Dynamism Down Under: Lessons From Competition Reform - Speech



Asian Development Bank Competition Policy Dialogues, Manila, Philippines
Tuesday 23 July 2024

Members and guests of the Asian Development Bank, thank you for the welcome. It’s an honour to be here representing the Australian Government.

Australia is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank and we continue to support joint efforts to respond to the needs of the region and deliver transformative development projects (ADB 2024, Wong 2024).

As part of that commitment, Australia supports initiatives to share expertise across a range of areas and I thank the Bank and the Philippines for hosting today’s Competition Policy Dialogues.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Making Development Count: Evidence For Real Change - Speech



Asian Development Bank, Manila, Philippines
Tuesday 23 July 2024

Good morning, it’s terrific to be here at the Asian Development Bank’s headquarters.

Thank you, Rachel Thompson (Asian Development Bank, Executive Director), for the introduction and for facilitating today’s roundtable.

Australia is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank, and like all members, we want to see positive change for the region’s poorest and most vulnerable.

Earlier this year, the Australian Government pledged its support (A$492 million) for the Asian Development Fund 2025–28 round (ADF14) (Wong 2024).

But our membership isn’t limited to the funding side of things.

Member countries also commit to sharing their expertise and practical experience across a range of areas.

And this visit is a great opportunity to share Australia’s experiences on competition policy and evaluation – two things relevant to the Bank’s wider objectives on improving living standards and making an impact in a cost-effective way.

At the Asian Development Bank’s Competition Dialogues later this afternoon, I will share lessons learnt on competition reform from Australia.

And at the Asian Development Bank Institute tomorrow, I will argue that the more we can figure out what works, the better we can make development programs work for everyone – especially for the most disadvantaged.

On a similar note, I welcome the opportunity to make some opening remarks on making development count and using evaluation and data to maximise our efforts.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Non-competes are a drain on the economy and innovation - Opinion Piece


In 2022, news broke that Australia's biggest accounting firm had used secret government plans to help clients avoid a new multinational tax law. As the story unfolded, some of PwC's customers decided to take their business elsewhere. Some PwC staff also decided that they would prefer to work elsewhere.

But there was a catch. When partners and employees sought to leave PwC - or its spin-off Scyne Advisory - they began to hit barriers. One clause in the exit agreement imposed a two-year ban on partners working with any client that their business unit had previously advised. Because of the breadth of PwC's client base, this effectively ruled out partners working for almost any government or large business in Australia. After giving notice, the agreement allowed PwC to withhold up to 100 per cent of salary for some partners.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Asian Development Bank Competition Dialogues - Media Release



This week, I will travel to the Philippines to represent Australia at the Asian Development Bank Competition Policy Dialogues in Manila.

Competition policy helps drive economic growth and the meeting will be an important opportunity to engage with representatives from our region.

Among the subjects on the agenda will be competition policy reform and the role of evidence in development policy. I look forward to speaking about Australia’s competition reforms, including the largest update to merger laws in fifty years.

Read more
1 reaction Share

2CC Canberra Drive with Leon Delaney - Friday 19 July 2024

FRIDAY, 19 JULY 2024

SUBJECTS: Productivity Commission Report on Philanthropy, CFMEU, Political donations reform

LEON DELANEY: The Federal Government has released the Productivity Commission's review on philanthropic giving. It's called Future Foundations For Giving, aiming to double donations by 2030 to strengthen Australia's charity sector and to support vulnerable communities. Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and Assistant Minister for Employment, not to mention our local member here in the federal seat of Fenner, Doctor Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Leon. And thanks to all of your listeners who make the donations that help our charities do such terrific work.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Productivity Commission Final Report on Philanthropic Giving - Media Release


The Albanese Labor Government has released the Productivity Commission's once-in-a-generation review of philanthropic giving. The review aims to boost donations to charities to help achieve the Government’s target of doubling philanthropic giving by 2030.

Philanthropic giving underpins the crucial efforts of charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups to support vulnerable Australians and better connect Australian communities.

The Albanese Labor Government is working to boost the capacity and capability of our expert charity sector by boosting the flow of resources through smarter more effective giving. The Productivity Commission’s report will inform future steps in reaching that goal.

Read more
1 reaction Share

ABC Canberra Mornings with Ross Solly - Thursday 18 July 2024


SUBJECTS: Impact of social media on creativity, CFMEU, Lack of bipartisan support for increase in ACT Senators, Integrity in the charity sector.

ROSS SOLLY, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment. Have we lost the art of being bored, Andrew Leigh?

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: I'm a big fan of boredom, Ross. I think it does often encourage creativity. It's those moments of daydreaming when you can get a bit of perspective on a project.

SOLLY: Yes, I'm with you. I think boredom is fun sometimes. I was interested - you and I have spoken about this before, Andrew Leigh, about social media, and I think you and I are coming from the same page on this. But I was interested to see these three leading mental health institutes saying that maybe the approach to banning social media for people under 16 is not the right approach. What do you think?

LEIGH: Look, I read that with some interest and certainly one of the questions around the ban is how it works in practice, which is why we funded the age assurance trial in the last Budget. But more broadly, I think it's also about resetting our relationship with technology and understanding that sometimes putting away the phone and being out in nature can make all the difference. I just went up for a run up Mount Majura this morning. Being out there listening to the kookaburras and looking at Canberra from up on high, that's pretty magical. And no device interaction could have started the day as well as that.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Innovating for Impact: Strategies for Transforming Communities - Speech


Jobs Australia Conference
Wednesday 17 July 2024

Acknowledgement of country

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose land I am recording this message today – and the Yugambeh people whose country lies within the City of Gold Coast area where you are gathering for this important conference, bringing together Australian not-for-profit employment service providers.

I also acknowledge any First Nations people present here today.


Modern Australia could not function without not-for-profit organisations like yours.

Your work galvanises communities.

Your efforts give Australians the opportunity to thrive, delivering widespread social and economic benefits.

For that, I thank you for the work you do.

Since we’ve come to power, our government has worked hard to rebuild the relationship with charities and not-for-profits.

We’re also working hard to make sure our employment services are up to scratch.

And for that, we need your help.

We’ve made no secret of the fact our employment services system needs to change.

We’ve heard loud and clear from organisations like yours through the House Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services.

And I want to thank the many people who took the time to provide submissions and appear as witnesses.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Introducing a global minimum tax on multlnationals

Taxation (Multinational—Global and Domestic Minimum Tax) Bill 2024 - Second Reading Speech

It's important to see this in its historical and international context. No government in Australian history has done more on multinational tax fairness than the Albanese government. No government around the world is doing more to improve multinational tax integrity than Australia.

Read more
1 reaction Share

ABC Radio Brisbane Mornings with Steve Austin - 4 July 2024


SUBJECTS:  Making multinational pay their fair share, Greens joining Coalition to oppose two-state solution, Senate Economics Committee on ASIC.

STEVE AUSTIN, HOST: No one likes paying tax, but also things that we hate more is when multinational companies avoid paying tax when they make money in this country. But then say, yes, our business is in Australia, but our head office is in, I don't know, the Cayman Islands or the Jersey Islands, so we don't have to pay you tax. Well, as you know, for many years there's been pressure on both sides of politics federally to do something about it. Now Federal Labor apparently has. You can make money in Australia and avoid having to pay your share. But Andrew Leigh is Labor's Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment. Andrew Leigh, good morning to you. How big is the problem of multinational companies avoiding tax in this country?

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Steve, and good morning to your listeners. It's a serious issue. We now have numbers suggesting that about two-fifths of multinational profits pass through low-tax or no-tax jurisdictions. So, that means globally, hundreds of billions of dollars are being funnelled through these places. And these so-called ‘Treasure Islands’ are part of what's been eroding the global tax base at a corporate level for many decades. That's why more than 100 countries around the world got together in a global agreement to say, we're going to put a floor on company tax, a 15 per cent floor. And if countries weren't charging 15 per cent, then other countries could levy top-up taxes. Today I'm introducing into Parliament legislation that will see Australia enact that measure, allow us to claim top-up taxes where other jurisdictions aren't pulling their weight.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter


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.