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.

Do nothing Government needs to be held to account - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison hiding from scrutiny and from doing his job; Real wages falling on Scott Morrison’s watch as petrol prices and housing skyrocket; Social media reform and Scott Morrison’s inaction on misinformation within his own party.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Every Tuesday we catch up with the Federal Member for Fenner. It is Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus.

PAUL: Nice to chat. Now it's becoming highly likely that we will have a budget before the next election, that was always going to be the case.

LEIGH: Yes, but the parliamentary sitting schedule next year is remarkably thin, Marcus. It looks like they've got a budget scheduled at the end of March and right through the first three months of the next year, they've got just ten sitting days-

PAUL: Ten for the House of Reps and five for the Senate. Am I right?

LEIGH: It's just extraordinary. Scott Morrison is paid to be the nation's number one parliamentarian, but he doesn't seem to want to turn up to do his job. He's the top parliamentarian in the country and he's constantly trashing parliament. Constantly saying, ‘this is a Canberra bubble, no one worries about what happens here’. And frankly, if he doesn't want the job, he should hand over to somebody who is keen and capable to do it. This is the government which, you know, ought to be called the ‘gonna’ government: they're gonna do this, they're gonna do that, gonna put in place a national integrity commission, gonna do something about social media. But what actually have they done? I mean, their achievements are preciously thin. That's why they don't want to sit next year because all that happens when they’ve got Parliament sitting is you've got Liberals attacking Nationals and Nationals attacking Nationals.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Has there ever been a worse government for young Australians? - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

If there's ever been a worse government for young Australians, I am yet to hear of it. The fact is that the Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison governments have overseen a deterioration in the living standards of young Australians that is unprecedented in Australian history. A number of years ago Jennifer Rayner wrote Generation Less in which she catalogued the ways in which life has become harder for young Australians.

Rejecting the common view that things are always tough when you're young and young people in Australia don't know how good they have it, Jennifer Rayner instead goes through the statistics. She starts with getting into work, pointing out that underemployment rates are at record levels. It used to be very rare for young people to leave university and be unable to get a full-time job. But, increasingly now, that's a common experience. We're seeing young people graduating from university, going into part-time work, wanting more hours and being unable to get them.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Australia has a competition problem - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

Australia has a competition problem. Work by the Treasury authored by Jonathan Hambur and others has shown that we've seen an increase in mark-ups over recent years. Work by the industry department led by Sasan Bakhtiari has shown we have seen a rise in market concentration. The ACCC told the House economics committee:

We agree the economy is too concentrated.

Under the Liberals' watch, large firms have gotten larger and the start-up rate has fallen. The Australian economy is becoming too concentrated by a small number of large firms. Indeed, you can play the dinner party game: 'Name us a handful of Australian industries that are not dominated by a handful of big firms.' This isn't just an issue of supermarkets and banks. It's not just an issue of telecommunications. It's an issue that goes as far as baby food, beer, internet service providers and department stores.

As the ACCC told the House economics committee, it has not won a contested merger for a quarter of a century. That's why you've had the ACCC head, Rod Sims, calling on the government to engage in a sensible conversation about Australia's merger laws and whether they're fit for purpose. But, instead, the government has ruled out that conversation entirely. It's not interested. It's not interested in having a conversation with the competition regulator and the Australian people about making sure that our markets are more competitive.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Labor will fund and protect our ABC - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 25 NOVEMBER 2021

If there's one thing that sums up the ABC to me, it's the Andrew Olle 'Mm.' I remember in my childhood listening to Andrew Olle doing interviews with political figures on both sides and he had an uncanny ability to say the word 'Mm' in a way that indicated that he'd heard you but didn't necessarily agree.

Those conversations between Andrew Olle and Paul Lyneham really shaped my view of politics growing up. I was extraordinarily proud watching Emma Alberici quiz Sergey Lavrov on the ABC. And all Canberrans were thankful, when bushfire smoke shrouded our city, for the constant stream of information that came from the ABC with Dan Bourchier and his team even relocating outside the studio when they were inundated with bushfire smoke.

Triple J and triple J unearthed have provided musical opportunities to countless young Australians. In my childhood when we lived in Indonesia Radio Australia was one of the key ways that many Indonesian villagers got information. ABC Online has spread information using new platforms. ABC data journalism is setting new standards, and Four Corners constantly sets the agenda.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Buy Now, Pay Later needs analysis - Transcript, 2GB Money News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2GB MONEY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECT: Buy Now, Pay Later.

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

BROOKE CORTE, HOST: Well, I mean, most of the Buy Now, Pay Later providers say they're not credit providers. Instead, they’re budgeting tools or cash flow managers, which I've always thought is kind of cute. Do you think there's truth in it or do you think it's spin?

LEIGH: They’ve attempted to stay out of the credit regulations by having limits on how much you're allowed to borrow, but I think we ought to just make sure that regulation is keeping up with technology. It's always the way - as technology advances, regulation needs to run to be there. And these new figures from the Commonwealth Bank suggest that if you want to get the whole picture, Brooke, you need to look not only at the default rates within the Buy Now, Pay Later product, but also how it might have downstream effects - how that might kick on to people being slow to pay their other bills.

CORTE: And is that what you think is happening?

LEIGH: That's certainly what the Commonwealth Bank data seems to suggest. You know, if you look at the share of customers in financial hardship: 4.9 per cent overall, 6.4 per cent among those who use Buy Now, Pay Later products. And the share who overdraw accounts and falling behind on repayments, again as you said, almost twice as large. So regulators need to be looking at the whole picture, and these data from the Commonwealth Bank are I think useful. Many people happily use Buy Now, Pay Later. It works well for them, doesn't cause any financial hardship issues. But I've certainly heard concerns among those who work with people in credit hardship, the consumer groups, that we need to make sure we're regulating carefully right across the products.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Government needs to pull head in over charities - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s crackdown on charities.

LEON BYNER, HOST: The head of Barnardos, very famous charity, says that misguided legislation giving the regulator new powers to investigate and deregister charities will put vulnerable children in danger. Now, one political party - One Nation - has been accused of helping the Coalition to silence Australian charities after pledging support for a plan crackdown on the sector. Now I'm going to pick the brain of someone today who I think is one of the finest economic minds in the country. He's a former professor of economics at the Australian National University. He's been a Member of Parliament for a while. His name is Dr Andrew Leigh, and he is the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.

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

BYNER: Do we need to crack down?

LEIGH: Not at all. The chances of a charity being deregistered for illegal activity are about the chances of the typical Australian being convicted of murder this year: pretty low. The fact is that this is a solution in search of a problem. The government has been out there consistently trying to reduce the voices of charities in the public debate, because they don't like being criticised. And yet charities, as you know Leon, one of their main roles is participating in the public debate-

Read more
1 reaction Share

PM playing footsie with extremists - Transcript, 2SM Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Vaccine mandates and Scott Morrison losing control of his Senators; Scott Morrison’s dog whistling double speak; Scott Morrison’s latest lies about his Hawaii holiday; Labor’s push for same job, same pay laws.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh. Good morning, mate. How are you?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. And you?

PAUL: Yeah, not bad. Well, that set the scene yesterday there in LEGO land in Canberra, Jacqui Lambie’s very passionate mandatory vaccine debate. Another day of fireworks expected in Parliament today. Let's dissect a little of what went on yesterday. Now obviously One Nation put this bill forward. Jacqui jumped up as we heard and had her say, and you know much I guess to the disgust of Pauline Hanson and others, including Matt Canavan and those who are fighting against these mandatory vaccines.

LEIGH: Five coalition members crossing the floor, and now George Christensen threatening to do the same, Marcus. It’s a government in disarray. Like you, I found Jacqui Lambie’s statements very persuasive, as did my Labor Senate colleagues who voted with the bulk of the government. This is a government that's lost control of its own backbench. It's not able to get on the same page on an issue as fundamental as vaccine mandates. You've got the Prime Minister looking to walk both sides of the street. He wants to take credit for the increase in vaccination rates across the nation, that have come partly as a result of vaccine mandates, and the decrease in spread that flows from having vaccine mandates in place. And yet he wants to play footsie with extremists and therefore won't come out and take a clear position on vaccine mandates.

Read more
1 reaction Share

PM doesn't care about the truth - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 NOVEMBER 2021

In his book, “On BS”, Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt distinguished between three kinds of people. The honest care that their statements are true. The liars care that theirs are false. The BS artist does not care. He is neither on the side of truth or falsehood. He peddles hokum, balderdash, humbug, claptrap.

On the vaccine roll out, the Prime Minister said it wasn’t a race, then falsely claimed that he’d been talking about vaccine regulation. After being accused of mendacity by Macron, he wrongly accused journalists of taking selfies with the French leader, then falsely pretended the criticism was an attack on Australia.

Read more
2 reactions Share

Coalition continues attack on charities - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 NOVEMBER 2021

Since this bill is about political campaigners, I want to use this opportunity to speak about a political campaigner in the ACT who recently passed. Jilpia Nappaljari Jones died on 28 October 2021. She was a great Canberran and a great political campaigner. Jilpia was a Walmajarri native title owner from the Great Sandy Desert who was part of the stolen generations. She was taken from her family at the age of five and raised by foster parents in Queensland. She trained as a nurse and in 1971 helped to form the first Aboriginal community controlled health service in Australia, which is now known as the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern. She worked with Fred Hollows, Gordon Briscoe and the team at the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program. She studied at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. At the age of 50 she embarked on a new path, enrolling at the Australian National University. She graduated eight years later with majors in political science and history. In that year, 2003, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia and received an Australian Centenary Medal. She went on to work for AIATSIS, researching First Nations health, and made a gigantic contribution to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the continent.

Jilpia was a political campaigner. She worked on the political campaign of my friend Chris Burke as well as being a strong supporter of the Labor Party here in the ACT. One of the Labor Party activists, Leah Dwyer, said that Jilpia always insisted that she call young party members—migaloos—'Bub', as we were, in Leah's words, ‘all part of her family, at the same table and in the same fight for equality and justice’. Jilpia went through extraordinary hardship in her own life but turned that into energy to campaign for a more just Australia. I acknowledge her here in the parliament and recognise the immense loss that her partner, John Thompson, must be feeling.

Read more
1 reaction Share

JobKeeper meant for those failing, not flourishing - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECT: JobKeeper.

LEON BYNER, HOST: Our next guest is one of the finest economic minds in the Australian Parliament. He’s an author, a lawyer, former professor of economics at the ANU, and his opinion on these matters is always very well researched and very easy to understand. He makes the point that publicly listed companies, SA companies received almost - listen to this - $55 million in JobKeeper payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. That supported something like 2500 jobs, but only $5.2 million has been repaid. So what can be done about this? Let's talk to the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, it’s good to talk to you.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific to talk to you, Leon.

BYNER: Is there nothing in legislation that can force this? Do we have to rely on goodwill?

LEIGH: No one's going to be forcing companies to pay back, Leon. But I think it is important that companies that saw their revenues rise look at their corporate social responsibility statements. So many of them have warm and fuzzy corporate social responsibility statements. They say ‘we're not just here for our shareholders, we're also out there to do good in the community’. Well, one way you can do that, if your revenues have gone up, is to voluntarily make a repayment. Some South Australian companies really needed JobKeeper. It was absolutely essential, which is why Labor called for it in the first place. But others got it despite having their revenues going up, and that wasn't why the program was designed. They might have thought they needed it at the start, but at the end of the pandemic they might now look back and think about doing the right thing by the community.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Search



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.