Government waste on colossal scale - Transcript, Sky News First Edition

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

TV INTERVIEW

SKY NEWS FIRST EDITION

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed; Tax cuts; the Morrison Government’s poor plans for workers.

PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: There are fresh concerns this morning, one fifth of JobKeeper payments made to major listed companies in the second quarter of 2020 went to firms who grew their profits during the pandemic. Joining me live now is Labor MP, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good to see you. Thanks for joining us this morning.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Pleasure, Pete.

STEFANOVIC: So what is your issue with this?

LEIGH: JobKeeper was meant to keep battlers in jobs, not to have money flowing to billionaire shareholders to buy the next yacht. And this new report shows really troubling findings about the extent to which JobKeeper was going to firms whose profits were rising. Think of firms like Harvey Norman or Premier Investments, big retailers who saw the best ever sales in 2020. Firms like that didn't need JobKeeper, and this report suggests that about a fifth of the money could have been going to firms with rising profits. We only know about the listed companies because the government hasn't released the rest of the information. But if this is true across the entire program, Pete, that means more than $10 billion was wasted. That's money that could extend JobKeeper for another six months right now.

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Morrison's JobKeeper waste exposed - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

THURSDAY, 18 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: Morrison Government’s JobKeeper waste exposed; the need for Indigenous recognition.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: One fifth of JobKeeper payments to major listed companies in the second half of last year went to firms who grew profits during the pandemic, sparking fresh concerns the $83 billion scheme has been abused by parts of corporate Australia. Is it any wonder the critics have called JobKeeper in some form corporate welfare? Fresh analysis from corporate governance advisory firm Ownership Matters has shown 66 of the Australian stock exchange's top 300 companies claimed a total of $1.38 billion in JobKeeper payments for the six months to the end of December. Of those, 58 reported positive profit figures during the period, and around half or 34 companies told investors their underlying earnings had improved. Now our #JobKeeperWarrior on this issue, of course, is Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning to you mate.

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

PAUL: Thank you. Look, the irony of course - I'm reading the story on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘business profits in a welfare rainbow’, right underneath is a half-page advertisement for Harvey Norman. 60 months interest free, no deposit, no interest. Would have cost-

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JobKeeper waste could cost 250,000 jobs - Media Release

JOBKEEPER WASTE COULD COST 250,000 JOBS

A new report from Ownership Matters today analyses ASX300 firms that received JobKeeper subsidies in the second half of 2020. It finds that one-fifth of the JobKeeper they received went to entities that reported an increase in their underlying earnings metrics from pre-pandemic levels.

This is a shocking waste. JobKeeper was suppose to support firms that were suffering. JobKeeper was never meant to go to firms whose profits were rising.

The Treasurer has refused to release data on overall JobKeeper payments. If the pattern identified by Ownership Matters holds up for firms outside the ASX300, then it suggests that in the second half of 2020, almost $10 billion of JobKeeper went to firms whose profits rose.

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Canberra deserves better than PM's colour-coded spread sheets - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 17 MARCH 2021

In 2018-19, the Australian government ran a program known as the Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program. It had three rounds: December 2018, February 2019 and April 2019. According to the Australian National Audit Office, if the process was based purely on Sport Australia's assessed merit, applications would have been approved if they had a score over 74. However, the Audit Office found that 417 applications, 61 per cent of the total approved, had a score below that cut-off. That of course meant that many worthy projects missed out.

Last year, I tabled the full list of sports rorts grants, which included the Sport Australia scores. Among those were four Canberra projects which scored higher than 74 but were not funded.

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No place for bullying or sexual harassment in Labor - Transcript, 2CC Breakfast

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2CC STEPHEN CENATIEMPO BREAKFAST SHOW

WEDNESDAY, 17 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: The right for all women to feel safe and respected in the workplace; the need for an independent complaints process removed from the political parties; the Morrison Government’s inaction on the [email protected] recommendations; the need for men to call out bad behaviour in the workplace.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO, HOST: One man that is actually doing the right thing rather than trying to score points off this is Labor Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh, who hasn't been on the program for a while. Andrew, good to have you back.

ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: G’day, Stephen. Great to be with you, although happy to chat with you anytime, mate. Pick up the phone anytime you want to talk.

CENATIEMPO: And you're welcome here anytime you've got something to say. And look, I've been very, very critical of people trying to score cheap political points off what are some disgraceful allegations. You've actually come out and encouraged women within your own party to come forward and report any instances of harassment or abuse. And it turns out from a Facebook page that has seen the light of day recently that there is quite a number of them.

LEIGH: These allegations were pretty horrific to me, Steve, and I certainly don't want to be in a Labor Party that has in it people who bully their staff. We're a party that believes in workers’ rights, and that's got to go beyond policies that advance workers’ rights - it's also got to be reflected in how we treat our own staff. We need to be a model employer. In that sense, anyone that's doing the wrong thing by their staff needs to be called out, needs to have their behaviour pulled into line.

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Morrison too small for the moment - Transcript, 2SM with Marcus Paul

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

RADIO INTERVIEW

2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING

TUESDAY, 16 MARCH 2021

SUBJECTS: March For Justice and the Prime Minister’s insufficient response; the right for all women to feel safe and respected in the workplace; the Morrison Government’s inaction on the [email protected] recommendations; the Morrison Government withdrawing support for workers too soon.

MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Andrew Leigh, good morning to you, mate.

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

PAUL: Thank you, you too. Let's talk first about the Women's March. What did you make of yesterday?

LEIGH: It was a real moment in history, Marcus. Over 5,000 people gathered outside Parliament House and just to walk among the marchers was to feel that you were part of a real moment in history. I think the Prime Minister doesn't quite understand what's going on, when he meets such an extraordinarily powerful upswelling of passion, emotion and reason with a little response when he said in Parliament ‘not far from here, such matters even now are being met with bullets’. You know, it’s just-

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Government needs to get tough on BonusKeeper billionaires - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 MARCH 2021

At the outset, I thank the member for Solomon for agreeing to trade places in this debate so I can perform my House chamber duty.

It is a pleasure to follow the member for Goldstein, who was attacked over the weekend by his former leader, Malcolm Turnbull, who described the member for Goldstein's campaign for young Australians to be poorer in retirement so they can overheat the housing market as 'the craziest idea I've heard'. He went on to say:

Isn’t it … somewhat patronising for people who benefit from 15.4 per cent super to say that working people should settle for 9.5 ...

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Aussies don't need more irresponsible lending - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 MARCH 2021

Credit for the most awkward photo opportunity of recent years must go to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and that moment when he was accepting the Hayne royal commission report. It was very clear that Treasurer Frydenberg wanted to wrap his arms around Kenneth Hayne and get a full endorsement for his economic policies. He didn't get that, and he hasn't returned it.

Despite the government saying at the time that they received the royal commission report that they would act on all its recommendations, there's now a bill before the House—the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Supporting Economic Recovery) Bill 2020—which sees the Morrison Government going against recommendation 1.1. That's it. The number one recommendation of the Hayne royal commission—don't water down responsible lending laws. What are we doing today? We're debating the Morrison Government's attempt to water down responsible lending laws.

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Time to listen and act - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 MARCH 2021

In more than 40 events across Australia today, tens of thousands of women gathered to call for independent investigations into gendered violence, full implementation of the 2020 [email protected] report, additional funding for gendered violence prevention and a federal gender equality law.

Outside this building, more than 5000 people rallied. Some Canberrans shared their stories and their frustrations with my staff and myself.

These are their words.

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Liberals' petty, vindictive, ideological campaign - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 15 MARCH 2021

I'm the current member for Fenner and the former member for Fraser, unlike Daniel Mulino, who is the current member for Fraser. It's a matter which sometimes causes confusion in this place. Confusion is also clearly present in the minds of those listening to Liberals taking credit for a banking royal commission that they voted against 26 times.

The coalition speakers on this bill have all cast votes against a banking royal commission. The current Prime Minister called it a 'reckless populist whinge'. At least Malcolm Turnbull had the honour to stand up and say that he was wrong in opposing a banking royal commission. I haven't heard that from the current Prime Minister. The delays in the banking royal commission caused excessive pain for the victims of misconduct in the financial sector, and no-one now thinks that the banking royal commission was a mistake.

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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.