Speaking


Audio Recordings

For audio recordings of my speeches and conversations at events across the country, please see this podcast below. It's also available on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.




Written Speeches

Below you will find transcripts of doorstops, speeches and media interviews.

Government won't learn from its JobKeeper mistakes - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s JobKeeper secrecy and waste; National Women’s Safety Summit; Prime Minister’s travel on Fathers Day

[CLIP OF JOSH FRYDENBERG ON 7.30 REPORT PLAYS]

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh is our #JobKeeperWarrior. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. We've been talking about this for a long time. It seems like everyone else is just catching up this last week, doesn't it?

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Government isn't doing a thing to get back $13 billion taxpayer dollars wasted on big business mates - Transcript, 6PR Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

RADIO 6PR MORNINGS WITH LIAM BARTLETT

MONDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s JobKeeper waste and secrecy

[CLIP OF PARLIAMENTARY SPEECH PLAYS]

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: That's Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities and he joins us this morning. Andrew, how are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Very well, Liam. Congratulations on your 60 Minutes work yesterday, an incredibly important forensic analysis of the biggest waste in Australian history.

BARTLETT: Well, you've been covering, as we just heard on the radio, you've been covering it on the floor of the House for weeks now, trying to make a dent in some of these huge, huge figures. But Andrew, as I just mentioned, I think it's really important that we, you know, it's one thing to reel off all those millions from the public side of things, but 97 per cent of it is private. We may never know.

LEIGH: That's exactly right, Liam. Now, what we've got from the private companies is absolute secrecy. We only have the public company transparency, as you pointed out in 60 Minutes, because ASIC, the corporate watchdog, required listed companies to disclose JobKeeper receipt to the share market. But there's a bunch of large private firms out there, which may or may not have gotten JobKeeper and may or may not have had rising revenue. At a time when people are being asked to tighten their belts, when real wages are forecast to fall for the typical Australian, it's only right to be putting a bit of a spotlight on who got JobKeeper and then saw their revenues rise.

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Has Australia ever had a more secretive government than the Morrison Government? - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 2 SEPTEMBER 2021

Has Australia ever had a more secretive government than the Morrison government? This is the government that set up a one-man cabinet committee in order to keep deliberations secret, that has presided over the secret trial of Witness K and that has refused Australians access to the spreadsheet that shows how the car park rort was perpetrated. This is a government that has maintained secrecy over the so-called national cabinet, despite the fact that it is nothing of that name, and now over the largest waste of taxpayer money in Australian history, the $13 billion of JobKeeper that went to firms with rising earnings, they want more and more secrecy.

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Australia’s most incompetent, thin-skinned, secretive, and cowardly government - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 AUGUST 2021

Australia has had bad Government's before, but have we ever had a more mendacious, incompetent, thin-skinned, secretive, cowardly Government than this one?

Australians are furious that the Morrison Government gave $13 billion of JobKeeper to firms with rising revenues.

In Britain, Canada, the United States and New Zealand, the public knew every firm that got wage subsidies. In Australia, the only reason we know anything about JobKeeper recipients is because ASIC required listed firms to disclose to the stock market. But only 3 per cent of JobKeeper went to listed companies.

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Government spent $13b on JobKeeper that didn't save single job - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY

WEDNESDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: $13 billion in JobKeeper waste; Stage 3 tax changes

ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: The Member for Fenner, Dr Andrew Leigh, has been the chief agitator on the Government's JobKeeper program. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you, and happy spring. Isn't it wonderful that Canberra's turned on the warmth for us?

SHIRLEY: Warming up a little bit, which I think will be positive news for a lot of people in lockdown currently. Are you satisfied with what Mr Harvey has done?

LEIGH: I'd certainly be pleased if he paid back on behalf of the franchisees as well, but the fact is he has paid back the component from head office. He's done so thanks to considerable public pressure. The only reason Gerry Harvey's paying back is because Australians know how much he received, and we know that because ASIC, the corporate watchdog, required all listed firms to disclose to the share market their JobKeeper receipts. But 97 per cent of JobKeeper has gone to firms that aren't listed on stock market and we don't know about that information. We're having a fight with the Government at the moment in the Senate where we want more transparency. We want the JobKeeper receipt by all firms with a turnover above $10 million to be disclosed on a public register, just like they do in New Zealand, Britain, and the United States. The Government's banging on with all kinds of arguments around protecting taxpayer secrecy, and yet Gerry Harvey, the great ad man, has given us the best advertisement for transparency in JobKeeper. He's only going back because of public pressure, and he's only got the public pressure because of transparency.

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Government wasted $13b in JobKeeper and won't ask for it back - Transcript, ABC Radio Melbourne

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO MELBOURNE DRIVE WITH RAFAEL EPSTEIN
TUESDAY, 31 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s $13 billion in JobKeeper waste.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN, HOST: Hopefully my next guest will not hang up! [Gerry Harvey had just hung up on him.] It's 5.14pm. Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. He's one of the Labor MPs in Canberra. He's part of Anthony Albanese's shadow finance team. Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Raf. I can absolutely give you a rock-solid guarantee I will not hang up on you. Look forward to your questions.

EPSTEIN: Firstly, it's significant, isn't it, if Gerry Harvey gives back some of the JobKeeper money? That's a good thing, no?

LEIGH: Absolutely. It's terrific that Gerry Harvey's done the right thing. He was refusing to do so six months ago. It's clear the reason that he repaid was the public pressure that has been placed on him. The only reason we got that public pressure is because the corporate watchdog, ASIC, required listed companies to disclose their JobKeeper to the share market, so it really points to the value of transparency.

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Even Gerry Harvey knows repaying unnecessary JobKeeper is the right thing to do - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 31 AUGUST 2021

Billionaire Gerry Harvey once said that donating to charity is 'just wasted', and that giving money to people who 'are not putting anything back into the community' is like 'helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason'. Gerry Harvey called the Victorian mental health levy a 'dreadful, horrible, stupid tax'. Earlier this year Gerry Harvey opposed a 3.5 per cent wage increase for his workers at a time when his profits had more than doubled. Yet even Gerry Harvey has now decided to repay his JobKeeper.

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New figures show JobKeeper most wasteful program ever run by Australian government - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER

MONDAY, 30 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: Government’s JobKeeper waste and secrecy.

LEON BYNER, HOST: Andrew, it's good to talk to you again.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Always great to talk with you, Leon. Thanks for having me on the program.

BYNER: Now, more than $13 billion in JobKeeper payments were given to businesses which recorded increases in revenue, and that has fuelled a lot of discussion that the wage subsidy was the biggest budget waste in our history. Do you still hold to that?

LEIGH: I can't think of the bigger one, Leon. This amount of money would have built fibre-to-the-home broadband for every urban home in Australia. It's more than the federal government spends on public schools in a single year. It’s almost $1,000 for every Australian adult. The fact is it didn't have to be this way. Josh Frydenberg knew a couple of months into the JobKeeper program the money was flying out the door to firms whose revenues were going up rather than down, and yet he did nothing to stem the tide. If this had been money going to pensioners, you'd bet that they would have cracked down on it lickety split, but because it was money going to some of their mates they allowed those cheques to go out the door and Australia is the poorer for it.

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Why is the Government running scared from JobKeeper transparency? - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 AUGUST 2021

The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 6) Bill 2021 is, as the member for Bruce has said, an urgent measure which will bring on important changes to allow greater transparency of superannuation holdings in family law proceedings. Like the member for Bruce, I urge the Senate not to attach amendments to the bill that would slow its passage. Labor takes the same approach to this bill that we took to a bill that went to the Senate in the last sitting period which related to support for people in lockdown.

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JobKeeper Transparency - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 25 AUGUST 2021

JobKeeper was the biggest one-off program in Australian history, costing the average Australian household $9,000. It wasn't Liberal Party money; it was taxpayer money, and taxpayers have a right to know how it was spent. In Britain taxpayers know every firm that got their Job Retention Scheme. In New Zealand taxpayers know every firm that got the COVID Wage Subsidy. In the United States taxpayers know every firm that got money through the Paycheck Protection Program.

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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.