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.

Action overdue from Morrison Government - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 2 DECEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Westpac; Deloitte; the Morrison Government dodging scrutiny; George Christensen; Ken Wyatt.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee. Starting at 8am this morning, the House Economics Committee will be hearing from APRA, the prudential regulator.

APRA has said that it has initiated its own inquiry into the Westpac scandal, in which we saw 23 million money laundering breaches. Labor will be seeking answers from APRA as to this investigation, and how they are exploring some of the critical issues around this Westpac breach. We need to make sure this breach never happens again. In particular, we need to learn the systematic lessons out of one Australia's worst money laundering scandals. I'm concerned by the fact that there have been reports that the compliance officer who reported the breach has been moved aside, and I'll be asking questions about how APRA is investigating that aspect of the story and also how whistleblowers are handled more broadly. This comes on top of the House Economic Committee hearings last Friday, in which Citibank appeared before the committee. Citibank has acknowledged they were the bank that was responsible for the vast majority of the 23 million transactions. It was money sent by Citibank, received by Westpac. And so in the House Economics Committee, we explored Citibank’s views as to this money laundering scandal, and how they are ensuring that they improve their processes around money transfer.

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Westpac has questions to answer - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Labor to recall Westpac for questioning; wages growth stalling under the Coalition; interest rates; national security; Angus Taylor.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and the Deputy Chair of the House of Representatives Economics Committee. We’ve seen last week from Australia's oldest bank one of Australia's worst money laundering scandals. Westpac reported 23 million breaches of money laundering laws, an egregious blight on the financial sector.

It was Labor that called for a royal commission into the financial services, and it's Labor that's today calling for Westpac to front the House of Representatives Economics Committee. We can't wait for the next hearings next year when Westpac is scheduled to come before us. Westpac should come before the House Economics Committee at the earliest opportunity. This scandal has already seen Westpac’s CEO and Chair step down, but it's important that we look at this from an institutional standpoint. It's important we get to the bottom of what Westpac did wrong, how the child exploitation financing occurred, how the money moved, and how this was allowed to recur 23 million times - almost one breach for every Australian.

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Australian Research Council funding should be above politics - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 NOVEMBER 2019

The Australian Research Council plays a crucial role in allocating research funding in Australia. As a former professor at the Australian National University, I was the successful recipient of two Linkage Program grants and two Discovery Project grants, and I put many hours into reviewing proposals put forward for Australian Research Council funding. I can attest to the House that this is a common practice for academics. Contestable research funding is an important part of our system, and Australian researchers rely on the independent scrutiny of the Australian Research Council.

Researchers recognise that the peer review process is extraordinarily rigorous and give it greater respect than other methods of handing out research funding, such as the more ad hoc approach employed by the Medical Research Future Fund as well as other funding systems which have more ministerial meddling in them.

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Resignation not end of matter for Westpac - Transcript, ABC Radio Sydney

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO SYDNEY
TUESDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Innovation + Equality; Westpac.  

WENDY HARMER: We have a text here saying ‘more good news stories please’. Maybe we've got one, maybe we can put Andrew Leigh under the category of a good news story. He's a Federal Labor MP, co-author of a new book, Innovation + Equality: how to create a future that is more Star Trek than Terminator.

ROBBIE BUCK: Well we hope it's a good news story, but is it going to be a good news story? That's the big question. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Robbie. I think it's a good news story, but I'm not sure it's as good news as kids playing in gardens.

HARMER: [laughter] Well, we'll do our best.

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Australia can be more innovative and more equal - Transcript, 5AA Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA ADELAIDE
MONDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Innovation + Equality; 2019 election; disconnected communities; China; the need for a more ethnically diverse Parliament.  

JEREMY CORDEAUX: I've got Andrew Leigh on the line. He's a politician, he's with the Labor Party. He's the Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Economics, which sounds awfully dry but having spoken to him before, I can tell you he's not awfully dry - he's a lot of fun. Andrew, how are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrifically well, Jeremy. The better for chatting with you.

CORDEAUX: Happy Christmas.

LEIGH: And to you. You got big plans for the season?

CORDEAUX: No. I think probably, I think we go on holidays two weeks from today, something like that. No, I'm just going to fall over the line and just go home and play in the garden.

LEIGH: That sounds like the rest of Australia.

CORDEAUX: [laughter] Well, the worst thing is to make plans because the moment you start making plans, they won't happen. Everything will change right there in front of you. It's not it's not worth it.

LEIGH: There is some great economic research that suggests that much of the pleasure of holidays comes not from having them, but from anticipating them. So our family always tries to plan our holidays as far in advance as we can, so we can have that anticipation effect.

CORDEAUX: But Andrew, isn't that about everything in life? Isn't the anticipation, the pre savouring of something, far more interesting than the actual meal?

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We need to be smart, not soft, on crime - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 25 NOVEMBER 2019

I move:

That this House:

(1) recognises that:

(a) Australia's incarceration rate has now risen to 0.22 percent, the highest level since Federation;

(b) rates of homicide, robbery, car theft and assaults have fallen considerably since the mid-1980s, while the imprisonment rate has more than doubled;

(c) the direct cost of prisons is almost $5 billion per year; and

(d) there is a significant indirect cost of prisons, including the impact on the 77,000 children who have an incarcerated parent, adverse effects on the physical and mental wellbeing of inmates, and high rates of homelessness and joblessness among ex-prisoners;

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Australia's relationship with China - Transcript, Sky News First Edition

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
MONDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECT: China.

LAURA JAYES: Joining me now is Labor MP Andrew Leigh. He joins us live from Canberra. Did you see this last night? How concerned are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Laura, very concerned. I think both the stories you're talking about, concerning Mr Wang and Mr Zhao, raise issues of the first order importance for Australia. It's not unusual for Australia to provide asylum status to people who say that they might be harmed if they go back home. Chen Yonglin was the Chinese official granted asylum a number of years back. Before that of course you think of Vladimir Petrov. What's most important is that Mr Wang’s safety is looked after in the interim, while the government carefully works through the details of his application.

JAYES: Do you think the government as well though needs to consider concerns like copycat approaches by lower level operatives, and also the backlash that we could see from China both economically and politically?

LEIGH: There's no scenario in which Australia's relationship with China isn't of first order importance to Australia. It's important that we maintain those strong economic ties, which improve prosperity in both countries. But at the same time, we need to recognise we have different political systems, different sets of values when it comes to issues around democracy and human rights. We should never hold back from staying true to those values.

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Innovation + Equality - Transcript, 2GB Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2GB BREAKFAST
THURSDAY, 21 NOVEMBER 2019

SUBJECTS: Superannuation; Innovation + Equality.

ALAN JONES: I spoke last month to the Federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh. We discussed the great Australian athlete Peter Norman, and the price Peter paid for standing in solidarity with the black American athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the Mexico Olympic Games. In the wake of that interview, Dr Leigh dropped me a line about a new book he's co-written with Joshua Gans. It's called Innovation + Equality, with the argument being amongst some that you innovate and you create an unequal society. The thesis here is no, no, no - that's not necessarily the case. The book is subtitled How to Create a Future That Is More Star Trek Than Terminator, which I think is quite funny. The book's being launched tonight. These two blokes have got a few brains. Joshua Gans is a professor of strategic management, and holds the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto. Dr Leigh is a Federal Labor MP, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. But he's a former professor of economics at the Australian National University. He also holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard. He has a first class honours degree in Arts and Law from Sydney University, which of course immediately means he is totally disqualified from having any political future. Here's me telling you, Dr Leigh will never, ever make it in politics because you see, he's got brains and ideas, and they are much despised in the world of politics. And that's the great sadness. I'm being ironical here, of course. I hope that people like this do make it to the top. He's bright, he's a thinker. He’s trying to get the rest of us to do the same and read the new book. He's on the line. Dr Andrew, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning and thank you for the generous introduction.

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Inequality isn't the price of progress - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS NEWSDAY

TUESDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2019

Subjects: Innovation + Equality; gender pay gap and sexual harassment; Josh Frydenberg’s speech and making older Australians work longer.

TOM CONNELL:  Plenty of Australians do feel behind by technological advantages and advances in the economy. But there’s no reason to fear, according to Labor's Andrew Leigh, or at least if we have the policies in place. He's written the book on it, and joins me now here in the studio. Thanks for your time.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Real pleasure, Tom.

CONNELL: I'll give it a free plug, “Innovation + Equality”. So there it is. I'm curious about the title in of itself. Is there a need to write innovation and equality because it's currently unequal or because there's a perception that it's unequal?

LEIGH: It's a great question, Tom. I think some people regard inequality as just being the price of progress. They think that the gap between rich and poor has to rise if we want to have AI and smartphones. But fundamentally, Joshua Gans and I don't think that innovation is because the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is bigger. We think the real way of getting more innovation is by encouraging more entrepreneurs from unexpected backgrounds. At the moment, only a quarter of our startups are founded by women, and men from affluent backgrounds make up a disproportionate share of entrepreneurs. So if we want to get more innovation, we need to broaden the pool from which our innovators are drawn.

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How to Create a Future That is More Star Trek Than Terminator - Transcript, 2GB Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2GB RADIO MONEY NEWS

MONDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2019

Subjects: Innovation + Equality; technology and productivity; unions and innovation.

ROSS GREENWOOD: Well, the interesting subject of this is a new book that's come out and this is actually called ‘Innovation + Equality: How to Create a Future That is More Star Trek Than Terminator’. It's by Joshua Gans and also by Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, who comes on this program on a regular basis to talk about the economy. And he’s with me now. Andrew, many thanks for your time.  

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Always a pleasure to be with you, Ross.

GREENWOOD: Okay. Let's go through this book. It basically goes down on - intellectual property is one of the big things you look at here, about the way in which you create jobs and create value is by creating more intellectual property. And of course that means you're going to have intellectual property, well, either that is capable of being protected or is indeed able to be used for the greater good rather than necessarily being locked up. That's one of your arguments, isn't it?

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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.