5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s crackdown on charities.
LEON BYNER, HOST: The head of Barnardos, very famous charity, says that misguided legislation giving the regulator new powers to investigate and deregister charities will put vulnerable children in danger. Now, one political party - One Nation - has been accused of helping the Coalition to silence Australian charities after pledging support for a plan crackdown on the sector. Now I'm going to pick the brain of someone today who I think is one of the finest economic minds in the country. He's a former professor of economics at the Australian National University. He's been a Member of Parliament for a while. His name is Dr Andrew Leigh, and he is the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities. Andrew, thanks for coming on today.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Leon.
BYNER: Do we need to crack down?
LEIGH: Not at all. The chances of a charity being deregistered for illegal activity are about the chances of the typical Australian being convicted of murder this year: pretty low. The fact is that this is a solution in search of a problem. The government has been out there consistently trying to reduce the voices of charities in the public debate, because they don't like being criticised. And yet charities, as you know Leon, one of their main roles is participating in the public debate-Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Vaccine mandates and Scott Morrison losing control of his Senators; Scott Morrison’s dog whistling double speak; Scott Morrison’s latest lies about his Hawaii holiday; Labor’s push for same job, same pay laws.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh. Good morning, mate. How are you?
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific, Marcus. And you?
PAUL: Yeah, not bad. Well, that set the scene yesterday there in LEGO land in Canberra, Jacqui Lambie’s very passionate mandatory vaccine debate. Another day of fireworks expected in Parliament today. Let's dissect a little of what went on yesterday. Now obviously One Nation put this bill forward. Jacqui jumped up as we heard and had her say, and you know much I guess to the disgust of Pauline Hanson and others, including Matt Canavan and those who are fighting against these mandatory vaccines.
LEIGH: Five coalition members crossing the floor, and now George Christensen threatening to do the same, Marcus. It’s a government in disarray. Like you, I found Jacqui Lambie’s statements very persuasive, as did my Labor Senate colleagues who voted with the bulk of the government. This is a government that's lost control of its own backbench. It's not able to get on the same page on an issue as fundamental as vaccine mandates. You've got the Prime Minister looking to walk both sides of the street. He wants to take credit for the increase in vaccination rates across the nation, that have come partly as a result of vaccine mandates, and the decrease in spread that flows from having vaccine mandates in place. And yet he wants to play footsie with extremists and therefore won't come out and take a clear position on vaccine mandates.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 NOVEMBER 2021
In his book, “On BS”, Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt distinguished between three kinds of people. The honest care that their statements are true. The liars care that theirs are false. The BS artist does not care. He is neither on the side of truth or falsehood. He peddles hokum, balderdash, humbug, claptrap.
On the vaccine roll out, the Prime Minister said it wasn’t a race, then falsely claimed that he’d been talking about vaccine regulation. After being accused of mendacity by Macron, he wrongly accused journalists of taking selfies with the French leader, then falsely pretended the criticism was an attack on Australia.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 22 NOVEMBER 2021
Since this bill is about political campaigners, I want to use this opportunity to speak about a political campaigner in the ACT who recently passed. Jilpia Nappaljari Jones died on 28 October 2021. She was a great Canberran and a great political campaigner. Jilpia was a Walmajarri native title owner from the Great Sandy Desert who was part of the stolen generations. She was taken from her family at the age of five and raised by foster parents in Queensland. She trained as a nurse and in 1971 helped to form the first Aboriginal community controlled health service in Australia, which is now known as the Aboriginal Medical Service Redfern. She worked with Fred Hollows, Gordon Briscoe and the team at the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program. She studied at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. At the age of 50 she embarked on a new path, enrolling at the Australian National University. She graduated eight years later with majors in political science and history. In that year, 2003, she was made a Member of the Order of Australia and received an Australian Centenary Medal. She went on to work for AIATSIS, researching First Nations health, and made a gigantic contribution to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout the continent.
Jilpia was a political campaigner. She worked on the political campaign of my friend Chris Burke as well as being a strong supporter of the Labor Party here in the ACT. One of the Labor Party activists, Leah Dwyer, said that Jilpia always insisted that she call young party members—migaloos—'Bub', as we were, in Leah's words, ‘all part of her family, at the same table and in the same fight for equality and justice’. Jilpia went through extraordinary hardship in her own life but turned that into energy to campaign for a more just Australia. I acknowledge her here in the parliament and recognise the immense loss that her partner, John Thompson, must be feeling.Read more
5AA MORNINGS WITH LEON BYNER
WEDNESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2021
LEON BYNER, HOST: Our next guest is one of the finest economic minds in the Australian Parliament. He’s an author, a lawyer, former professor of economics at the ANU, and his opinion on these matters is always very well researched and very easy to understand. He makes the point that publicly listed companies, SA companies received almost - listen to this - $55 million in JobKeeper payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. That supported something like 2500 jobs, but only $5.2 million has been repaid. So what can be done about this? Let's talk to the federal Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury, Dr Andrew Leigh. Andrew, it’s good to talk to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Terrific to talk to you, Leon.
BYNER: Is there nothing in legislation that can force this? Do we have to rely on goodwill?
LEIGH: No one's going to be forcing companies to pay back, Leon. But I think it is important that companies that saw their revenues rise look at their corporate social responsibility statements. So many of them have warm and fuzzy corporate social responsibility statements. They say ‘we're not just here for our shareholders, we're also out there to do good in the community’. Well, one way you can do that, if your revenues have gone up, is to voluntarily make a repayment. Some South Australian companies really needed JobKeeper. It was absolutely essential, which is why Labor called for it in the first place. But others got it despite having their revenues going up, and that wasn't why the program was designed. They might have thought they needed it at the start, but at the end of the pandemic they might now look back and think about doing the right thing by the community.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Climate change; Vaccine hesitancy; Populism; Grease: The Musical.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Every Tuesday on the program, we catch up with the federal Member for Fenner and talk a little politics. Andrew Leigh. Good morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. Great to be with you.
PAUL: You too. One thing - yesterday, Scott Morrison said he was the underdog. He said he's used to being the underdog, and that's how he believes he will operate leading into the next federal election probably inside the next four to five months. What say you?
LEIGH: Scott Morrison will say anything in order to spin his way out of the situation. And frankly, right now, he just wants to change the subject. He’s come out of a shocking experience in Glasgow, in which the government signed up to an agreement which said that they would improve their 2030 targets next year, and then came home to Australia and said ‘no, I’m doing anything of the sort’. Meanwhile, he's got his deputy prime minister saying that the Nationals didn't sign up to the COP26 agreement. Last time I checked the Nationals were part of the government. So this is a government in utter disarray, led by an ad man who is great with a slogan, but not much with the follow through.
PAUL: Should he be censoring Craig Kelly? He relies on Craig Kelly's vote. Craig Kelly has been down there in Melbourne, I think inciting some of the behaviour we’ve been seeing with these protests. I mean, does he need to pull Craig Kelly up finally?
LEIGH: I think it’s pretty clear that if this was Adam Bandt leading the protests, then Scott Morrison would be out there vociferously criticising him. But when it’s someone from his own camp, then he’s pretty reluctant. Craig Kelly’s only in Parliament because Scott Morrison stepped in to save his preselection at the last election. If not for that, Craig Kelly would not be a member of parliament. So he’s very much a creation of Scott Morrison’s and he continues to vote very strongly with the government.Read more
2CC CANBERRA LIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
MONDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: University cuts.
LEON DELANEY, HOST: Joining me now, the federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you.
DELANEY: Obviously the ANU has a terrific reputation. It's a hard-earned, hard-won reputation. But why is that at risk now, do you think?
LEIGH: Leon, ANU departments take decades to build up, but they can be lost in just a matter of years if funding is cut and they're forced to close. What we've seen with ANU is the government take away support, cut funding to universities at the very time of which they're losing their international student body. And so that's really thrown a whole lot of jobs out the door. We've seen the ANU literally decimated - lose one in 10 of its staff - but also real threats to the research capability of the university. We turned to universities to come up with solutions to COVID, and yet at the very same time we’re taking resources away from them.
DELANEY: I am very impressed by the fact that you actually know the literal meaning of decimated.
THURSDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECT: The Morrison Government’s mismanagement of JobKeeper.
LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: But this morning, I can give you more publicly available information about JobKeeper today. We promised our listeners we would stay across this, try to monitor any news that we can to follow the dribble of extraordinary public money, taxpayers money that went to companies that really did not need it. Now first, the good news this morning. Maggie Beer Holdings has announced it has repaid every single cent it received, some $820,500 in total, all of it going back to the Treasury. And just another reason I reckon to scoff a tub of Maggie Beer burnt fig ice-cream this morning. So more power to them and a great result there. On a negative note today we've learned that the plus size fashion retailer City Chic has so far held onto every cent of the $7.2 million it was paid over the 2020-2021 financial years, despite booking 135 per cent increase in net profits. Just think about that for a moment. City Chic got 7.2 million in taxpayer assistance - that's welfare - while it expanded into Europe, acquired the German based retailer Navabi back in July and expanded into the UK in December with the purchase of the Evans brand. City Chic has declined to comment. What a surprise. The other news today is that one of the country's biggest pathology companies has pocketed more than $12 million in JobKeeper payments from you, the taxpayer, even though its profits have topped $100 million since the pandemic started. Australian Clinical Labs is the company. Over the past two financial years they've had after tax profits of $11.7 million and $88.7 million respectively. Over that time JobKeeper payments accounted for after tax profits of $12.5 million. The opposition politician who refuses to give up on this is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Liam. Great to be chatting with you.
BARTLETT: This would be comical, if it was not such a disgraceful waste of public money. So here's a pathology company involved in COVID testing during a pandemic, copping all this money. It is truly ridiculous, Andrew.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: Scott Morrison’s failure to act on climate change; Labor’s plans to address climate change and create jobs; the need for a strong federal corruption watchdog; allegations against Michael Sukkar.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Good morning, Andrew.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Morning, Marcus. How are you?
PAUL: Not bad. Soon. [laughs] Dear oh deary me. It was a straightforward question. Back on October 27, the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison said he would release, you know, some detail into net zero and the policy, how we get there, what the modelling was, the costs were. But when asked yesterday, again quite arrogantly, he said ‘soon’.
LEIGH: And this is modelling, Marcus, which other countries released years ago when they set about putting in place targets for their 2030 emissions reduction. Britain's just announced they're going to have a 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030. Australia's still got Tony Abbott’s old 26 per cent reduction targets - the same carbon targets set by the bloke who called climate change ‘absolute crap’. And if climate change continues unchecked, it’s Australia that will cop the effect of it much worse than Britain. We're going to lose the Great Barrier Reef and the wonderful tourist destination that it is. The extreme weather events will be much more severe for Australia than for many other advanced countries. So we ought to be out there leading. We should be proud of releasing modelling, not kind of hiding it like some guilty kid trying to come up with an excuse for not having done their homework.Read more
THURSDAY, 4 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: The Morrison Government’s mismanagement of JobKeeper; Scott Morrison’s double standards in chasing down debts from social security recipients; the cashless debit card; the Morrison Government’s failure to provide transparency over JobKeeper spending.
LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: A lot of these revelations, the new revelations in the past month or so that we've spoken about on the program, I've got to say have only come about because of fresh analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office, PBO. and that's been carried out on the back of constant questioning from federal Labor MP Andrew Leigh, who's also the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. He joins us again. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G'day Liam, great to be with you and your listeners.
BARTLETT: Andrew, I'm not giving you that sort of leg up for any other reason - and you could be, you know, a member for the Green Vegetarian Society for all I care - but it's only been that constant haranguing that has got these figures out. They are startling, aren't they, still?
LEIGH: It's a stonking amount of money, Liam. Look at the amount that was given to firms with rising revenue - we now know that to be $20 billion over the course of a year-long scheme. For every Australian household, that's $2,000. Imagine your typical Aussie household sitting down tonight, they say 'we've got a spare $2,000, what do we spend it on?' Maybe it's going to be fixing the roof. Maybe it's going to be buying the kids some new school shoes. Maybe it'll be a holiday or a donation to charity. I don't think many Australian households would say 'let's take that $2,000, go and find a big firm whose revenues are rising, and plonk it down and give it to them.' That's effectively what Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison did on our behalf.Read more