Audio Recordings

For audio recordings of my speeches and conversations at events across the country, please see this podcast below. It's also available on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Written Speeches

Below you will find transcripts of doorstops, speeches and media interviews.

Introducing a global minimum tax on multlnationals

Taxation (Multinational—Global and Domestic Minimum Tax) Bill 2024 - Second Reading Speech

It's important to see this in its historical and international context. No government in Australian history has done more on multinational tax fairness than the Albanese government. No government around the world is doing more to improve multinational tax integrity than Australia.

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The Future of Medicare: Research-Informed Policy for Better Access and Health - Speech


Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Symposium
Wednesday 19 June 2024, Canberra

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal elders, on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay respect to all First Nations people here today.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a father proudly tells his son ‘When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.’

Building Medicare wasn’t easy. In the 1960s, economists John Deeble and Dick Scotton of the University of Melbourne carried out an industry study of the health care sector. In a recent article, Ross Williams recounts their work (Williams 2024). Using data on 5000 people across four states, combined with Ronald Henderson’s poverty survey, Deeble and Scotton showed the problems in the existing system.

They found numerous shortcomings. Pensioners got free health care, but low-income workers didn’t. Around one in five Victorians lacked health insurance, and therefore risked a double whammy – if they became badly ill, they could lose their life savings to medical bills. Meanwhile, the system was regressive, since the most affluent enjoyed tax deductibility of both premiums and co-payments.

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Discovering What Works: Why Rigorous Evaluation Matters - Speech


Australian Evaluation Showcase
Monday 17 June 2024, Canberra


I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of these lands, and pay respect to all First Nations people present.

You might think that certain truths are so self-evident that they transcend the need for evidence. For example, in the area of education, surely we know that:

  • Parents are more likely to get their kids to school with the threat of losing income support.
  • Literacy tests are a fair representation of students’ ability.
  • Early childhood staff have the skills they need. 
  • A health program that is co-designed with students and educators will address adolescents’ risk behaviours.
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Artificial Intelligence at Work: Changing Demand for AI Skills in Job Advertisements - Speech

Australian Bureau of Statistics and Reserve Bank of Australia Joint Conference on Human Capital
11 June 2024, Sydney

I acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional owners of these lands, and pay respect to all First Nations people present.

Barely a day goes by without someone discovering a new use for artificial intelligence. Financial institutions are using AI to detect fraud, by looking for unusual transaction patterns. AI integrated with virtual reality is being used to create highly realistic training simulations for pilots, first responders and surgeons. Musicians are using AI to create new instruments and vocal processes. Educators are using AI to personalise the learning experience. Dating coaches are using AI to train people on finding their perfect match. Gardeners are using AI to choose which plants will work best together, schedule optimal watering times and devise pest control strategies. Carers are using AI to craft fictional stories that are perfectly tailored for young listeners.

AI engines have matched and exceeded humans on a range of tests. As Stanford University’s AI Index 2024 Annual Report points out, artificial intelligence has exceeded human benchmarks on tasks such as reading comprehension, image classification and visual reasoning (see Figure 1). As AI has surpassed these benchmarks, researchers have had to identify new challenges, such as competition-level mathematics, where AI has moved from 10 per cent of human-level performance in 2021 to 90 per cent on the latest estimates (Maslej et al 2024).

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A More Competitive Australia - Speech

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2024-2025 
Consideration In Detail, 6 June 2024

When Labor came to office, Australia's economy was insufficiently competitive. We had seen one of the lousiest decades of productivity growth in the postwar era. Australia's household living standards had suffered, and real wages had flatlined as a result of what they described as a ‘deliberate design feature’ of their economic architecture. And so Labor, since taking office, has set about injecting a little bit more dynamism, a little bit more competition, into the Australian economy.

We know that the Australian economy under the former government had some serious competition problems. We know that, over that period, we saw an increase in market concentration in many industry sectors. Work by the OECD's Dan Andrews and Macquarie University's Elise Dwyer has shown that, if you compare Australia and the United States across 17 industries, the Australian economy is more concentrated than the US economy in 16 out of those 17 industries. This isn't just a matter of Australia being a medium-sized economy. If you look over the period from 2006 to 2020, Dan Andrews and Elise Dwyer find that the Australian economy became more concentrated, not less. Our size grew, but the market concentration problem got worse.

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Mr Bill Wood AM - Speech

Constituency Statement, House of Representatives
Thursday, 30 May 2024

Labor people are proud of the fact that ours is Australia's oldest and greatest political party, formed in 1891, 133 years ago. But Bill Wood had a special claim. He could say he had been a member of the Australian Labor Party for more than half its existence.

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Repairing Products and Reinvigorating Competition - Speech

Opening remarks to the Griffith University Law Futures Centre
23 May 2024, Brisbane


I acknowledge the elders, customs and traditions of the Jagera and the Turrbul, from both sides of the Maiwar and all First Nations people present today.

I would like to thank Griffith University Law Futures Centre for inviting me to provide opening remarks ahead of the lecture by Assistant Professor Anthony Rosborough.

I thank Professor Leanne Wiseman for organising this event and bringing everyone together – including students, researchers and policymakers – to consider the right to repair through the lens of competition policy and market power. Having had the pleasure of speaking at your 2022 Australian Repair Summit, it’s terrific to be joining you again.

To those of you attending today, I thank you for advocating on behalf of Australian consumers and business.

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Together We Thrive: Celebrating The Impact Of Volunteering - Speech

Queensland Volunteering Awards, Volunteering Queensland
Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane
22 May 2024

I acknowledge the Jagera people and the Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of these lands and pay respects to all First Nations people present.

I am pleased to join you today to celebrate the contribution of volunteers across Queensland. I acknowledge the Governor of Queensland, Jeanette Young, and thank the organisers, Volunteering Queensland for the vital role you play in Australia’s national volunteering infrastructure and for the work you do to promote connected and inclusive communities.

Happy National Volunteer Week to all volunteers here today.

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Guardians of Generosity: Privacy and Philanthropy in Australia - Speech

Fundraising Institute of Australia
Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Thank you to the Fundraising Institute of Australia for inviting me to address your annual Essential Member Update, and for bringing together this group of people with such an important role in the viability of our charity sector.

I am speaking to you from Brisbane, where I have just addressed the Queensland Volunteering Awards. I acknowledge the Jagera people and the Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin, and pay my respects to all First Nations people present.

Labor governments are reforming governments, and in two spaces that have key significance to charitable fundraising there are some meaningful changes underway.

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Matter of Public Importance - Five Tests for the Opposition Leader's Budget Reply

Statement on Matters of Significance, House of Representatives
Wednesday, 16 May 2023

If you want to know what the coalition really believe in, let's go back to the most unpopular budget of the past generation, a budget that commemorated its 10-year anniversary this year, the 2014 budget. The 2014 budget was preceded by then Prime Minister Abbott saying there would be ‘no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no cuts to pensions, no changes to the GST and no cuts to the ABC and SBS’. He vowed to avoid these things and he embraced every single one of them.

 In that 2014 budget, the Liberal Party and the National Party said that under-30s would get no unemployment support for six months. In fierce discussions about the right level of JobSeeker, they thought the right level for young Australians should be zero. They said that pensions would no longer be indexed to wages but would only be indexed to prices, essentially saying to Australia's fixed-income retirees that they could no longer share in productivity growth in the economy. They said that HECS-HELP debts would be indexed at a faster rate, a strong contrast to what we said in this budget, which was that the indexation of those debts would be lower.

 The 2014 budget, which commemorates its 10-year anniversary this week, had a $43 million cut to ABC and SBS. It had a $114 million cut to the CSIRO. It had deficits as far as the eye could see from a party that had promised before the election that they would deliver a surplus in their first year and in every year after that. And the 2014 budget ended bulk billing. I wonder who was the health minister who presided over that decision? Hey, that's right: it's none other than the Leader of the Opposition, the man who, when he was health minister, was voted by doctors the worst health minister in living memory.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.