Events in India are devastating to watch, and my heart goes out to everyone in the Indian community in Canberra and around the country.
As I have been talking with community representatives over the past weeks, I have been struck by their determination to do what they could to improve the situation, and their determination that Australia should do the same.
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 27 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Funding for Brisbane Games; IOC ban on racial protests; anniversary of Port Arthur massacre.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: The International Olympic Committee are punishing racial protests at the Olympics this time round. Let's talk about it. Andrew Leigh MP, Member for Fenner - hello, Andrew. How are you, mate?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: Yeah, you too. Just before we get into this issue, the Prime Minister announced late last night that the Federal Government will be supporting the Palaszczuk Government in Queensland's bid for the 2032 games. Is this the right move? I mean, the IOC need to ensure that financially we can afford to pay for the Games, so the Prime Minister has jumped on board, saying 'yes, the Federal Government will ensure the money is there.' Is this the right move?
LEIGH: Absolutely. As I understand it's a 50/50 split of costs there, and I think it's the right thing to do for what will be a great celebration for all Australians. The idea that Australia gets to have the Olympics twice in a lifetime - three times in a lifetime for those who were alive for the Melbourne Games - just speaks to Australia's prowess as a sporting nation and our ability to host a big event like this. It's a huge tribute to Anastasia Palaszczuk for bringing home the Games, and Scott Morrison stepping up to 50/50 funding is terrific.
America, learn from Australia’s agony: how one country reacted to its worst-ever gun massacre 25 years ago
A quarter of a century ago, on April 28-29, 1996, a lone gunman murdered 35 Australians at the historic site of Port Arthur in Tasmania. At the time, Australia’s population was 18 million, so as a share of the population, the death toll was the equivalent of a shooting spree in the United States today costing more than 600 lives.Read more
A quarter of a century ago this Wednesday, a man shot Zoe Hall in Port Arthur, Tasmania. She’d been assigned as my mentor at the law firm where we worked. Zoe was a talented lawyer and a generous soul. She would be 53 today, and I imagine her with a loving family and admiring colleagues.Read more
Reply to Laura Tingle, ‘The High Road: What Australia Can Learn from New Zealand’
Quarterly Essay, April 2021
Visiting Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum in Wellington, our family stopped in front of a dramatic exhibition on the Treaty of Waitangi. “Where can we see Australia’s treaty?” one of my young sons innocently asked.Read more
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 20 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Banks charging excessive credit card interest; Impact of Government’s delays to vaccination rollout.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh MP joins us each and every Tuesday. Morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: Now, you've been quizzing bank chief executive officers, challenging them on why they have credit cards charging 20 percent interest when the RBA official rate sits, well, not much above zero.
LEIGH: That's right, Marcus. The RBA cash rate’s now 0.1 percent, and yet there's credit cards out there from some of the major banks that are charging 20 percent interest. They're charging 200 times the Reserve Bank cash rate.
We need taxpayer dollars to help economic reconstruction, not billionaires - Transcript, 2CC Canberra Live with Leon Delaney
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
TUESDAY, 13 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Economic reconstruction; JobKeeper rorts; vaccine delays; Scott Morrison’s cuts to the NDIS.
LEON DELANEY, HOST: Our federal MPs today met with local business leaders to talk about economic recovery following the long list of unfortunate events, I guess is one way of putting it: bushfires, hailstorms, and of course the pandemic. It has thrown the economy, not only around Australia but here in the ACT into a, well, near-cataclysmic event. The roundtable discussion could be the first step towards recognising the needs of Canberra's business community as many still struggle with the end of the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. The roundtable was organised and coordinated by the Labor Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, who is on the phone. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you and your listeners.
DELANEY: Thanks for joining us today. So, obviously it's a good idea to listen to the constituents. Did they have a message for you?
LEIGH: Yes, we got a strong picture of the importance of the vibrancy of Canberra's business sector. I think a lot of people don't realise, but two-thirds of people in the ACT work for a private sector employer. The public sector in Canberra isn't the majority employer, they're a large minority employer, and so it's really important that our small businesses do well. We learned there's only 36 businesses in Canberra that employ more than 200 people, so it's not just a majority business town, but it's majority smaller business town, and keeping that vibrancy of the business sector is really vital.
Poorest Aussies finding it harder to own a home, and the Liberals want to make it worse - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 13 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Housing affordability; superannuation; JobKeeper; Canberra Marathon.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Now, on JobKeeper and all those payments, our #JobKeeperWarrior is Andrew Leigh MP. Good morning to you, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES:: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: Thank you, mate. I just want to, before we get into it, I just want to read you something. Aspiring homeowners now need a whopping six-figure deposit to purchase a property, according to a new study. Finders First Home Buyers Report 2021, which surveyed 1,028 first home buyers found 11 percent, Andrew, required more than a decade to scrape their deposit together. This staggering result followed new Australian Bureau of Stats data that showed the average deposit needed to secure a mortgage was — I hope you’re sitting down mate — $106,743. $106,743. That is an increase of 16 percent since January 2019. The report also found the average first home buyer put down 20 per cent of the purchase price as a deposit. But if you're saving for a decade, and you need on average $106,000 just to secure a property, does that not tell us that housing affordability is at an all-time low?
LEIGH: Sure does, Marcus, and home ownership is lowest it's been in a couple of generations. We've seen a drop right across the board, but particularly for 20- and 30-somethings. The poorest 20- or 30-somethings, 63 percent of them used to own their homes in the early 1980s. Now it's only 23 percent of that group owns their homes. The average house used to take six years to save for a deposit. Now, it takes 10 years to save for a deposit. So, we've got a real problem in terms of people being able to make it into the housing market.
More and more of our homes are owned by fewer and fewer people. Increasingly, people are being forced into lifetime renting.
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 6 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: Rising house prices; the Church of Scientology’s tax-free status.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew, good morning. How are you, mate?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. How are you?
PAUL: Good. I hope you had a nice Easter, got a little time off to relax with family.
LEIGH: Terrific time, yes. My wife and I had a date night in the city, away from the kids in the middle of Sydney. I went for a run past your office - you're in a beautiful little spot there on Pirrama Road.
PAUL: It’s not bad, is it? Not bad at all.
LEIGH: It’s fabulous. Checking out the harbour. So feeling particularly well, and I hope your listeners are the sameRead more
ABC RN DRIVE
MONDAY, 5 APRIL 2021
SUBJECTS: The Church of Scientology’s tax-free status; the health and economic costs of the Morrison Government’s slow vaccine rollout.
ELIZABETH KULAS, HOST: The Greens are calling for an investigation into the Church of Scientology's charitable status after media reports raised questions about its finances. An investigation by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald found that the church has shifted tens of millions of dollars from offshore into its Australian operations, where it has tax-free status. Under Australian law, profits made by charities must be used for charitable purposes. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. Andrew, welcome.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Elizabeth. Great to be with you.
KULAS: So Andrew, do you support the Greens’ push to have the charities and not for profits commission investigate the Church of Scientology?
LEIGH: I certainly think it'd be appropriate for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to put some energy into making sure that the Church of Scientology is delivering public benefit in Australia. We know that prima facie someone who's operating a religion is assumed to be delivering public benefit to Australia. But the Church of Scientology is quite unusual now in that it has less than 1700 adherents, according to the last census, and more than $170 million in assets. So that means that for every adherent, they've got more than $100,000 in assets. And they also seem to have attracted significant amounts of assets from offshore towards Australia, as other countries have cracked down on the tax status of the Church of Scientology. The tax concessions that are provided here in Australia aren't provided on the assumption that they're going to be for the benefit of overseas parts of religious organisations.Read more