Tis the season to give generously - Opinion Piece

Tis the season to give generously

The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 20 December 2023

They called Chuck Feeney the “James Bond of philanthropy”. During his life, he gave away his entire $US8bn fortune. And he did it anonymously.

But Feeney wasn’t always focused on giving. At age 50, he owned homes in London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Aspen and the French Riviera, partied on yachts, and attended black-tie soirees. Having started off selling duty free cigarettes, he had built a duty free empire that operated like a money machine.

That was when he had an epiphany and decided to give it all away. Having grown up in a working class New Jersey family, Feeney decided that he would return to a simple life.

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Cracking down on unfair NDIS participant pricing - Joint Media Release

Joint media release with 
The Hon Bill Shorten
Minister for the National Services

CRACKING DOWN ON UNFAIR NDIS PARTICIPANT PRICING

The Australian Government is putting an end to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) “wedding tax” that has seen people with disability being forced to pay exorbitantly jacked up prices for essential services, supports and equipment.

Labor will double down on dodgy NDIS providers with the establishment of a multi-agency Taskforce comprising of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the NDIS Quality and Safeguards  Commission and the National Disability Insurance Agency.

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Service Improvement Trials for Workforce Australia Online - Joint Media Release

Joint media release with
The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts
Leader of the House


SERVICE IMPROVEMENT TRIALS FOR WORKFORCE AUSTRALIA ONLINE

The Australian Government is undertaking service improvement trials for Workforce Australia Online, to ensure employment services better meet the needs of the people who use them.

These trials will help build public sector stewardship in the employment services system, a key reform principle outlined in the Employment White Paper.

The trials will test whether people using online services get better employment outcomes, such as through more intensive job-finding support delivered by government and reduced length of time in online services. 

The service improvement trials are designed in partnership with the Australian Centre for Evaluation at Treasury, and subject to a robust ethical framework.

Participation will be voluntary, with opt-out provisions available to all clients.

The online service improvement trials will inform the government’s response to the House Select Committee into Workforce Australia Employment Services.

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Australia to negotiate new tax treaties with Ukraine and Brazil - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

Australia to negotiate new tax treaties with Ukraine and Brazil

The Australian Government is expanding its tax treaty negotiation program to work towards its first tax treaties with Ukraine and Brazil, and to update treaties with New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, and Sweden.

Australia’s work to negotiate a tax treaty with Ukraine, reflects the Government’s support for Ukraine. It provides new opportunities to strengthen our economic and people-to-people links. 

Australia will also look to negotiate its first tax treaty with Brazil, which will bring significant economic benefits to both nations through reduced taxation barriers to trade and investment, more certainty and reduced compliance cost for taxpayers. The treaty will also feature integrity measures to reduce tax evasion.

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Government Delivering on ACCC Designated Complaints Function - Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

GOVERNMENT DELIVERING ON ACCC DESIGNATED COMPLAINTS FUNCTION

The Albanese Government is delivering on the Government’s Better Competition election commitment, with the release of draft legislation which creates a designated complaints function within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The function will empower designated consumer and small business advocates to submit a complaint to the ACCC where they have evidence of a significant or systemic market issue affecting Australian consumers or small businesses.

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ABC Melbourne Breakfast with Raf Epstein - Transcript

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC MELBOURNE BREAKFAST WITH RAF EPSTEIN
THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2023

SUBJECTS: Release of coins with King Charles III’s effigy; Visa arrangements with Pacific nations; High Court decision on detention; State of the economy.

RAF EPSTEIN: It's a busy end of the year for the federal government. We might get onto their political woes, but right now, Andrew Leigh joins us as Assistant Minister for Charities, Competition, Treasury and Employment. Good morning.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Raf. Great to be with you.

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ABC Sydney Breakfast with Chris Taylor - Transcript

E&OE Transcript
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC SYDNEY BREAKFAST WITH CHRIS TAYLOR
THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2023

SUBJECTS: Release of coins with King Charles III’s effigy

CHRIS TAYLOR: Now, if you're into your coins, you might be interested to learn that the first batch of coins featuring the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III, have now officially been manufactured by the Royal Australian Mint and released into circulation. I haven't seen one yet. I think I've still got the Queen. Well, who's using cash is the first point, but to the extent I do still occasionally have some loose change in my pocket, I think it's still pretty Queeny. But apparently we now need to keep a lookout because the first coins, with His Majesty's face in circulation, they're $1 coins. There's going to be three and a half million of them starting to appear in cash registers across the country. Dr. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Treasury who's been overseeing the rollout. Good morning, Andrew.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Chris. I've got to say, my wallet is still pretty Queenly as well, but I'm sure that will change over the coming years.

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ABC Canberra Breakfasts with James Vyver - Transcript

E&OE Transcript
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST WITH JAMES VYVER
THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2023

SUBJECTS: Release of coins with King Charles III’s effigy; Announcement of funding for Stage 2A of Canberra’s light rail.

JAMES VYVER: Andrew Leigh is with us now, Assistant Minister for Treasury. As I say, the first coin featuring King Charles III have been released into circulation and Andrew Leigh is with us now. Minister, good morning to you. How many coins have gone out or where have they gone to?

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: So, first I have to say, James, I love your musical choices to accompany it. Inspired indeed. We've sent out three and a half million of these new kingly coins. They'll be rolling into circulation alongside the 16 billion coins with the Queen on them, which have appeared since the beginning of decimal currency in 1966. It is a big moment for many Australians. It'll be the first time that most of us have held in our hands an Australian coin with a king's face on it. Then, as you said, just as Queen Elizabeth faced to the right, King Charles will face to the left. A tradition that goes back to the 17th century. Some say to the moment when King Charles II decided that he would face away from Oliver Cromwell. But I haven't been able to confirm that.

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Backing Charities and Building Community - Speech

Backing Charities and Building Community
Statement on Matters of Significance, House of Representatives
Thursday, 7 December 2023

Modern Australia could not function without charities. Charities improve our natural environment. Charities assist people living in poverty overseas. Charities organise sporting events. Charities run arts festivals. Charities help settle new migrants. Charities assist when natural disasters strike. And over the coming weeks, charities will be there for vulnerable families, handing out hampers to put food on the table and gifts to go under the tree.

The charity and non-profit sector comprises over one-tenth of employment and nearly one-tenth of national income. It is larger than the agricultural and financial sectors combined. From parkrun to Clean Up Australia, Vinnies to Girl Guides Australia, millions of people volunteer in their local communities.

Yet despite the social value of charities, the Coalition’s nine years in office was a rolling war on the charity sector. They came to office pledging to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and would have done so if they thought they could get it through the Senate. When they couldn’t abolish it, they appointed Gary Johns to run the charities commission, a charities critic with extremist views about Indigenous people.

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Condolence Motion on the passing of Peta Murphy - Speech

REMEMBERING PETA MURPHY 
Condolence Motion, House of Representatives,
Wednesday, 6 December 2023

I first met Peta Jan Murphy in 1999. She was working as Duncan Kerr's justice and arts adviser. I was working as Peter Cook's trade adviser. We were pretty excited at that point. Labor was running strong, and we thought in 1999 that it was near the end of Labor's time in opposition. Little did we know that Labor's 11 long years in opposition were just beginning.

There weren't a lot of us policy advisors—as I recall, there were about 25 of us—and we used to get together to talk about ideas. We were idealistic, wanting to make a difference, and we were bonded, as you often are in the crucible of opposition. We felt very mature at the time, although Peta and I were in our mid-twenties, half the age that I am and that she was. It is funny to think that you've known somebody for half a lifetime. Neither of us stayed as Labor advisers for very long in that period, but both of us stayed in touch, and it was such a pleasure in 2016 to have the chance to work with Peta again. She had returned from a stellar career at the Victorian Bar and was serving as Brendan O'Connor's chief of staff.

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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.