WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2022
SUBJECT: Federal Budget.
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO, HOST: There's a certain predictability, post budget, to radio programs because the government will always tell you, the government of the day will always tell you that the budget has been absolutely spectacular. The opposition will tell you why it's a failure. We've heard from the government - Simon Birmingham, the Finance Minister, joined us to tell us why it's good. To tell us why it's bad, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh, is with us. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Stephen. Great to be with you and your listeners.
CENATIEMPO: Why is this a bad budget?
LEIGH: A trillion dollars of debt and so little to show for it. I mean, you look at the real wages going backwards. Canberra households would be feeling the pinch and knowing that in the time that the coalition has been in office, wages in real terms have grown only 1.4 per cent-Read more
CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
ACT CHIEF MINISTER
MINISTER FOR CLIMATE ACTION
ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
ALICIA PAYNE MP
MEMBER FOR CANBERRA
DAVID SMITH MP
MEMBER FOR BEAN
MONDAY, 28 MARCH 2022
SUBJECTS: Community battery announcements for Canberra; infrastructure funding in the ACT; Western Sydney Airport; election prospects; National Cabinet.
ALICIA PAYNE, MEMBER FOR CANBERRA: Good afternoon, everyone and thank you for coming. I'm Alicia Payne, the Member for Canberra and it's my great pleasure to be here this afternoon with our Chief Minister Andrew Barr, and my federal colleagues, the Member for Bean, David Smith and Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh to welcome Chris Bowen, our Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy to Canberra to make this great announcement this afternoon about community batteries.Read more
MONDAY, 28 MARCH 2022
SUBJECT: Federal Budget.
GRAEME GOODINGS, HOST: Joining me now is Dr Andrew Leigh, Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury. Dr, good morning. Thanks for being with us.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Graeme. Great to be with you and your listeners.
GOODINGS: Australia's national debt is approaching a trillion dollars. Can we afford all these handouts?
LEIGH: This is certainly the highest our debt’s ever been. I’m old enough to remember Malcolm Turnbull launching a debt truck when he was fear mongering about $300 billion of debt. Now debt’s up at three times that level, from a government that promised when they came into office they'd have the budget in surplus in the first year and every year after that. Only a couple of years ago, they were printing these ‘Back in Black’ coffee mugs, which they then had to smash by the dozen because they've failed to meet their own fiscal forecasts. But even more worrying is the quality of the spend. You've got sports rorts. You’ve got $20 billion of JobKeeper to firms with rising revenues. You've got overpaying by tenfold for land near the Western Sydney Airport, and the car park rorts scandal that we saw the last election. Extraordinarily Graeme, there seems to be more money in the budget for car parks, despite the fact that for so many of the car parks that they announced last time around construction has never commenced.Read more
ABC CANBERRA MORNINGS
MONDAY, 28 MARCH 2022
SUBJECTS: Increasing threats to politicians and political staff; Canberra protesters; the federal election.
ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: When you get talking politics, how do you express yourself? Do you get a bit passionate? It's understandable. Fiery? It’s a bit on the margins. Aggressive? Politicians, journalists, you listening now, I want to have a frank discussion about the words, the sledges and the abuse that can seep in and what that can lead to. The federal Member for Fenner here in Canberra, Andrew Leigh, was last week granted a personal protection order in the ACT Magistrate's Court. He doesn't want sympathy, he doesn't want sorrow. What he does want is for us to be aware of the way the environment is changing for MPs. Dr Leigh, thanks for your time today.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Adam. Great to be with you.
SHIRLEY: I know that discussing the specifics of the protection order is problematic. But in very general terms, why have you sought it and needed it?
LEIGH: It's because of the nature of a particular threat that we faced in the office, and that's a challenge to me being able to do my job as an MP and to engage with the general public. One of the things I really love about representing Canberra is being out on the street stalls, door knocking, engaging directly with people. And the last thing I want to do is to be forced to retreat from that sort of activity. But I mentioned it publicly, Adam, because I think it is important for people to know that the environment is changing. The sort of toxic brew that we've seen in the United States now has a situation where there's more Americans that believe in the wacky QAnon conspiracy theory - that the government's controlled by a Satan-worshipping paedophile sex trafficking ring - then there are left handers in America. Fifteen per cent of Americans believe in QAnon. In Britain, there's been two members of parliament killed over the past decade, just doing their jobs. And so we need to make sure in Australia that we carve out a safe space for political discourse, for people to disagree without being disagreeable. Because if we lose that, I think that is really a danger for democracy.Read more
SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION
FRIDAY, 25 MARCH 2022
SUBJECTS: Australia and the Pacific; the Federal Budget; Cost of living rising under Scott Morrison; Fuel excise; Vaccines.
PETE STEFANOVIC, HOST: Joining us live now from Canberra is the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning to you. Before we talk about the budget, what's Labor's response to that deal?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pete, it's ultimately a matter for the Sogavare Government and the people of the Solomon Islands. But Australia's traditionally had a close relationship with the Solomon Islands, going back to the 2003 RAMSI stabilisation mission. And this really does point to what happens when a coalition government takes office, cuts foreign aid to its lowest level, and talks about a ‘Pacific step up’ but fails to deliver. This has got concerning security implications for Australia, and Labor will look to be briefed on what the government’s planning to do.
STEFANOVIC: So we've been sleeping at the wheel here, in your opinion?
LEIGH: Well, this ‘Pacific step up’ just seems to have been talk rather than action. You can't cut foreign aid to its the lowest level in the generation and not expect that to have repercussions. That's why foreign aid cuts don’t just have impacts on poverty. The Morrison Government's decision to cut foreign aid also has its flow on impact on national security.Read more
THE BUSINESS CASE FOR LABOR
SPEECH TO BUSINESS SYDNEY
WEDNESDAY, 23 MARCH 2022
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
Epictetus wisely noted that we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. As a Stoic, I’m keen to put this into practice tonight by keeping my opening remarks short, and spend most of the time learning about your businesses, your ideas, and your vision for the economy.
But with less than two months before polling day, I would be remiss if I didn’t use the chance to make the case for my party. The business case for Labor, you might say.
Let me put it as crisply as I can, by outlining ten reasons that every businessperson should vote Labor.Read more
OPENING REMARKS TO CHARITY ROUNDTABLE
WEDNESDAY, 16 MARCH 2022
Thank you for joining us. It’s a pleasure to be here with my talented colleague Patrick Gorman, and Labor’s candidate for Canning Amanda Hunt, who will be well known to you from her time heading Uniting WA.
Over recent decades, Australia’s social capital has dropped dramatically. Compared with the 1980s, Australians now have half as many close friends, and know half as many of our neighbours. Church attendance and union membership have declined. Membership of large organisations has fallen sharply. And in fact, the number of organisations in Australia hasn't kept pace with population - there's fewer organisations per person than in the past. We've seen a steady decline in volunteering, a drop which has accelerated through the pandemic. And there has been a decline in the share of Australians who are actively engaged in team sports and community sporting activities.Read more
SPEECH TO AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION MEMBERS
TUESDAY, 15 MARCH 2022
*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***
Australia has changed markedly in the last generation.
If you go back to the mid-1980s, the average Australian had twice as many close friends and knew twice as many of their neighbours. Compared to then, we've seen a drop in the level of volunteering. We’ve seen a decline in the number of community organisations in Australia. We’ve seen a fall in membership of those mass organisations. We've seen a drop in church attendance, union membership and membership of sporting clubs.
In short, Australia has become disconnected.Read more
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
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