canada, Britain, France and New Zealand. But never have these protests come to a city with a higher vaccination rate than Canberra, where unvaccinated adults are as rare as UFO sightings.

They have a right to peacefully protest, but those of us who believe in science also have a right to point out that vaccines save lives and conspiracy theories can kill. Since the Morrison Government belatedly began rolling out COVID vaccines in Australia, these free vaccines have protected thousands of Australians from hospitalisation and death. COVID vaccines work. Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and Vitamin C do not.

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The ‘Tyreing’ Business of Tax Dodging - Op Ed, The New Daily

HONEST AUSTRALIANS PAY THE PRICE FOR COALITION’S REFUSAL TO COME DOWN HARD ON TAX RORTS AND SCAMS

At its peak, the Stawell tyre dump held nine million tyres, making it one of the biggest tyre dumps in the world. After being inactive for more than a decade, the state Environmental Protection Authority finally stepped in and cleaned it up, recycling more than one million tyres, weighing around 10,000 tonnes.

Yet when they looked for someone to pay the bill, the government found that ownership of the dump had been transferred to an internet marketing company based in the tax haven of Panama.  Asked about the sale, the former owner admitted ‘I have never been to Panama and can't speak or understand any Spanish’. When the case went to court, Justice Karin Emerton called the sale of the site ‘outrageous’, suggesting that ‘It's open to infer that shifting assets between two companies, to a shelf company in Panama, is a device being used to avoid obligations under the fire preventions notice’.

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Liberals don't deserve another term in government - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Battlers struggling and billionaires soaring under Scott Morrison; NBN; Fuel prices and cost of living; Labor’s policies for a better Australia; Unemployment, the gig economy and worker protections; Anthony Albanese.

GRAEME GOODINGS, HOST: Well, elections both state and federal in the wind, and the economy and the handling of Covid certainly front and centre. Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh has launched a withering attack in Parliament on the government's handling of the economy. He joins me now. Andrew, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Graeme. Great to be back with you.

GOODINGS: Yeah. Look, we've just gone through two years of COVID. Is your attack really warranted?

LEIGH: I do think we need to take economic growth seriously again, Graeme. We've had almost a decade now of lousy economic growth. This has been the slowest decade for growth per person of any decade, going right back to the post war era. And if we don't take productivity seriously, then Australians will keep on finding that prices are rising faster than their wages. Now, last couple of years, we've seen beef prices up 17 per cent. We've seen childcare up around 10 per cent. Now we've seen petrol go over two bucks a litre. And yet many people are earning basically what they earned a couple of years ago. Wage growth has been tepid, unless of course you're a billionaire - billionaires collectively have doubled their wealth since Scott Morrison became prime minister.

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Liberals failing to deliver on clean energy and worker protections - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

PAUL MURRAY LIVE

WEDNESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Worker protections in the gig economy; Labor’s plans for affordable, reliable power.

PAUL MURRAY, HOST: In the meantime, plenty to talk about with Senator Hollie Hughes and, from the Labor Party, none other than Andrew Leigh. Andrew, g’day. Lovely to see you too, Senator. So, interesting report out of New South Wales - so you can all go home, because it’s none of your responsibilities here - which is about Uber, and about how Uber is treating, potentially mistreating its workforce. Where the Uber app allows people to work endlessly, including some people who are working up to 61 days in a row. Now, Hollie, I'm fascinated by this, because I think for all of the high fives and all the rest of it about the gig economy, there are very big companies who are able to get away with workers being paid very little, but also not a lot of protections for them as well. What do you think?

HOLLIE HUGHES: Well, I think people that choose to be uber drivers choose to drive when they want to drive. So I don't think Ubers forcing them to work 61 days in a row, whether or not it's good for their health, but that's the decisions that they're making. You know, I can tell you as an old country girl, when you were doing harvest, the guys worked and the girls worked a lot longer than 61 days in a row, trying to get that crop off. So, you know, no one's forcing them to do it. I think there's plenty of other opportunities with the unemployment rates so low at the moment. So people are making the choice to be an Uber driver, work their own hours, work the days they want to do. But it is, as you say, a matter for the New South Wales State government and their regulation when it comes to the maintenance of the vehicles and ensuring that they're safe. But again, it's consumer choice. And I think sometimes we're getting a little bit carried away over what people want to choose to do rather than, you know, more government regulation.

MURRAY: Is it ultimate flexibility here, Andrew? Apparently 26 per cent of the 11,000 shifts that they had to look at were drivers working 12 or 13 hours.

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Labor stands for transparency, the Liberals don't - Transcript, ABC Afternoon Briefing

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

ABC AFTERNOON BRIEFING

MONDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Foreign interference; Peter Dutton’s failures in defence; Donation transparency; Liberals’ climate inaction; NSW by-elections; Dyson Heydon.

GREG JENNETT, HOST: Jason Falinski, Liberal MP, and Labor's Andrew Leigh in the studio. Both have dashed into the studio from the House of Reps, where there was an impromptu division keeping you on your toes. Let's roll straight into discussion about weaponisation of national security. I think we might have heard some more overtones of this today in Question Time, as we did at the end of last week. Firstly to you Andrew Leigh. This is not without foundation, is it, when we hear Peter Dutton and others trying to dial up national security concerns on Labor when you consider the ASIO Director-General’s threat assessment last week, that is all parties are vulnerable here.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: We certainly know all parties are vulnerable, Greg, but it is very clear that there are no Labor candidates under concern from ASIO. Anthony Albanese said as much as a result of discussions with the ASIO Director-General. We know that ramping up fear of conflict with China is counter-productive to Australia’s national security interest.

JENNETT: If that is the case, Jason Falinski, why has Peter Dutton and others been talking in these terms that Labor and Anthony Albanese might be the Chinese Communist Party 's pick?

JASON FALINKSI: I don't think Peter Dutton suggested that, but feel free-

JENNETT: Something every similar.

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Government egos cost Aussies tens of billions - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

THURSDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Religious discrimination bill; Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg’s JobKeeper mismanagement.

GRAEME GOODINGS, HOST: The lower house in Canberra last night sat, well, pretty much right through the night to pass the religious discrimination bill. It's been one of the most contentious pieces of legislation to go before Parliament in a long time. Five Liberals crossed the floor agreeing to amendments put forward by the opposition. The government ended up voting against its own bill. The legislation passed with the opposition supported by those dissenting Libs. The bill finally passed about 4.30 this morning. Joining me now the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, you’ve had a big night.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: It’s been an interesting night in the House of Reps, Graeme. It's not often the government loses a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. And something I've never seen before, after losing a vote they then turned around and voted against their own bill. So you had the spectacle of the Prime Minister voting against a bill that his party had introduced. It was the most extraordinary ‘take your bat and ball and go home’ attempt that I've ever seen.

GOODINGS: It has drawn a lot of interest from around the nation. Did the opposition get what they wanted?

LEIGH: Not entirely. So what we would have liked to do is to put an anti-vilification measure in place, which would prohibit religious vilification. I spoke to that around 3am. We also wanted to make sure that there was protection against discrimination for older people receiving in-home care. We weren't able to secure sufficient support for that. But we were able to get support for an amendment which ensured that children in religious schools are protected from discrimination. And that's a very important measure.

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Issue too important to rush - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS

WEDNESDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECT: Religious Discrimination Bill.

TOM CONNELL, HOST: I did speak to one Labor MP inside this Caucus meeting just before this meeting began. I spoke to Labor’s Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh, and began by asking whether or not Labor intended to support the bill, whether he does intend to argue for supporting the bill as it stands.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Well, I’m about to go into the Caucus committee meeting where we’ll be discussing this. So I haven’t yet seen a copy of the revised bill, and certainly want to see what changes have been made by the government. I’ve got to say it’s extraordinary we’re in this place. This was a bill proposed by the Prime Minister back in December 2018. He said he'd do it before the 2019 election. We didn't see the bill in 2020, we didn't see it in early 2021, and then it emerged just in the last parliamentary sittings of last year. We then had a very rushed parliamentary committee process in that 71-day period, which included 12 religious holidays, and a lot of the country was on school holidays during that period. There just hasn't been the time to scrutinise this bill that I think the issue deserves.

CONNELL: So if that means there hasn't been that time, Labor shouldn't support it? Because it's coming to D Day, basically.

LEIGH: We need to take our time to get this right. As my colleague Stephen Jones said yesterday, Australia's a bloody diverse place. We need to ensure that we're getting it right for people of faith who feel that they're at risk of attack. I would like it if this bill had an anti-vilification provision – it doesn't have that. We need to make sure we're getting it right for LGBT+ kids. I spoke in Parliament last night about two of the cases of transgender students in my electorate, of parents whose account is of a child that did okay in their school but who are worried that this bill might make life more difficult for kids who are coming out or who are deciding that they've been born in the wrong gender. We need to ensure that we strike that balance.

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More JobKeeper incompetence from Morrison - Transcript, 6PR Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

6PR MORNINGS

MONDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper incompetence; Liberal rorting; Government debt.

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: The really important numbers today are JobKeeper. I want to talk about JobKeeper and WA schools. Now as I promised this morning, I can reveal to you on the morning program that there were in fact 46 private schools that received a total of $115 million in Western Australia. We have crunched the numbers, not one of them have or has suffered a 30 per cent decline in revenue. That was the qualifying criteria for the program. Not one, not one of those 46 schools. $115 million they picked up. In fact 20 schools, 20 of those 46 that got $31 million, increased their revenue in 2020. 20 of the schools dropped between zero to 10 per cent, and some of that was a result of passing on fee cuts. Passing on fee cuts. So some of the wealthy citizens who sent their children to those schools effectively got a taxpayer subsidy. Thanks for coming. Only one school in the entire program lost more than 15 per cent in revenue. And not one of these schools has done anything dodgy. Of course, the rules were so loose they legally qualified on the basis of a temporary downturn or a forecast that never happened, that never played out. And consequently of course, thanks to Josh Frydenberg, they're not required to pay it back. Don't have to pay it back. Legally they can just keep it. Every single one of these elite private schools that got JobKeeper made a profit. 46 schools in WA, $115 million dollars in welfare. Let's put that in context. I mean the amount gifted to 46 private schools who didn't need it would be enough to buy 33 million rapid antigen tests, enough to buy 70 for each school children in Western Australia – for each and every school job in WA. No strings attached to the money, of course. It could have been used to build boat sheds or extend their wellness centres. Who knows? We know it was used to give fee discounts, as I said. Some of the schools involved of course sit on an Aladdin's cave of tens of millions of dollars stashed away in their foundations, but the figures are truly eye watering. I can go through, I've got a huge list here. I won't bore you with all the details. Schools like St. Mark's Anglican Community School, $7.1 million. John Septimus Roe, $6.8 million in JobKeeper. St. Mary's got $6.1 million in JobKeeper. Georgiana Molloy, $3.9 million. Perth College, $3.7 million. Bunbury Cathedral Grammar, $2.8 million. Tranby College, $2.5 million. Court Grammar School, $2.3 million. Frederick Irwin, $1.6 million. St. George's Anglican Grammar School, $1.2 million. St Stephen’s School, $6.3 million. The list goes on. Peter Moyes, $4.9 million. Let's have a summary of some of the really truly elite schools, the schools that are always in the news in that way, right at the top of the totem pole. I've picked out five for you here. Scotch College, Christ Church Grammar, Presbyterian Ladies’ College – PLC - Guildford Grammar and St Hilda's. Five schools whose net assets $447,000,000. Four of those schools have another $120 million stashed away in foundations. So they got plenty of comfort. There's plenty of cushion there. Between those five schools – Scotch, Christchurch, PLC, Guildford and St Hilda's - five schools, between them they got $28.5 million in JobKeeper - even though the income dropped collectively by only $6.1 million, primarily because of fee discounts. So their collective profits between those five schools rose by $30 million. That means they banked the lot. Nice big fat checks from Treasury using my money, your money, and they banked a lot. Five of the most elite schools in Western Australia. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities for the ALP. He joins us from Canberra. Andrew, good morning.

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

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Morrison has lost trust and ability to govern effectively - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS

SUNDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Trust and texts; Camilla as Queen Consort; Australia as a Republic.

SHARRI MARKSON, HOST: Welcome back. Let's bring in the political panel, Labor MP Andrew Leigh and Liberal MP Jason Falinksi. Great to have you with us. I don't want to have to talk about this again. But let's go to this political story that’s set to dominate Canberra this week, unless something else breaks. The prime minister today dismissed the text messages that are undoubtedly distracting from his campaign. Jason, what I want to know is have you ever sent a text message criticising the Prime Minister?

JASON FALINKSI: So Sharri, let me tell you that never - not a single time in my life – have I ever sent a critical text message about anyone to anyone else. It's never happened.

[laughter]

MARKSON: That's because you're on Confide all the time, or Signal, the disappearing message apps. Andrew-

FALINSKI: I’ve never had those.

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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.