ABC CANBERRA MORNINGS WITH ADAM SHIRLEY
TUESDAY, 20 JUNE 2023
SUBJECTS: New research on non-compete clauses in Australia
ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): Last couple of jobs you've had, where did you work? Public or private sector? And if you were there for a bit, did you learn most of what you now know, the skills you have from the organisation or vice versa? Do you feel you brought the skills and the knowledge that added to them? I ask because not well-known, but pretty prevalent non-compete clauses cover a heck of a lot of people in this town and in others and they could well restrict what you can and can't do if you are an independent worker, self-employed when you've previously used those skills with another employer. Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, wants further attention on this. He's also the Federal Member for Fenner and he’s with us this morning. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY DR ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Adam. Great to be with you and your listeners.
SHIRLEY: Yeah. What struck me about this is many people might not understand just how common non-compete clauses are. In very basic terms, how do they affect a lot of people in Canberra?
LEIGH: Well, a non-compete clause prevents you from quickly moving to another employer. Their original rationale was to allow employers to protect trade secrets or client relationships. But increasingly, many economists take the view that they're being used by employers to reduce workers’ bargaining power and that non-compete clauses, by making it harder to switch jobs, might be reducing wage growth and dampening down productivity growth. Job switching is one of the best ways in which people get wage gains over a career. If you look at someone's career, the biggest jumps in pay tend to be when someone moves from one employer to another. So, anything that makes that harder potentially then dampens down wages and might be a factor in the sluggish wage growth we've seen over the last decade.Read more
Nature Repair Market Bill 2023
Nature Repair Market (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2023
House of Representatives, 19 June 2023
In 1984 EO Wilson popularised the notion of biophilia, what he called 'the urge to affiliate with other forms of life'. His 1984 book was a bestseller and reminds us that many of us are at our best when we're in nature. I tend to start the day with a run. At first, I did it mostly for exercise purposes but then I realised one of the reasons it's really good for my head is I'm fortunate to live near Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie, so I get to spend time with the kangaroos and the kookaburras and the spiders and the galahs and all the rest. That always seems to set the day up, as it did this morning.
As I run through that area I'll often think about the lessons that I've learned about that part of the world from Tyronne Bell, a Ngunawal man who took the time to take my family and me through parts of the Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie reserves, showing us where the scar trees were, where the traditional areas were and the way in which country has been used for millennia by First Nations people.Read more
Try it and see
The Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2023
Last year, researchers published a study in which ten different job training programs were evaluated through randomised trials – the way medical researchers test new drugs.
For each program, participants were randomly allocated by the toss of a coin. Heads, they received job training. Tails, they were assigned to a control group.
The study found that just one program – YearUp – had a measurable impact on earnings over the medium term.
The good news is that YearUp increased long-term earnings by over US$7,000 per year. But the bad news is that the other nine programs didn’t deliver: perhaps because people didn’t complete the training, maybe because employers didn’t value it, or possibly because they weren’t able to find a suitable job.Read more
ABC SYDNEY MORNINGS WITH GERALDINE DOOGUE
SATURDAY, 10 JUNE 2023
SUBJECTS: Digital distraction in workplaces and its impact on productivity
GERALDINE DOOGUE (HOST): Now to one of the main economic themes of the week, which you just heard canvassed as well this week: productivity in Australia. I mean, it rarely goes away for long, this topic. It was certainly relaunched big time into the public conversation by Reserve Bank chief Philip Lowe after his higher interest rate announcement. Unless productivity rises, he said, wage rises would virtually inevitably yield higher rates. Now that's heralded a battle royal about what's behind our flagging labour productivity growth which is down to a 60 year low, according to the respected CEDA think tank. Then the OECD weighed in this week with research showing that corporate profits had been driving inflation. But is that merely exceptional iron ore export profits? Came the counter. Look, this is a conversation not to be finalised in one week and we will continue to follow the debate. Dr Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Employment, has named an intriguing culprit, though, particularly for services sector workers, that the social media and the constant flow of workplace emails that interrupt us on average every six minutes and constitute at least part of the problem. I spoke to him earlier yesterday as he sat in a busy airport lounge.
LEIGH: Thanks, Geraldine, great to be with you.Read more
Book Launch for More Than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability And Public Policy In Australia - Speech
More Than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability And Public Policy In Australia
Australian National University, Canberra
Thursday, 8 June 2023
More than Fiscal: The Intergenerational Report, Sustainability and Public Policy in Australia is the best book about the Intergenerational Report that I have ever read.
Admittedly, it’s also the only book about the Intergenerational Report I’ve ever read.
But it also has the benefit of being written by a star-studded cast of social scientists, brought together by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. It’s a credit to the academy – and particularly to editors Andrew Podger, Jane Hall and Mike Woods – for bringing a bevy of big brains together to think about this report, and the long-term.Read more
Better Evaluation Builds a Stronger Public Service: The Australian Centre for Evaluation
Australian National University, Canberra
Wednesday, 7 June 2023
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal People, the traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.
I pay my respects to their Elders, extend that respect to all First Nations people present today, and commit myself to the implementation in full of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
I also recognise the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation and its role in strengthening the links between academic research and public policy. It’s an objective close to my economist heart, and one that exemplifies the special role of the Australian National University. And it’s great to see the partnership extended to Charles Darwin University.
On that note, I would like to acknowledge the Foundation’s Chair, Dr Martin Parkinson, and the Foundation’s scholars. As you embark on your research, I encourage you to draw inspiration from your peers, those who have come before you and Roland Wilson’s legacy.Read more
ABC BRISBANE DRIVE WITH STEVE AUSTIN
TUESDAY, 6 JUNE 2023
SUBJECTS: How digital distraction is eroding community and reducing productivity, and what we can do about it.
STEVE AUSTIN (PRESENTER): I've been looking forward to speaking with my next guest. My guest says if workplaces were reshaped to allow deep and creative thinking rather than multitasking badness, the economy and you and me would be far better off. These are revolutionary words in my mind. They were the thoughts of Andrew Leigh, who is the Assistant Employment Minister in Australia. Andrew Leigh is a Federal Labor MP for a Canberra electorate known as the Electorate of Fenner. Andrew Leigh has a great book out some years ago now called Disconnected, which I still go to every now and then. Andrew Leigh, I still think it holds well.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH ANDREW LEIGH: G'day, Steve. Great to be with you.
AUSTIN: And you. Is it still selling? I mean, you keep pumping the books out. Are they selling?
LEIGH: Here and there. I mean, books are a challenging market in Australia, but one of the great things that gives you is a platform to talk about big ideas. And I think there's no bigger idea than screen addiction right now. Basically, among parents, there's two big conversations that seem to take place among my friends. What's going on with house prices? And how do we manage digital distraction for our kids and for ourselves?Read more
House of Representatives, 1 June 2023
In Reconciliation Week, it is appropriate that that House has passed the Voice to Parliament referendum bill, now for consideration with the Senate.
It was a pleasure on Tuesday morning to join the member for Robertson and other conveners of Parliamentary Friends of Running, the member for Gippsland and the member for Warringah, with Rob de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Foundation group and a range of Canberra supporters of the work that the Indigenous Marathon Foundation does. I am pleased to be a long-time supporter of the foundation, having run the six World Marathon Majors as a supporter of theirs. I'm off to South Africa on Sunday week to run the 87-kilometre Comrades ultramarathon, the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon.Read more
ABC SYDNEY DRIVE WITH DOMINIC KNIGHT
WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY 2023
SUBJECTS: Australian Centre for Evaluation
DOMINIC KNIGHT (HOST): The press release from Andrew Leigh who is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, as well as Assistant Minister for Employment, says the government is creating an Australian Centre for Evaluation to measure what works. How would it measure what works? Andrew Leigh. Good afternoon.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH ANDREW LEIGH: Good afternoon, Dom. Great to be with you.
KNIGHT: What are you evaluating?Read more
Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2023-2024
House of Representatives, 31 May 2023
I want to acknowledge Rob Eakin, an extraordinary Australian who passed away earlier this month. Rob died the day after the budget, which is significant because he was an extraordinary Labor stalwart. Rob and his wife Robin were two of the people who were among my earliest supporters when I first got into politics. I always felt that whatever I did, they would have my back. They were the best of volunteers: hardworking, altruistic, generous and funny. They were a real delight to be around, and every conversation with Rob and Robin left me feeling better about the world.Read more