Let's bring the A-League to the capital - Op Ed, Queanbeyan Age

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.

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Silence on the DIN - Media Release

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.

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Australia is better off with immigration - Neumann & Leigh - Op Ed, Ten Daily

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.

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Gender equity more than a women's issue - Speech, House of Representatives

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.

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Territorians should not have their rights restricted - Speech, Federation Chamber

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.

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When will Turnbull stamp down on extremism and racism - Transcript, Doorstop

E&OE TRANSCRIPT

DOORSTOP

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

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. 

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Let's bring A-League football to the capital - Speech, Federation Chamber

LET'S BRING THE A-LEAGUE TO THE CAPITAL

Federation Chamber, 13 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.

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Liberals bring charities together, against their policies - Speech, House of Representatives

LIBERALS BRING CHARITIES TOGETHER - AGAINST THEIR POLICIES

House of Representatives, 13 August 2018

I was delighted after the last election to be appointed by Bill Shorten, the Leader of the Opposition, as the shadow minister for charities and not-for-profits. It's the first time that either major party has had a portfolio for charities and not-for-profits, reflecting Labor's strong belief in the charitable sector. I acknowledge the important work also being done by Senator Louise Pratt in her role of working with volunteers. It indicates very clearly Labor's strong support for our voluntary sector.

But that strong support for the voluntary sector hasn't been reciprocated by both sides of the House. We have seen two open letters – one to Prime Minister Abbott and another to Prime Minister Turnbull – from the charity sector, complaining about attacks on the charity sector. The most recent letter was signed by Volunteering Australia, Carers Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Community Council of Australia, Justice Connect, Philanthropy Australia and the Starlight Children's Foundation.

The fact is the Liberals have brought charities together – against their retrograde policies.

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Canberra has no more passionate champion than Gai - Statement

GAI BRODTMANN 

Like many Canberrans, I am sorry to hear that Gai Brodtmann is stepping down from federal parliament.

Canberra has no more passionate champion than Gai. Like her predecessor, Annette Ellis, she has been an active presence in the community, working with a bevy of community groups across the electorate.

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Penalty rates are an Australian value - Speech, House of Representatives

PENALTY RATES ARE AN AUSTRALIAN VALUE

House of Representatives, 13 August 2018

Given that there are no government speakers taking the jump, I thought I would use this opportunity to say a few words about the Fair Work Amendment (Restoring Penalty Rates) Bill 2018 and the importance of maintaining penalty rates.

Let's face it, when was the last time you planned your child's birthday party for a Monday morning, went to a christening on a Tuesday, invited friends to your house for a barbecue lunch on a Wednesday or went off to see the AFL Grand Final on a Thursday lunchtime? The fact is weekends exist for a reason. They help workers coordinate socialising time together, which is so vital to the health of the Australian community.

We live in an Australia that has become more disconnected over recent decades. We've seen a decline in the share of Australians attending church or being part of community groups such as the Scouts, the Guides, Rotary and Lions. Surveys that I've helped to have commissioned over the years have shown that the share of Australians who know their neighbours has fallen and the number of close friends that Australians can count has dwindled. So protecting the weekend is absolutely vital to building the strength of social capital in Australia. The strength of the weekend reflects the ability of a society to get together to enjoy life. The purpose of life is not to work. It is terrific when we add to GDP, but GDP is not the sole benchmark of the performance of a society. When we have strong weekends, when people can get together with their friends and neighbours, we are healthier as a society. Frankly, things work a lot better in a society with a high degree of social capital and civic connectedness. Playing sport, being part of a union, attending religious services and supporting community life are fundamental to the kind of Australia that many people want to live in.

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