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.

A More Competitive Labor Party - Speech

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.

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Monopoly and the Banker: More Than a Board Game - Speech

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.

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Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 - Speech

Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023
Second Reading Speech
House of Representatives, 22 June 2023

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share—Integrity and Transparency) Bill 2023 gives effect to the government's election commitments. These election commitments were announced in April 2022, with specific details announced in the October 2022 budget.

These policies are grounded in the OECD/G20 inclusive framework on base erosion and profit shifting, which began in 2013. Working together within this inclusive framework, over 135 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating on the implementation of measures to tackle tax avoidance, improve the coherence of international tax rules and ensure a more transparent tax environment.

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Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 2) Bill 2023 - Speech

Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 2) Bill 2023
Consideration of Senate Message
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023

These amendments relate to the tax deductibility status for entities in the upcoming referendum debate. It is something of a coincidence that we are speaking on this matter just as that item has passed the parliament. Providing tax-deductible status to organisations participating in public campaigning on the referendum allows the community to support public conversations for and against the Voice to Parliament. As the government has announced, we will not be providing public funding for either the 'yes' or the 'no' case; however, this amendment provides tax-deductible gift recipient status to a 'no' case entity.

For the benefit of the House I'll provide a little background on that. In the May budget, the government made a decision to provide tax-deductible gift recipient status for an organisation campaigning against the Voice to Parliament. There hadn't been any proposals for 'no' case organisations until March 2022, so the budget included the Voice No Case Committee. However, one day before the budget was published, the Voice No Case Committee informed Treasury that it was no longer seeking deductible gift recipient status. It then announced, through media statements, that it had merged with the newly formed entity Australians for Unity and would be the main vehicle campaigning against the Voice. That entity didn't exist until mid-April and only had its charitable status approved last Thursday. Last Friday, the Senate approved amendments which would provide Australians for Unity, the principal vehicle for campaigning for a 'no' case, with tax-deductible gift recipient status that would be backdated to 13 April.

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Restoring a Frank and Fearless Public Service - Speech

Public Service Amendment Bill 2023
House of Representatives, 20 June 2023

One of the pleasures of being appointed an assistant minister in the Albanese government has been to work with the extraordinarily capable public servants in the departments of Treasury and Employment and in organisations such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Every day, Australians interact with the Australian Public Service—a cafe owner calling Services Australia asking for help after their business has been damaged in a flood; a high school student requesting a book so they can work on a research paper and therefore touching base with experts at the National Library; a new parent accessing parental leave payments through myGov; a teenager applying for their first tax file number after getting their first job; a retiree receiving their medical rebates when they see a doctor. And then there's the work, which is so important, occurring behind-the-scenes—CSIRO researchers exploring cutting-edge science, cybersecurity experts keeping Australia safe from the latest attempted cyberattack.

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Using Markets to Save the Environment - Speech

Nature Repair Market Bill 2023
Nature Repair Market (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023

In 1984 EO Wilson popularised the notion of biophilia, what he called 'the urge to affiliate with other forms of life'. His 1984 book was a bestseller and reminds us that many of us are at our best when we're in nature. I tend to start the day with a run. At first, I did it mostly for exercise purposes but then I realised one of the reasons it's really good for my head is I'm fortunate to live near Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie, so I get to spend time with the kangaroos and the kookaburras and the spiders and the galahs and all the rest. That always seems to set the day up, as it did this morning.

As I run through that area I'll often think about the lessons that I've learned about that part of the world from Tyronne Bell, a Ngunawal man who took the time to take my family and me through parts of the Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie reserves, showing us where the scar trees were, where the traditional areas were and the way in which country has been used for millennia by First Nations people.

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Book Launch for More Than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability And Public Policy In Australia - Speech

More Than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability And Public Policy In Australia
Australian National University, Canberra
Thursday, 8 June 2023

More than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability and Public Policy in Australia is the best book about the Intergenerational Report that I have ever read.

Admittedly, it’s also the only book about the Intergenerational Report I’ve ever read.

But it also has the benefit of being written by a star-studded cast of social scientists, brought together by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. It’s a credit to the academy – and particularly to editors Andrew Podger, Jane Hall and Mike Woods – for bringing a bevy of big brains together to think about this report, and the long-term.

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Sir Roland Wilson Foundation Scholar Symposium - Speech

Better Evaluation Builds a Stronger Public Service: The Australian Centre for Evaluation
Australian National University, Canberra
Wednesday, 7 June 2023

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal People, the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

I pay my respects to their Elders, extend that respect to all First Nations people present today, and commit myself to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

I also recognise the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation and its role in strengthening the links between academic research and public policy. It’s an objective close to my economist heart, and one that exemplifies the special role of the Australian National University. And it’s great to see the partnership extended to Charles Darwin University.

On that note, I would like to acknowledge the Foundation’s Chair, Dr Martin Parkinson, and the Foundation’s scholars. As you embark on your research, I encourage you to draw inspiration from your peers, those who have come before you and Roland Wilson’s legacy. 

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Wreck Bay - Speech

Constituency Statement
House of Representatives, 1 June 2023

In Reconciliation Week, it is appropriate that that House has passed the Voice to Parliament referendum bill, now for consideration with the Senate.

It was a pleasure on Tuesday morning to join the member for Robertson and other conveners of Parliamentary Friends of Running, the member for Gippsland and the member for Warringah, with Rob de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Foundation group and a range of Canberra supporters of the work that the Indigenous Marathon Foundation does. I am pleased to be a long-time supporter of the foundation, having run the six World Marathon Majors as a supporter of theirs. I'm off to South Africa on Sunday week to run the 87-kilometre Comrades ultramarathon, the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon.

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Rob Eakin - Speech

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2023-2024
House of Representatives, 31 May 2023

I want to acknowledge Rob Eakin, an extraordinary Australian who passed away earlier this month. Rob died the day after the budget, which is significant because he was an extraordinary Labor stalwart. Rob and his wife Robin were two of the people who were among my earliest supporters when I first got into politics. I always felt that whatever I did, they would have my back. They were the best of volunteers: hardworking, altruistic, generous and funny. They were a real delight to be around, and every conversation with Rob and Robin left me feeling better about the world.

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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.