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.

Australians have waited too long for Government pandemic support - Transcript, ABC Radio Melbourne

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO MELBOURNE MORNINGS WITH VIRGINIA TRIOLI

MONDAY, 9 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s JobKeeper failings

VIRGINIA TRIOLI, HOST: A quick update to a story that we covered off a few weeks ago now, and that was the payment of JobKeeper to a number of high-profile and less well-known companies that still enjoyed rising profits during that time, and so therefore, basically, were just able to put JobKeeper in the bank. It didn't just involve high-profile companies like Harvey Norman and Best & Less but many others as well. Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities has been really banging the drum on this, but it seems that his own party might be letting him down in this regard. Andrew Leigh, good morning to you.

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

TRIOLI: I'm well, thank you. Because an amendment's been introduced by the independent Senator Rex Patrick which would require all companies then to disclose, there'll be a transparency amendment so we'd know what they received, if they then went on to enjoy rising profits, but looks like looks like your party is backing down from supporting that amendment. Is that right?

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The Government is playing games with JobKeeper transparency - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

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RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY

MONDAY, 9 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: The Government’s failings on JobKeeper.

SHIRLEY, HOST: Andrew Leigh, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Economics and Federal Member for Fenner, good morning to you and thank you very much for your time on ABC Radio Canberra.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Adam. Always great to be with you.

SHIRLEY: So this is a key question, depending on what happens in the Senate today: how disappointed in your Senate Labor colleagues would you be if they let big businesses be quiet about the JobKeeper money they've received and kept?

LEIGH: Adam, for a party of government this is an issue that comes up frequently. We want transparency, and we want to make sure this support goes straight out the door to help the businesses that need it. Unfortunately, it looks as though the Government isn't going to come to the party on transparency. The question for us is whether we then hold up this bill which provides support to New South Wales businesses. Our judgement is that it's important to provide that support, although it's late and inadequate, not only for those businesses that are in lockdown, but of course for Canberra, because Canberra is hurting too. If you talk to people in the tourism sector, newsagents, hospitality, this is a real hit on our economy as well. We need to make sure this support is provided.

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Cash incentives work: that's why governments use them - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 6 AUGUST 2021

16 per cent of Australians are vaccinated, the second-lowest rate in the advanced world. The Grattan Institute estimates that we need to reach 80 per cent vaccination of the entire population, which is 90 per cent of adults, if we are to avoid overwhelming the hospital system. The government has a lower target; its phase C triggers when 80 per cent of adults are vaccinated. Until now, the problem has been supply—going back to that fateful decision the Morrison government made in July 2020 not to pay Pfizer a billion dollars for enough vaccine to vaccinate every Australian adult. But the government tells us that by 1 December there will be no problems with supply and that the challenge will then switch to getting the available vaccines into arms.

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Morrison should learn from his vaccine mistakes - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

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RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO CANBERRA DRIVE WITH ANNA VIDOT
TUESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s $300 vaccine incentive.

ANNA VIDOT, HOST: One of the long-standing members of the ALP's representatives here in Canberra, of course, is Andrew Leigh, who's on the line with me this afternoon. Andrew Leigh, good evening to you.

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

VIDOT: Where did this idea for a $300 cash incentive come from?

LEIGH: Well, it's an idea that a lot of people have proposed. Joe Biden has been talking about it. A range of other countries have moved on it. There's some useful research that's just come out in the last couple of weeks from a team at Oxford University which has shown a big bump up in vaccine acceptance following cash payments. Of course, it's what we do with childhood vaccines. The No Jab, No Pay scheme ensures that people only get those family payments conditional on having six childhood vaccines. What was bizarre to me was hearing Scott Morrison say free beer is a great way of incentivising people to get the vaccine but $300 is a terrible idea.

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Vaccine incentives work - Transcript, Sky News

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TELEVISION INTERVIEW

SKY NEWSDAY

TUESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s $300 vaccination incentive

TOM CONNELL, HOST: Welcome back. If you're thinking about getting a vaccine, Labor wants you to get $300 if you do it by 1 December. It's a headline-grabbing policy. Labor MP Andrew Leigh joins me for more. It's getting the headlines. What is it actually based on, though? Who's come up with this policy?

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Well, Tom, there's been a range of people who've recommended vaccine incentives. A new study out of Oxford found a 50 per cent uptake increase associated with cash payments and found they're more effective than lotteries in terms of incentivising people to get the jab.

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Vaccine incentives are part of getting Australia out of lockdown - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

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RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s $300 vaccine incentive policy; Government’s vaccine failings; JobKeeper waste and other rorts.

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

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning Marcus. Terrific to be with you.

PAUL: I'm sorry - the boss called in. He stole your thunder about these $300 payments.

LEIGH: I think it's fantastic that he's a regular on your show, Marcus, and I'm as proud as he is at Labor taking the lead again on policy. We've got to be positive during a pandemic. It's up to Oppositions to not just criticise when necessary but also to put forward constructive solutions. Just as Labor's been urging for an advertising campaign for vaccines, domestic mRNA manufacturing, purpose-built quarantine and a faster vaccine rollout, now we also think that vaccine payments make a difference. Others have urged lotteries, but the evidence that I've seen suggests that cash payments work better. We need to overcome vaccine hesitancy. About 12 per cent of Australians still say that they won't get vaccinated. That's down a little since May, but it's important that we increase those vaccination rates.

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Scott Morrison's vaccine failure is costing lives - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

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RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 27 JULY 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s economic policies; Scott Morrison’s vaccine failures.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Let's catch up with one of those inner-city lefty elites, sipping a latte, no doubt, after a major shift in economic policy from his party. Andrew Leigh, good morning to you. 

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Always great to be with you. 

PAUL: No comment on that intro, I guess? 

LEIGH: No lattes this morning, Marcus, I'm sorry. I went off coffee a couple of years back, so I'm a tea drinker, I'm afraid.

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Labor has a plan for a better Australia - Transcript, 2CC Radio

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RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY 
MONDAY, 26 JULY 2021

SUBJECTS: Labor’s announcements on tax and an anti-corruption commission; Scott Morrison’s failures on policy, wages, waste and vaccines; multinational tax avoidance; Labor’s plans for a more equitable Australia; return of parliament.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon Leon. Following that last conversation, I just hit up Google to find out the origins of your name. It turned out Leon of Sparta in the fifth century BC was the first Leon.

DELANEY: Goodness gracious me!

LEIGH: What a proud lineage you have there, mate. 

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Morrison Government watched as businesses increasing their turnover claimed $13b in JobKeeper - Transcript, ABC NewsRadio

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RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC NEWSRADIO BREAKFAST
FRIDAY, 23 JULY 2021

SUBJECT: Scott Morrison’s historic $13 billion in JobKeeper waste.

TOM ORITI, HOST: First this half hour: the ABC has revealed that 150,000 businesses received JobKeeper despite increasing their turnover during the height of the pandemic last year. The Federal Government announced the $1,500 a fortnight wage subsidy last March, of course, as parts of the economy began shutting down. Some of you might remember, to qualify for the wage subsidy businesses needed to demonstrate or, importantly, predict a fall in turnover below certain levels. New data from the Parliamentary Budget Office reveals turnover actually rose for more than 157,000 employers, and they accrued more than $4 billion in JobKeeper between April and June last year. Turnover did fall for about another 200,000 employers, but not below the thresholds. Now, Federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh has been a strident critic of the program and joins us now. Good morning, Andrew.

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

ORITI: Thanks for joining us. Big numbers there. what's your reaction to this data?

LEIGH: JobKeeper was a good idea terribly implemented by the Coalition Government. The fact is that if this degree of waste is true across the entire program then some $13 billion of JobKeeper went to firms with rising earnings: firms like Harvey Norman, Best & Less, Cotton On, Accent Group; institutions such as The Australian Club in Sydney that bans women members; for independent schools such as The Kings School, Wesley College or Brisbane Grammar, organisations that were doing pretty well through 2020 and didn't need taxpayer handouts.

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JobKeeper was to keep battlers in work, not pad elite private school profits - Transcript, ABC Radio Perth

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RADIO INTERVIEW

ABC RADIO PERTH MORNINGS WITH NADIA MITSOPOULOS

FRIDAY, 23 JULY 2021

SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s historic $13 billion in JobKeeper waste

NADIA MITSOPOULOS, HOST: Well, there is data out from the Parliamentary Budget Office which shows 157,000 businesses received JobKeeper payments at the height of the pandemic last year even though they increased their turnover. All up, they got $4 billion, and some elite private schools did the same, including Hale here in Perth. Now, that school pocketed $7 million in JobKeeper while posting an operating surplus of more than $8 million. It then offered its parents a discount, and these are some parents who are paying up to $27,000 a year in fees. So does this sound OK to you? Should Hale and all those other companies pay the money back? Keen to know what you think this morning: 1300 222 720. They've not done anything legally wrong, but is it morally wrong? That is the question being asked this morning. Andrew Leigh thinks these companies and those schools should pay the money back. He's the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and I spoke to him a little earlier this morning.

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

MITSOPOULOS: Does that seem right to you, that a private school can post a profit and offer parents a discount while claiming JobKeeper?

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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.