I chatted with Kieran Gilbert and Senator Mitch Fifield about the Coalition’s divided stance on Paid Parental Leave, and about my research on inequality in Australia.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.
On March 6 I visited the University of Canberra for the Inaugural NATSEM Lecture. I spoke on the topic of ‘Estimating Top Wealth Shares in Australia over the Past Century’.
Having recently been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, I’m looking to hire three staff members to work in my Parliament House office. I’m particularly looking for:
- an understanding of government legislation processes (ideally gleaned through time working in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet); and/or
- economic nous (experience working on a budget in the Commonwealth Treasury would be ideal)
Dry wit, a modicum of wisdom, a yen for hard work, and and an ability to pen sparkling prose to a tight deadline are all desirable qualities.
If you’re interested, please send a CV and covering email to andrew.leigh.mp asperand aph.gov.au. I’ll be moving fairly quickly – so the earlier, the better.
Update: I’ve now concluded the selection process. Thanks to the more than 50 people who took the trouble to apply – I’m sorry there were only a limited number of opportunities.
On ABC RN Drive yesterday, I spoke with Waleed Aly about the Labor leadership, and the importance of now focusing on Labor’s many reforms. Here’s a podcast.
With rain forecast all morning, we’ve decided to cancel today’s Welcoming the Babies. Apologies for any inconvenience.
With Valentine’s Day 2013 marking precisely seven months to the federal election, I thought it’d be fun to come up with a few #ElectionValentines (in the spirit of the #AuspolValentines tag that I ran on twitter last year).
Just put your message on Twitter with #ElectionValentines, and I’ll post the best ones here. Or if you’re not on Twitter, put your Election Valentine in the comments below.
And because Valentine’s Day is a time of love, no scratchy ones please.
A couple to get you started:
- You’ve got my first preference. #ElectionValentines
- Roses are red, violets are blue. You’ll always do better than my number two. #ElectionValentines
- At the end of the day, you’re the only soul that counts. #ElectionValentines
Others have joined in:
I spoke with both Mark Parton and Richard Glover about Australia’s gun buy-back program. We chatted about Philip Alpers’ new paper for a Baltimore gun summit, and some of the issues it raised. Can population growth explain the increase in the number of guns in Australia? And has the number of households with a gun increased? Have a listen…
On the first AM Agenda for the year, I spoke with host David Lipson and Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield about how the declining tax/GDP share affects the government’s bottom line, why a profits-based mining tax beats royalties, and the complexities of providing arms to Syrian rebels.
More Canberra public service job cuts promised by Tony Abbott this week. Mr Abbott said in a speech yesterday “Do we really need 20,000 more public servants in Canberra today than we had at the end of the Howard era? We don’t…”.
JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT
Andrew Leigh MP
Member for Fraser
Gai Brodtmann MP
Member for Canberra
23 November 2012
Abbott confirms plans to get rid of 20,000 jobs from the ACT
Tony Abbott has confirmed that a Federal Coalition government will get rid of 20,000 jobs in the ACT – potentially throwing our economy back into the same type of downturn we suffered when John Howard slashed the public sector in 1996. Continue reading ‘Abbott confirms plans to get rid of 20,000 jobs from the ACT’ »
Today on AM Agenda, Keiran Gilbert spoke with Kelly O’Dwyer and me about the complexities of asylum seeker policy
I recently surveyed the Fraser electorate on their experiences with local child care.
The headline results? Most people are happy with their child’s care, many still collect the Child Care Rebate either quarterly or annually despite fortnightly now being an option and it’s about a 50/50 split as to whether parents are prepared to pay higher fees for reduced staff turnover and higher salaries.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave a wonderful speech last night to the Community and Public Sector Union National Leaders’ Conference. I thought it was a lovely statement of the important role of unions and also the work done by public servants to assist the Australian community. As an Australian Labor Party politician from the ACT, these are two areas that are important to me and I thought I’d share the Prime Minister’s words here.
“A LIFE IN PUBLIC SERVICE”
CPSU NATIONAL CONFERENCE
28 AUGUST 2011
Yours is the model of a modern labour union.
Committed to the oldest union principles.
Sharing, sticking together, the strong in the workplace protecting the weak.
Continue reading ‘A Life in Public Service’ »
My latest survey is on Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake. I’m interested in hearing from everyone, although I will take particular note of the responses from the Fraser electorate (given that they’re the people I have the honour to represent). You can fill in the survey below:
On 20 July, I spoke to 60 ‘rising star’ academics at the ANU Crawford School’s Policy Priorities Luncheon. The theme of the session was: what is government NOT thinking about in public policy priorities over the next decade that it should be thinking about?
I had my first appearance on ABC News 24′s The Drum yesterday evening where I was fortunate enough to be able to talk about one of my favourite topics – why Canberra is the best city in Australia. We also discussed the COAG Business Advisory Forum, the efficiency of a carbon price compared with the complexity of paying polluters, and skills training.
Kieran Gilbert hosted Kelly O’Dwyer and me on the Sky AM Agenda program this morning. We discussed the Gillard Government’s ongoing committment to deregulation and meetings with business leaders today. Other items up for debate were monetary and fiscal policy and the carbon price and its reduction of complicated requirements for business.
With Chris Bourke MLA, I had the pleasure today of launching the gorgeous Frost Hollow to Forest Walk for the Friends of Aranda Bushland (more details here). Here’s a picture of me with FOAB stalwart Jean Geue.
I was on ABC 24′s Capital Hill program yesterday evening with Liberal MP Russell Broadbent, hosted by Lyndal Curtis. Topics discussed include the Gillard Government’s announcement of superfast broadband for 3.5 million homes and businesses, as well as budget priorities.
I was on the Sky News AM Agenda program this morning with Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer, hosted by Kieran Gilbert. We discussed the Gillard Government’s commitment to delivering a budget surplus and the values driving budget decisions, such as a commitment to a fair health system.
It was one of the scariest and most rewarding things I’ve done since entering politics. If you’d like to hear the story, you can listen to it here.
I spent today in the Jervis Bay Territory; a small pocket of Commonwealth-owned coastal land near Nowra. I spent my time meeting with local constituents and talking with the local school, and also had the chance to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant.
JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform
ANDREW LEIGH MP
Member for Fraser
Historic anniversary for Wreck Bay Land grant
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant, a significant anniversary for the local Aboriginal community.
Twenty-five years ago the then Hawke government handed back 403 hectares of land in Wreck Bay, in the Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, to the local Aboriginal community.
This historic event followed many years of negotiation and was a significant step in recognising traditional land and beginning a process of healing for the local Aboriginal community.
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said that since the land grant, the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council has worked hard to protect natural and cultural sites.
“The council has ensured their land has retained its rich variety of habitats, which provide a home for more than 200 species of birds, 30 species of land mammals and 180 species of fish,” Ms Macklin said.
“The council also continues to pass on traditional knowledge, ensuring that their rich cultural heritage is not lost.
“And by providing community services, education and training, supporting health needs, including aid and housing assistance, the council has helped to build a strong community.”
Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, joined the community for the anniversary celebrations and congratulated the Wreck Bay community and council for their hard work and dedication over the past 25 years.
“Today is a special day for the Wreck Bay community and I’m pleased to be able to share in the celebrations to mark this historic occasion,” Dr Leigh said.
“The Australian Government has provided $20,000 funding to support the events marking the anniversary of the Wreck Bay Land grant.”
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community was handed the land title in 1987 under the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay) Act 1986.
This follows on from the opening of Weeden Lodge at the University of Canberra last week. Both of these projects were funded through the National Rental Affordability Scheme, which has proven to be a great way to keep more Canberrans in work in the construction industry while also providing much-needed rental accommodation for students.
The media release is below.
CHIEF MINISTER FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
KATY GALLAGHER MLA
MINISTER FOR HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
HON. BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
MEMBER FOR FRASER
ANDREW LEIGH MP
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
550 more students to get affordable accommodation
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher today joined Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh and ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young in opening the Australian National University’s newest student accommodation – Lena Karmel Lodge, which will provide even more affordable accommodation for Canberra’s growing student population.
Located in the City West precinct, the development was supported by contributions from the ACT and Commonwealth governments through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“Just last week I was pleased to open Weeden Lodge – which is already home to up to 220 University of Canberra students in the refurbished Cameron Offices in Belconnen. It is great to follow that this week by opening Lena Karmel Lodge, for a further 550 ANU students.
“Both of these new spaces for students deliver an affordable accommodation option at a discounted rent of at least 20 per cent below the market rate. This means that studying in Canberra remains an attractive option for current and future students,” the Chief Minister said.
Minister for Housing Brendan O’Connor said Lena Karmel Lodge was part of the Gillard Government’s $4.3 billion investment to increase the supply of affordable housing across the nation through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“The Gillard Government recognises that people are struggling to find rental properties around Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.
“That’s why we are helping to build 50,000 new rental properties nationwide, allowing households to save thousands of dollars each year in rent.
“Investing in building projects like Lena Karmel Lodge also helps support local builders and tradies and keeps the economy strong,” Mr O’Connor said.
Dr Leigh said Lena Karmel Lodge was further evidence of the Gillard Government’s commitment to Canberra.
“Education is Canberra’s second largest export, and these extra beds mean we can continue to attract and educate Australia’s future workforce, while freeing up rental properties for other Canberrans,” Dr Leigh said.
As well as providing new accommodation for the 550 ANU students, the facilities also house a conference room, a cafeteria, small gym and ground floor shops.
The Chief Minister congratulated the ANU on nearing completion of its objective of building 1,033 new units through the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“Significant additions of student accommodation are not only important to the ANU, but also bolster Canberra’s reputation as one of Australia’s leading cities for obtaining further education.
“The Territory Government, together with the Commonwealth is extremely proud to have contributed to these affordable rental units, which will also help improve overall rental affordability, which means fewer students are competing for accommodation in the private rental market,” the Chief Minister concluded.
Amanda Rishworth and I appeared on the ABC News Breakfast program this morning talking about the resignation of Senator Mark Arbib and the future of the Gillard Government.
I was on Sky’s AM Agenda program this morning with Kelly O’Dwyer and hosted by Kieran Gilbert. Topics discussed today included contrasting the Labor Party’s strong record on economic and productivity with the Liberal Party’s plans to cut wages and conditions. We also talked about the Prime Minister’s statement on Closing the Gap.
At last weekend’s Canberra Multicultural Festival, I met Greg, a wardsman at the local hospital. He spoke with me about the importance of making long-term decisions for the sake of future generations.
To encourage more Australians to dive into a book, the federal government supports the National Year of Reading. There will be events in libraries, bookshops and community venues, working to raise reading levels across Australia. I was pleased today to attend the official launch by the Prime Minister, at the National Library.
Also, for dads with 3-5 year-old kids, Dickson Library are holding a reading event this Saturday. Details here.
With my annual Welcoming the Babies event less than three weeks away, parents intending to come should register their baby.
GO GA-GA …
IT’S WELCOMING THE BABIES
Andrew Leigh, Federal Member for Fraser is inviting locals to come along and celebrate the newest members of our community at the second annual Welcoming the Babies event on Sunday 4 March 2012 (10.30am to 12.30pm) at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park.
“I am proud to be holding my second Welcoming the Babies event and am looking forward to celebrating the day with parents and members of our community,” said Andrew Leigh.
The inaugural Welcoming the Babies held in 2011 had 150 people in attendance, including babies, their parents, and siblings.
Andrew Leigh invites parents to register babies up to 18 months of age, so that they can participate.
“As a father of two young boys I know how daunting it can be trying to get information about what’s out there. By bringing together the various services and organisations in one place we’re hoping to make looking after young ones that little bit easier,” said Andrew Leigh.
“It’s a chance for parents to find out the different things out there for them and it’s also a way for us to celebrate our youngest and cutest residents.
“Last year was a great success and was a fun filled day with face painting, balloons, and entertainment. I’m looking forward to an even bigger Welcoming the Babies this year.
“The event is also a reminder that we need supportive families and a strong community to give children the best opportunity in life,” said Andrew Leigh.
Parents wishing to register their babies should email andrew.leigh.mp < at > aph.gov.au or call 6247 4396 with the name of their baby and their contact details.
All members of the community are invited to come along and help celebrate Welcoming the Babies.
For more information and background, you can find details on last year’s event on Andrew Leigh’s blog: http://www.andrewleigh.com/blog/?p=695
I was on ABC News Breakfast this morning, my first time on this particular program but with the familiar antagonist Kelly O’Dwyer. Topics included Australia’s strong economy and the Coalition’s plans to deny personal income tax cuts, but instead give them to big miners and big polluters.
Today I opened the ‘Snakes Alive’ exhibition, an annual display of snakes and other reptiles and amphibians put on the the ACT Herpetological Association. As part of the opening event, they put a snake in my arms which was perhaps one of the more unusual experiences I’ve had since becoming a parliamentarian.
It’s a fun event with lots of hands-on activities and hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens. My boys came along with me today and were fascinated by the snakes and loved being told about the different species, what they ate, and where they live.
My media release for the event is below.