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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
INDIGENOUS READING PROJECT GRANT GIVING CEREMONY
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.Read more
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.
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.Read more
BANKING ROYAL COMMISSION
Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018
Then we have the Liberals' approach to banking misconduct. Following the Storm Financial collapse in 2009, Labor's Bernie Ripoll convened a parliamentary joint committee inquiry into the role of the financial services sector, spending nearly a year examining the industry and producing an important report.Read more
YOUR CAR, YOUR CHOICE
Federation Chamber, 20 June 2018
Over a year ago, Labor called on the government to act on the problem that's facing independent mechanics who aren't getting access to the software updates they need to fix modern cars. Modern cars are computers on wheels, with 20 to 50 onboard computers. Without access to those data, independent mechanics can't fix cars. Independent mechanics account for about four in five mechanics in Australia.Read more
ADDRESS TO THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS FEDERAL BUDGET BREAKFAST
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Thanks Steve. It’s great to be back at this budget brekkie. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Ngunnawal people and pay my respect to elders past and present.
I know many of you here in the Great Hall are Canberrans. But for those of you who aren't, welcome to the best city in Australia - as certified by the OECD. I acknowledge our hosts, the Institute of Public Accountants, Canberra Business Chamber and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. And all of you for being here to engage in this important conversation about the Australian economy.Read more
Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Changed Our World
In 2013, a group of Finnish doctors published the results of a randomised trial of knee surgery performed for a torn meniscus, the piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between the thighbone and shinbone. This operation, known as a meniscectomy, is performed millions of times a year, making it the most common orthopaedic procedure in countries such as Australia and the United States.
The randomised trial was based on ‘sham surgery’, in which patients consent to being assigned either to a regular treatment, or to being cut open and sewn up again without the operation being performed. Not only is the patient assigned to true surgery or placebo surgery based on the toss of a coin – they are not even told afterwards what happened to them.Read more