KEYNOTE ADDRESS, CUSTOMER OWNED BANKING ASSOCIATION REGULATORY AFFAIRS SUMMIT
National Gallery of Australia, 22 August 2018
Thank you, Michael [Lawrence], for that introduction. As a member for the ACT, welcome to those of you who are not Canberrans to the best city in Australia (as rated by the OECD). I acknowledge that we're meeting on traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and pay my respect to their elders past and present.
At the outset I wanted to say a few words about where the Australian economy is tracking. I’ll begin, because I'm a natural optimist, with the things that look positive. The Reserve Bank recently noted that there has been a broad pick up in global growth in 2017 which has largely carried through to 2018. Chinese growth is increasingly consumption driven, East Asian semiconductor trade is healthy, European machinery investments has been strong. In the United States and Japan and Germany and in Britain, unemployment is in a multi-decade low. Forecasts for global growth have been revised up for 2018 and 2019.
For Australia, commodity prices remain solid. Analysts are a little concerned about the medium term outlook. Some of that turns on the changes that China is making around managing local production to improve urban air quality. A good thing for the air in their cities, but it may have knock on effects on our iron ore exports.
If you're a business, global interest rates are now as low as they've been since 3000 B.C., according to analysis done by the Bank of England. So that's the upside. That's my Edward de Bono ‘yellow hat’ analysis.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 22 AUGUST 2018
SUBJECT: Liberal Party leadership and policy paralysis.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner. I don't often agree with Eric Abetz, but Eric Abetz was on the radio this morning saying that this isn't just about personalities, it's about policy. I think that's fundamentally right. The biggest environmental issue facing the planet is climate change and the Liberal Party is riven about it. One of the biggest issues facing Australian households is energy prices and the Liberal Party again doesn't know what to do.
The powerful and rising Tea Party faction within the Liberal Party is destroying consensus, destroying strong mainstream politics. The Liberal Party no longer knows whether it's a liberal or a conservative party. Only a spell in opposition will allow them to sort that out. Whether they chose Malcolm Turnbull or Peter Dutton or Scott Morrison or Julie Bishop, the fact remains that the Liberal Party is a party disunified, an opposition in exile. They are a party that is unable to make the big decisions that Australians need.Read more
TERRITORIANS SHOULD NOT HAVE THEIR RIGHTS RESTRICTED
The Riot ACT - 20 August, 2018
In 1997, as the Commonwealth parliament sought to remove legislative rights from the ACT and the Northern Territory, then Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT Kate Carnell appeared before a committee of this parliament to say “what is at issue here is nothing less than the democratic rights of the citizens of the ACT”.
She referred to the proposed Andrews Bill as “limiting our self-governing powers”. Ms Carnell emphasised the long-term effects of depriving citizens of democratic rights enjoyed by those in the states, but the Andrews Bill passed the parliament and the restriction of the democratic right of territorians is with us today.Read more
WE TERRITORIANS WILL KEEP UP THE PRESSURE TO HAVE OUR DEMOCRATIC VOICES HEARD
House of Representatives, 20 August 2018
I move that this bill be now read a second time.
Twenty-one years ago this parliament restricted the rights of territorians to have their voices heard through their elected representatives on the issue of voluntary assisted dying. Back then, they said that these parliaments were too immature to be given the power of voluntary assisted dying. They said that no state had done it and a territory shouldn't be the first. Today, those arguments are gone. Victoria has now legislated on voluntary assisted dying. The whole notion that there might be some mass migration of Australians towards a territory that was the first to legislate on euthanasia — that argument is out the window.
And parliaments have grown up. Back in 1997, when Kevin Andrews passed his private member's bill, the ACT assembly was just nine years old—just a kid attending primary school. Now it's grown up, left home and shown itself to be a mature debating chamber. Yes, the ACT is a unicameral assembly, but so is Queensland. The ACT has a bigger population than Tasmania. A 30-year-old mature assembly has tackled complicated issues, from light rail to infrastructure investment, from innovation to higher education. This is a parliament that has shown itself to be fit to handle a difficult challenge such as voluntary assisted dying.Read more
LET'S BRING THE A-LEAGUE TO THE CAPITAL
Queanbeyan Age - 18 August, 2018
If you know all the north Canberra Bels - Belnorth, Belsouth, Belwest, the Devils and the Foxes - if you know the Uniteds, Citys and FCs, the Medusas, the Gliders, the Pumas, Olympic, the Panthers and the Spurs, the Bulls, White Eagles and Wanderers, the Knights, the Magpies and the Blues, then you'll know these names: Warren, Grella, Zelic, Shipard, Valeri, Farina, Perry, Rogic, Arrows, Cosmos, Arzani.
Those great names of Australian soccer have all played a part in the growth of football here in Canberra as well as across the nation.Read more
SILENCE ON THE DIN
Director identification numbers are the most important reform required to crack down on illegal phoenix activity. Yet the Turnbull Government is still no closer to implementing them.
Minister Kelly O’Dwyer yesterday released draft phoenix legislation that did not include director identification numbers.
Australia is better off with immigration
Ten Daily, 16 August 2018
Diversity strengthens our culture and economy.
In 1981, economist Julian Simon published a groundbreaking book titled The Ultimate Resource, in which he pushed back at the prevailing view that the world was threatened by overpopulation. The ultimate resource, Simon argued, is people "skilled, spirited, and hopeful people who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit, and inevitably they will benefit not only themselves but the rest of us as well".
In today’s immigration debate, people often forget that the 2016 census showed nearly half of all Australians have either been born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas.
The Australian story is inherently linked to migration and our non-discriminatory immigration policy is our strength and our pride, having allowed for 7.5 million migrants to call Australia home since World War II.Read more
GENDER EQUITY MORE THAN A WOMEN'S ISSUE
House of Representatives, 15 August 2018
I rise to speak on the topic of gender equity. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency reports that in 1997 the gender pay gap among full-time workers in Australia was 16½ per cent. Twenty years later in 2017, it had narrowed to 15½ per cent. If we continue at that pace, narrowing the gender pay gap by half a percentage point every decade, then in a mere 310 years, Australian women will be earning the same wages as Australian men.
I suspect if you told Jessie Street, Vida Goldstein, Louisa Lawson or Eileen Powell that it was going to take until 2328 for Australia to close the gender pay gap, they would have told you that we weren't doing a good enough job. We have also a gender gap in superannuation balances: for those aged 55-64, men have an average balance of $310,000; women, an average balance of $196,000.Read more
TERRITORIANS SHOULD NOT HAVE THEIR RIGHTS RESTRICTED
Federation Chamber, 15 August 2018
In 1997, as the Commonwealth parliament sought to remove legislative rights from the ACT and the Northern Territory, then Liberal Chief Minister of the ACT, Kate Carnell, appeared before a committee of this parliament and said:
… what is at issue here is nothing less than the democratic rights of the citizens of the ACT...
She referred to the proposed Andrews Bill as 'limiting our self-governing powers'. Ms Carnell emphasised the long-term effects of depriving citizens of democratic rights enjoyed by those in the states. But the Andrews Bill passed the parliament, and the restriction of the democratic right of territorians is with us today.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 15 AUGUST 2018
SUBJECTS: The need for Malcolm Turnbull to take action on racist hate speech, Territory rights, Renewables and taxpayer-funded coal power.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Good morning everyone. We saw statements in the Senate last night that were hateful, hurtful and harmful. They were ignorant and mean spirited and which suggested that Australia should go back to the discredited White Australia Policy. My parents campaigned against the White Australia Policy, advocating its abolition as young students. Australia is better off for the abolition of the White Australia Policy – not just for the flow of migrants that came in, but for what it said to the world for our self-confidence as a nation that we no longer needed to discriminate based on race or religion.
Since then we've had migrants come into Australia who have enriched the nation. Australia is better off for the migration of Gustav Nossal, Les Murray, Frank Lowy, Anh Do and millions of other migrants who have brought innovation and ideas to Australia. Migrants are more likely to patent, they're more likely to start new businesses. Migrants are more likely to export, they bring a sense of entrepreneurialism and vigour to our economy.
We know that diversity is an economic driver. Diverse companies are more productive. Diverse cities are more productive. Diverse nations produce more. Yet what we've seen from Senator Anning's comments are a suggestion that we should go back to the past by reinstating discrimination.
Let's be clear, this man is only in Parliament as a result of Malcolm Turnbull's double dissolution. These statements are being made in a context in which the Coalition has denigrated migration. The Coalition needs to speak more strongly and forcefully for a value of a multicultural Australia and for the benefits that migrants bring to Australia.Read more