Speaking


The war on charities rages on - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 17 OCTOBER 2018

I move the second reading amendment circulated in my name:

That all the words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words:

"whilst not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes that the Coalition Government has had six Ministers responsible for charities over the last five years; and

(2) expresses its disapproval of the appointment of prominent anti-charity advocate Gary Johns as chair of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission”.

Labor will be supporting this bill in the House. Schedule 1 of the bill makes a number of technical refinements to the income tax law so that the new tax system for managed investment trusts operates as intended. Following recommendations made by the Board of Taxation in its report on the review of tax arrangements applying to managed investment trusts in 2016, the new tax system for attributed, managed investment trusts was enacted. Labor supported that legislation. The new tax system was designed to increase certainty, provide flexibility, reduce compliance costs for managed investment trusts and improve the competitiveness of Australia's fund management industry.

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Remembering Peter Norman - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 OCTOBER 2018

Fifty years ago today, a young Australian did two extraordinary things. At the Mexico City Olympics, Peter Norman won silver in the 200 metres with a time of 20.06 seconds. In the half century since, no Australian has run faster. It is still our national record. But the best was yet to come. As he walked out to the medal ceremony with Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two African American runners told him they planned to bow their heads and put their fists in the air in support of human rights.

When Carlos revealed their plans he said, 'I expected to see fear in Norman's eyes, but instead I saw love.' Peter Norman told the two athletes, 'I'll stand with you.' He borrowed an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge and pinned it on his chest. The famous photograph shows Peter Norman standing silently alongside the two athletes giving the Black Power salute. When he returned to Australia, Peter Norman should have been treated as a hero for racial equality, but he wasn't. He wasn't highlighted in the 2000 Sydney Olympics' opening ceremony. When he died in 2006, Smith and Carlos were among his pallbearers.

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Parliament is a place on htraE - Speech, House of Representatives

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 16 OCTOBER 2018

In DC Comics in the 1960s there was a fictional place called htraE which was the home of Bizarro World, a place in which everything was backwards. It feels like we are in Bizarro World today, as we look at a government behaving like an opposition and an opposition behaving like a government.

Over the course of the last five years Labor have been stable under the excellent leadership of Bill Shorten, the member for Maribyrnong, and we have been producing a suite of important economic policies that will take us to the next election as the most policy-focussed opposition in a generation.

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Canberrans see through Cormann's spin - Speech, Federation Chamber

FEDERATION CHAMBER, 15 OCTOBER 2018

When Senator Cormann addressed the APSwide Canberra conference last week he laid out his plans to invigorate the Australian Public Service. Like any propagandist, he tried to take control of the situation by taking charge of the words that defined it, but he forgot that Canberrans can read between the lines.

Fairfax Media got the picture, with the headline 'Cuts are good for you, Cormann tells public servants'.

Canberrans are entitled to wonder why Senator Cormann thinks so differently to them when it comes to cuts. After all, cuts hurt, don't they?

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More action needed on LGBT+ rights - Speech, Federation Chamber

FEDERATION CHAMBER, 15 OCTOBER 2018

As a high schooler of the 1980s, I remember repeated taunts about anyone who seemed to be the slightest bit gay or lesbian. The idea of being homosexual was thought of as abhorrent and was used to attack students and teachers alike. It is a mark of how far we've come today that both sides of politics are now united in the view that exemptions allowing religious schools to discriminate against children on the basis of their sexuality should be removed.

I'm enough of a believer in Burkean representative democracy that I don't need polls to tell me what to do, but I still can't help noticing today's Fairfax-Ipsos survey showing that three-quarters of voters oppose laws allowing religious schools to select students and teachers based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status. That majority also holds among Coalition supporters, Labor voters, Greens voters and One Nation voters.

It is a significant shift for the Prime Minister, who just a few days ago, after the Ruddock review was handed down, was stating that it is existing law and that the coalition was not proposing to change those arrangements.

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The Equity-Efficiency Takeoff - Speech, Melbourne

THE EQUITY-EFFICIENCY TAKEOFF

MELBOURNE INSTITUTE 2018 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL OUTLOOK CONFERENCE, MELBOURNE

THURSDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2018

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation on whose lands we meet today and pay my respects to their elders past and present. My thanks to organisers Abigail Payne and Paul Whittaker and their hardworking teams. I also recognize our distinguished session chair David Ribar, my sparring partner Kelly O'Dwyer - she and I go back to our early time in Parliament where we had a double header on Sky News and got to know each other so well that I think we could probably have done each other's speeches if need be - and to thank the many friendly and familiar faces in this room. The Outlook Conference really is a true national institution, bringing together the social sector, the media, economic policy makers, business, the community sector and more. It is to policy wonks what fairy bread is to preschoolers.

I've certainly been attending the Outlook Conference since I was an Australian National University professor and have continued to be back since entering Parliament in 2010, including since becoming Shadow Assistant Treasurer in 2013. Chris Bowen told you this morning that he is the nation's longest serving Shadow Treasurer. I've got this funny coincidence for you: it turns out I'm also the nation's longest serving Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Like Chris, I've enjoyed the role but I could do with a change next year.

We haven't spent the last five years throwing bombs. We've spent this period in Opposition crafting the most comprehensive economic policy that any opposition in a generation has taken to an election. Voters are sick of the insults, they're sick of the hyper partisanship. Whether I go to Townsville or Darwin, whether it's Launceston or Nowra, people want solutions, not slogans. You don't need to be a former Liberal Treasurer to see the failure of the current government to develop an economic narrative. You don't even need to be a former Liberal Treasurer to see it as a bit weird to promise tax changes in 2026. A time when, as Kelly O'Dwyer's former boss puts it, the Coalition are not going to be in government.

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Driving a better deal for auto dealers - Speech

DRIVING A BETTER DEAL FOR AUTO DEALERS

AUSTRALIA AUTOMOTIVE DEALER ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

GOLD COAST CONVENTION CENTRE

TUESDAY, 4 SEPTEMBER 2018

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we meet, the Yugambeh people, and pay my respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

I want to thank the Australian Automotive Dealer Association for having me here today and in particular your chief executive officer David Blackhall, with whom I maintain regular contact on a number of matters, ranging from industry specific issues to whether the Westfield Australian Marathon in Sydney was a tougher race than the Gold Coast Marathon.

Today, I’m going to resist addressing you about running. Instead, I’m going to start off by talking about sandwiches. Or to be more accurate, farmers and sandwiches.

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Indigenous Reading Project - Speech

INDIGENOUS READING PROJECT GRANT GIVING CEREMONY
 
CANBERRA
 
MONDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2018

Like Auntie Violet, I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, and pay my respects to elders past, present, and emerging. 

It's great to be here with Dan Billing, Professor Marcia Langton, ACT Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith and so many other strong supporters of this great program.

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2018 ADB-Asia Think Tank Development Forum Opening Address - Speech, Canberra

OPENING ADDRESS, 2018 ADB-ASIA THINK TANK DEVELOPMENT FORUM:
UPGRADING HUMAN CAPITAL AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT FOR FUTURE ASIA

 
Australian National University, 22 August 2018

Thank you for that generous introduction. Welcome to all of those of you who are visiting Canberra, especially those who are visiting for the first time. I acknowledge we are meeting on traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and pay my respects to elders past and present. I particularly acknowledge Asian Development Bank Vice-President Bambang Susantono. Thank you to the Australian National University’s Shiro Armstrong for organising today's event. 
 
In 1964. Richard Hofstadter wrote an influential article called ‘The Paranoid Style in American Politics’ in Harper's Magazine. He described a view grounded in dark conspiracies, secret networks of leftist activists. The paranoid style was an apocalyptic world view which held that civilization was in the balance. These paranoid personalities thought that secret bodies were running things and you need secret institutions to fight back. Half a century on, Hofstadter's essay remains relevant. A Gallup Poll this year reported that just 35 percent of US Republican voters believe the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change. Research by Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano and Stefanie Stantcheva shows that in the United States and Europe, native-born respondents think that there are two to three times as many immigrants in the population as there really are. 

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Fairer Markets - Speech, Federation Chamber

FAIRER MARKETS

Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018

We've seen yesterday Apple Australia receiving $9 million in fines as a result of misleading consumers about their rights under Australian Consumer Law to get their products repaired. This is another slap-on-the-wrist penalty, following penalties in the Nurofen case which were noted by a number of experts and jurists to be inadequate.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | Andrew.Leigh.MP@aph.gov.au