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
Second Reading Speech - Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Amendment (Strengthening Land and Governance Provisions) Bill 2022 - House of Representatives, 26 October 2022
Second Reading Speech
House of Representatives
26 October 2022
Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Amendment (Strengthening Land and Governance Provisions) Bill 2022
The Wreck Bay Aboriginal community in the Jervis Bay Territory has an unusual status. It is part of my electorate of Fenner, but residents do not vote in state or territory elections. This means the Commonwealth has a particular responsibility to residents of Wreck Bay.
The Jervis Bay Territory is a special place. In a dozen visits, I have appreciated the chance to learn from and work with members of the community.
I thank my colleague Linda Burney, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, for allowing me to introduce this bill today on behalf of the Australian government.
The Australian government has worked with the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and the broader Wreck Bay community over a number of years to co-design the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay Territory) Amendment (Strengthening Land and Governance Provisions) Bill 2022, with the most recent consultations on the detail of the bill in August this year. This bill will:
- strengthen the council's governance structures;
- enhance the control the council has over its own affairs; and
- help to enable homeownership style leases on Aboriginal land in the Jervis Bay Territory.
The Wreck Bay community is located in the Jervis Bay Territory, on the southern New South Wales coast, 126 kilometres east of Canberra. The Jervis Bay Territory was formally established in 1915, on the land of the Bherwerre Peninsula, through the enactment of the Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915. First Nations people had been living in the area since long before that time, and never agreed to the surrender of these lands. Middens on the Bherwerre Peninsula provide evidence of thousands of generations of First Nations occupation of this area.Read more
Summing Up Speech - Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) - House of Representatives, 26 October 2022
Summing Up Speech
House of Representatives
26 October 2022
Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022
My thanks to the members who have contributed to this debate. I acknowledge the work of both Small Business Minister Julie Collins and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones on this bill. This bill delivers on an election commitment to protect Australian households and small businesses by banning unfair contract terms and increasing penalties for anticompetitive behaviour.
The Australian Labor Party has a long history of economic reform that builds a fairer and more resilient economy. Competition is an essential part of that for three key reasons. First, competition is about fairness. Without government action, monopolists can wield their power to rig the game in their favour rather than compete on even terms. Second, competition deals with cost-of-living pressures and makes our supply chains more resilient. Competition means businesses offer Australians the best prices they can. A diverse and dynamic economy, a resilient economy, helps to absorb, adapt and solve the challenges of an uncertain world. Third, competition is about jobs and skills. Competition helps to ensure that the most innovative, creative and savvy businesses are the ones that thrive. Those are the businesses that are best placed to offer jobs that are stable, secure and well paid. Competition also gives workers more options, empowering employees to negotiate pay and conditions that reflect their true value.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
SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
THE HON DR ANDREW LEIGH MP
MEMBER FOR FENNER
DAVID SMITH MP
MEMBER FOR BEAN
ALICIA PAYNE MP
MEMBER FOR CANBERRA
LABOR’S BUDGET DELIVERS ON INVESTMENTS TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE FOR CANBERRA
TUESDAY 25 OCTOBER 2022
The Albanese Labor Government’s first Budget delivers on our election commitments and invests in local infrastructure upgrades that will see our city grow.
After a decade of disdain for the National Capital from the former Liberal/National Government, we will ensure that the ACT is not ignored when it comes to infrastructure investments that create jobs, boost our economy and ensure that our city flourishes into the future.
The Federal Budget includes $86 million in funding for Stage 2A of the Light Rail Project to ensure that Canberrans on the Southside get the same transport benefits as those who use the tram between Civic and Gungahlin.
The Government will also provide funding to deliver the National Security Office Precinct in Barton.
This project will be a permanent solution to the critical accommodation and capability requirements of several national security and other Commonwealth agencies, and is expected to be utilised by the Office of National Intelligence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
These major city-shaping investments are in addition to the nearly $39 million that we committed to deliver during the Federal Election, including:
- $15 million to upgrade and reopen the AIS Arena so that Canberrans have access to the facilities they deserve for sports, community events and concerts
- $10 million to build a Youth Foyer at the Woden CIT campus to deliver student accommodation and wraparound services for young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness
- $3.2 million to improve the health of Canberra’s waterways through revegetation, weed control and water flow management efforts across the Ginninderra, Molonglo and southern ACT Catchments
- $5 million to improve cycling connections on the Northbourne Avenue corridor through the inner-north suburbs of Canberra through the construction of a new Garden City Cycle Route.
- $5 million to revitalise Canberra’s beloved Gorman House Arts Centre to support our vibrant arts community
- $750,000 to undertake a scoping study to investigate the options to give the University of Canberra Capitals WNBL team a permanent home stadium
2GB MONEY NEWS WITH LUKE GRANT
THURSDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2022
SUBJECTS: BUDGET, STAGE THREE, MULTINATIONAL TAX MINIMISATION, APEC FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEETING, EMPLOYMENT RATE
LUKE GRANT: But still five days to go until the budget is delivered and a whole lot of promises still to come. Something that was outlined as part of the election commitments was the move to limit tax avoidance by multinational companies. One of those government members driving that campaign is Andrew Leigh, who is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and I'm delighted to say he's on the line. Now, before we get to budget matters, I saw a piece he wrote about multinationals paying their fair share of corporate tax in Australia. And I want to get to that as well, but there's so much to talk about, Andrew. But employment, according to the ABS, with employment increasing slightly by around 1000 people, the number of unemployed increasing by about 9000 people. This is from their statement today, the unemployment rate rose by less than 0.1% remained at 3.5 in a rounded term. Do you reckon we've reached the point where the rate now might head the other way? What's your feeling about this?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARIRTIES, AND TREASURY DR ANDREW LEIGH: Well, I'm really hopeful we're going to keep the unemployment rate low. Because full employment really does help to drive wage growth and to ensure that people get jobs who wouldn't have otherwise get a look in. We know that it's only in full employment that people who have unconventional CVs, who are minorities, finally get a chance to get jobs. So we need to spread the benefits of economic growth and low unemployment is a great way of doing that. It's why full employment was such a big priority at our Jobs and Skills Summit that we held recently. Because Labor knows how much it matters for Australians.Read more
This week I will be representing the Treasurer at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
These meetings are an opportunity, ahead of next month’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand, for APEC economies to discuss fiscal and monetary interventions and key risks. This is especially timely given the highly uncertain global outlook and the fact that many APEC economies are currently dealing with similar challenges to Australia, including high inflation, skills shortages, energy transitions, and increased public sector borrowing costs.
At the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting, we will affirm the importance of sustainable finance in curbing carbon emissions, and digitalisation in making growth more inclusive. We will also collaborate on areas which require collective action including climate change, sustainable development, and digital connectivity.
In addition to the Finance Ministers’ Meetings, I will also meet bilaterally with senior economic policymakers from other nations to discuss looming challenges in the global economy. A key emphasis for me will be discussing initiatives to promote economic dynamism in the Asia-Pacific region, including greater engagement on competition policy.
A Zippier Economy: Lessons from the 1992 Hilmer Competition Reforms
University of Sydney
Monday, 17 October 2022
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
I acknowledge the Gadigal people, traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.
Thank you to Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney’s flagship public talks program, for hosting me today. I welcome the students, members of staff and alumni attending this afternoon. Having spent six years earning a couple of degrees here, including a year editing Honi Soit, it’s good to be back.
Given the topic of today’s presentation – lessons from the 1993 Hilmer Review and the subsequent National Competition Policy reforms – it’s also my pleasure to acknowledge Professor Fred Hilmer, who has joined us today. It’s both exciting and daunting to have the subject of today’s talk in the audience.
As Professor Hilmer told me recently, the National Competition Policy reforms were big, bold and far-reaching.
He’s right in every respect – they’re regarded as among the most significant economic reforms in Australia’s history.
And we’re still talking about them 30 years later because they provide a powerful lesson for building a zippier economy.
Successful reform often looks deceptively easy afterwards.Read more
The Albanese Government has signed a new tax treaty with Iceland, the first of its kind between the two nations. Once in force, the treaty will facilitate cross-border trade and investment and enhance the economic relationship between Australia and Iceland.
The treaty will make it easier for Australian companies to access capital and export to Iceland through reduced withholding tax rates.
By giving effect to the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations, the treaty is a demonstration of the Albanese Government’s commitment to tax integrity.
The treaty will also provide more certainty and reduced compliance costs for Australians and Australian businesses who earn income here and in Iceland.
Once the domestic implementation requirements have been completed the treaty will enter into force.
A summary of the main features of the new treaty is available on the Treasury website.
Quote attributable to Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh
“This is a great step forward for Australia and Iceland’s economic relationship. It will help to build the trade and investment relationship between our nations.”
“This treaty demonstrates the commitment of the Albanese Government to enhancing tax integrity by incorporating measures to prevent international tax avoidance.”
Joint media release with
The Hon Melissa Horne MP
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs
The Albanese Government is working with charities and supporting State and Territory governments to harmonise fundraising laws.
Australia’s state and territory fundraising laws were developed at a time when most fundraising was conducted in person.
Today, with most fundraising done online, the cost and complexity of complying with multiple state and territory fundraising requirements is a major issue for the charity sector.
Substantial progress has already been made on the development of a national framework for fundraising laws, with feedback from industry consultations with the charity sector in February and March 2022 used to inform this development.
The framework adopts a principles-based approach to enable charities and donors to have a clear understanding of conduct, but also allows for greater flexibility as to how charities achieve compliance.
It also broadly aligns with existing regulatory codes of conduct, minimising the impacts on fundraisers that are already members of regulatory associations such as the Fundraising Institute of Australia.
On 9 September 2022, State and Territory Consumer Ministers met in Adelaide and reaffirmed their support for the reform of outdated and inconsistent conduct obligations across state and territory fundraising laws.
A Working Group of jurisdictions is finalising a framework of nationally-consistent fundraising conduct requirements for the Council on Federal and Financial Relations to agree and release in late 2022 (subject to the agreement of all participating jurisdictions).