ABC MELBOURNE WITH RAFAEL EPSTEIN
WEDNESDAY, 23 AUGUST 2023
TOPICS DISCUSSED: Competition review, Noncompete agreements, Productivity growth.
RAFAEL EPSTEIN (HOST): 22 minutes after 4 o'clock on ABC Radio Melbourne. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, also Charities and Treasury. Good afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Raf, great to be with you.
EPSTEIN: Should I fear this competition review will lead to something as significant as the sale of the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas?
LEIGH: We’re not aiming to break up firms or divest them, Raf. We’re just aiming to get more competition into the market, to make sure that new entrants are coming in not just for the ambition of being bought by the monopolists, but by the ambition of actually taking them on. Whether it's banking or baby food or beer, the Australian economy is a pretty concentrated one and it's become more concentrated over recent decades.
What the review about is in the short‑term, making sure we've got competition that puts downward pressure on prices and helps with the cost‑of‑living challenge, and in the long‑term making sure we have the sort of dynamic productive economy that creates well‑paying jobs and lays the foundations for productivity growth.Read more
NEWS RADIO DRIVE WITH GLEN BARTHOLOMEW
WEDNESDAY, 23 AUGUST 2023
GLEN BARTHOLOMEW (HOST): Australia has one of the most concentrated economies in the world and a lack of competition is seeing many of us pay more for goods and services. As the cost‑of‑living continues to rise the Federal Government today moved to explore tougher laws to stop monopolies and protect consumers from big companies with too much market power. The Assistant Minister for Competition and Treasury Andrew Leigh announced the review today, alongside Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and he joins us now. Andrew Leigh, good afternoon.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Glen, great to be with you.
BARTHOLOMEW: You've told this program in the past that you think there's just not enough competition in our economy. Is it failing consumers? Are we losing out as a result?
LEIGH: It's not just hurting consumers; it's also hurting suppliers. So you think about our farmers who are squeezed between concentrated suppliers of their fertiliser, and concentrated producers who are buying their products. You think about workers who have too few choices about where to work, particularly in regional markets, which can often mean they don't earn a fair wage. And of course to think about consumers who are hurt in areas from banking to baby food to beer, where there's often just a couple of big players. Market concentration has gotten worse over the last couple of decades. We've seen a rise in mark‑ups, we've seen a fall in the new business formation rate and in the rate of workers shifting to a better job. So all of that's the context in which we've set up this competition review aimed to take a broad approach to find practical reforms across the economy that will boost competition.
Crime and Punishment: Can we have less of both? - Speech - Australian Institute of Criminology Conference
Crime and punishment: can we have less of both?
Opening address, Australian Institute of Criminology Conference, Canberra
Monday, 31 October 2022
I begin by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, the Traditional Custodians of the land we are meeting on. I acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the region, and I pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.
I would like to especially thank Aunty Jude Barlow for her warm Welcome to Country.Read more
SENATE COURTYARD, PARLIAMENT HOUSE
SATURDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2022
SUBJECTS: Labor’s plans to make childcare, medicines and housing more affordable, Budget, cost of living, Labor’s plans to address power prices
ANDREW LEIGH, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury: Good morning everyone, my name is Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury.
Labor knows that Australian families are doing it tough right now. This week we had the inflation figure come down at 7.3 percent for the year. Australians are feeling inflation in their regular balancing the household books. Labor knows inflation is a huge challenge and that was why tackling inflation was a central theme of the Budget that Jim Chalmers brought down this week. If you’re a family planning to have kids then our cheaper childcare reforms are taking the pressure of childcare costs for 1.26 million families, 96 percent of families with children in care. If you’re thinking about buying a home, then our Housing Australia Future Fund is aimed at producing some 40,000 social and affordable homes, putting downward pressure on house prices. If you’re looking at buying a car, we’re reducing the taxes on electric vehicles. If you’re looking at getting an education, then hundreds of thousands of fee-free TAFE places will take the pressure off. And if you’re sick, then our reforms to reduce the cost of medicines, are again, helping Australians with cost of living pressures. Labor recognises that cost of living is a huge issue for many Australian households.Read more
ABC CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY
WEDNESDAY, 26 OCTOBER 2022
SUBJECTS: BUDGET 2022, INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING IN THE ACT.
ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): One man who had a very clear line of sight on a lot of the Federal Government’s decisions, spends, cutbacks and ultimately final Federal Budget for this year is Dr Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. He’s also the federal member for Fenner here in the ACT. Dr Leigh, thanks for your time today.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES, AND TREASRY ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure, Adam. I’m still reeling over this Dr Who decision.
LEIGH: Like you, I grew up on Tom Baker and the like, and the idea of it not being part of the ABC and the BBC is very strange.
SHIRLEY: Much like a Federal Budget perhaps – tough decisions have to be made. I mean, you probably won’t talk to us about the things you wish your colleagues, including Finance Minister Katy Gallagher had stumped up for but didn’t. What is your read of what the ACT and broadly Australia will do out of this?
LEIGH: Well, for the ACT, you’ll remember the Coalition budget earlier this year where we got less than a fifth of our fair share of infrastructure spending. That changed last night with a fair share of infrastructure spending going to the ACT - $86 million for light rail, the Scrivener Dam upgrades $38 million, $15 million for the AIS arena, $5 million for the Garden City cycle route, $5 million for the Gorman House Arts Centre, and a range of other smaller projects.
So with Katy Gallagher in the Finance portfolio the ACT is definitely not forgotten and is central to what we’re envisaging for revitalizing the country. And also the investment in ongoing public service jobs, scaling back on those unnecessary consultants and contractors, investing more in stable, full-time public service jobs after a decade of cutbacks in the public service which saw a tenth of the public service go.
SHIRLEY: So a couple of listeners have raised the Canberra Hospital, Woden CIT, separate to, I think – what is it – the hostel at Woden as well. Did you as a government consider or look at better funding for a hospital and health system which you know is desperately overstretched?
LEIGH: We’re certainly working closely with the ACT government on their priorities, and that was why we invested in that youth foyer at the Woden CIT campus and why we’re also investing in active engagement through the University of Canberra’s sports hub precinct.
SHIRLEY: But health and the hospital. I mean, you know any family or individual knows that the real difficulties in getting good care on time in the ACT right now.
LEIGH: Absolutely. So the budget includes investments for a Medicare urgent care clinic on the south side. And that will aim to take pressure off Canberra’s emergency departments. And we’re working very closely with the ACT Government to try and get down those waiting times.
You know, I’m a dad, I’ve spent time sitting in emergency rooms with kids. It’s not fun. We’ve got to make sure that we do a better job in bringing down those waiting times and providing that important care.Read more
International Day Of Charity: How A Dollar Can Buy A Valuable 'Helper's High' - Op Ed, The New Daily
The New Daily 5 September 2022
Imagine finding a dollar on the ground as you’re walking down the street.
It might feel like a bit of luck, a little sign that today is a good day.
Imagine picking it up and handing it to a kid nearby, watching their face light up because of the kindness of a stranger. You’ve turned a bit of luck into a moment of joy.
You don’t need to wait for a chance occurrence to make someone’s day.
Monday is the International Day of Charity – a day that should urge us to think about how we can all give our loose change to make bigger changes.Read more
2SM WITH MARCUS PAUL IN THE MORNING
TUESDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 2021
SUBJECTS: COP26 and climate change; Scott Morrison accused of lying to the French President; Scott Morrison’s proposed voter suppression laws.
MARCUS PAUL, HOST: Scott Morrison, our Prime Minister, has addressed the COP26 summit in Scotland. He says Australia is on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050. He says science and technology will help us reach the target.
SCOTT MORRISON: Driving down the cost of technology and enabling it to be adopted at scale is at the core of the Australian way to reach our target of net zero emissions by 2050, that we are committing to at this COP26.
PAUL: 'It's the Australian way' - wrapping himself, of course, in the Australian flag, being all patriotic. Do you buy it? Andrew Leigh, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Good morning, Marcus. How are you?
PAUL: Yeah, good. Do you buy it?
LEIGH: No, not in the least. This government is a government that has been fearmongering on climate change for the last eight years; which came to office on a pledge to undo action on climate change; which has said that electric vehicles will end the weekend and that a big battery is as useful as a big banana; and brandished lumps of coal in parliament. Now, forced to front up in front of world leaders, Scott Morrison has put together a brochure which is basically a combination of Labor commitments and hopes that new technologies that don't currently exist will get us there. It's a wing and a prayer, not a plan. He doesn't have any serious commitment to tackling climate change, as demonstrated by the fact that Barnaby Joyce - the man currently Acting Prime Minister in Australia - doesn't even support net zero by 2050. This is the Joyce-Morrison Government when it comes to climate change.Read more
THE GOVERNMENT GAVE $13 BILLION TO FIRMS WITH RISING EARNINGS
The Australian, 23 September 2021
What could your household do with $1300? Maybe you’d get the car fixed, or donate the money to a homeless shelter, or pay down the mortgage. I’m guessing what you wouldn’t do is to find a business whose profits are growing, walk in and plonk 13 $100 notes on the counter.
Yet, thanks to Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, your household just did exactly that.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 23 AUGUST 2021
Zaki Haidari is a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan. A decade ago, the Taliban took away his father, Mahram. Zaki has not seen his dad since. The Taliban beheaded Zaki's brother, Ali, at a checkpoint when they discovered that Ali was carrying a student identification card.Read more
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, 11 AUGUST 2021
I rise in continuation on the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Bill 2021. Mr Speaker, if you hear the Morrison government speak about charities, you'd think there is an outbreak of lawlessness among Australia's charities, yet the facts speak otherwise. Over the past 3½ years, the charities commissioner has deregistered just two of the nation's 59,000 charities for breaking the law in pursuit of activist goals. That means the annual chance of a charity being deregistered for illegal activism is about 10 in a million, which is about the same as the chance that a typical Australian will commit a murder. But facts have never stood in the way of the Liberals' crackdown on charitable activism.
Their latest proposal would go further than the current law, extending the ability of the charities commissioner to deregister a charity for a summary offence or because the charities commissioner anticipates that the organisation will commit a summary offence.
A summary offence might include blocking a footpath, trespassing or even failing to close a gate on a private property, and deregistration can occur because a charity promotes an event—for example, hands out flyers about it or simply puts it on their Facebook page.Read more