ANDREW LEIGH MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES
MEMBER FOR FENNER
CANDIDATE FOR BANKS
MORRISON GOVERNMENT FAILING AUSTRALIANS WITH UNDERPERFORMING ECONOMY
Stagnating wages and rising cost of living are forcing Australians to seek help from services like Oatley’s Allawah Care.
The volunteer-run service provides food and clothing to people in need, many using it as a “top up” to ease pressures on the household budget as underemployment and price hikes start to bite.
The hardworking people behind Allawah Care are doing vital work, but Australians should not have to be reliant on such services to make ends meet.Read more
Fascist flags, QAnon and extremist ties: the many faces of ‘freedom’ protesters - Op Ed, The RiotACT
FASCIST FLAGS, QANON AND EXTREMIST TIES: THE MANY FACES OF ‘FREEDOM’ PROTESTERS
The RiotACT, 23 February 2022
Over recent weeks, far-right antivax protests have cropped up in Canada, Britain, France and New Zealand. But never have these protests come to a city with a higher vaccination rate than Canberra, where unvaccinated adults are as rare as UFO sightings.
They have a right to peacefully protest, but those of us who believe in science also have a right to point out that vaccines save lives and conspiracy theories can kill. Since the Morrison Government belatedly began rolling out COVID vaccines in Australia, these free vaccines have protected thousands of Australians from hospitalisation and death. COVID vaccines work. Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and Vitamin C do not.Read more
HONEST AUSTRALIANS PAY THE PRICE FOR COALITION’S REFUSAL TO COME DOWN HARD ON TAX RORTS AND SCAMS
At its peak, the Stawell tyre dump held nine million tyres, making it one of the biggest tyre dumps in the world. After being inactive for more than a decade, the state Environmental Protection Authority finally stepped in and cleaned it up, recycling more than one million tyres, weighing around 10,000 tonnes.
Yet when they looked for someone to pay the bill, the government found that ownership of the dump had been transferred to an internet marketing company based in the tax haven of Panama. Asked about the sale, the former owner admitted ‘I have never been to Panama and can't speak or understand any Spanish’. When the case went to court, Justice Karin Emerton called the sale of the site ‘outrageous’, suggesting that ‘It's open to infer that shifting assets between two companies, to a shelf company in Panama, is a device being used to avoid obligations under the fire preventions notice’.Read more
FRIDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2022
SUBJECTS: Battlers struggling and billionaires soaring under Scott Morrison; NBN; Fuel prices and cost of living; Labor’s policies for a better Australia; Unemployment, the gig economy and worker protections; Anthony Albanese.
GRAEME GOODINGS, HOST: Well, elections both state and federal in the wind, and the economy and the handling of Covid certainly front and centre. Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh has launched a withering attack in Parliament on the government's handling of the economy. He joins me now. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Graeme. Great to be back with you.
GOODINGS: Yeah. Look, we've just gone through two years of COVID. Is your attack really warranted?
LEIGH: I do think we need to take economic growth seriously again, Graeme. We've had almost a decade now of lousy economic growth. This has been the slowest decade for growth per person of any decade, going right back to the post war era. And if we don't take productivity seriously, then Australians will keep on finding that prices are rising faster than their wages. Now, last couple of years, we've seen beef prices up 17 per cent. We've seen childcare up around 10 per cent. Now we've seen petrol go over two bucks a litre. And yet many people are earning basically what they earned a couple of years ago. Wage growth has been tepid, unless of course you're a billionaire - billionaires collectively have doubled their wealth since Scott Morrison became prime minister.Read more
PAUL MURRAY LIVE
WEDNESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2022
SUBJECTS: Worker protections in the gig economy; Labor’s plans for affordable, reliable power.
PAUL MURRAY, HOST: In the meantime, plenty to talk about with Senator Hollie Hughes and, from the Labor Party, none other than Andrew Leigh. Andrew, g’day. Lovely to see you too, Senator. So, interesting report out of New South Wales - so you can all go home, because it’s none of your responsibilities here - which is about Uber, and about how Uber is treating, potentially mistreating its workforce. Where the Uber app allows people to work endlessly, including some people who are working up to 61 days in a row. Now, Hollie, I'm fascinated by this, because I think for all of the high fives and all the rest of it about the gig economy, there are very big companies who are able to get away with workers being paid very little, but also not a lot of protections for them as well. What do you think?
HOLLIE HUGHES: Well, I think people that choose to be uber drivers choose to drive when they want to drive. So I don't think Ubers forcing them to work 61 days in a row, whether or not it's good for their health, but that's the decisions that they're making. You know, I can tell you as an old country girl, when you were doing harvest, the guys worked and the girls worked a lot longer than 61 days in a row, trying to get that crop off. So, you know, no one's forcing them to do it. I think there's plenty of other opportunities with the unemployment rates so low at the moment. So people are making the choice to be an Uber driver, work their own hours, work the days they want to do. But it is, as you say, a matter for the New South Wales State government and their regulation when it comes to the maintenance of the vehicles and ensuring that they're safe. But again, it's consumer choice. And I think sometimes we're getting a little bit carried away over what people want to choose to do rather than, you know, more government regulation.
MURRAY: Is it ultimate flexibility here, Andrew? Apparently 26 per cent of the 11,000 shifts that they had to look at were drivers working 12 or 13 hours.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 FEBRUARY 2022
I want to talk about the way in which people with disabilities have suffered during the pandemic. Labor introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme to deliver certainty and security to Australians living with disabilities and to their families.
Yet under this government, rather than providing certainty, the NDIS has seen plans arbitrarily and without clear cause changed.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 FEBRUARY 2022
Australia's sports stars are nothing short of extraordinary. Last year we saw Emma McKeon set an Olympic record for the number of medals won by a female Olympian at a single Olympic Games. With seven medals, she equalled a record which hadn't been matched since the 1950s. We've just seen Jakara Anthony take out the gold in the women's moguls at the Winter Olympics. There are so many other extraordinary athletes out there going faster, higher, stronger than anyone who preceded them.
When I see that great success on the sporting field, I wish that we could see Australia's economy performing just as well. But unfortunately, under the Liberals, the Australian economy is struggling. If it was an engine, it would be sputtering and blowing smoke.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 FEBRUARY 2022
Today marks one year to the day since Lisa Wilkinson's interview with Brittany Higgins and Samantha Maiden's reporting. Samantha wrote today:
One year ago today, on the morning of February 15, @newscomauHQ published the first interview with Brittany Higgins. A lot of things have happened in intervening year. Good & bad. I remain proud of the work we did & grateful she chose to speak.
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
This, as I'm sure all honourable members know, is Latin for 'let justice be done, though the heavens fall'.Read more
ABC AFTERNOON BRIEFING
MONDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2022
SUBJECTS: Foreign interference; Peter Dutton’s failures in defence; Donation transparency; Liberals’ climate inaction; NSW by-elections; Dyson Heydon.
GREG JENNETT, HOST: Jason Falinski, Liberal MP, and Labor's Andrew Leigh in the studio. Both have dashed into the studio from the House of Reps, where there was an impromptu division keeping you on your toes. Let's roll straight into discussion about weaponisation of national security. I think we might have heard some more overtones of this today in Question Time, as we did at the end of last week. Firstly to you Andrew Leigh. This is not without foundation, is it, when we hear Peter Dutton and others trying to dial up national security concerns on Labor when you consider the ASIO Director-General’s threat assessment last week, that is all parties are vulnerable here.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: We certainly know all parties are vulnerable, Greg, but it is very clear that there are no Labor candidates under concern from ASIO. Anthony Albanese said as much as a result of discussions with the ASIO Director-General. We know that ramping up fear of conflict with China is counter-productive to Australia’s national security interest.
JENNETT: If that is the case, Jason Falinski, why has Peter Dutton and others been talking in these terms that Labor and Anthony Albanese might be the Chinese Communist Party 's pick?
JASON FALINKSI: I don't think Peter Dutton suggested that, but feel free-
JENNETT: Something every similar.Read more
Protesters claim to be saving democracy, but are biggest threat to it - Speech, House of Representatives
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 14 FEBRUARY 2022
Over recent weeks, far-Right antivax protests have cropped up in Canada, Britain, France and New Zealand. Last week these protests came to Canberra, where our 99 per cent adult vaccination rate makes us the most vaccinated city in the world. These protesters have a right to peacefully protest, but those of us who believe in science also have a right to point out that vaccines save lives and conspiracy theories can kill. Since the Morrison government belatedly began rolling out COVID vaccines in Australia, these free vaccines have protected thousands of Australians from hospitalisation and death. They work. Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and vitamin C do not.
These protesters aren't just wrong about the science; they're also a risk to democracy. As Van Badham has pointed out, these groups should be judged not by their relatively small numbers but by the damage they're willing to do. Ironically, the people who claim to be saving democracy are the biggest threat to it.Read more