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.

Liberals should focus on constituents, not cash - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST
THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2020

SUBJECTS: The Liberal Party hosting fundraisers in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century; charities facing falling donations; stranded Canberrans returning home from the NSW/Victoria border. 

LISH FEJER, HOST: In a couple of weeks, parliament will be sitting and already there are MPs and their staff quarantining here in Canberra. But there are preparations being made for three proposed Liberal Party fundraising dinners to make the most of the time with politicians back in town. Ben Morton, who represents the WA seat of Tangney, said the events were not being organised by his office but by the Tangney campaign, which is part of the WA division. A spokeswoman for Ben Morton and the Tangney campaign told The Guardian that the Australian Government advice is that Australians should comply with the relevant advice in the state or territory where they're located, as appropriate. These very small events, said the spokeswoman, will only go ahead if they strictly comply with the relevant COVID safe rules that apply for venues in the ACT.  Dr Andrew Leigh is the ALP Member for Fenner and former professor of economics, and joins us this morning. Hello.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Lish. G’day, Adam.

FEJER: So, what have they done wrong here? You're taking them to task.

LEIGH: Yes. We've had a lot of parliamentary sitting days cancelled. Now that parliament is finally getting together, all politicians’ focus should be on the main game. And that shouldn't be on raising money for the Liberal Party. It should be on doing the work that our constituents want us to be doing. We need to be very careful and cautious about the spread of coronavirus. I know all politicians are being judicious in terms the number of face to face meetings they take. Our office is still doing phone calls and zoom where that works, just as a safer way of making sure we reduce any chance of the spread of the virus. I just don't think it passes the pub test to have a two and a half thousand dollar fundraiser at the moment.

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Canberrans are coming home - Transcript, ABC Radio Sydney

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC SYDNEY BREAKFAST
THURSDAY, 13 AUGUST 2020

SUBJECT: Stranded Canberrans returning home from the NSW/Victoria border. 

ROBBIE BUCK, HOST: It’s to do with those hundred or so Canberrans who was stuck at the Victorian border, and it appears after that conversation yesterday there's been some movement at the station. Dr Andrew Leigh is the federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Robbie. How are you?

BUCK: Very well. Things moved quite quickly yesterday.

WENDY HARMER, HOST: Yeah, you know we’re claiming credit for this one, don’t you Andrew?

LEIGH: I think we all should. It's a great result. It should have happened to week earlier, but the fact that finally the New South Wales Government saw sense is just terrific.  And for those hundred Canberrans at the border, they will be very relieved to be back home and starting their two weeks of self isolation.

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NSW needs to wake up from bureaucratic nightmare - Transcript, ABC Radio Sydney

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC SYDNEY BREAKFAST

WEDNESDAY, 12 AUGUST 2020

SUBJECT: Canberrans stuck at the NSW/Victoria border. 

ROBBIE BUCK, HOST: We’re going to take you to the New South Wales/Victoria border now. We have been talking about New South Wales travellers being stuck in Victoria, Wendy - a caller or texted - her tale of making a mercy dash because her mum was dying and then not being able to get back into New South Wales we’ve spoken about. But spare thought for a lot of the ACT residents who are stuck on the New South Wales/Victorian border, and they've been there for the last six days. They've been caught up in this rule change by the state government, requiring people traveling from Victoria to fly through the Sydney Airport before going to self funded quarantine. And Dr Andrew Leigh, who's the federal Member for Fenner in the ACT, happens to be one of those stuck there. Morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Robbie. Just to correct you, I’m not stuck there. I'm just trying to get my constituents back here.

WENDY HARMER, HOST: There's about 100 of them, I believe, Andrew.

LEIGH: It's a huge number, Wendy, and they're stuck in a sort of Kafka-esque nightmare where the ACT Government would be happy to go to the border with a couple of police cars and escort everyone back. It’s a three and a half hour drive, no one needs to stop, just a full tank of fuel and they’d go straight through. And what the New South Wales Government is saying instead is they should drive to Melbourne airport, abandon their cars, fly to Sydney, go into quarantine and then make their way back to Canberra. They’d endanger themselves and it'd come at a huge expense. Instead, they can come through New South Wales - endangering absolutely no one - and be back home. I just can't see what the New South Wales Government's problem is.

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Scott Morrison pointing fingers when he should be stepping up - Transcript, 2CC Canberra Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA DRIVE
TUESDAY, 11 AUGUST 2020

SUBJECTS: Aged Care Royal Commission; Parliament sitting; ACT Liberal candidate dumped two days after replacing dumped Liberal candidate.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities and federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

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

DELANEY: Thanks for joining us again. Let's start with the Aged Care Royal Commission, because obviously that's been very important process in getting to the bottom of the deficiencies in our aged care system. And it was said yesterday that the pandemic has actually revealed all of the flaws that already exist in the aged care sector, in a way that has never been the case before. Some of the things that we've learned were shocking enough before the pandemic has struck, but the handling of the aged care system during the pandemic has also been extremely difficult and disappointing.

LEIGH: Certainly has, Leon. Labor called for a Royal Commission into aged care because we were aware of the significant problems within the sector, and the need for us as a nation to do better with aged care. But now we've found out of this Royal Commission that there was no plan to deal with COVID-19 in aged care, and that's just frankly scandalous, as Chris Bowen our Shadow Health Minister was pointed out. We know that aged care is a huge point of vulnerability for coronavirus. If you look at the deaths in Australia of COVID related deaths, 68 per cent have occurred in nursing homes. So the federal government's failure to better prepare aged care homes for coronavirus is a real scandal.

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Government needs to spend smarter to support more - Transcript, ABC Melbourne Drive

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC MELBOURNE DRIVE

THURSDAY, 23 JULY 2020 

SUBJECTS: Budget deficit; Morrison Government failing charities; HomeBuilder failing to address economic inequalities. 

RAF EPSTEIN, HOST: Andrew Leigh joins us. He is one of the MPs in Canberra. He's a Labor MP, he is part of the parliamentary committee called the Standing Committee on Economics. More importantly for this conversation, he is part of Anthony Albanese's finance team - he’s the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Raf, and thoughts from Canberra to you and your listeners. I know many Canberrans have been thinking of Victorian friends at the moment and all that you're going through there in Melbourne.

EPSTEIN: What number stood out for you today?

LEIGH: I think the real thing that stood out for me Raf was the lack of the long term plan. I mean, certainly we've got a lot of numbers around - we’ve got the figures on the the impact of the budget, the unprecedented - since the Great Depression - hit on the economy. But it was the lack of a long term vision for how we build back better, how we create those jobs that ensure we get to a full employment economy-

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Frydenberg owes Australians a plan - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA DRIVE
THURSDAY, 23 JULY 2020

SUBJECTS: Budget deficit; deferred Parliamentary sitting.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now the Shadow Assistant Minister for the Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon.

DELANEY: Thanks for joining me once again. We're making a habit of this, but of course this is the biggest story of the day, isn't it? So we really do need to look at this in some detail. As I said, it could have been worse, couldn’t it?

LEIGH: It certainly could have been more comprehensive, and what we've got from the Government is barely a plan. It's just really a press release. We don't have the usual forecasts that you would expect to be getting, this year and the three following years. We've just got next year's figures being reported by the Government. And I don't get a sense from reading through this document as to what the Government plans to do to bring unemployment down, which has got to be the top policy priority in Australia right now. There's a lot of talk about where the figures are, both in economic terms and in fiscal terms, but there's very little in the way of a road map to get us out.

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Some sectors still waiting on support they deserve - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA DRIVE
TUESDAY, 21 JULY 2020

SUBJECTS: Changes to JobKeeper and JobSeeker; arts and charities sectors left behind.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now the Shadow Assistant Minister for the Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

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

DELANEY: Thanks for joining us today. Well, what's your take on the JobKeeper announcement today?

LEIGH: It's clear that JobKeeper couldn't continue forever, and I think many people will be glad to finally know what's going to happen after September. The Prime Minister should have announced this well in advance the Eden-Monaro by-election but decided to hold off until now, which I know has created a lot of angst among firms and employees in my electorate. So we'll go through the details. It seems to make sense - we've always said that there was something strange about providing $750 a week to a long term casual who'd only been working a day a week but providing nothing to a short term casual who was working full time. So there's a little bit more targeting going on here. I frankly would have liked to see the government do even more to make sure the money goes exactly where it's most needed.

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Robodebt scheme has done massive harm to Australian people - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC CANBERRA DRIVE

TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 2020

SUBJECTS: Federal Labor’s calls for a Royal Commission into Robodebt; Liberals Undermining Superannuation (Again)

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now Member for Fenner and Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities and Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you and your listeners.

DELANEY: Well thanks for joining us once again. First of all, why do we need a royal commission on this issue? Don't we already know what went wrong?

LEIGH: I think we need to get to the absolute bottom of what's happened with this significant scheme. I mean, this is a scheme designed to extract one and a half billion dollars of unlawful debts from the Australian people. Hundreds of thousands of people are having their debts repaid, and indeed pretty much everybody who came to my office has had their debts repaid. A whole lot of Canberrans have been affected by this. I've had constituents who had the debt collectors sicced onto them as a result of a process in which the Morrison Government took the humans out of Human Services and just allowed computer algorithms to run amok, ruining people's lives.

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Liberals again defend the indefensible - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 17 JUNE 2020

In The Mikado, the Lord High Executioner sings, 'I've got a little list,' and the coalition have a little list as well. Their little list is of their mates that they would like to avoid public scrutiny. That's what they're doing with this vote that we are about to have in this place. Yet again, for the third time in as many days, they are going to come into this place and defend the indefensible.

Why do I say it's indefensible? It's because none of them are standing up to defend it.

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No defence for lack of transparency - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 JUNE 2020

I was just pausing for a moment to see if perhaps there was one member of the coalition who might defend their current position. I'm perfectly happy to yield to anyone on the other side who wants to defend the position that they are about to vote for.

I think they're hoping that people will see the word 'tax' and just tune out. But let's be very clear about what we're debating in the House right now: the government wants to throw an invisibility cloak over their mates so they can evade scrutiny. It is as simple as that.

This is a measure that should have been a temporary exemption for a couple of years. That's what it was to have been when the Keating government put it in place in 1995. But it was the Howard government that said, 'You know, this is a pretty good lurk for some of our mates. Let's make it permanent.'

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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.