WHY UNIONS ARE VITAL TO ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR
2 OCTOBER 2018
I acknowledge that we meet on the land of the Boon Wurrung and Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to their elders past and present. Special thanks to Emma Dawson for organising this Per Capita event, and Josh Bornstein and Ben Hubbard for the hospitality of Maurice Blackburn. Among the many hardworking unionists in the room, I want to make special note of the presence of Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus and president Michele O'Neil.
The Engels Pause
In the late-1700s, one of the most dramatic transformations in world economic history took place. Starting in Britain, the Industrial Revolution saw production move from hand work to mechanisation. Steam-powered factories massively increased the output of textiles. In previous centuries, economic growth had puttered along so slowly that shops would sometimes carve their prices in stone on the wall. With the industrial revolution, output per worker began to surge. Alongside the domestication of plants and animals, the Industrial Revolution marks one of the major turning points for the world economy.Read more
THE POSTCODE PARADOX: WHY IS AUSTRALIAN INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY SO LOW, AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO INCREASE IT?
EVATT FOUNDATION NSW PARLIAMENT LECTURE
TUESDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 2018
I acknowledge that we meet on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay respect to their Elders past and present. I’m grateful we’re joined by current parliamentarians John Graham, Julia Finn, Mick Veitch, Adam Searle, and Penny Sharpe, and former parliamentarians Jeannette McHugh and Bruce Childs. Special thanks to Clara Edwards and Chris Sheil of the Evatt Foundation for the honour of speaking with you today. And what better respondent could I have than Labor’s candidate for Balmain, 94 years after Evatt first won that seat for our party? Elly Howse will be a great member for Balmain, and I hope you will support her in that goal.
To speak in honour of Herbert Vere Evatt is to be reminded of one’s own inadequacies. State parliamentarian at age 31. High Court judge at 36. Attorney General under Curtin. President of the United Nations General Assembly. Leader of the Federal Opposition. Chief Justice of NSW. Author of seminal books on the Rum Rebellion, the royal prerogative, and Labor’s conscription split.Read more
TAX HAVENS: THE LITTLE ISLANDS THAT ARE COSTING YOU BIG MONEY
TAX AND TRANSFER POLICY INSTITUTE
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, CANBERRA
FRIDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2018
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we’re meeting today, and pay my respects to their elders past and present.
Friends, we can’t put it off any longer. The time has come to talk about Peter.
As you may know, Peter is the CEO and owner of the famous company Peter & Co.[i] Peter is well connected and has the means to create an anonymous shell company where ownership disclosure regulations are relaxed. I hear he’s chosen the Cayman Islands.
Many banks in tax havens cater to the wealthy and are not reliable in sharing information with foreign tax authorities, so Peter has opened an account under the shell company’s name in another tax haven. Word on the street is that Peter has selected Panama for this part of his business dealings.
The last piece of the elaborate puzzle is for Peter & Co. to buy consulting and legal services from his Cayman shell company, with the money wired to his shell company’s Panama account.
The arrangement, on paper, looks legitimate at first glance, but the result is Peter reducing his company’s tax-assessable income – shifting profits out of Australia.Read more
LAUNCHING THE PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF GUN CONTROL
Parliament House, 19 September 2018
I’d like to thank parliamentary colleagues from all sides of the Parliament for joining us tonight to launch the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control, particularly my co-chair John Alexander. Welcome back Tim Fischer, it’s terrific to have you here. I also welcome the extraordinary Walter Mikac, CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Lesley Podesta, and public health experts who have joined us here for this important event.
In 1996, I was a summer clerk at the Sydney law firm of Minter Ellison. Each of us were assigned a mentor. Mine was an energetic, charismatic 28 year old by the name of Zoe Hall. I couldn’t have gotten a better mentor. Zoe was somebody who kept on reaching out to say ‘how are you doing’, offering little bits of advice. And then she took a holiday to Port Arthur and became one of the victims of the Port Arthur massacre.Read more
A MESSAGE OF REMONSTRANCE
House of Representatives, 18 September 2018
For the first time in its 29-year history, the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly has brought to this parliament a message of remonstrance, and it does this asking that the ACT assembly have removed the bar to it having the deeply difficult conversation about voluntary assisted dying.
It was 21 years ago that this parliament took that power away from the ACT assembly.Read more
THE GOVERNMENT HAS RUN OUT OF LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE
House of Representatives, 18 September 2018
It is a pleasure to be debating this bill. I note for the benefit of the House that the only reason we are now in the House debating this uncontroversial tax bill is that Labor voted to stop the filibuster in the Senate.
Twice the government in the Senate voted to keep on filibustering this piece of legislation. There is one very simple reason for that, which is that the government has run out of legislation in the Senate.Read more
WE'LL KEEP ON CAMPAIGNING FOR THE AIS
Federation Chamber, 17 September 2018
Founded in 1981, the Australian Institute of Sport has been a vital part of our nation's sporting prowess, responsible for training some of our sporting legends, among them Michael Klim, Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Petria Thomas, Anna Meares and Michael Milton.
And yet the Australian Institute of Sport is now under threat due to staffing cuts and neglect. Since the coalition came into office, the number of Canberra based staff has fallen from 173 to 140. The institute has lost 70 sports specialists, and executives have indicated that there are more losses to come.
Several sports bodies avoid the institute altogether, and many refer to it as a ‘ghost town’.Read more
HORSE AND SPARROW ECONOMICS
House of Representatives, 17 September 2018
Before they called it trickledown economics, there was a term known as 'horse and sparrow' economics.
The idea of horse and sparrow economics was that, if you want the sparrows to eat better, you just have to feed the horses enough and eventually there'll be enough left on the road for the sparrows.
That is fundamentally the way in which the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government thinks about economic policy.Read more
AUSTRALIANS DESERVE BETTER THAN MORRISON
Federation Chamber, 13 September 2018
According to a survey by Travel Leaders, Australia is the world's No. 1 travel destination.
So, you'd think that promoting Australia to the world would be the easiest job going. But there's one chap who was sacked in 2006 by the Howard government as the head of Tourism Australia in a unanimous decision of the board.
Don't feel too sorry for him since this chap was reportedly fired from his $350,000 job because tourism minister Fran Bailey couldn't stand his ego.Read more
THERE WAS A HIGHER SHARE OF WOMEN IN THE LIBERAL PARTY ROOM TWO DECADES AGO THEN THERE IS TODAY
Federation Chamber, 10 September 2018
The Prime Minister du jour said some questionable things during his first fortnight, but I draw attention to just one comment. Speaking to a football coach over the weekend, he invited the man to Canberra to 'give the boys a bit of a rev up’.
Let me repeat that: 'the boys.'
I'm here not to talk about sport but to talk about gender equity and what message that comment sends to girls and women in Australia who are contemplating a parliamentary career.Read more