Joint media release with
The Hon Danny Pearson MP
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs
AGREEMENT REACHED ON REFORM OF CHARITABLE FUNDRAISING LAWS
Charities have long told their governments that they are wasting time complying with inconsistent and outdated fundraising rules across the states and territories. On one estimate, compliance requirements cost Australian charities more than $1 million per month.
In their most recent meeting, the Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers agreed to a set of nationally consistent fundraising principles to streamline and harmonise state and territory requirements on charitable fundraiser conduct.Read more
2CC 1206 AM WITH STEPHEN CENATIEMPO
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: AVOIDING CHARITY SCAMS; PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REVIEW INTO PHILANTHROPY
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO (HOST): I got to say, it's a bloody disgrace that we have to discuss this, but unfortunately, it's the way of the world in 2023. A week now, or a bit over a week since the earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria. The death toll is now over 35,000 people. And whilst most of the world is trying to assist those two countries with their rescue and salvage and repair efforts, there are warnings about scammers trying to take advantage of people's generosity. It's absolutely extraordinary. And this is off the back of yesterday, we talked about Valentine's Day scams. Dr Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Charities, Competition and Treasury and the member for Fenner, and he joins us on the line. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH , ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Stephen. And, look, I think you just hit the nail on the head about how disgusting this is. You've got people buried under the rubble, you've got helpers flying to the other side of the world to assist them, and yet there's this tiny minority of people looking to make a fast buck out of the generosity of their fellow Australians.Read more
SKY AM AGENDA WITH LAURA JAYES
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Avoiding charity scams; Reserve Bank of Australia; energy policy; reducing inflation.
LAURA JAYES (HOST): Well, security experts are warning scammers are preying on people’s goodwill in the aftermath of the Türkiye–Syria earthquake and there’s instances of people being tricked into donating to fake causes.
Joining me live is the Assistant Minister for Charities, Dr Andrew Leigh. Thank you so much for your time, Dr Leigh.
ANDREW LEIGH , ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Real pleasure.
JAYES: I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised that this kind of disgusting behaviour is going on, but so soon after this tragedy. What should we be looking out for?
LEIGH: Laura, I think it’s key to look out for things that are a bit out of the ordinary. We know there’s been scammers posting things on Twitter and TikTok asking for people to give based on a compelling picture. Sometimes those pictures don’t look quite right, as in the infamous one of a so-called rescued person who has six fingers – obviously, an image generated through an artificial intelligence engine. But if you’re being asked to give to a PayPal appeal, then be a little bit suspicious because PayPal hasn’t operated in Türkiye for a number of years. It’s better to give through an established charity and if you’re not sure whether a charity is established, just go to the charity commission website, ACNC.gov.au —
JAYES: That’s a really good tip. Give us that again because I interrupted you, sorry.Read more
5AA MORNINGS WITH MATTHEW PANTELIS
TUESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Avoiding charity scams; Reserve Bank of Australia; Government policy and reducing inflation.
MATTHEW PANTELIS (HOST): Well, we know of the tragedy in Türkiye and Syria, the earthquake there has killed tens of thousands of people. A miraculous rescue just overnight, I think, after 178 hours a young girl pulled out from the rubble, which is fantastic. But there's a lot of appeals that have been launched to try and raise money for the earthquake victims. The Federal Government has issued a warning about some appeals being scams and what to look out for. The Assistant Minister for Competition, Charity and Treasury, Dr. Andrew Leigh is on the line. Andrew, good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Matthew. Great to be with you and your listeners.Read more
HARNESSING GENEROSITY, BOOSTING PHILANTHROPY
A once-in-a-generation review of Australian philanthropy has kicked off. Undertaken by the Productivity Commission, the goal of the review is to boost donations to charities and meet the Australian Government’s goal of doubling philanthropic giving by 2030.
The Government has appointed Krystian Seibert, formerly an Industry Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, to join the review as an Associate Commissioner. Mr Seibert has extensive experience in the philanthropic and not for profit sectors.
The review comes at a time when the charity sector is under pressure. Over recent decades, Australians have become less likely to join community groups, less likely to volunteer, less likely to play organised sport, less likely to attend religious services, and less likely to know their neighbours. Declining social capital has broad implications for wellbeing, health and social connectedness.Read more
Let’s stop governments from making the same mistake twice
Australian Financial Review, 2 February 2023
In 1890, rust fungus wiped out much of Australia’s wheat crop, and the colonies had to import wheat. In response, farmer William Farrer used experiments to try to create a rust-resistant variety. Critics mocked his ‘pocket handkerchief wheat plot’, but Farrer’s hundreds of combinations finally produced ‘Federation Wheat’ – a rust-resistant strain that outperformed all others.
When it came to rescuing the wheat industry, Australia used careful experiments to find out what worked best. But too often, policies are rolled out with little or no evidence to back them up. Some of the worst decisions of recent decades – the Baby Bonus, rorted grants programs, privatisations of state monopolies – emerged from an evidence-free vacuum.Read more
Truth, Celebration and Reconciliation
The Canberra Times, 1 February 2023
To understand the history of First Nations people is to hold two big facts in our minds.
One is the remarkable history of those who first occupied a continent. At least sixty thousand years ago, people settled in Australia, creating what is now the oldest known civilisation on earth. By the time Ancient Greece and Rome were getting started, First Nations people had already occupied Australia for tens of thousands of years.
The other big fact is what happened after settlers arrived and proclaimed British sovereignty on 26 January 1788. Over the next century, Australia’s Indigenous population declined, due to violence, disease and starvation. In 1788, there were around 800,000 First Nations Australians. By 1900, there were fewer than 100,000.Read more
SKY NEWS NEWSDAY WITH TOM CONNELL
MONDAY, 30 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Industry Super Australia’s proposal to increase the frequency of superannuation payments; role of impact investing in super; Treasurer’s treatise in The Monthly.
TOM CONNELL (HOST): Lobby group Industry Super Australia is calling for a crackdown to ramp up the frequency of payments into superannuation. It claims putting such a mandate in the May budget would end the underpayment of workers estimated it to be as high as $5 billion a year. Joining me live is Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Treasury. Thanks for your time. Is the estimate right and where is it coming from? What are the types of people that are missing out on super?
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Well, Tom, it’s people right across the spectrum. We know that in recent estimates, around a quarter of Australians don't get their super paid on time, and for those who are affected, that can be up to $1,700. So we'll certainly give this Industry Super proposal the due attention it deserves in the interest of Australian workers. And frankly, if you don't end up paying your super, that's not much different from wage theft. So we need to make sure that Australian workers are taken care of. We're also appropriately concerned about making sure the regulatory burden on business isn't increased.Read more
ABC CANBERRA WITH ROSS SOLLY
THURSDAY, 26 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Inflation figures; Impact of rising rates on mortgage holders; Australia Day debate; Cradle Mountain Run.
ROSS SOLLY (HOST): I nearly fell off my chair yesterday, if I was sitting on a chair at the time, in fact, I was walking. And I nearly fell into a bush when I heard the new - the latest inflation figures come out because it wasn't meant to be like this. We're supposed to be getting a cap on all of this. We're supposed to get things under control. Dr. Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Treasury. Good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Ross. How are you?
SOLLY: I'm okay. I've got over my stumble and fall into a bush yesterday. What did you think when you heard the figures?
LEIGH: Well, inflation is unacceptably high. This is the highest annual inflation since 1990: 7.8%. Particularly pushed up by domestic travel, international travel, accommodation, new dwelling purchases. Ross, the initial inflation story was a story of goods inflation, largely driven by supply chain blockages. But as with other countries, it's now started to bleed over to services inflation as well. Still, most of the price rises are in goods, but an increasing share is in services. So we think that inflation has peaked, but we won't know for sure until the next set of figures come out.Read more
2CC 1206 WITH LEON DELANEY
TUESDAY, 24 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Reforms to process for approving the tax-deductibility of charities; The role of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission; Investigation into Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints; Referendum to implement an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
LEON DELANEY (HOST): Andrew Leigh, Federal Member for Fenner. Are you ever tempted to sit in Bob Hawke's chair?
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Oh, yeah, and I love going to Old Parliament House. There's just that sense of history radiating out of the walls. You know, you stand on the steps, you think about that moment in 1975, when Gough Whitlam stood there after the dismissal. You walk into the chambers, you can just you can get that sense of Curtin and Chifley and Menzies standing at the despatch box. It's just a magical place. We're so lucky to have it in the capital.
DELANEY: Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Museum of Australian Democracy, although, sad to say, I haven't actually been there for a little while. But I do remember Bob Hawke's office as being quite impressive and I just imagined myself sitting in the big chair. But you know what? They wouldn't let me.
LEIGH: Well, you can wander into the chambers, you can sit on those lovely padded green seats, remind yourself that these were rooms designed for ample bottomed men. And the decor of the place does sort of it feels very much like a cigar club to me. So while it's beautiful, it's also a relic of that kind of much more masculine era.Read more