On Sky AM Agenda, I spoke with host Kieran Gilbert and Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield about the choice between economic debt of 10% of GDP and a social debt of 200,000 unemployed; about the government’s plans for better schools; and about the passing of former House Speaker Joan Child.
Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category.
In parliament today, I spoke about superannuation, and about aged care.
Superannuation Legislation Amendment (Reducing Illegal Early Release and Other Measures) Bill, 11 February 2013
In 1991, the then Prime Minister Paul Keating said of the superannuation guarantee:
‘It will make Australia a more equal place, a more egalitarian place and hence a more cohesive and happier place.’
We do not often talk about happiness and superannuation in the same breath, but I think we should, because a strong superannuation system is a system that ensures dignity in retirement. It ensures that Australian retirees can enjoy that extra grey nomad trip and the comfort of being able to spend time with loved ones without worrying about paying the bills. It ensures that generations that have given much to Australia enjoy the retirement to which they are entitled.
I have an opinion piece in the Australian today, continuing to prosecute the case that Labor is the true party of small-L liberalism in Australia (on the same theme, see also my first speech, this Global Mail article and this speech to Per Capita).
Liberals are conservatives while Labor is the true party of Alfred Deakin, The Australian, 10 January 2013
In the United States, if you want to insult a right-winger, call them a ‘liberal’. In Australia, if you want to insult a left-winger, call them a ‘Liberal’. In both countries, liberalism has become detached from its original meaning.
It’s time to bring Australian liberalism back to its traditional roots. Small-L liberalism involves a willingness to protect minority rights (even when they’re unpopular) and a recognition that open markets are the best way to boost prosperity.
On Sky AM Agenda, I spoke about lessons from President Obama’s victory for Australian politics, the need to better manage peak power demand, and why good governments routinely cost policy ideas that are in the public domain. The presenter was David Lipson and my co-panellist was Kelly O’Dwyer.
I appeared on Lateline on 5 October 2012, speaking about the increasingly scratchy tone of debate in Australian politics; the way that Labor policies such as paid parental leave, equal pay and superannuation have helped women; the strength of the Australian economy; and Labor’s decision to replace a badly-targeted dental policy with a better one. A transcript is here.
Last Wednesday, I spoke with La Trobe University economist Jan Libich about some of my academic findings – from teacher pay & aptitude to child gender & divorce – and possible policy implications. If you want to read more, the research is available at my academic website: www.andrewleigh.org.
And if you’d like to watch Jan’s other interviews (including with Eric Leeper and Don Brash), they’re available on his YouTube channel.
Today’s AFR runs a cut-down version of Jason DeParle’s New York Times magazine piece on family structure and mobility. They asked me to write a short column on the Australian situation to accompany it.
Family Dynamics Affect Poverty, Australian Financial Review, 3 August 2012, R7
There are two polar views on why poverty persists across generations. On the hardline conservative view, poverty is the result of bad choices: not staying in school, not taking a job, not waiting to have a child. At the other end of the spectrum is the view that poverty is simply a lack of money. Provide enough income support, and intergenerational poverty will disappear.
In our hearts, most of us know that neither of these views can be right. And yet many progressives have found the conservative view so harsh that we have recoiled from any discussion about the role that families play in determining children’s outcomes.
Just a week until Anne Summers delivers the Fraser Lecture. Details below.
The Good Fight or the Wrong Fight: Directions for 21st Century Feminism
2012 Fraser Lecture
Venue: Fred Daly Room, Belconnen Labor Club
Time: 7.30pm, Wednesday 25 July
Entry by gold coin donation
The lecture is open to the Canberra community. Please RSVP to Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au or 6247 4396.
About Anne Summers
Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is author of several books, including the classic Damned Whores and God’s Police, first published in 1975, Ducks on the Pond, her autobiography in 1999, The End of Equality, (2003) On Luck (2008) and her most recent book The Lost Mother published in 2009 by Melbourne University Press.
About the Fraser Lecture
Originated by former member Bob McMullan, and now continued by Andrew Leigh MP, the Fraser Lecture is a chance to hear a high-profile Australian speak about his or her vision for Australia’s future. Past speakers have included Julia Gillard, Sharan Burrow, Kevin Rudd and Clare Martin. This is the 12th Fraser Lecture.
I spoke in parliament tonight on same-sex marriage.
Marriage Amendment Bill 2012
18 June 2012
This is the fourth occasion on which I find myself speaking on same-sex marriage. I spoke in favour of same-sex marriage in this place on 13 February of this year, the day before Valentine’s Day; on 24 August last year I reported back to parliament on the views of my constituents; and on 30 July last year I spoke to the ALP ACT national conference on the issue. So I wanted to use the opportunity today to read into Hansard some of the stories of my constituents which I have received over recent months. Daniel Edmonds writes to me:
‘When I was young, I asked my grandmother what her view would be on having a gay grandchild. Her response was steadfast: “I could not support it,” she said. “It would be against God, and against everything I believe in.” Years later, I came out to my family before leaving home to move to university (an economics degree!). My grandmother was unsteady in the knowledge that she now had a gay grandchild, something that was seen as uncommon in North Queensland at the time.
The Australian Women’s Coalition will be running a series of workshops for young women aged 18-30, who live or work in the ACT region.
The workshops are designed to provide young women with the opportunity to develop transformation projects focusing issues that they most care about. The workshops are particularly aimed at reaching young women from migrant and refugee communities.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the SHOUT! workshops are free and will run from April 2012 to March 2013.
Find out more about the AWC and about the new SHOUT! workshops at: www.awcaus.org.au
Before parliament rose last Thursday, I spoke in favour of a bill to provide dad and partner pay. In fact, mine was the last speech before parliament rose (with the exception of some guy who trash-talked the economy for half an hour).
Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill 2012
10 May 2012
The work we do in this place impacts on people’s lives—often far more than we imagine at the time. This bill, the Paid Parental Leave (Dad and Partner and Other Measures) Bill 2012, is one such example. I want to start off by sharing with the House the story of a friend of mine, Damien Hickman, and how he felt about the two weeks leave that he took when his first child arrived. Liesel Grace Hickman arrived on 23 June last year. Damien said: ‘I just did not want to be anywhere else. My whole world shrank to this tiny four-kilogram bundle and the three-hourly cycles.’ He said: ‘It was like nothing I had experienced or could have prepared for. I was placed under this spell. She was the ultimate timewaster. I would just stare at her and half an hour would go by like 30 seconds. To be there for my partner, look after the house and be there as an extra pair of hands and support was pretty special.’
I spoke today in parliament on a motion relating to same-sex marriage. Stephen Jones also tabled a private members’ bill today, which will come up for a vote in the coming months.
Same-Sex Marriage – Supporting Reform
13 February 2012
This is the third time I have spoken publicly on same-sex marriage. In August 2011, I reported back to parliament on the views of my constituents for and against same-sex marriage. Within Labor Party forums I have also spoken out in favour of changing our part platform. But this is the first time I have spoken in parliament since the Labor Party changed its national platform. That platform now reads:
A thoroughly sensible announcement from the AG today – the government will now issue certificates of no impediment to same-sex couples wishing to marry overseas.
I spoke today about White Ribbon Day, and the issue of violence against women.
My AFR column today summarises a handful of fascinating new papers on the US slump.
US Recession Hits Home, Australian Financial Review, 18 October 2011
Empirical economists are a perky bunch. Give us a badly-designed policy, a natural disaster or an economic calamity, and we’ll use it to learn something about human behaviour.
And so it is with the latest recession in the US. While Tea Party Republicans force America to repeat the policy mistakes that prolonged the Great Depression of the 1930s, a spate of fascinating new research papers have analysed the current slump.
I spoke in parliament today about the Melba Men’s Shed.
Melba Men’s Shed
13 October 2011
On 23 September I visited the Melba Men’s Shed with my staffer Damien Hickman. Members of men’s sheds come from all walks of life. The bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and would like something meaningful to do with that time. Men after retirement often find that once the phone stops ringing and they are no longer called on to make decisions their social networks are not as extensive as that of women.
There are many men’s sheds across Australia for which ‘first bloke’ Tim Matheson is a patron. They provide a place for men to meet and socialise. If you look inside one you might see a number of men restoring furniture or restoring bikes for a local school, and a few young men working with older men, learning new skills and maybe something about life. The Melba Men’s Shed has grown from six to 10 people, to 25 to 30 people. I would like to thank Stuart Allan the President of the Melba Men’s Shed.
I spoke in Parliament on Wednesday about the ACT Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
Telstra Business Women’s Awards
12 October 2011
I was recently privileged to attend the Telstra Business Women’s Awards, which recognise outstanding women and their contribution to the business community. Past winners include some of Australia’s most talented business leaders, whose career paths and individual achievements continue to inspire businesspeople around the country. It is often tough being a woman in business or in other leadership roles. In her book Delusions of Gender, Cordelia Fine tells the story of botanist Jeanne Baret and mathematician Sophie Germain, who around the turn of the 19th century were forced to pretend to be men in order to excel in the world of science. Thankfully, those kinds of games are no longer necessary. But it is still true that it is tougher to be a woman in business than it is to be a man.