NATIONAL PRESS CLUB ADDRESS
TUESDAY, 29 AUGUST 2023
SUBJECTS: Australian Centre for Evaluation, multinational tax transparency, competition in the airline industry, supermarket prices, matters to be included in the Competition Review, Intergenerational Report, evaluation and public service capability building, industry policy, local manufacturing.
ANDREW TILLET (MODERATOR): Thank you Dr Leigh, unfortunately we’ve gone a little bit over time for this speech so we might have to get straight to the Choose Your Own Adventure part of the proceedings and go to questions from our colleagues. First up is Paul Karp.
PAUL KARP: Thanks very much for your speech Dr Leigh, Paul Karp from the Guardian. Could I ask on a different topic about country by country multinational tax transparency? Has Australia been warned that other countries might actually share less information if we enact these rules in their current form, and is the government preparing to water down the reforms so that we collect information in the same format as the EU?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Thanks very much for your question, Paul. Our multinational tax agenda isn't just closing loopholes, it's about boosting transparency. The House recently passed one transparency measure, which will require all public firms to report on the country of tax domicile of their subsidiaries. So if a company is doing business in a tax haven, then their investors will know about it. Another part of it as you rightly point out is country-by-country reporting. We're going to make sure we get that right, so that the information that is currently reported to the Australian Tax Office by its counterparts in other countries isn't diminished. The European Union moves to country-by-country reporting on the first of July next year. And our view is that aligning the Australian timetable with European Union makes sense. We're keen to ensure that the maximum amount of information is out there, while guaranteeing that the ATO still gets the data it needs in order to do its job.Read more
EVALUATING POLICY IMPACT: WORKING OUT WHAT WORKS*
National Press Club, Canberra
Tuesday, 29 August 2023
Social workers in schools always boost student outcomes. Drug offenders shouldn’t be treated differently. Malaria bed nets are more likely to be used if people pay for them. Seeing inside a jail will deter juvenile delinquents from becoming criminals.
All four statements sound perfectly sensible, don’t they? Unfortunately, randomised trials suggest that all four are perfectly wrong. Let me explain.
In Britain, pilots of social workers in schools showed that everyone liked the idea. Teachers, social workers and students all liked it. Then researchers at Cardiff and Oxford Universities ran a two-year randomised trial across 300 schools to test the impact. The results, reported this year, showed no significant positive impact (Westlake et al 2023). As a result, the planned national rollout has now been scrapped (Molloy 2023).Read more
MONDAY, 28 AUGUST 2023
SUBJECTS: Pat Farmer's Run for the Voice; Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Welcome, everyone. Thank you so much for being here at the aptly named reconciliation place. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Federal Member for Fenner and it's a real privilege to be here this morning.
We've got the remarkable Rob de Castella former World Marathon record holder and founder of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation.
ROB DE CASTELLA AO: Good morning everyone and thanks Andrew. Pat, you are amazing. Isn’t this man amazing? (Applause) You’re two thirds of the way through the journey. The conviction and the drive and the effort to highlight the significance of this referendum that acknowledges First Nations people and gives them a seat at the table is absolutely amazing.
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