2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
MONDAY, 17 JANUARY 2022
SUBJECTS: Novak Djokovic; Scott Morrison’s failure to call out antivaxxers in his own Government; Rapid Antigen Test shortage and Scott Morrison’s failure to plan ahead; Deloitte downgrading Australia’s economic forecast.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Time to catch up with Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities and federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew. How are you, mate?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. The better for being with you today.
PAUL: Thank you. I hope you’re well. You haven't contracted COVID yet, have you?
LEIGH: No. Our family’s been thankfully COVID free, but there's certainly a lot of about at the moment.
LEIGH: Running rampant through the community.
PAUL: Alright. Well, one of the big issues of course - it's hard to escape - Novak Djokovic. I guess the question needs to be asked, and maybe after the tournament itself has been run and won maybe Tennis Australia can pony up and answer some questions, but why was he ever given a visa in the first place?Read more
TUESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s inaction costing charities millions; Cost of food at Parliament House.
TONY PILKINGTON, HOST: Joining me on the program right now is Dr Andrew Leigh, who's the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities. God, that's a mouthful. By the time you actually do the introductions, it’ll be time to go. Andrew, good morning and welcome to Adelaide.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thanks, Tony. Great to be with you.
PILKINGTON: Now. Tell us sir, you say that charities because of the colossal amount of bookwork that they've got to go through - something like, I can't believe this, well I can because of the red tape. You say there are seven sets of forms that can take charities weeks and weeks to complete before they can actually launch an advertising campaign to get some money, so charitable donations and especially at this time of the year. What's this all about?
LEIGH: Tony, when we were kids, charities that wanted to raise money would typically go door to door. So charitable fundraising laws are written in the pre internet age, and it's done state and territory one at a time. But that means that if you're a charity that wants to raise money over the internet nationwide, you have to register in seven different jurisdictions. And that can take a staff member up to a week of charity time to do all of that paperwork. That's time they're not spending helping the vulnerable, focusing on the environment, looking after their parishioners. So as a result of this outdated patchwork of laws, charities are being cost over a million dollars a month. It's a sensible thing to get fixed. A bipartisan Senate report came down in 2018, and yet the Morrison Government's done absolutely nothing. Charities are going into another Christmas season with those outdated laws still in place.Read more
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: The ACT’s world leading vaccination rate; Scott Morrison’s failures on vaccines and quarantine; Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg’s failures on the economy; MYEFO; What’s the Worst That Could Happen; Migration.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh for the last time this year, until next year 2022. Let's chat to Andrew Leigh about a little federal politics. Morning, mate.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, mate. How are you?
PAUL: All right. You've been on your run this morning?
LEIGH: Absolutely. Beautiful day out in Canberra today.
PAUL: What is it there? Is it 98 or 99 per cent fully vaxxed?
LEIGH: So our big risk was we go over 100 per cent, Marcus-
LEIGH: We're working off 2016 Census numbers, so we weren’t sure precisely how many adults we have. But yes, it’s almost universal among over 12s, which is really, really good to see. I think this reflects the kind of community mindedness of many Canberrans - the willingness to get vaccinated not just for yourself, but for your community too.Read more
ABC MELBOURNE MORNINGS
MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: ‘What's the Worst That Could Happen? Existential Risk and Extreme Politics’; Populism and anti-vaccination protests; taxation; climate change; the federal election.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister, of course, for Treasury, and the Federal Labor MP for Fenner. He joins us now. Andrew Leigh, good to talk. Good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Virginia. Great to be here.
TRIOLI: It's not an easy sell this, talking about the existential threats to humanity and how we've got a one in six chance of being wiped out. I mean, it's not a nice sunny Monday morning chat, Andrew Leigh.
LEIGH: Disaster movies do surprisingly well. I think The Matrix will rate well when it opens. The Terminator, Waterworld, Blade Runner 2049, Contagion - you know, we're interested in these things as entertainment. What I'm trying to do in this book is to segue that into actually taking steps to make sure that we avert catastrophe. You know, if it's true that we're got a one in six chance of humanity being wiped out in the next century, that means you're 15 times as likely to die from catastrophic risk as you are from a car accident. So we should be taking pretty seriously.Read more
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
SATURDAY, 11 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: MYEFO preview; Scott Morrison’s slogans on migration; Labor’s plans to increase job opportunities and university places; border closures; inflation.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Thanks everyone for coming along today. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. While good governments take the blame on their own shoulders and pass the credit on to others, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg are just the opposite. The moment the Australian economy is struggling, they're nowhere to be seen. They're racing for a headline the moment there's any chance of an uptick. At the start of this year, Australia had the slowest vaccine rollout in the advanced world. And in the September quarter, partly as a result of that, we reported the worst quarterly growth performance in the advanced world. The third worst number on record for Australia. And that number was bad partly as a result of the government’s failures on vaccines and quarantine. Now inevitably after such an appalling growth figure, the Australian economy will rebound. Eventually, it has to come back and the credit for that will go to the Australian people, not to the Morrison Government. The Morrison Government is a bit like a guy who digs a really deep hole, and then wants people to pat him on the back as he starts to make his way out of it. The fact is that the Australian economy is struggling. Right now we've got real wages going backwards. We've got housing affordability at historic lows, and we have many Australians feeling that their pay packet just isn't keeping up with the cost of living.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Gladys Berejiklian; Labor’s Powering Australia plan; Labor’s plan for education and training; Fish and chips prices; George Christensen and Alex Jones.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus.
PAUL: Look, I'm just gauging some of the response this morning - both online, on air, messages to my program - but I'm looking elsewhere as well, and I think Scott Morrison is going to find himself in trouble over this. Because even you know on the Herald sites, the Telegraph and others – the Tele is quite telling if, I can say, the News Corp rag - because even online people are having a crack at Scott Morrison as well.
LEIGH: Well there’s the fundamental principle of separation of powers, which says that parliamentarians shouldn't be involved in what the police and what the judiciary do. So Scott Morrison's attacks on ICAC, I think speak volumes about his willingness to interfere in that process. Parliamentarians should be letting that process run its course. As you said, Gladys Berejiklian has been called as a witness to ICAC, and based on that she chose to step down as New South Wales Premier. I think it's interesting that Scott Morrison makes the decision now that somebody who's stepped down because they're appearing before ICAC as a witness is somebody he's very keen to get as a candidate running for him in the next election.Read more
ABC NEWS RADIO
THURSDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government continuing to attack Australia’s charities.
GLEN BARTHOLOMEW, HOST: Andrew Leigh, a Labor MP, has been very vocal in speaking out against this bill and he joins us now. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Glen. Great to be with you.
BARTHOLOMEW: To be clear, remind us why you and the Labor Party had opposed the government's original political campaigners bill and what would it mean for charities and single issue groups?
LEIGH: If Labor done nothing yesterday, then we would now have voter ID requirements at elections and the threshold for disclosing as a political campaigner would have been brought right down to $100,000-
BARTHOLOMEW: Explain to people just what this political campaigners bill involves?
LEIGH: Sure. So third party entities are required to register as political campaigners if they have electoral expenditure above a certain threshold. That's currently half a million dollars. The government wanted to bring it down to $100,000, and Labor took the view that it was better to have it brought down to $250,000 rather than just have the government’s changes go through unamended. We've been fighting strongly for charities over the last eight years, fighting against a war on charities on all fronts. We had a good win last week, defeating the government’s attempt to make it easier to deregister charities for events like simply trespassing or blocking a footpath. On this one, we would have liked to seen the government defeated with its attempt to put more paperwork burden onto charities. But when we couldn't defeat it, we took the approach of trying to at least reduce its worst aspects on charities.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1 DECEMBER 2021
Ensuring the integrity of our election systems is a bipartisan objective. We know that there have been attempts to hack into election systems. The Economist magazine discusses the way in which this particularly affects the United States, in the context in which voting machines are used. Even when those voting machines are air-gapped—that is, not connected to the internet—there is a risk of malicious actors loading malware onto them and then managing to bypass logic and accuracy tests. There is also a risk of attacks which target voter lists, attempting to change voter lists and, therefore, undermine confidence in democracy. We've seen attempts to influence elections electronically in other ways, as well. A Russian news agency with close ties to the Putin government launched a so-called ‘news’ website called USA Really, which published a stream of articles favourable to former President Trump. Those attempts worked alongside attempts to influence the last three US elections by foreign actors using social media platforms.
The bill before the House, the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Assurance of Senate Counting) Bill 2021, provides some measures that will ensure that Australia's first-rate electoral system is protected. It provides for the Electoral Commissioner to arrange for an independent body accredited by the Australian Signals Directorate to conduct a security risk assessment of the Australian Electoral Commission's computer system and provide a report to the AEC, which the AEC will then publish on its on its website. This is critical for Australia, given that our electoral system has long been regarded as best in the world.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 1 DECEMBER 2021
This week, Barbados declared itself a republic, putting in place as president Sandra Mason. It's 55 years since Barbados became independent from Britain, and this republic is the culmination of a two-decade process. Barbados, of course, will still compete in the Commonwealth Games. It will still be a country with British traditions. But it it'll stand proudly on its own two feet as a republic, and with Rihanna as its national hero.
A bit over two decades ago, Australia also considered becoming a republic, with 45 per cent of Australians and 63 per cent of Canberrans voting yes. When that vote was defeated, Australians were assured that there would be another vote coming along sometime soon. But, in two decades, one hasn't come along, and it's likely to be a full generation between republican votes. In that time, we've seen the revelation of the palace letters, making it very clear that Buckingham Palace was consulted and forewarned about Governor-General Sir John Kerr's likely decision to dismiss the Whitlam government, provided advice about how the Governor-General's reserve powers might be exercised and that Sir John Kerr even war-gamed possible scenarios with the palace and Prince Charles in which he himself might be dismissed as Governor-General.Read more