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
THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP
LAUNCHING ADAM MASTERS AND JOHN UHR'S 'LEADERSHIP PERFORMANCE AND RHETORIC'
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
THURSDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2018
Words matter. That's truer now than ever before. In the age of Twitter and Trump, in the age of fast paced social media, the notion that leadership and rhetoric are inextricably tied together is a critical one.
I first came to think hard about the value of public rhetoric while working for Michael Kirby as his High Court associate in the late 1990s, then furthered that interest at Harvard, serving as teaching fellow to Michael Waldman, who had just stepped down as Bill Clinton's chief speechwriter. I have on the wall of my parliamentary office a large photograph of Barack Obama speaking in Manassas on the eve of the 2008 election – perhaps the best campaigning political speech ever given.Read more
Condolence Motion, Barry Cohen
February 6, 2018
DR LEIGH (Fenner) (17:55): Armando Iannucci, creator of The Thick of It and Veep, gave an interview recently where he said, 'Humourless politicians are the most dangerous ones, I think.' He was referring to oppressive regimes, but I think it applies to this place, too. In the tradition of Fred Daly and Jim Killen, Barry Cohen was a fabulous raconteur. I first knew him through his books; I grabbed three from the shelf on the way here—After the Party, The Life of the Party and From Whitlam to Winston—but, of course, that 's merely a small component of the Cohen oeuvre. In meeting him and chatting with him, one got the sense of a man who lived a full life.Read more
5 February, 2018
Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (12:40): It's interesting to be rising today to speak on this motion, given the likely origins of this new statement of expectations and its likely trajectory. Here we are, just a day after the member for McPherson, in her role as the government's Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, confirmed that the federal government won't provide funds to help Adani build infrastructure for its proposed coalmine in Queensland's Galilee Basin. This comes on the heels of recent disturbing reports that pollution samples relating to the environmental impact of the mine may well have been doctored. As the Leader of the Opposition has said, Labor is growing increasingly sceptical over this project.Read more
5 February, 2018
Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (16:41): On 2 January, Australia lost one of our great economists, Fred Argy. Fred worked originally in business before completing a Bachelor of Economics in 1956 and a Master of Economics in 1960. He then pursued a distinguished career in the Public Service, advising governments from Menzies to Keating. He held a range of distinguished positions, including the Deputy Secretary (Labour Economics) of the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations and the Australian Ambassador to the OECD in Paris.Read more
ADDRESS TO WHITE RIBBON DAY FUNCTION
SUNDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2017
Thank you very much, it's a pleasure and honour to be here today. I too acknowledge that we're meeting on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and pay my respects to elders past and present. I acknowledge the Indian High Commissioner. To White Ribbon co-founder Dr Michael Kaufman, thank you for being here to share your expertise. I certainly have read and admired your work. My ACT parliamentary colleagues, Rebecca Cody, Rachel Stephen-Smith and Caroline La Couteur. Thanks to everyone for being here on a beautiful Canberra day to discuss one of the most challenging issues that our community faces.Read more
Halting the Havens - Speech, Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Biennial Taxation & Commercial Conference
Halting the Havens
Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association
Biennial Taxation & Commercial Conference
17 November 2017
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
We often say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But for some multinational firms, their tax affairs often do.
In May 2013, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook was being grilled by US Senators about the nature and structure of his company’s tax affairs.
Those Senators were scrutinising a complex corporate structure, and how Apple had come to amass billions of dollars of largely untaxed profits offshore. The current figure put on profits Apple has hoarded offshore is said to be around US$128 billion.
Mr Cook’s retort to the subcommittee was “We don’t depend on tax gimmicks… We don’t stash money on some Caribbean island”.Read more
Dr LEIGH (Fenner) (16:29): Recently it was my pleasure to receive the Fenner Community Climate Petition from a delegation from Daramalan College in my electorate. I thank teacher Andrew Digan and students Sarah Thomson and Emma Slaven for compiling this important petition. Twenty thousand people around Australia have signed petitions, coordinated by Micah Challenge, to urge Australia's leaders to do more to tackle climate change.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
11 SEPTEMBER 2017
Today, I want to deal with three arguments that the coalition have made for cutting the company tax rate. They've claimed that Labor once supported cuts to the company tax, they've claimed that other countries have lower corporate tax rates and that ours are comparatively high and they've claimed that cutting the company tax rate for big business will boost growth. I will explain to the House, in turn, the problems with each of these arguments.Read more