Media


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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There's Always More Month Than Money - Op Ed, The Australian

OUTDATED COMPETITION POLICY HURTS CONSUMERS

The Australian, 7 February 2022

I’ve never forgotten the woman who told me ‘there’s always more month than money’. She reflected the quiet frustration of so many people – hardworking, ethical and decent – who feel that prices are rising, while wages are flatlining.

Since the pandemic began, some prices have surged. Since December 2019, the price of beef has risen 17 percent. Furniture is up 11 percent. Car prices are up 10 percent. Childcare costs are up 9 percent. Late last year, fuel was selling for more than $2 a litre at many petrol stations. Yet in the Morrison Government’s last budget, real wages were forecast to fall.

Supply pressures account for a considerable portion of the rise in prices. But it doesn’t help that many industries in Australia are dominated by a handful of big firms. As Rod Sims, the outgoing head of the competition watchdog, has noted, market power in Australia seems to be growing.

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More month than money under Morrison - Transcript, Sky News

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RADIO INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS

WEDNESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Cost of living; Labor’s plans to help get wages moving; the Reserve Bank’s decision on rates; Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share.

TOM CONNELL, HOST: One of the big moments yesterday at the National Press Club was the Prime Minister being asked about a host of everyday items. Was it just a journalism gotcha, a typical Canberra bubble question? Did it show the PM is out of touch with the cost of living? It might depend, of course, on your political viewpoint on all of that, but it's become a talking point regardless. For more on this I'm joined by Labor's Shadow Assistant Minister for the Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Thanks for your time. Look, you're a deep thinking politician. I'm not being in the pejorative here, you're probably quite a sort of highbrow politician. What did you make of this question asked of the Prime Minister?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Well, it's not the most important issue in politics, Tom. But I was surprised that the Prime Minister couldn't even name the price of petrol, given that it's gone over two bucks for the first time on his watch and is now in many places sitting around $1.70. It illustrated to many people that this is a prime minister who hasn't noticed that prices are rising for many people faster than their pay packets. He's just brought down a budget which has real wages forecast to fall, and yet we've got prices of housing, childcare, basic essential items going through the roof. It's just not good enough for Scott Morrison to be saying that things are fine and dandy when so many households feel like there's always more month than money, and feeling that the squeeze that the Morrison Government is putting on their household finances is more than they can bear.

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Aussies pay more when multinationals pay less - Transcript, 6PR Mornings

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RADIO INTERVIEW

6PR MORNINGS

TUESDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share; Tax policies.

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: We're joined this morning by Andrew Leigh. Andrew is the federal Labor Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, and will have a lot to do with this sort of tax policy during the campaign. How are you this morning, Andrew?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: I'm terrific, Liam. How are you?

BARTLETT: I'm okay. Now, let's get to the bottom of this. What does your leader mean by that reference, the issue of multinationals?

LEIGH: Well, Anthony's concerned that at the moment two-fifths of multinational profits are booked through tax havens, places like the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. And that means that if you're a regular Aussie business competing against a multinational, then you're doing it with one hand tied behind your back. Because multinationals are making use of the same sort of hidey holes that are being used by terrorists and kidnappers and drug runners. Tax havens have become a cancer on the global tax system, and so Anthony Albanese is determined to do something about that - not only to ensure that we get more revenue into the government coffers, but also because it's not fair on regular Australian firms to be going up against multinational tax dodgers.

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Multinational tax a matter of fairness - Transcript, ABC Radio Melbourne

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RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO MELBOURNE

TUESDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share; the Liberals’ track record of inaction; the RBA meeting on rates and household budgets; Aged Care; billions in JobKeeper funds going to firms with rising revenue.

VIRGINIA TRIOLI, HOST: I'm always happy to talk to you, Andrew Leigh. Good morning.

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

TRIOLI: Because the government is saying that Anthony Albanese is failing to rule out higher taxes, and he's going to one particular point about that, which is about the taxing on multinationals. And that actually is an area where you as opposition and government do want to see multinationals paying more taxes than they have right now. But when it comes to general taxation, and perhaps any threat of future taxation on general PAYG employees in this country, is Anthony Albanese clear? Will there be no new taxes on them?

LEIGH: We've been clear on that, that we're not going to be pursuing the measures on individual taxpayers we took to the last election. But we've got to do more on multinational taxation, Virginia. We've got two-fifths of multinational profits currently booked through tax havens. We've got some $100 billion of Australian moguls’ money sitting in tax havens - places like the Bahamas and Panama, where there are very low tax rates and where on one estimate four-fifths of the money is there in breach of other country's tax laws. Now, these aren't just tax avoidance mechanisms. These are also the places where terrorists, kidnappers, drug kingpins store their money. We have to crack down on tax havens, because they’re a cancer on the global tax system. I've found it remarkable that yesterday two of your Victorian ministers, Michael Sukkar and Jane Hume, put out a press release criticising Anthony Albanese for wanting to do more on multinational taxation. In Victoria, we had the incident a couple of years ago of the Stawell tyre dump being transferred to a company in Panama in order to avoid their clean-up obligations. Some 9 million tyres sitting at that dump and the attempt of the owners was to shift its ownership off to Panama, to a tax haven, and thereby avoid their liabilities. And it's that sort of problem that Labor wants to address.

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Morrison doesn't give a RAT's about everyday Aussies - Transcript, Sky

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TELEVISION INTERVIEW

PAUL MURRAY LIVE

THURSDAY, 27 JANUARY 2022

SUBJECTS: Labor’s Power to the People plan; Labor’s plans to reduce cost of living pressures; Supply chain issues, Scott Morrison failing Australians on rapid antigen tests.

PAUL MURRAY, HOST: Joining us right now representing the government is the Resources Minister Keith Pitt. Representing the Labor Party is Andrew Leigh, who is their Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Lads, hello. Hopefully you both had a good summer.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Paul. G’day, Keith.

KEITH PITT: It’s the electrician versus the economist.

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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.