START UPS, UPSTARTS AND COMPETITION
Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht started Canva in their early twenties. Ruslan Kogan started Kogan at age 23. At the same age, Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes started Atlassian.
Yet the data shows that such stories are increasingly rare. In 1976, 17 percent of business owners were aged under 30. In 2021, the figure was just 8 percent. Conversely, the share of business owners who are aged over 50 has risen from 30 percent to 47 percent. True, the age profile of the whole population has shifted in that period, but not so dramatically as the age profile of business owners.Read more
2CC DRIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
FRIDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: ACT unemployment rate; ACCC monitoring prices of airline flights; Progress on multinational tax laws; Release of Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission’s Annual Report.
LEON DELANEY (HOST): The unemployment rate in the ACT has gone up against the national trend, despite the Canberra job market still apparently going strong with the highest participation rate in the country. But the unemployment rate is up from 3.2 to 3.9 per cent. Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and Assistant Minister for Employment, not to mention, our local member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh joins us now. Good afternoon.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Leon. Great to be with you.
DELANEY: What should we read into these unemployment figures in the ACT?Read more
Matter of Public Importance
House of Representatives, 18 October 2023
Today's matter of public importance is on the cost of living, and I could take the House through some of the statistics that reflect what the Albanese government is doing to tackle the effect in Australia of the global cost-of-living crisis. But instead I want to start by talking about some of the stories of ordinary Australians whose lives have benefited from cost-of-living measures that the Albanese government has put into place.
Our cheaper childcare measures were welcomed by Blanca Ramirez, a woman in Canberra whose daughter, Paloma, is at daycare. As a result of the increase to the childcare subsidy, Blanca has moved to working four days a week. That ensures that her productivity is up, that their household budget is improved and that Paloma has a little bit more support. As Blanca puts it, 'I can run around and I'm not like dead tired after work.' There are 1.2 million families across Australia benefiting from Labor's cheaper childcare measures.Read more
Statement on Israel and Hamas
Federation Chamber, 17th October 2023
On the weekend, Hamas terrorists committed mass murder on a shocking scale. People at a music festival were gunned down. Babies were killed in their beds. Defenceless elderly people were murdered. Over 100 hostages were taken into Gaza. The scale of the attack was so large that it was the greatest loss of life among Jewish people since the Holocaust. This is a murderous, barbarous terrorist group whose objective was not just to kill Jewish people but to kill the peace process itself. Hamas has as its goal the destruction of the Israeli state. It wants to ensure that the peace process is derailed.Read more
ABC DRIVE WITH ANNA VIDOT
MONDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Barton Highway duplication, Voice referendum, Australian Institute of Sport independent review
ANNA VIDOT (HOST): Lots to talk about, not only with regard to the referendum but there are a couple of other interesting political things bubbling along. To discuss this afternoon I'm joined by the Federal Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh, who's on the line with us.
Andrew Leigh, thanks very much for your time. How are you feeling on the Monday after the referendum before?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Look, very sad, Anna. I think this was a referendum which would have made a big positive difference for First Nations people and for Australia as a whole. I’m feeling especially for the First Nations leaders here in the ACT and across the country who'd worked for years, in some cases even more than that, in order to get this constitutional recognition happening.
I think the challenge now is to take the energy and the passion, the mobilisation of volunteers that's occurred around First Nations issues and point that towards closing the gaps, towards reconciliation.
We know that there is a lot of goodwill, particularly here in Canberra where more than 60 per cent of Canberrans voted yes. That certainly shows how strongly committed we are here in the ACT to reconciliation and to closing the gaps.Read more
2CC CANBERRA DRIVE WITH LEON DELANEY
WEDNESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2023
SUBJECTS: Australian Centre for Evaluation and the commencement of online employment service trials, Productivity Commission report on slowing productivity, allegations of bullying and sexism at the Productivity Commission, Rural Fire Service Association’s use of donations.
LEON DELANEY: Federal Member for Fenner, the seat in which this radio station is located also happens to be the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and Assistant Minister for Employment. He's also coincidentally on the telephone right now. Good afternoon Andrew.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Leon, great to be with you.
DELANEY: Always good to have you on the program. Thanks for joining us today. You're on about your favourite pet project at the moment, aren't you, the Australian Centre for Evaluation, apparently it has passed a milestone?
LEIGH: It has. Today the Australian Centre for Evaluation has entered into a partnership with the Department of Employment to do a series of randomised trials on employment services programs.
These are programs which use the online services system to assist people to find jobs. We need to make sure, Leon, that at a time with historically low unemployment that everybody is getting the work that they feel that they're ready to do. So this is about ensuring that government works better, it will save people money, and it will help some of the most vulnerable in the community.Read more
CHANGING THE WORLD, ONE COIN TOSS AT A TIME
Evidence and Implementation Summit, Melbourne
Wednesday, 11 October 2023
I acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nations as traditional custodians of the land and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I commit myself to the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which starts with voting Yes this Saturday.
I thank the Monash University, the National University of Singapore and the Centre for Evidence and Implementation for hosting today’s Summit. It’s terrific to see so many of you dedicated to closing the ‘know-do gap’– the gap between what we know and what we do.
The title of my presentation is ‘Changing the World, One Coin Toss at a Time’. I chose this title because the simple act of tossing a coin can help us get the evidence we need to address our most difficult problems. Heads, they receive the intervention. Tails, they’re in the control group. From there, we can establish a counterfactual and begin to evaluate what works and what doesn’t work.
Recently, at the National Press Club and the Australian Evaluation Society Conference, I’ve spoken about randomised trials, its origins in medicine and the need to embed evaluation in the work of government. I’ve spoken about social impact and how rigorous evidence can give us an accurate picture of program effectiveness. I’ve also spoken about how the increased availability of large, integrated administrative datasets can help us conduct evaluations more quickly and cheaply, making data and evaluation a match made in policy heaven. Today, I want to zoom out a little and discuss what best practice use of evidence looks like.Read more
FIRST EVALUATION PARTNERSHIP FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR EVALUATION
The Albanese Government established the Australian Centre for Evaluation (ACE) to help put evaluation evidence at the heart of policy design and decision‑making. It will improve the volume, quality, and impact of evaluations across the Australian government, and will work in close collaboration with evaluation units in other departments and agencies.
I can announce today that the ACE has entered into its first partnership agreement to support high-quality impact evaluations. This partnership will be with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and will use randomised controlled trials to evaluate different features of online employment services.Read more
How COVID Changed the World of Data
Australian National University School of Demography
6 October 2023
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as traditional custodians of the ACT and recognise all First Nations people present today.
I commit myself, as a member of the Albanese Government, to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which starts with voting Yes on October 14.
Thank you to the Australian National University for hosting today’s Symposium and thank you for focusing your efforts on understanding the impact of the COVID pandemic on demography in Australia.
I want to preface my remarks by acknowledging the remarkable ability of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and other government agencies to rapidly shift their operational focus during the pandemic.
Demographers deserve credit for helping guide governments, policymakers and the community through the COVID pandemic.
Today, I will tell the data side of the story.
COVID might have shrunk our worlds to frequent Zoom calls in which we took it in turns to remind each other ‘You’re on mute’.
But COVID also opened up a whole new world of data.
In the space of just a couple of years, we have access to more timely and frequent updates, new sources of data and greater integration.
I welcome the opportunity to talk about this extraordinary legacy, the lessons learnt and how we can build on it.
Rocking the demographic boat
The COVID pandemic was not only a rapidly evolving health crisis but an economic crisis too – the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression (Kennedy 2022).
Restrictions to limit the spread of COVID saw a reduction in spending, business turnover, losses in jobs and hours worked, and supply chain disruptions (ABS 2022a).
By June 2023, the level of GDP is estimated to have suffered a cumulative loss of $116 billion compared to its pre-pandemic trajectory (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Australia’s GDP, actual and pre-COVID trajectory
Source: ABS 2023a and Treasury
The COVID pandemic rocked the demographic boat.
As shown in this chart, Australia’s population growth slowed to 0.1 per cent in 2020–21 – the lowest rate in more than 100 years (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Australia’s population growth and components of growth, historical and projected
Source: ABS 2023b and Treasury
Australia’s net overseas migration fell into negative territory for the first time since the end of WWII, with a net loss of 85,000 people in 2020–21 (ABS 2023c).
There was a larger than expected increase in deaths due to COVID and other causes – 10.9 per cent above what was expected in 2022 (ABS 2023d).
Births fluctuated in interesting ways. In the December 2020 quarter, nine months after the pandemic hit, births fell. We know that crises can make couples cautious about starting a family, and this drop likely reflected the uncertainty that many couples felt in the early months of the COVID lockdowns.
But then things turned around. In the March 2021 quarter – nine months after mid-2020, births hit an all-time high (ABS 2023c). We can’t be sure as to why this occurred, but it may be that couples felt a little less anxious about the future as the year unfolded. Lockdown boredom may also have been a factor. Border closures between states and territories reduced internal mobility. The number of interstate moves in the year to March 2021 was 30.2 per cent lower than in 2018-19 (ABS 2023c).
The pandemic also influenced where people wanted to live with an increase in net moves from urban areas towards suburban and regional areas (Figure 3) (Centre for Population 2020).
COVID doubled the net number of people moving to the regions.
You can see a break in the data series on this chart. It’s due to the pandemic’s impact on Medicare address information this series relied on, which I will get to later.
Figure 3. Net internal migration to regions outside capital cities, quarterly
Source: ABS 2023c and ABS 2021d
SKY NEWS WITH TOM CONNELL
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5 2023
TOM CONNELL (HOST): $1 coins will be the first to feature King Charles III, they'll begin appearing in tills and banks across the country before Christmas this year. Joining me for more on this, the Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh, who revealed the new design at the Royal Australian Mint this morning. But you didn't grab a coin? Can't you just say, "excuse me, I'm the Minister here, give us one of those coins."
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY, ANDREW LEIGH: No special benefits for ministers, Tom.
CONNELL: So, is this a proud day to unveil this? Do you have a mixed feelings as a Republican? How did you feel unveiling King Charles III?
LEIGH: This is an exciting moment for Australians. I mean, for seven decades, we've had the Queen in our coins, right back to 1953. Since decimal currency came in in 1966, there's been some 15 billion coins produced with Queen Elizabeth II on them. So, for many Australians, this will be the first time they've ever held in their hands a coin with a King on the back.