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Archive for April 2013

Disconnected and Reconnected – Social Capital in Australia

On 27 March 2013, I spoke at the Australia Institute’s “Politics in the Pub” about strengthening community life, drawing on some of the ideas in my 2010 book Disconnected. In case you missed it, here’s a video of the event.

The Forum with Richard Glover

On the Forum last night, I spoke with Richard Glover, Joe Hockey and Hugh MacKay about my favourite Australian food, teaching the ANZAC tradition in our school curriculum and the latest revenue projections coming out of Treasury.

702ABC Sydney The Forum with Richard Glover

Sky AM Agenda Video and Transcript – 30 April 2013

On Sky AM Agenda, I spoke with host Kieran Gilbert and Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham about the drop in federal government revenue, and the challenges this poses for policy costings on both sides of politics.

Andrew Leigh MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Member for Fraser
30 April 2013

TOPICS:                                New revenue and budget forecasts, Coalition plans for cuts, the challenging fiscal environment.

Continue reading ‘Sky AM Agenda Video and Transcript – 30 April 2013’ »

2CC Breakfast with Mark Parton (Transcript and Audio)

Andrew Leigh MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Member for Fraser
30 April 2013

TOPICS:     Budget Deficit, falls in revenue, the Budget, Australian economy

Mark Parton:     … So much talk around town over the big announcement from Julia Gillard. We knew it was coming because so much of it had been leaked: that there’s this $12 billion black hole in revenue and obviously all these new things are going to be considered when it comes to the Budget which is delivered in a couple of weeks. Who do you blame for it? You know, it looks as though again that Treasury has Continue reading ‘2CC Breakfast with Mark Parton (Transcript and Audio)’ »

ABC Capital Hill – 29 April 2013

On ABC24′s Capital Hill program, I spoke with host Lyndal Curtis and Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella about the challenging budget circumstances Australia faces, with federal revenues having fallen from 24% to 22% of GDP.

Media Watch on politics, social media & technology

Recently, I spoke with Media Watch’s Jonathan Holmes about social media and politics. A podcast and (mostly correct) transcript of the interview are available on the ABC website.

Coalition Climate Change Policy = Hot Air

My op-ed in the AFR looks at the Coalition’s climate change dilemma – do they meet their pledge to reduce emissions by 5% by 2020, or do they spend the paltry underestimate that they say their climate policy will cost?

Abbott’s no-go carbon plan, Australian Financial Review, 22 April 2013

Over the past few weeks we have seen the Coalition dip their toes in the water of policy debate. Amidst running around the nation shouting ‘no’, Tony Abbott has revealed that the Coalition’s plan for superannuation includes taxing 3.6 million of Australia’s lowest-paid workers to the tune of $4 billion. We have seen them outline their tin-can-and-string broadband strategy. We have learned that families and small businesses will be expected to cough up to $5000 to connect to a service Labor will provide for free.

This is the most information we have heard about the Coalition’s vision for the future of Australia, and while it may not be pretty, it is a marked improvement from their three-year tradition of providing no alternative at all.

It seems strange then, in light of their cautious new ventures into actual policy discussions, that Tony Abbott has remained almost silent on the one issue he has pegged the bulk of his negative rhetoric: climate change.

Continue reading ‘Coalition Climate Change Policy = Hot Air’ »

Creativity and Innovation

I launched Stuart Cunningham’s new book Hidden Innovation tonight.

Launching Stuart Cunningham, Hidden Innovation: Policy, Industry and the Creative Sector
Paperchain Books, Manuka
9 April 2013

According to one study cited in Stuart Cunningham’s book, there are two opposing groups of people: ‘political junkies’ (PJs) and Big Brother fans (BBs). PJs think that it ‘beggars belief’ that anyone could think Big Brother was useful. BBs say that politicians are unapproachable and out of touch.

So as an MP who used to quite enjoy watching Big Brother, I found myself torn. Am I a BB or a PJ? A PJ in BBs? Or a BB in PJs?

The reference to Big Brother is just one of a myriad of cultural touchstones in this fascinating book. Stuart Cunningham’s book romps through Survivor and Go Back to Where you Came From, Korean bloggers and Fat Cow Motel, Australian iTunes game Fruit Ninja and Nigeria’s ‘Nollywood’.

Continue reading ‘Creativity and Innovation’ »

Transcript – Sky AM Agenda

Andrew Leigh MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
Member for Fraser
8 April 2013

TOPICS:                                Prime Minister’s visit to China, Australia-China trade relations, Tony Abbott’s comparison of Australia and Cyprus, the NBN, the Budget.

David Lipson:                     Hello and welcome to the program, I’m David Lipson. Pledging a new level of relations between Australia and China; that’s the message from the new Chinese President, Xi Jinping after a forty-five minute meeting with the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard yesterday.

Continue reading ‘Transcript – Sky AM Agenda’ »

Mobile Office in Gungahlin – 6 April 2013

At Gungahlin marketplace today, I talked about the value of local representation, and the Labor Government’s investment in the Gungahlin Library NBN Digital Hub.

Holi and Pizza, Refugees and Multiculturalism

My Chronicle column this week is about migration.

Celebrating the Australian Way of Diversity, The Chronicle, 2 April 2013

If you’ve ever seen a Bollywood movie, you probably know about the Indian festival of Holi, in which people shower one another with colourful powder. Indian society is typically quite respectful of social boundaries, but on Holi, it’s alright for anyone to throw powder at anyone else.

Continue reading ‘Holi and Pizza, Refugees and Multiculturalism’ »

Launching Ian Warden’s Book on Canberra

I launched Ian Warden’s new book on Canberra tonight. Here’s my speech, complete with a newly-uncovered 1977 ACT Anthem by Philip Grundy.

Launching Ian Warden, A Serious House on Serious Earth
Electric Shadows Bookshop, Canberra
4 April 2013

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we meet.

It is a pleasure to be here today to launch the book of a great Canberra icon, Ian Warden (also known as the Beige Bombshell).

If you travel today to Dalgety, a town of 75 people and one pub, it strikes you that there might exists a parallel universe to our own in which Australia’s capital is on the banks of the Snowy River, and Canberra is a sleepy town of 1700 people (as it was in 1911).

Continue reading ‘Launching Ian Warden’s Book on Canberra’ »

I’m Hiring

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 asperand 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.