TRANSCRIPT – AM AGENDA WITH KIERAN GILBERT
Andrew Leigh MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Member for Fraser
21 May 2013
TOPICS: Equal marriage, school funding
Kieran Gilbert: This is AM Agenda, thanks for your company. Joining me now from Melbourne, the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business, Scott Ryan, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Andrew Leigh here in the Canberra studio. You heard what Senator Brandis had to say, Andrew Leigh, about Kevin Rudd; that this is all about him, not about same-sex marriage. What do you say to that?
Andrew Leigh: Well Kieran, it’s pretty clear that views on this issue have shifted and shifted pretty markedly. We’ve seen just over recent months same-sex marriage become law in New Zealand and Britain because Conservative leaders allowed their Party room to vote the way they wanted to. If Mr Abbott will do that in Australia, we’ll bring the vote back to the floor…[inaudible]
Archive for the ‘Education’ Category.
ANU to receive $3 million endowment to establish Tax Studies Institute
Dr Andrew Leigh, Federal Member for Fraser and former professor at the Australian National University has welcomed the establishment of the Tax Studies Institute (TSI) at the ANU.
I spoke this morning with Mark Parton about the federal budget, and the clear choice it presents for this year’s election: between Labor’s nation-building reforms in health, schools and DisabilityCare, and the Coalition’s threatened cuts. Here’s a podcast.
TRANSCRIPT – 2CC BREAKFAST WITH MARK PARTON
Andrew Leigh MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Member for Fraser
15 May 2013
TOPICS: The Budget.
On ABC666 yesterday, I spoke with host Adam Shirley about the government’s investment in early childhood, and why good policy is good politics too. Here’s a podcast.
I spoke in parliament about the Prime Minister’s statement on Closing the Gap.
Prime Minister’s Statement on Closing the Gap, 12 March 2013
It is a pleasure to follow the member for Hasluck in this important debate on closing the gap. He is the only Indigenous member of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which is an indication of one gap that we need to work to close. Were Indigenous Australians to be represented in this place in proportion to the number in the Australian population there would be at least five Indigenous members in parliament and many debates, this one included, would be richer for that. I hope we will see Nova Peris joining the next Senate, but we still will have further to go. It is an indicator of how many of these gaps take too long to close.
I am proud to represent an electorate which is the home of the Ngunnawal people. Often when I am looking for stories of Indigenous Australia I turn to Stories of the Ngunnawal, an excellent book which discusses some of the stories of the Ngunnawal elders. One story by Dorothy Brown Dickson reminds us of how tough it was for some of the Ngunnawal people. Ms Dickson grew up in an Aboriginal reserve in Yass. She refers to how tough life was for the young men. She says:
I spoke in parliament today about some optimistic and inspiring stories of youth social entrepreneurship and volunteering.
Youth Activism, 14 March 2013
I rise to speak about three examples of inspiring youth activism. This morning it was my pleasure to meet some of the Oaktree Roadtrip youth ambassadors. These are a group of young Australians who are travelling the country aiming to gather 100,000 names of Australians who support the movement to end poverty, a movement that will show public support for increased foreign aid—as this government has been delivering. I particularly enjoyed spending time with the Canberra Roadtrippers, having farewelled them from Canberra only on Saturday at the Australian National University. Since then, they have travelled to Western Sydney, to Eden and to Cooma and they are back hitting the road again tomorrow. They will be part of a great movement to bring an end to extreme poverty.
I spoke in parliament today about higher education reform (thanking Michael McCormack at the outset for filibustering long enough to let me get out of the chair and over to speak!).
Higher Education Support Amendment (Further Streamlining and Other Measures) Bill, 12 March 2013
At the outset, I acknowledge the comments of the member for Riverina, who has demonstrated his passion for his constituents with his ability to speak for an appropriate length about an issue of importance to him and to the chamber.
I was pleased when I was an academic at the ANU to work alongside Bruce Chapman, one of the architects of HECS, who put in place a truly world-leading piece of policy. It is easy to forget now that HECS, now known as HELP, has become so much part of our social fabric. The notion of income-contingent loans was one in which Australia was stepping out as a world first. Milton Freeman mentioned the notion of income-contingent loans in the 1960s but it was Professor Chapman who really picked it up, put flesh on its bones and suggested it as a way of ensuring two big things.
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.
I spoke in parliament today about Teach for Australia (Joe Hockey, speaking before me, had wrongly suggested that my electorate was named after Malcolm Fraser, so I had to set him straight).
Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 6) Bill 2012, 14 February 2013
It is my great pleasure to serve as the member for Fraser, a seat named after Jim Fraser, who was the ACT’s sole representative in this House from 1951 through to 1970. It is true that he did serve alongside Malcolm Fraser for much of that period, but there are significant differences in outlook between them. Jim Fraser was a proud Labor member, committed to social justice, committed to the rights of workers and a true reforming member of this House. While the shadow Treasurer may seek to model his politics on those of Malcolm Fraser, that is not my role model here in this place.
I rise today to speak about one of the schedules in the Tax Laws Amendment (2012 Measures No. 6) Bill 2012, which provides tax deductible gift-recipient status to an organisation known as Teach For Australia. Teach For Australia is modelled on Teach For America, which is now in its third decade. Teach For America bases its success on two vital truths: firstly, that there is no more important job that teaching disadvantaged children and, secondly, that there is a reservoir of idealism among talented university students. More than one in 10 US Ivy League graduates now applies to Teach For America. Its recruiting is so selective that it is able to take just the top 20 per cent of applicants.
I spoke in parliament today about the government’s schools reforms, flowing out of the Gonski Review.
Australian Education Bill, 12 February 2013
Each of us comes to this place with the perspective of the work we did before we got here. So it is not surprising when we hear former business people calling for less regulation, former union organisers calling for better protection for workers, farmers calling for more assistance to agriculture or, in my case, a former professor arguing for more investment in education. But I think there is some fairly strong evidence to back up the notion that great investment in education not only pays off in a more affluent society but also in a more equitable society. In my first speech I described education as being the best antipoverty vaccine we have yet developed, because a great education gives you opportunities in life which are greater than you can achieve without that opportunity.
I spoke today about the federal government actions that have made a positive difference in my electorate of Fraser.
Appropriations Bills, 12 February 2013
There are several old chestnuts the Liberals can be relied on to trot out every election year, and one of those that we hear so often in the ACT is the line, ‘Labor ignores Canberra’—the suggestion that somehow Labor governments take Canberra for granted. But, unfortunately for the Liberals, the people of Fraser are a clever bunch. They are able to see through this line easily, because it is so demonstrably false. The investments that this Labor government has made in Fraser are visible everywhere, from the Majura Parkway to the National Broadband Network rolling out and the many schools enjoying new facilities thanks to the Building the Education Revolution program.
In fact, if you were to take the time to visit all of the sites where Labor has invested in my electorate of Fraser, you would be taking a pretty comprehensive tour of Canberra’s north. I can even provide you with a loose itinerary. You can set off from the flourishing suburb of Braddon, where my electorate office is located and where Minister for Human Services Kim Carr and I opened a one-stop shop for Medicare and Centrelink in October last year. The co-location of these facilities is a core part of Labor’s service delivery reforms. It is making access to housing, health, crisis support, education and training, and family and financial support easier for Canberrans.
This month there are a series of free financial information sessions designed to help locals take control of their finances. They are a local and practical avenue for people of all ages to gain information on a range of important topics. The Australian Government has offered the Financial Information Service (FIS) for over 20 years, educating hundreds of thousands of people by providing information to help them plan for their future security. The experienced FIS Officers can show you how to make informed financial decisions and help you understand the consequences of those decisions in the short, medium and long term. These seminars are regularly held across the country, educating communities on a wide range of topics from superannuation and creating wealth, right through to finance and accommodation options in retirement and they’re not just for people receiving Centrelink payments – they are open to anyone interested, and are popular so bookings are essential.
Upcoming local seminars at Belconnen Premier Inn (110 Benjamin Way, Belconnen)
Age pension and your choices, Tuesday 12 February 2013, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm;
Running your own super fund, Thursday 14 February 2013, 6:00 pm to 8:30pm
For FIS seminar bookings call 13 6357 or email email@example.com
To find out more about Human Services free Financial Information Service seminars visit humanservices.gov.au/fis.
I recently surveyed the Fraser electorate on their experiences with ACT schools and some of their perception regarding our Government’s education reforms.
The results were positive and showed that the Government’s commitment to boosting literacy and numeracy, maintaining a well-rounded curriculum and attracting and retaining quality teachers is shared by parents.
Over 1000 people completed the survey which was distributed between October and December last year. Responses with postcodes from outside the ACT and from the southside were removed leaving 974 responses from Fraser. You may notice that some of the percentages don’t add to 100 per cent – this is due to rounding.
This is really exciting for local families and business in the Civic area. In around 12 months’ time, people in Civic will be able to start connecting to the National Broadband Network. The map shows that NBN fibre is being rolled out Civic, Acton and parts of Braddon which will allow more residents access to faster, affordable and more reliable broadband.
The map is another sign that construction of the National Broadband Network is continuing to accelerate, with work now having commenced or been completed to over 784,000 homes and businesses across Australia. The release of this map means that work is starting in this area and over the next few months, we’ll start to see NBN Co workers locally doing the detailed planning and inspection work, and then rolling out the fibre. Within around twelve months, construction of the NBN in Civic will be completed. This means that families and businesses will be able to connect to faster, more reliable broadband services. A standard NBN connection to the home or office is free – and NBN retail services are available for similar prices to what people are paying now, but for a much superior service.
The National Broadband Network is about preparing Australia for the future. It’s about ensuring that our local communities in places like Canberra are not left behind as the world and our local economy changes. From seeing your local doctor from home, to your kids being able to take a specialist class at another school – the NBN will change the way we live, work, and access services. It will lead to a new wave of innovation, and I’m delighted that people in Civic will be among the first to benefit.
The Gillard Government continues to invest in quality teaching and learning in the ACT. Today I joined Senator Chris Evans and Chief Minister Katy Gallagher to announce Structural Adjustment Funding for the University of Canberra. The new programs will give students greater options for pathways into university. Senator Evans also announced a national partnership between the University of Canberra and the Aurora Project to open up access and improve the university experience for Indigenous students.
SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research
Leader of the Government in the Senate
DR ANDREW LEIGH
Federal Member for Fraser
20 November 2012
$26 million boost for the University of Canberra
A significant investment by the Gillard Government will ensure the University of Canberra can offer better access to a quality education experience.
Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher and Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, today visited UC to announce the $26 million transformation of the University of Canberra to help it offer more courses, new entry pathways and the latest learning technologies.
Great to see the Spanish Program at ANU being recognised for its innovative approach to teaching and learning.
Andrew Leigh MP
Member for Fraser
20 November 2012
Award winners improve the university experience
The Spanish Program at the Australian National University has been recognised as one of Australia’s best higher education programs at the 2012 Australian Awards for University Teaching at the National Gallery Australia in Canberra last night.
Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh said Associate Professor Martin and his team had won the Award for Programs that Enhance Learning for their dedication to improving the experience for students in the higher education sector.
For a 20th anniversary segment, I appeared on Meet the Press with Liberal MP Joshua Frydenberg, and interviewers Hugh Riminton and Misha Schubert. Topics included why I’m in the ALP, what the Asian Century White Paper means for Australia, and the importance of education and entrepreneurship to our nation’s future.
I spoke in parliament today about good economic management and the importance of Oppositions – ACT and Federal – producing properly costed policies.
Matter of Public Importance, 10 October 2012
It is a pleasure to rise to speak in a debate on the strength of the Australian economy and the right policy settings. Any discussion about where the Australian economy is headed needs to recognise that we are in the midst of one of the biggest terms of trade shocks in Australia’s history. In the history of the Australian economy, when a terms of trade shock has come along—whether it was in the 1930s, 1950s or the 1970s—it has blown the place up. Yet, despite a massive increase in the terms of trade—a massive increase in the ratio of export prices to import prices—the Australian economy, this time, has remained strong. Unemployment has stayed at 5-point-something and inflation has stayed low.
I spoke in parliament today about Mitochondrial disease, and the potential of advance market commitments to encourage research on new vaccines.
Mitochondrial Disease, 17 September 2012
I join the member for Flinders in strongly supporting the member for Cook staying in bed; I think there is bipartisan consensus on that point! More seriously, I commend the member for Cook for bringing this motion before the House. Too often, discussions about health care operate at the very high level—the millions of dollars that are spent, the institutions, the hospitals, the doctors, the researchers—and sometimes there is value in a particular motion that focuses on a single disease, highlights the plight of sufferers and allows us in this place to focus briefly on their stories and what we can do to alleviate their suffering.
I must confess that, of all the diseases that scare me, a fatigue related disease is perhaps my greatest fear. In common with many in this place, I quite enjoy doing too many things, so the description of mitochondrial disease as feeling like you are hitting the wall strikes me very much. That is why Stay in Bed Day, on Sunday, 23 September, is an appropriate way to recognise sufferers of mitochondrial disease.
Early Childhood Education and the Big Steps Campaign, 13 September 2012
As a parent of two young boys, I am a heavy user of early childhood centres. I remember with great fondness taking my then one-year-old to daycare on the back of a bike. These days I tend to drop them off in the car but it is always a pleasure to see their great enthusiasm when arriving at the Acton Early Childhood Centre. It is a place where they not only have friends but are also learning. One of the great changes over the last couple of decades has been the broad recognition that early childhood is not babysitting; it is education. And high-quality childhood education is fundamental to the future of those individual children and collectively to the productivity and the social wellbeing of our society. I pay tribute to the hard working staff at the Acton Early Childhood Centre.
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.
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.
I wrote to all of my local schools in the Fraser electorate in May this year encouraging them to apply for grants under the National Solar Schools Program for solar energy systems, rainwater tanks and other energy efficiency measures. It must have paid off because 17 schools were successful under the final round. The media release from last week is below.
Andrew Leigh MP
Member for Fraser
30 August 2012
CLEAN ENERGY SCHOOLS GO SOLAR WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS
Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, is pleased to announce that 17 schools from the Fraser electorate will receive grants as part of the final round of the Australian Government’s National Solar Schools Program.
Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, together with Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, recently announced 804 schools from around Australia had been awarded grants of up to $50,000.
These grants are being used to install renewable solar energy systems, rainwater tanks and other energy efficiency measures to cut pollution and save money on electricity bills. Continue reading ‘Local schools go solar’ »
Gai Brodtmann and I today welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister about the National Plan for School Improvement. Our media release is below.
Remember to complete my education survey to let me know what issues in education matter to you most.
Gai Brodtmann MP
Member for Canberra
Andrew Leigh MP
Member for Fraser
Tuesday 4 September 2012
Government releases plan for Better Schools
The National Plan for School Improvement
All Canberra local schools will benefit under the Gillard Government’s National Plan for School Improvement. Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, and Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh, said today.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard released the plan yesterday in response to the first comprehensive review of schools education undertaken in 40 years.
I’ve appreciated hearing from hundreds of Canberrans about your views on childcare and migration. Since education is a passion of mine, I’m now running a survey on schooling. It should take about 3 minutes if you don’t have schoolchildren, or 5 minutes if you do. I look forward to hearing your views. For those on a mobile device, you can find the survey here
The long tail of academic publishing means that two years after leaving my professorial post at ANU, I’m still having pieces appear in the journals. In case it’s of interest, here are the handful of publications that have come out in 2012.
- ‘Does Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Vary Across Minority Groups? Evidence From a Field Experiment’ (with Alison Booth and Elena Varganova) (2012) Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
- ‘Bargaining Over Labor: Do Patients Have Any Power?’ (with Joshua Gans) (2012) Economic Record
- ‘How Much Did the 2009 Australian Fiscal Stimulus Boost Demand? Evidence from Household-Reported Spending Effects‘, B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics
- ‘How Partisan is the Press? Multiple Measures of Media Slant’ (with Joshua Gans) (2012) Economic Record
- ‘Teacher Pay and Teacher Aptitude’ (2012) Economics of Education Review
- ‘The Economics and Politics of Teacher Merit Pay’ (2012), CESifo Economic Studies (forthcoming)
- ‘Intergenerational Income Mobility in Urban China’ (with Cathy Gong and Xin Meng) (2012) Review of Income and Wealth (forthcoming)
- ‘Effects of Temporary In-Work Benefits for Welfare Recipients: Examination of the Australian Working Credit Programme’ (with Roger Wilkins) (2012), Fiscal Studies (forthcoming)
All my academic work – including many replication datasets – is available at www.andrewleigh.org.
Today’s Australian runs a version of my ANU graduation speech in the Higher Education section.
Progress rarely plane sailing but dare to do it anyway, The Australian, 25 July 2012
In 1931, the British air ministry decided to experiment by commissioning a new fighter aircraft. The bureaucrats wanted aviation engineers to abandon past orthodoxies and create something entirely new.
The initial prototypes were disappointing. But then a company called Supermarine approached the ministry with a radical new design. A public servant by the name of Henry Cave-Browne-Cave decided to bypass the regular process and order it. The new plane was the Supermarine Spitfire.
Here’s my Chronicle column for this month.
Lessons Important for Us All, The Chronicle, 3 July 2012
In his splendid new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman talks about how reluctant we are to change our minds. To illustrate his point, Kahneman tells the story of how and his fellow psychologists would evaluate candidates for leadership in the Israeli army. They would set difficult challenges – such as one in which a team of eight soldiers had to use a long log to get each of them over a six-foot high fence without touching the fence. At the end of the exercises, the psychologists were confident that they had determined which of the soldiers had leadership potential.
I spoke in parliament this morning about evidence-based policies to boost the number of students studying maths and science.
Higher Education Support Amendment (Student Contibution Amounts and Other Measures) Bill 2012
27 June 2012
Graham Freudenberg recalls in his book A Certain Grandeur Gough Whitlam was asked for concrete example of equality. Whitlam replied, ‘I want every kid to have a desk with a lamp in his own room to study.’ One can argue that for Whitlam the light on the hill shone from that lamp on the desk. I would like to think that at some of those desks they would be studying the sciences and mathematics, fulfilling their curiosity and passion for new insights and a deeper understanding of the world, building and developing skills that will enable them to make new discoveries, create innovations and be part of breakthroughs that will revolutionise our way of life. The sciences and mathematics are vital fields of knowledge for our prosperity and for our place in the world. Labor recognises this, which is why we are taking evidence based steps to ensure we foster the critical thinking, reasoning and creativity the sciences engender.