Building Community and Building Evidence: 15 Years of the Centre For Social Impact
Centre for Social Impact, Sydney
Wednesday, 16 August 2023
I acknowledge the Gadigal people as traditional custodians of the land, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.
I commit myself, as a member of the Albanese Government, to the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament.
It doesn’t matter who you talk to across the political spectrum almost everyone believes in a society where a child’s outcomes aren’t predestined from birth.
As A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson wrote in his poem ‘Boots’:
They called us ‘mad Australians’;
they couldn’t understand
How officers and men could fraternise
The poem captures Australia’s fundamentally egalitarian ideals. We prefer the word ‘mate’ to the word ‘sir’. We’re likely to think of ourselves as more country pub than country club.Read more
Data and Evaluation: A Match Made in Policy Heaven
Data for Policy Summit, Canberra
Tuesday, 15 August 2023
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as traditional custodians of the ACT and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands and region.
I acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.
I commit myself, as a member of the Albanese Government, to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament.
Thank you to Life Course Centre for hosting today’s Summit and thank you for focusing your efforts on the causes of disadvantage in Australia.
Name a better duo is a popular social media caption.
I could name Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso but the entire Matildas squad is star studded.
I could name Canberra and Spring as a world-class combination, but the allergy sufferers may beg to differ.
So, today I’m going to break the internet and name data and evaluation as the most dynamic duo.
They’re a match made in policy heaven.Read more
House of Representatives, 10 August 2023
Here in the ACT and across the country, housing affordability has become a major challenge. Under the former government, home ownership rates in Australia fell to a 50-year low. Many Australians are struggling to pay the rent. Since coming to office, our government has focused on improving access to housing and tackling the homelessness challenge. We've invested in the Social Housing Accelerator. We're expanding build-to-rent, including right here in the ACT. Through National Cabinet, states and territories have committed to improving renters' rights. I commend the hard work of the Housing Minister Julie Collins on achieving these outcomes. We've delivered the biggest increase in the Commonwealth's rental assistance in 30 years.
But unfortunately, a no-alition of the Liberals and the Greens is blocking the Housing Australia Future Fund, a major investment in housing supply. For every day that that blockage continues, 16 more houses don't get built. So, by standing in the way of the Housing Australia Future Fund, the Greens are blocking housing supply.Read more
Launch of the State of the Nation Report: Social Connection in Australia 2023
Parliamentary Friends of Ending Loneliness, Canberra
Monday, 7 August 2023
Like Aunty Violet Sheridan, I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose lands we meet today, acknowledge all First Nations people present, and commit myself to campaigning for a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
I'd like to thank the co-chairs, Bridget Archer and Andrew Giles, good friends both appropriately for a group called Parliamentary Friends for Ending Loneliness. I think it should just be shortened to ‘Parliamentary Enemies of Loneliness’. That would be simpler. We're not really into parliamentary enemies groups in this parliament. But really that would get to the nub of it.
I also acknowledge Emma McBride, who is doing terrific work in the health space, particularly thinking about how social prescribing can make a difference, Michelle Lim and John Pollaers from Ending Loneliness Together, and social commentator Hugh Mackay.
Supporting Australian Families
Matter of Public Importance
House of Representatives, Wednesday 2 August 2023
As a father of three boys, I found yesterday's television stories utterly gut-wrenching. To see these accounts of a number of allegations is just extraordinary. I'd encourage anyone who is distressed by the news to seek support. The government thanks the hardworking officers of the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and the Queensland and New South Wales police for their dedication to the case. They didn't give up until they identified all of the alleged victims.
It's important to remember that the matter is currently before the courts. We in this parliament have the liberty to speak about any matters we wish, but it has not been unknown for past court cases to be derailed, so I'd urge all those speaking on this matter of public importance debate to be careful. The Leader of the Opposition, as a former police officer, knows better than anyone to be careful in all of our words in what we say to ensure we do not jeopardise the work of the police.
The Albanese government has been working with all Australian jurisdictions on the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse, underpinned by an initial investment of some $300 million over four years. The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation received additional funding in our budget. The Minister for Education has asked the independent Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority to undertake a review of child safety arrangements, recognising these heinous events. The government will receive the authority's interim reports in October.Read more
Boosting Transparency and Accountability in the Charity Sector
Annual Conference of the Charity Law Association of Australia, Melbourne
Thursday, 27 July 2023
In the 2023-24 Budget, we announced funding to enable increased disclosure of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s regulatory activities to enhance transparency and accountability in the charity sector.
Today I will speak about the motivations behind this measure and look to provide additional details on the underlying reforms.
The ACNC takes potential misconduct in the charity sector very seriously, and investigates where necessary. In 2021–22 the ACNC finalised 96 investigations, which resulted in a range of outcomes, including the revocation of 15 charities’ registration for serious and ongoing non-compliance.Read more
Randomised Trials, Employment Services and Work For All
Connect Up 2023, Surfers Paradise
Tuesday, 25 July 2023
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the Yugambeh region, and all First Nations people present here today. I commit myself, as a member of the Albanese Government, to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. Thanks to CoAct CEO Simon Brown and chair Lynn Smart for the invitation to speak at ConnectUp 2023.
In 1944 and 1945, as war raged in the Pacific, HC (Nugget) Coombs and a team of fellow economists in the Ministry of Post-War Reconstruction drafted a White Paper on Full Employment. Commissioned by Prime Minister John Curtin, the result was punchy and bold. It began with an excoriating denunciation of the way that the economy in the interwar years had served Australians:
‘Despite the need for more houses, food, equipment and every other type of product, before the war not all those available for work were able to find employment or to feel a sense of security in their future. On the average during the 20 years between 1919 and 1939 more than one-tenth of the men and women desiring work were unemployed.’Read more
ANZLF Closing Plenary: Collaboration For Economic Resilience
Wednesday, 19 July
Kia ora and hello.
Australia and New Zealand enjoy a straight-talking – sometimes playful – but always respectful relationship.
Its benefits reach beyond our borders to support stability, prosperity and security across our region.
In recent years, I have appreciated the chance to visit New Zealand as a guest of Presbyterian Support Northern, and to discuss shared economic and social challenges with Finance Minister Grant Robertson and New Zealand High Commissioner Annette King.
The Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum is an important part of our ongoing dialogue, and I thank you for the invitation to speak today.Read more
A More Competitive Labor Party
Per Capita John Cain Lunch, Melbourne
Wednesday, 19 July 2023
John Cain and Labor
John Cain is one of Labor’s great heroes. When in 1982 he led Victorian Labor to power after 27 years in the wilderness, the reforms spanned the field, from education to law reform, the environment to open government. This being Victoria, sport was a part of the reform agenda too. Cain’s government demanded that the Melbourne Cricket Club admit women members, and introduced Sunday VFL games. In the early-1980s, Cain’s unleashing of reform after a generation in opposition was a blend of Whitlam and Hawke, with a dash of succession. John’s father, John Cain senior, had been the previous Victorian Labor Premier: governing until 1955, when the Split destroyed his government.
Yet although his father had been premier, John Cain was not a Labor powerbroker. Along with John Button and Barry Jones, he was factionally independent. He had seen what divisions in the party had done to his father’s government. Like most active Labor Party members, he chose not to be in a faction.
My argument today is simple: the Labor Party needs to provide space for people to remain outside the factional system. Across the country, the power of the factions is at an all-time high. We need to ensure that it is a legitimate choice for everyone – from new members to elected officials – to be non-factional. To join Labor should be enough. We should not be asking that those who want to make an impact within the ALP must join a sub-group within the party. Factions are fine. But not being in a faction should be fine too.Read more
Monopoly and the Banker: More Than a Board Game
Australian Conference of Economists, Brisbane
Wednesday, 12 July 2023
Since our panel has been asked to riff off Governor Lowe’s remarks in his lunchtime talk, I thought it would be helpful for me to focus on the ways in which developments in my portfolio of competition have affected monetary policy.
The job of the Reserve Bank is never easy, but it is especially challenging at times when inflation is outside the target band. Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine and major problems with vital supply chains are undoubtably key drivers of Australia's inflation problem.
Nonetheless, two new pieces of research suggesting that a lack of competition may impede the transmission of monetary policy – effectively making life harder for central bankers. Both were published in May in the American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings.Read more