Andrew Leigh ... The ACT MP is Labor's new shadow assistant treasurer. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Canberra MP Andrew Leigh has been promoted to a shadow ministry position on the Labor frontbench announced on Friday by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Dr Leigh, the Member for Fraser, becomes the shadow assistant treasurer in the new line-up.
ACT Labor Senator Kate Lundy, the former sports minister, has been dumped from Labor’s frontbench.
Dr Leigh, a Harvard-educated economics professor and author, fills a frontbench position for a non-aligned caucus member. Dr Leigh was first elected in 2010 and served briefly as a parliamentary secretary to prime minister Julia Gillard but was demoted when Kevin Rudd returned to the ALP leadership.
“As shadow assistant treasurer, I’ll take particular responsibility for competition policy, the Productivity Commission, and tax law amendment bills that invariable come through the House,” he said immediately after his position was announced.
“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to serve as part of Labor’s economic team. Labor has a great economic story to tell and it’s important that we hold the government to account on good economic management.
“We’ve already seen [Treasurer] Joe Hockey flopping like a fish out of water.
“Before the election he said there was a budget emergency, now he’s wanting to get the ratings agencies to allow him to take on more debt.
“Before the election he was standing in front of debt trucks, after the election it seems he wants to look at reclassifying Australia’s debt so he can take on more.”
Dr Leigh is refusing to say whom he supported in Labor’s leadership ballot.
“I was quiet about that beforehand and I feel I should maintain my silence afterwards,” he said.
He repeated his disappointment that Senator Lundy was not included on Labor’s frontbench.
“These are matters of many good people wanting too few slots,” he said.
“Kate is an extraordinarily capable person and I was disappointed to see her miss out. I think she’s got a big role to play in the Labor opposition team.”