WEDNESDAY, 2 MARCH 2022
SUBJECT: Tax havens and Russia.
LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: Joining us this morning is Andrew Leigh. Andrew’s the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. How are you, Andrew?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: I'm terrific, Liam. How are you?
BARTLETT: I'm well, thanks. Look, I know you've been campaigning on this for a while, long before the invasion got underway. But how could the government make it easier to put a stop to this dirty money?
LEIGH: They could do three things, Liam. The first is to crack down on tax havens. The second is to tighten the anti-money laundering laws. And the third is to put in place a beneficial ownership register that would let people really know who owns Australian shares. All of those are straightforward transparency measures, and without those changes it makes it really hard to track down the sources of Putin's illicit cash. It's not as though they're all sitting in a big bank account marked ‘Vladimir Putin’. His cronies have stashed money in tax havens like Panama or the Bahamas. They're using illicit shell companies, and they're hiding the source of the transactions very deliberately. And Australia's laws just aren't up to date enough in order for us to be able to track down the sources of the dirty money.Read more
ADDRESS TO MASTER BUILDERS ASSOCIATION ELECTION FORUM
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, 1 MARCH 2022
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
It is a pleasure to be speaking today at one of the first pre-election debates that I’ve done. Congratulations to the organisers for delivering it well before deadline, and under Budget. I’d expect no less from the Master Builders.
Since we’re talking about housing today, let me start with the story of my maternal grandfather, Roly Stebbins.
Roly was born in a tent in 1922. His childhood was marked by the Depression and what we would now call the PTSD that his father suffered in World War I. Roly left school at age fourteen, and found work to help his parents get by. During World War II, he worked as a boilermaker.
It was a tough upbringing, but Roly’s eyes used to twinkle as he spoke with me about the bright days that came at the end of World War II - the sense of possibility and hope.Read more
ADDRESS TO ASIALINK SUMMIT
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, 28 FEBRUARY 2022
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose lands we're meeting today.
Dhawura Nguna Dhawura Ngunnawal.
Yanggu Ngala-ma-nyin Dhuni-ma-nyin.
Ngunnawal-wari Dhawura-wari Dindi Wanggira-lidji-nyin.
I also acknowledge any Indigenous people who are joining us today.
I'm somebody who's passionate about engagement with Asia, a passion that goes back a long time. When I was a kid in primary school, we were each required to do a history project. Some people talked about the history of the Holden Commodore, another researched the background of their grandfather. I wrote about the 1965 killings of hundreds of thousands of communist sympathisers in Indonesia. To this day, I'm not quite sure what my grade six teacher made of the assignment, but it reflected the fact that ours was a household where Inside Indonesia and the Far East Economic Review were routinely sitting around, and Asia was part of our everyday lives.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 FEBRUARY 2022
I want to talk about the way in which people with disabilities have suffered during the pandemic. Labor introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme to deliver certainty and security to Australians living with disabilities and to their families.
Yet under this government, rather than providing certainty, the NDIS has seen plans arbitrarily and without clear cause changed.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 FEBRUARY 2022
Australia's sports stars are nothing short of extraordinary. Last year we saw Emma McKeon set an Olympic record for the number of medals won by a female Olympian at a single Olympic Games. With seven medals, she equalled a record which hadn't been matched since the 1950s. We've just seen Jakara Anthony take out the gold in the women's moguls at the Winter Olympics. There are so many other extraordinary athletes out there going faster, higher, stronger than anyone who preceded them.
When I see that great success on the sporting field, I wish that we could see Australia's economy performing just as well. But unfortunately, under the Liberals, the Australian economy is struggling. If it was an engine, it would be sputtering and blowing smoke.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 FEBRUARY 2022
Today marks one year to the day since Lisa Wilkinson's interview with Brittany Higgins and Samantha Maiden's reporting. Samantha wrote today:
One year ago today, on the morning of February 15, @newscomauHQ published the first interview with Brittany Higgins. A lot of things have happened in intervening year. Good & bad. I remain proud of the work we did & grateful she chose to speak.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
This, as I'm sure all honourable members know, is Latin for 'let justice be done, though the heavens fall'.Read more