Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

It is rare that we have an opportunity in this place to cast a conscience vote. It occurs about once every term of parliament, the most recent being the marriage equality vote. In an era in which Australians are increasingly becoming disconnected from politicians, in which the levels of trust in government are waning, I chose to use this conscience vote as an opportunity to engage in a deliberative democracy exercise in the electorate of Fenner.

I acknowledge the member for McMahon, who alerted me to the fact that this bill, the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve's Law) Bill 2021, was to come before the House, and, as a result of that conversation, I collaborated with the University of Canberra's Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance and the Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability at Ohio State University to put in place a series of town hall meetings, one online and one face to face, with randomly selected constituents in Fenner to flesh out the issues around mitochondrial donation and to inform my decision.

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Pork barrelling - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

Belconnen Tennis Club was just one of hundreds of sporting clubs across Australia whose application under the sports grants program was highly rated by the department yet was not funded by the minister. Of the almost 700 programs in this hundred-million-dollar allocation, almost half, according to the Auditor-General, fell below the cut-off from the department.

Today, we've had an analysis by the Australia Institute researchers Hannah Melville-Rea, Robyn Seth-Purdie and Bill Browne of some $3.9 billion across seven grants programs. It finds that funding clearly favoured coalition seats, with marginal coalition seats receiving $184 a person while safe Labor seats received $39 a person. In terms of the national grants programs, they identified 13 seats that received zero funding, including my own electorate of Fenner. It's no surprise that a majority of those 13 seats are Labor seats.

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Stuart Macintyre - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

The Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Bill 2021 is a bill relating to meetings and documents. I hope the House might indulge me for a moment in speaking about a great Australian historian who produced more documents than pretty much anyone else in the business. A week ago Australia lost Stuart Macintyre, someone who was one of our great national storytellers. He was a fellow of the Academy of the Humanities and of the Academy of the Social Sciences, where he served at its president. He served as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and published a spate of deeply researched books, including The Reds, The History Wars, Winners and Losers and Australia's Boldest Experiment. As Janet McCalman noted in an article about him for the Conversation:

He was assiduous. He always answered letters and later, emails, immediately. He was a close and constructive critic of his students' work and a dedicated supervisor.

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Juvenile Arthritis - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

In 2016 I got a call from my friends Macgregor Duncan and Tanya Dmitronow about their one-year-old son, Leo. They told me that he had been diagnosed with juvenile polyarticular arthritis. This meant that he had many severely swollen joints, including his ankles, knees and fingers. Leo was in a lot of pain, and a little boy who had been crawling had now ceased crawling after weeks of testing in hospital. My friends knew that if his arthritis went without proper treatment it would probably mean permanent disability, a life of pain and possibly even blindness.

Soon after he was diagnosed my friends returned to Australia from the United States, where they had been living, and they were struck by the lack of attention to or resources for juvenile arthritis sufferers in Australia compared to the United States. As others have mentioned, juvenile arthritis affects just as many children as does juvenile diabetes, and many times more than have cystic fibrosis, and yet across the nation there are only 22 paediatric rheumatologists, limited community awareness and support, and little research funding.

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Do nothing Government needs to be held to account - Transcript, 2SM Mornings

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 30 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison hiding from scrutiny and from doing his job; Real wages falling on Scott Morrison’s watch as petrol prices and housing skyrocket; Social media reform and Scott Morrison’s inaction on misinformation within his own party.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Every Tuesday we catch up with the Federal Member for Fenner. It is Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus.

PAUL: Nice to chat. Now it's becoming highly likely that we will have a budget before the next election, that was always going to be the case.

LEIGH: Yes, but the parliamentary sitting schedule next year is remarkably thin, Marcus. It looks like they've got a budget scheduled at the end of March and right through the first three months of the next year, they've got just ten sitting days-

PAUL: Ten for the House of Reps and five for the Senate. Am I right?

LEIGH: It's just extraordinary. Scott Morrison is paid to be the nation's number one parliamentarian, but he doesn't seem to want to turn up to do his job. He's the top parliamentarian in the country and he's constantly trashing parliament. Constantly saying, ‘this is a Canberra bubble, no one worries about what happens here’. And frankly, if he doesn't want the job, he should hand over to somebody who is keen and capable to do it. This is the government which, you know, ought to be called the ‘gonna’ government: they're gonna do this, they're gonna do that, gonna put in place a national integrity commission, gonna do something about social media. But what actually have they done? I mean, their achievements are preciously thin. That's why they don't want to sit next year because all that happens when they’ve got Parliament sitting is you've got Liberals attacking Nationals and Nationals attacking Nationals.

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Has there ever been a worse government for young Australians? - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

If there's ever been a worse government for young Australians, I am yet to hear of it. The fact is that the Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison governments have overseen a deterioration in the living standards of young Australians that is unprecedented in Australian history. A number of years ago Jennifer Rayner wrote Generation Less in which she catalogued the ways in which life has become harder for young Australians.

Rejecting the common view that things are always tough when you're young and young people in Australia don't know how good they have it, Jennifer Rayner instead goes through the statistics. She starts with getting into work, pointing out that underemployment rates are at record levels. It used to be very rare for young people to leave university and be unable to get a full-time job. But, increasingly now, that's a common experience. We're seeing young people graduating from university, going into part-time work, wanting more hours and being unable to get them.

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Australia has a competition problem - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 29 NOVEMBER 2021

Australia has a competition problem. Work by the Treasury authored by Jonathan Hambur and others has shown that we've seen an increase in mark-ups over recent years. Work by the industry department led by Sasan Bakhtiari has shown we have seen a rise in market concentration. The ACCC told the House economics committee:

We agree the economy is too concentrated.

Under the Liberals' watch, large firms have gotten larger and the start-up rate has fallen. The Australian economy is becoming too concentrated by a small number of large firms. Indeed, you can play the dinner party game: 'Name us a handful of Australian industries that are not dominated by a handful of big firms.' This isn't just an issue of supermarkets and banks. It's not just an issue of telecommunications. It's an issue that goes as far as baby food, beer, internet service providers and department stores.

As the ACCC told the House economics committee, it has not won a contested merger for a quarter of a century. That's why you've had the ACCC head, Rod Sims, calling on the government to engage in a sensible conversation about Australia's merger laws and whether they're fit for purpose. But, instead, the government has ruled out that conversation entirely. It's not interested. It's not interested in having a conversation with the competition regulator and the Australian people about making sure that our markets are more competitive.

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Labor will fund and protect our ABC - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 25 NOVEMBER 2021

If there's one thing that sums up the ABC to me, it's the Andrew Olle 'Mm.' I remember in my childhood listening to Andrew Olle doing interviews with political figures on both sides and he had an uncanny ability to say the word 'Mm' in a way that indicated that he'd heard you but didn't necessarily agree.

Those conversations between Andrew Olle and Paul Lyneham really shaped my view of politics growing up. I was extraordinarily proud watching Emma Alberici quiz Sergey Lavrov on the ABC. And all Canberrans were thankful, when bushfire smoke shrouded our city, for the constant stream of information that came from the ABC with Dan Bourchier and his team even relocating outside the studio when they were inundated with bushfire smoke.

Triple J and triple J unearthed have provided musical opportunities to countless young Australians. In my childhood when we lived in Indonesia Radio Australia was one of the key ways that many Indonesian villagers got information. ABC Online has spread information using new platforms. ABC data journalism is setting new standards, and Four Corners constantly sets the agenda.

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Senate rejects Coalition attack on charities - Media Release

SENATE REJECTS COALITION ATTACK ON CHARITIES

The Morrison Government’s latest attack on charities has been defeated in the Senate. By a vote of 24 to 19, the Senate has disallowed a regulation that would have hurt the charity sector.

The regulation was an attempt to give charity commissioner Gary Johns – a man who has attacked Beyond Blue and Recognise, and who once described Indigenous women as ‘cash cows’ – the power to deregister charities because he anticipates they will commit a summary offence.

In September, the regulation was condemned by a unanimous report from the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation (chaired by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells), which recommended that the Senate disallow it.

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Buy Now, Pay Later needs analysis - Transcript, 2GB Money News

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2GB MONEY NEWS
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021

SUBJECT: Buy Now, Pay Later.

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

BROOKE CORTE, HOST: Well, I mean, most of the Buy Now, Pay Later providers say they're not credit providers. Instead, they’re budgeting tools or cash flow managers, which I've always thought is kind of cute. Do you think there's truth in it or do you think it's spin?

LEIGH: They’ve attempted to stay out of the credit regulations by having limits on how much you're allowed to borrow, but I think we ought to just make sure that regulation is keeping up with technology. It's always the way - as technology advances, regulation needs to run to be there. And these new figures from the Commonwealth Bank suggest that if you want to get the whole picture, Brooke, you need to look not only at the default rates within the Buy Now, Pay Later product, but also how it might have downstream effects - how that might kick on to people being slow to pay their other bills.

CORTE: And is that what you think is happening?

LEIGH: That's certainly what the Commonwealth Bank data seems to suggest. You know, if you look at the share of customers in financial hardship: 4.9 per cent overall, 6.4 per cent among those who use Buy Now, Pay Later products. And the share who overdraw accounts and falling behind on repayments, again as you said, almost twice as large. So regulators need to be looking at the whole picture, and these data from the Commonwealth Bank are I think useful. Many people happily use Buy Now, Pay Later. It works well for them, doesn't cause any financial hardship issues. But I've certainly heard concerns among those who work with people in credit hardship, the consumer groups, that we need to make sure we're regulating carefully right across the products.

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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.