Truth, Celebration and Reconciliation
The Canberra Times, 1 February 2023
To understand the history of First Nations people is to hold two big facts in our minds.
One is the remarkable history of those who first occupied a continent. At least sixty thousand years ago, people settled in Australia, creating what is now the oldest known civilisation on earth. By the time Ancient Greece and Rome were getting started, First Nations people had already occupied Australia for tens of thousands of years.
The other big fact is what happened after settlers arrived and proclaimed British sovereignty on 26 January 1788. Over the next century, Australia’s Indigenous population declined, due to violence, disease and starvation. In 1788, there were around 800,000 First Nations Australians. By 1900, there were fewer than 100,000.Read more
SKY NEWS NEWSDAY WITH TOM CONNELL
MONDAY, 30 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Industry Super Australia’s proposal to increase the frequency of superannuation payments; role of impact investing in super; Treasurer’s treatise in The Monthly.
TOM CONNELL (HOST): Lobby group Industry Super Australia is calling for a crackdown to ramp up the frequency of payments into superannuation. It claims putting such a mandate in the May budget would end the underpayment of workers estimated it to be as high as $5 billion a year. Joining me live is Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Treasury. Thanks for your time. Is the estimate right and where is it coming from? What are the types of people that are missing out on super?
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Well, Tom, it’s people right across the spectrum. We know that in recent estimates, around a quarter of Australians don't get their super paid on time, and for those who are affected, that can be up to $1,700. So we'll certainly give this Industry Super proposal the due attention it deserves in the interest of Australian workers. And frankly, if you don't end up paying your super, that's not much different from wage theft. So we need to make sure that Australian workers are taken care of. We're also appropriately concerned about making sure the regulatory burden on business isn't increased.Read more
ABC CANBERRA WITH ROSS SOLLY
THURSDAY, 26 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Inflation figures; Impact of rising rates on mortgage holders; Australia Day debate; Cradle Mountain Run.
ROSS SOLLY (HOST): I nearly fell off my chair yesterday, if I was sitting on a chair at the time, in fact, I was walking. And I nearly fell into a bush when I heard the new - the latest inflation figures come out because it wasn't meant to be like this. We're supposed to be getting a cap on all of this. We're supposed to get things under control. Dr. Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Treasury. Good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Ross. How are you?
SOLLY: I'm okay. I've got over my stumble and fall into a bush yesterday. What did you think when you heard the figures?
LEIGH: Well, inflation is unacceptably high. This is the highest annual inflation since 1990: 7.8%. Particularly pushed up by domestic travel, international travel, accommodation, new dwelling purchases. Ross, the initial inflation story was a story of goods inflation, largely driven by supply chain blockages. But as with other countries, it's now started to bleed over to services inflation as well. Still, most of the price rises are in goods, but an increasing share is in services. So we think that inflation has peaked, but we won't know for sure until the next set of figures come out.Read more
2CC 1206 WITH LEON DELANEY
TUESDAY, 24 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Reforms to process for approving the tax-deductibility of charities; The role of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission; Investigation into Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints; Referendum to implement an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
LEON DELANEY (HOST): Andrew Leigh, Federal Member for Fenner. Are you ever tempted to sit in Bob Hawke's chair?
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Oh, yeah, and I love going to Old Parliament House. There's just that sense of history radiating out of the walls. You know, you stand on the steps, you think about that moment in 1975, when Gough Whitlam stood there after the dismissal. You walk into the chambers, you can just you can get that sense of Curtin and Chifley and Menzies standing at the despatch box. It's just a magical place. We're so lucky to have it in the capital.
DELANEY: Yeah, I'm a big fan of the Museum of Australian Democracy, although, sad to say, I haven't actually been there for a little while. But I do remember Bob Hawke's office as being quite impressive and I just imagined myself sitting in the big chair. But you know what? They wouldn't let me.
LEIGH: Well, you can wander into the chambers, you can sit on those lovely padded green seats, remind yourself that these were rooms designed for ample bottomed men. And the decor of the place does sort of it feels very much like a cigar club to me. So while it's beautiful, it's also a relic of that kind of much more masculine era.Read more
ABC RADIO NATIONAL WITH CATHIE SCHNITZERLING
THURSDAY, 12 JANUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: King Charles III coin effigies, cashless society
CATHIE SCHNITZERLING (HOST): If you go through your wallet right now and you’ve got some coins in there, the silver and gold coins will have the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. She’s been on Australian coins since 1953 after her father King George VI’s death in 1952. But with her passing last year new coins with the face of King Charles will come into circulation. Last year the Royal Australian Mint confirmed they will begin minting coins with the effigy of King Charles III early in 2023. But is that still the plan?
Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Charities, Competition and Treasury. Hello, Andrew.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES, AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: G’day, Cathie. How are you?
SCHNITZERLING: Very well, thank you. When will the Royal Australian Mint start producing and circulating the new coins?
LEIGH: We’re expecting it in the second half of this year. There’s a more complicated process than you might imagine in terms of designing an effigy, having it cleared with Buckingham Palace and then testing that the dies work. One of the challenges in producing these coins, Cathie, is that the dies need to be able to last for some 200,000 to 300,000 coins. And so the image needs not only to be an appropriate likeness but also one that can be printed again and again. Now, coin production is mass manufacturing.Read more
Monopoly is a Game Best Played at Home
Daily Telegraph, 4 January 2023
If your family pulls out a board game this summer, there’s a good chance that it’s the world’s most popular board game, Monopoly. The game has sold over a quarter of a billion sets, and more than half a billion people have played it.
If Monopoly makes your blood boil, then you’ll know how its designer once felt.
The inventor of Monopoly was a feminist writer and actress, Lizzie Magie. Born in Illinois in 1866, Magie grew up in the aftermath of the US Civil War when the ‘Robber Barons’ dominated her country.Read more
ABC RADIO NATIONAL WITH SARAH DINGLE
FRIDAY, 30 DECEMBER 2022
SUBJECTS: SUMMER READING
SARAH DINGLE (HOST): The season of reading is upon us. What are you reading and what's on your list for this summer? Even if it's just an aspirational list, let's face it, we've all got them. Isn't it nice to think you have time to tackle that very big stack of books? Every day for the next few weeks, we'll be speaking to politicians of all stripes about the book they'll be turning to this summer, or books plural. Labor MP Andrew Leigh is one of those with books, plural, you have quite a list. Andrew Leigh, welcome.Read more
2GB MONEY NEWS WITH LUKE GRANT
THURSDAY, 22 DECEMBER 2022
SUBJECTS: INCREASING WORKPLACE GIVING
LUKE GRANT (HOST): It is, isn't it, the season of giving. Have you heard of workplace giving? I'll tell you what, I could throw a line in there. Essentially, it's donating to charity direct from your salary. Oh, it's tempting. So, you could contribute a small portion of your pre‑tax salary to charity and receive the tax benefit straight away rather than waiting until the end of the financial year. It's not a bad idea.
Most recently ATO stats show there are 4.3 million employees at workplaces that had a workplace giving program, yet just 5 per cent of people are participating, and I think the question is why? So let's ask a man who might know. He should know; he's the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, for goodness sake, he's Dr Andrew Leigh, and I'm delighted to say that he's on the line from, I'm assuming the nation's capital; is that where you are, good sir?
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES, AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: I'm in Melbourne at the moment, Luke.
LEIGH: But delighted to be chatting with you and your listeners.Read more
The Australian, Tuesday 20 December 2022
It’s hard to ignore the growing body of evidence that excessive market concentration can lead to economic problems.
Dominant firms in a market may have less incentive to carry out research and development. They may have less incentive to produce new products. And in some cases, they may have less incentive to pay their employees fairly.
The challenge for economists is to better understand the problems. That means measuring them. Market concentration tells us how much share the biggest players have. But it doesn’t tell us the extent to which they’re throwing their weight around.
By contrast, markups – the gap between firms’ costs and what they charge their consumers – go more directly to the impact on consumers. In that sense, markups are capturing the market power of firms: their ability to influence the price at which they sell their products.Read more
WEDNESDAY, 14 DECEMBER 2022
TOPICS: Investigation into accommodation booking platforms, monopoly power.
KATHERINE FEENEY (HOST): It seems as though you can compare prices - get a sweet deal. Well, a government investigation is looking at whether these sites are actually doing the opposite. Andrew Leigh can tell you more. He's the Assistant Competition Minister. Minister, thank you for your company. What are your concerns about these websites, first off?
DR ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY: Great to be with you, and thanks very much for taking an interest in the issue. My concern is that we're talking about hotel booking platforms that don't clean the toilets, don't change the sheets, don't help on the front desk; they're simply organising the processing of the payment. And some of the stories I've heard have their fees running into the double digits. So we need to find out what are the fees that are being charged, and more importantly, whether or not these sites are using their monopoly power to prevent hotels from encouraging people to book directly with them.Read more