Commonwealth should give back the territories' power to legislate for themselves on euthanasia

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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It's time parliament gave the territories back their power to legislate on euthanasia

IT’S TIME PARLIAMENT GAVE THE TERRITORIES BACK THEIR POWER TO LEGISLATE ON VOLUNTARY EUTHANASIA

FEDERATION CHAMBER

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

MONDAY, 24 MAY 2021

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

 

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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90-second statement on Israel and Palestine

90-SECOND STATEMENT ON ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

MONDAY, 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

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

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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Labor thanks Australia's 6 million volunteers

LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS

SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNITIES AND THE PREVENTION OF FAMILY VIOLENCE

ANDREW LEIGH
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES

LABOR THANKS AUSTRALIA’S 6 MILLION VOLUNTEERS

 

National Volunteers Week gives us all a chance to celebrate the organisations working to build stronger and more inclusive communities. Federal Labor is marking the start of National Volunteers Week by thanking the nearly 6 million volunteers across Australia.

 

Volunteering and volunteers make a valuable contribution to communities around Australia: bringing people together through sport; supporting fellow Australians during emergencies; and building social capital and cohesion in community groups. Our communities are healthier, happier and more resilient when these bonds of support are strong.

 

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Your Car Your Choice Finally Enacted

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

THURSDAY, 13 MAY 2021

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

I rise to speak on the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Information Sharing Scheme) Bill 2021 and I move the second reading amendment that has been circulated in my name:

That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House notes that the Government's unnecessary delays in delivering a level playing field for independent mechanics have hurt small businesses and consumers".

It was Mother's Day 2018, at JAX Tyres in Essendon, when the former Leader of the Opposition and I announced Labor's 'Your Car, Your Choice' policy. We announced that, following the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's 2017 report—its New car retailing industry market study—Labor would put in place a mandatory code requiring manufacturers to share with independent mechanics the information they need to fix modern cars.

 

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Government has a credibility deficit to go with their budget deficit

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABD RADIO PERTH MORNINGS WITH NADIA MITSOPOLOUS

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY 2021
 
SUBJECTS: Budget 2021
 
NADIA MITSOPOLOUS, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh, good morning to you.

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

 

MITSOPOLOUS: Does this budget, and the huge social investment, earn your praise?

 

LEIGH: Well, this is a trillion dollars of debt and so little to show for it, Nadia. You don't have the investment in climate change, you don't have proper solutions to aged care, such as the 24/7 nurses that the Royal Commission recommended, and you've got some real oddities. Roe 8 is still in the budget, costing $1.2 billion, despite the fact that the people of Western Australia have voted against it at the last two state elections. You don't have funding for a Headspace Centre in the Perth CBD. I was talking to Patrick Gorman this morning and he will continue to campaign strongly on that. He can't see why you'd be creating more Headspace Centres and not putting one in the Perth CBD. The budget doesn't tell us how much Christian Porter spent on supporting Clive Palmer's High Court challenge to Western Australia's border closure. There are really big questions that the budget fails to answer.

 

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Supporting Universities

Speech - House of Representatives - 12 May 2021

Historically, education has been at the heart of nation-building. After World War II it was key reforms initiated by Labor governments that saw education levels rise and the creation of the Australian National University. In the early 1990s, it was the Keating government that saw a massive increase in the school completion rate. Yet in last night's budget there was no increase to research block grants and nothing of note for the universities, save for one million dollars to support industry PhDs and some additional flexibility for student visa holders. For the Australian National University, this means they've lost one in 10 staff and potentially stand to see the closure of their neuroscience department. 

As Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt has pointed out, the hit to universities' revenue could be in the billions of dollars. But the government can solve this. It needs to get vaccination and quarantine right; work with universities, not against them; set aside the culture wars; and invest in the productive capacity of the Australian economy. We need more investment in research rather than the mindless cuts that could see the Australian National University forced to close its neuroscience faculty. Labor will be on the side of universities. We call on the government to do the same.

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JobKeeper Waste, Transactional Politics and Curtin's Vision

Speech - Matter of Public Importance - House of Representatives - 12 May 2021

The Australian Club is an exclusive men's-only club in Sydney. Despite it being 2021, they still don't admit women as members. Last year, they doubled their surplus, thanks in part to $2 million from the government's JobKeeper program. Accent Group, the shoe seller, paid their CEO a million-dollar bonus, boosted their profits and delivered, through dividends, $11 million to billionaire Brett Blundy. They've gotten $45 million through JobKeeper, and they won't pay a cent of it back. The car dealer AP Eagers turned a $200 million profit. Their dividends will deliver $17 million to billionaire Nick Politis, but they won't return their $130 million in JobKeeper.

Then there's Best & Less. Their profits are up, but, because they're doing a sale, they've actually come clean with investors. They have said to investors that JobKeeper was a sugar hit, directly delivering more than $20 million to their budget bottom line. I imagine Best & Less are thinking, 'You only get one Morrison government in your lifetime, and we've had ours.'

Then there's Premier Investments. They may have received as much as $110 million in JobKeeper. They set a record profit and paid their CEO a $2.5 million bonus, more than most Australians earn in a lifetime. They paid a stonking dividend, of which billionaire Solomon Lew will get a sizable whack, and are refusing to repay the bulk of their JobKeeper.

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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.