The war on charities continues - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 MAY 2021

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The Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 3) Bill 2021 does a couple of things. It includes a housing measure for sole parents. It is a measure which has been much touted by the government, but its impact is much smaller than their claims would have you believe. It adjusts Medicare levy low-income thresholds, which is something that happens on an annual basis, so there's nothing to write home about there. It changes the tax arrangements for disaster recovery grant payments in such a way as to make them tax free. And it adds a number of charities to the specific listings for deductible gift recipients. Among them is the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, a really important institute which is broadening the quantity of high-quality journalism available and collaborating with a range of media organisations in order to provide better international and regional coverage, and more investigative journalism. The work that the Judith Nielson Institute does is going to be increasingly important in the future as more pressure comes upon the media industry.

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Public service and political party membership - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 MAY 2021

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In the 1940s and 1950s, US Senator Joseph McCarthy began a regime of attempting to seek out so-called communist sympathisers. Over that period, some 10,000 to 12,000 people lost their jobs. People's lives were ruined. People were unjustly imprisoned. The claims were exaggerated, and did nothing to improve the national security of the United States.

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Morrison Government: soft on the strong, mean to the vulnerable - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 MAY 2021 

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No contribution from the member for Goldstein is complete without a mention of the 'Wilson first, Australians second' campaign he's been running. Unable to persuade his own parliamentary colleagues, he continues to come in here with fluff and bluster, saying that Australians can't get a government that will actually deal with housing affordability and what they need is to be poorer in retirement. The member for Goldstein wants Australians to rip money out of their retirement savings, to lose the compounding returns and to increase the pressure on the age pension, which of course will be paid by future generations of taxpayers, all because he is part of a government that has overseen the homeownership rate fall to 60-year lows.

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Instead of a race to the bottom, let's have a race to global tax fairness - Op Ed, The Canberra Times

INSTEAD OF A RACE TO THE BOTTOM, LET'S HAVE A RACE TO GLOBAL TAX FAIRNESS

The Canberra Times, May 25 2021

A few years ago, Scott Morrison was vociferously arguing that Australia was in a race on company taxes. Both Britain and the United States were cutting their company tax rates, and Morrison alleged that if Australia didn’t follow suit, ‘the Labor Party will leave Australian businesses stranded on a tax island — uncompetitive with the United States, with the United Kingdom, with Singapore’.

How things can change. The British Conservatives have now legislated to increase the company tax rate from 19 percent to 25 percent, taking effect from 2023. To pay for his infrastructure plan, President Biden is committed to increasing the US company tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. A global race to the bottom in company taxes has been replaced with a recognition that firms should pay their fair share of tax. Those elements in the Liberal Party still pushing for Australia to cut company taxes are looking as old-fashioned as the climate change deniers.

 

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Scott Morrison still doesn't get it on sexism and women's safety - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 25 MAY 2021

SUBJECTS: Territories’ right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying; Scott Morrison’s failure to address sexism and women’s safety.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day, Marcus. How are you?

PAUL: Not bad. Great to have your company this morning. Now, euthanasia - it's just one of those topics that, well, quite often we will ask MPs to vote on their conscience on. It's, as we know, it's controversial. It's very personal. My point earlier in the program was jurisdictions like the ACT and the Northern Territory, should be able to on their conscience vote on these issues without interference from the federal government. I mean after all, locals living in Canberra and surrounds vote people in within their own legislature, that is the local, not MPs, what are they called out there, MLAs. They are the ones who should decide these issues, not the federal government. That's my take anyway, Andrew.

LEIGH: That's right, Marcus. People will remember the history of this. In the 1990s, the Northern Territory was the first place in Australia to introduce voluntary assisted dying laws, and the Commonwealth Parliament said 'well, we can't have a territory going first, and so we'll ban the territories from legislating on euthanasia’. A quarter century on, we've now got half the states, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia, having passed euthanasia laws, Queensland is about to begin debating them, so it could well be a majority of the states have euthanasia laws in place, and yet the territories are still banned from legislating on it. We are now in a situation where 87% of Australians support euthanasia, including around four out of five Coalition voters, four out of five Protestants, four out of five Catholics. It's one of those issues where the federal parliament is lagging behind public opinion.

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Commonwealth should give back territories' power to legislate for themselves - Transcript, 2CC Radio

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY

MONDAY, 24 MAY 2021

SUBJECTS: Territories’ right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying; Upper Hunter by-election; Prime Minister’s focus on photo ops instead of vaccines.

LEON DELANEY, HOST: The Federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, is today at some point introducing a motion into the federal parliament to seek the restoration of territory rights in matters of determining assisted dying laws. Andrew Leigh is on the phone now. Good afternoon.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Good to be with you.

DELANEY: Thanks for joining us. Have you, in fact, presented your motion as yet?

LEIGH: I have. It was debated at 11 o'clock this morning and it's now up to the Government as to whether they'll bring it on for debate. It's high time we got this thing fixed, Leon. It's been a quarter of a century since parliament took away the rights for Canberrans to have euthanasia debated by our local Assembly. Since then we've seen three states go ahead and enact euthanasia laws, and yet 700,000 Territorians aren't able to have their parliaments debate the issue.

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Time parliament gave territories back their power to legislate on euthanasia - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 MAY 2021

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I move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997 (known as the Andrews Bill) amended the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 and the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 to deprive these two legislative assemblies of the power to make laws relating to euthanasia;

(b) the Government of Prime Minister Howard justified this at the time as a constraint on young jurisdictions that were seen to be moving ahead of the broader public mood;

(c) when the Andrews Bill curtailed the right of territories to make laws relating to euthanasia, no other state or territory legislature had conducted a debate on similar laws;

(d) polls of public attitudes to doctor-led voluntary assisted dying suggest that support was in the high sixties in the 1980s, in the mid to high seventies in the 1990s, and in the low eighties in the past two decades;

(e) in recent years all state legislatures have debated legislation around voluntary assisted dying, with Victoria and Western Australia legalising voluntary assisted dying, and New South Wales and South Australia rejecting legalisation, while Queensland and Tasmania have processes ongoing;

(f) the anachronistic Andrews Bill means that a quarter of a century since it was passed, 700,000 Australians who live in the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory are still unable to participate in a democratic process to resolve community approaches to euthanasia;

(g) repealing the Andrews Bill would return to territories legal powers that are held by other Australian jurisdictions; and

(h) restoring territory rights does not direct that either territory legislature should consider legislating on euthanasia, it merely allows them to do so if their properly elected representatives decide it appropriate;

(2) acknowledges that:

(a) in each of the last two terms of parliament the Government has blocked debate on private Members' bills that would restore territory rights; and

(b) while senators have debated and voted on related legislation, members of the House of Representatives have been prevented from expressing their views on this issue; and

(3) calls on the Government to:

(a) explain why, in 2021, two mature legislative jurisdictions are still singled out as unworthy of legislative self-determination;

(b) commit to introduce legislation into the House of Representatives that would grant territorians legislative equality with Australians in other jurisdictions; and

(c) restore the right of territories to determine their own laws on euthanasia.

Yesterday I met with Katarina Knowles, who lost her father, Nebojsa Pavkovic, to Parkinson's disease.

 

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Israel and Palestine - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 24 MAY 2021

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Ido Avigal, 5

Nadine Awad, 16

Ahmad Tanani, 2

9-month-old Mohammad Dayyeh

Hoor al-Zamli, 2

6-month-old Ibrahim al-Rantisi

9-month-old Mohammad al-Attar

Buthaina Obaid, 6

Yamen Hatab, 5

Adam al-Qawlaq, 3

Lana Ishkantna, 5

Mina Sharir, 2

3-month-old Yazan al-Masry

These are just some of the innocent Palestinian and Israeli children killed in recent fighting.

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Territories’ right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying - Transcript, ABC Radio Canberra

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC RADIO CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY

MONDAY, 24 MAY 2021

SUBJECTS: Territories’ right to legislate on voluntary assisted dying.

ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Federal Labor Member for Fenner. He's planning on moving a motion in Parliament that would assert the ACT's right to govern for itself, including on the issue of voluntary assisted dying. Andrew Leigh, good morning to you. Thanks for your time.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Adam. I loved your introduction there, talking about a young child. You know, you think about the ACT Assembly being eight years old when the Andrews Bill was passed, taking away the power to legislate over euthanasia, and as you say it's now a grown-up jurisdiction. It's in its 30s with all the maturities of the state parliaments, half of which have passed laws enabling euthanasia.

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Labor is the party of jobs and better wages - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2SM MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 18 MAY 2021

SUBJECTS: Indigenous Marathon Foundation; Government’s vaccine rollout failure; climate change and jobs policy; National Volunteer Week; funding for National Archives.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Welcome to the program, If you're just tuning in on this very chilly Tuesday morning. Let's go to Canberra, Andrew Leigh is there. Andrew, good morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day Marcus. It's great to be with you. 

PAUL: Thank you, mate. I think it's cold here in Sydney Town, but I've lived in Canberra. Tell me, brass monkey stuff, we had a -3 degree morning the other morning. How is it today? 

LEIGH: Well, it's great if you've got the right clothes, Marcus. The key to Canberra winter is to have a good lot of jumpers. If you're running, make sure you’ve got the leggings and the hats and the gloves, and then it's beautiful. 

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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.