GENDER EQUALITY AND THE VALUE OF WORK
FRIDAY, 8 JUNE 2018
Thank you Ursula for the most generous introduction. Can I too acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, on whose lands we’re meeting today and pay my respects to their elders past and present. And just to say how chuffed I am to be back at CEDA, speaking on this critical topic. I thank CEDA, Macquarie University and Deloitte for putting on today’s event, acknowledge Lee Kelly, Mary Delahunty, Narelle Hooper, Lucy Taksa and particular Libby Lyons, the head of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. It’s not many countries that can boast that the head of their gender equality agency is also the granddaughter of the first female parliamentarian. So we should be pretty proud of that.
I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is the gender pay gap is closing. The bad news is that it is happening at a glacial pace. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s most recent report, the gender pay gap among full time workers was 16 1/2 per cent in 1997. Twenty years later, in 2017, it had narrowed to 15 1/2 per cent. That’s a gap of $250 a week. If we continue at that rate - closing the gender pay gap by half a percentage point every decade - then in just 150 years we will have done it.Read more
SPEECH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 30 MAY 2018
I move the second reading amendment that has been circulated in my name:
That all 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 calls upon the Government to seriously tackle phoenixing and the black economy, including by urgently introducing legislation requiring every company director to be issued with a unique Director Identification Number”.
A couple of years ago, the Australian Taxation Office conducted a number of audits into illegal phoenixing activity. Following one of those audits, a Tasmanian business owner was charged with fraud for phoenix activity, which was alleged to have involved an original company that operated a chain of restaurants.Read more
The great Australian dream has turned into a nightmare under Malcolm Turnbull - Speech, House of Representatives
SPEECH, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 29 MAY 2018
In Tasmania today people are camping out in tents in the Hobart Showground. One of them, Rachel, is due to give birth in October, and she is having to suffer through icy Tasmanian temperatures. She says:
… if I can't see it, it's not happening. Just stay in a ball and you'll be fine.
That's Rachel's way of dealing with the homelessness crisis Tasmania is currently struggling with.
One of my own constituents, Adrian, wrote to me about his family's struggles. His children and grandchildren are finding it difficult to get into the housing market. He currently shares his house with his married daughter and her husband. Since his eldest was born 40 years ago, he has had only six months of living without his offspring. Lina, a woman in my electorate, recently wrote to me about living out of a suitcase after losing her mother. Annie, an older woman, has been left with few housing options after finding herself with little superannuation and no family.Read more
SPEECH, FEDERATION CHAMBER
THURSDAY, 24 MAY 2018
During my lifetime we in Australia have decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting adults. We have removed many forms of institutionalised discrimination against LGBT+ Australians. And we have belatedly legislated same-sex marriage.
There is more to be done in Australia, but there is much more to be done around the world. According to the ILGA's 2017 report, as of May 2017, 72 states continue to criminalise same-sex consensual activity—that is, more than one-third of the world's nations. There are currently eight nations in which the death penalty is imposed as a punishment for same-sex consensual sexual acts.Read more
SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 24 MAY 2018
There is a reason the government ran out of speakers on this debate. There is a reason the Treasurer had no-one behind him. It's because this government is, deep down, ashamed of the package they have. They're ashamed that we on this side of the House are offering tax cuts which are better, bigger and fairer than theirs. On budget night, the Treasurer cunningly put together two sets of tax cuts—a set that comes in in about six weeks time and a set that comes in in about six years time. The set that come in in about six weeks time would, according to the Grattan Institute, make the tax system more progressive. That's why Labor is happy to support those tax cuts due to take effect in six weeks time. In fact, we won't just back them. We'll do better. We will offer an average Australian an additional $400 a week compared to those opposite.Read more
SPEECH - HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 22 MAY 2018
There's one thing worse than right-wing ideologues, and that's unoriginal right-wing ideologues who have to borrow their tax-cutting strategy from overseas. The story of this government's personal income tax plan originates in United States Republican law, with people like Irving Kristol and Grover Norquist. To see the origins of this, you need to look back to the Bush tax cuts implemented in 2003, which saw 53 per cent of the cuts going to the top one per cent. American taxpayers making $10 million or more pocketed an average of $1 million a year. But, in order to hide from the American people the impact of that tax cut, a short-term stimulus was put in place, and so everybody saw an immediate handout but, over the long run, it was the most affluent who received the most.Read more
Launch of National Volunteer Week 2018
21 May 2018
When I think back to my childhood, volunteering is among the most memorable things I did. Working with the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers to build a track in Nowra. Standing in Hornsby shopping centre dressed in a clown suit, selling juggling balls to raise money for Oxfam. Volunteering at Redfern Legal Centre and the ACT Welfare Rights Centre as a law student and junior lawyer.
But while we have this huge strength for volunteering which Minister Tehan has referred to, the overall statistics suggest a problem. As Australia has become more ‘disconnected’ on a range of dimensions. So too, volunteering has fallen. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the share of people who volunteered in the past year has fallen from 36 per cent to 31 per cent. We need to turn that trend around. That’s why Labor leader Bill Shorten after the last election made the historic decision of creating a portfolio for charities and not for profits, recognising that volunteering doesn't sit neatly within environment, law or social services but spans all of those areas and much more.Read more
BUDGET 2018: THEY CUT, YOU PAY
SPEECH – MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 9 MAY 2018
We've seen many Malcolm Turnbulls over the years.
We've seen the Republican Malcolm Turnbull and the Malcolm Turnbull who says that it's ‘not the time’ to become a republic.
We've seen the multicultural member for Wentworth and the member for Wentworth who appoints Peter Dutton.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who wanted a Labor Senate spot and we've seen the member for Wentworth who would spend a million dollars of his own money to win an election.
We've seen the Q&A member for Wentworth and the member for Wentworth who cuts the ABC.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who was in here in 2016 wanting to raise income taxes and the member for Wentworth who was in here saying he was going to cut income taxes.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who crossed the floor to support an emissions trading scheme and the member for Wentworth who is presiding over an increase in Australian emissions.
We've seen the member for Wentworth who said that there was never a more exciting time to be Prime Minister and the member for Wentworth who struggled to stay awake last night!
Now we're seeing the street-spruiker member for Wentworth saying, 'It is time for the closing-down sale—grab a bargain.'Read more
'LUCKY BOY IN THE LUCKY COUNTRY
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MAX CORDEN, ECONOMIST'
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
MONDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2018
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the lands on which we meet today, and recognise Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt, Professor Hal Hill, Professor Bob Gregory, and the extraordinary Max Corden.
As an empirical economist, I naturally prepared for today’s book launch by looking at the relevant datasets. Two big themes of this book are Max’s passion for migration and his research on reducing tariffs. So I opened up Stata, and looked through various datasets, hoping to find one on Australian attitudes to both questions.
Eventually, I struck digital gold. The 1998 Australian Election Study asked whether tariffs should be used to protect industry. Eleven percent disagreed, a view with which I imagine Max would broadly share. It also asked about the number of migrants that Australia should take, and 11 percent said Australia should take more migrants. Max holds both views, something that is true of 2 percent of Australians. So Max, I’m afraid that your Australian sales are unlikely to ever exceed half a million.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, 6 DECEMBER 2017
I have spoken half a dozen times in this parliament in support of marriage equality.
As an economist, we are often faced with public -policy decisions that involve trade-offs: one group made better off while another group is made worse off. This is, to my great delight, not one of those debates. This is a moment where a group of Australians will be made better off. Australians in same-sex relationships will have the opportunity to wed, and no-one will be made worse off.
Heterosexual marriages, like my own, will not be weakened. Indeed, some may be strengthened, given that, as we know, some heterosexual couples have held off tying the knot until marriage equality becomes reality.Read more