Australia needs real plan, not political ploys - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 MARCH 2022

Last Friday I did a street stall at the Charnwood shops, and a bloke came up to me to tell me his story. He's a bricklayer, a single dad with two kids. He said it doesn't matter how much overtime he does, he still finds himself struggling to make ends meet at the end of the week.

Then I turned around and spoke immediately to a single mum whose kids have left home and who is a public servant working from one short-term contract to the next. She told me that that very day she'd finished one short-term contract, and on Monday morning she'd be turning up to the Centrelink office to sign up. She hoped she'd be able to get another short-term contract, because if she didn't she didn’t know how she'd be able to continue to pay her mortgage.

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A Budget That's Past Its Use-by Date - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 MARCH 2022

A muesli bar, a can of chicken, a jar of Vegemite: what do they have in common? All of these products have longer use-by dates than the promises of last night's budget, which had a one-off cash handout in April, a one-off tax payment in July and petrol price relief that ends in September.

The cost-of-living problem might be new to this government, but it's not new to the Australian people.

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Vale Kimberley Kitching - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 MARCH 2022

In her first speech to parliament, on 9 November 2016, Kimberley Kitching described herself as a swimmer thrown in the deep end. She was somebody who brought a powerful voice to the Labor caucus. It has to be said that she was from quite a different part of the Labor Party than me. She came from the crucible of Victorian factional politics; I'm an independent from the ACT. She named her dogs after Ronald Reagan and his wife, she was a member of the Wolverines, and she was an unabashed defender of Israel. Yet I greatly admired her and enjoyed her company.

I shared her passion for the Labor Party, for workers' rights, and for ridding the world of prejudice. I loved the way she expressed what it is to be a trade union leader in her very first speech.

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Budget weighed down by rorts, waste and mismanagement - Transcript, 6PR Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
6PR MORNINGS
WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2022

SUBJECT: Federal Budget.

LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: To discuss the federal budget today, the ramifications and the fallout from the government and the opposition, we welcome the federal Liberal Senator for WA and Attorney-General Michaelia Cash. Michaelia, good morning. How are you?

MICHAELIA CASH, ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Good morning, Liam. I think more appropriately, I hope you're doing all right.

BARTLETT: I'm in splendid isolation. I can't complain.

CASH: I do apologise. You can actually hear the bells in the background. So I'm calling in from Canberra where the Senate is sitting.

BARTLETT: Absolutely. We understand that. We appreciate your time this morning, Minister. And from the opposition in our Canberra studio, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning to you.

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Budget of broken promises - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 30 MARCH 2022

This budget has all of the credibility of those 'back in black' mugs that had to be smashed by the dozen after the Treasurer broke his pledge to have the budget back in surplus. This is of course the coalition that came to office in 2013 pledging to have the budget back in surplus in its first year and in every year after that. It is now, in this latest budget, forecasting deficits as far as the eye can see, with gross debt set to top $1 trillion, a figure which is so large that it's probably more helpful to say that, in per person terms, that's around $40,000 for every man, woman and child in Australia.

But it isn't just the scale of the debt that concerns Labor; it's the low quality of the spend.

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Fiscal profligacy of a monumental scale - Transcript, 2CC Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC BREAKFAST

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-

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Community batteries for Canberra - Press Conference, Canberra

CHRIS BOWEN MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON

ANDREW BARR
ACT CHIEF MINISTER
TREASURER
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 

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP INTERVIEW
CANBERRA
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. 

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Budget to be about saving coalition jobs, not Australians' - Transcript, 5AA Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

5AA MORNINGS

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.

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Political threats a danger for democracy - Transcript, ABC Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

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.

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Morrison good on spin, poor on substance - Transcript, Sky News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TELEVISION INTERVIEW

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.

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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.