HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 7 SEPTEMBER 2022
It's no great surprise that the party that claimed that electric vehicles would end the weekend continues to be campaigning against this bill, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022—campaigning against a measure that would make electric vehicles cheaper. I switched to a Tesla Model 3 at the start of the year, and it is an absolute joy to drive. It is an extraordinary piece of technology. It's very quiet, environmentally sound and it does things that I've never before thought would just be natural for a car. You approach it and it unlocks, because your phone is in your pocket. It gets dark and the lights come on automatically. It rains and the windscreen wipers come on automatically. As an EV user I'm not unusual in driving a Tesla Model 3—according to the Electric Vehicle Council, they accounted for 60 per cent of all EV sales last year, followed by the MG ZS EV and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Teslas are terrific fun but they're too expensive right now, and this bill seeks to address the challenge of affordability.Read more
One of the great moments in sport occurred on a track in Melbourne in 1956. In a mile race, one of the runners clipped the heel of Ron Clarke and he fell to the ground. John Landy stopped to check that Clarke was okay. By the time Clarke had replied ‘Yes, yes, go, go, run!’, Landy was 35 metres behind the pack. With a lap and a half to go, Landy made up the distance and won the race. It's been called ‘the ultimate act of sportsmanship’. It is why there is a statue to John Landy at Olympic Park. To me it symbolises what matters in sport and what matters in public life. It's not just whether you win or lose. It's how you play the game.Read more
International Day Of Charity: How A Dollar Can Buy A Valuable 'Helper's High' - Op Ed, The New Daily
The New Daily 5 September 2022
Imagine finding a dollar on the ground as you’re walking down the street.
It might feel like a bit of luck, a little sign that today is a good day.
Imagine picking it up and handing it to a kid nearby, watching their face light up because of the kindness of a stranger. You’ve turned a bit of luck into a moment of joy.
You don’t need to wait for a chance occurrence to make someone’s day.
Monday is the International Day of Charity – a day that should urge us to think about how we can all give our loose change to make bigger changes.Read more
Southern Tasmanian jobs and skills roundtable highlights skills shortage in Tasmania ahead of National Summit - Media Release
THE HON ANDREW LEIGH MP
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY
THE HON SENATOR CAROL BROWN
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT
BRIAN MITCHELL MP
MEMBER FOR LYONS
SENATOR CATRYNA BILYK
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
SOUTHERN TASMANIAN JOBS AND SKILLS ROUNDTABLE HIGHLIGHTS SKILLS SHORTAGE IN TASMANIA AHEAD OF NATIONAL SUMMIT
MONDAY, 29 AUGUST 2022
The Southern Tasmanian Jobs and Skills Roundtable in Hobart today has brought together over sixty representatives from local businesses, the community sector, the skills and education sector, unions, employment services and civil society.
The contributions made at the Southern Tasmanian Roundtable will help inform discussions at the National Jobs and Skills Summit on 1 – 2 September in Canberra.
Local businesses and organisations highlighted the economic impacts of worker shortages around the state.
Consensus was reached that education outcomes must be linked to on the ground, job opportunities here in Tasmania.
We know that there is a skills shortage in Tasmania; we know that people move to Tasmania to study, only to move back to the mainland in hopes of a better paying job with more opportunities to progress.
This is the second of three roundtables across Tasmania, one in Devonport, Hobart and Launceston. Each of the roundtables will feed into the National Jobs and Skills Summit this week.
The discussions and outcomes of the Summit will inform the Employment White Paper, which will help shape the future of Australia’s labour market. The White Paper will be led by Treasury, which will invite submissions and engage the wider community over the next 12 months.
Quotes attributed to the Hon Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
“In Australia today, we're dealing with the effects of an economy that has been too stagnant, in which productivity growth has languished after nine years of neglect from the Coalition.
The Australian economy is facing real challenges, so the Labor government is getting to work building innovation, ensuring that we've got a more skilled Australian economy, making sure we've got cheaper energy prices, and ensuring that we have infrastructure which is focused on the needs of Australians.”
Quotes attributed to the Hon Senator Carol Brown, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
“Hearing from the roundtable participants today will directly inform the discussions held at the Summit in Canberra in a couple of days time, and I am looking forward to canvassing the discussions held today here to my colleagues and industry leaders in Canberra very soon,” the Assistant Minister said.
Quotes attributed to Brian Mitchell, Member for Lyons
“I have the privilege of representing a diverse electorate - from students through to farmers; all working to make our state better and provide our award winning produce to the world.
The Albanese Labor Government is listening to the experts - employers and working people. We know that together we will shape the future of Australia’s labour market.”
Quotes attributed to Senator Catryna Bilyk
“The Albanese Government has a clear agenda to create secure local jobs, bring manufacturing back to our shores and ensure we have enough jobs for the critically important care economy.”
A PRODUCTIVITY TURNAROUND REQUIRES A MORE DYNAMIC, COMPETITIVE ECONOMY
The Australian, 26 August 2022
Productivity growth is the key driver of living standards over the long run. Yet over recent decades, productivity growth has slowed from a canter to a saunter. Slower productivity growth means lower real wages and less buying power for households. It constrains the ability of the budget to build infrastructure and help poor people here and overseas. Whether your priority is paying down debt or boosting teacher quality, Australians should be worried about the drop in productivity.
In a recent analysis, I worked with experts at the Australian Treasury to analyse data on productivity and economic dynamism. With access to data on millions of businesses and workers, Treasury now has an unprecedented ability to study the health of the economy. Although these datasets have been constructed relatively recently, some go back nearly to the start of the century – allowing powerful insights into how the Australian economy has changed over time.Read more
A MORE DYNAMIC ECONOMY - FH GRUEN LECTURE
THURSDAY, 25 AUGUST 2022
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal custodians of this land, pay respects to their elders, and commit myself to the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
For a man I never got to meet, Fred Gruen had a remarkably large impact on my life. As a university student, his book with Michelle Grattan, Managing Government: Labor's Achievements and Failures, shaped how I thought about the economic impact of the Hawke and Keating governments. I wrote my honours thesis on Labor’s unilateral tariff cuts in 1973, 1988 and 1991, and why a social democratic government chose free trade when many other left‑wing governments favoured protectionism. I concluded that part of the answer lay in the power of ideas. Gough Whitlam’s 25 per cent tariff cut in 1973 might not have happened without the persuasive impact of Fred and other economists. Economic ideas matter. As John Maynard Keynes put it, ‘the world is ruled by little else’.
But it almost didn’t happen. Born in Vienna in 1921, Fred Gruen was sent to Australia on a ship called the Dunera in 1940. Two days after departing Liverpool, the boat was struck by a German torpedo, which did not explode. As Bruce Chapman once observed, Australia benefited greatly from the incompetent German torpedo maker, whose failure enabled the success of the ‘Dunera Boys’.Read more
MONDAY, 15 AUGUST 2022
Subjects: falling volunteer numbers; Labor’s plans to rebuild the charity sector
ANNA VIDOT: Some new data indicates that Australians are volunteering less than they were two years ago. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission estimates that the number of volunteers in Australia has dropped from 3.3 million to 2.9 million over the course of the pandemic. Now this is not necessarily surprising, I guess. But is it all about COVID? Given that we know volunteering numbers were kind of on this slide beforehand too. Is there more at play here about how connected we are and how connected we feel with the communities that we're living in? And I guess most importantly for the organisations missing out on volunteers, can we change that? Dr Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. He’s also the local Member for Fenner here in the ACT. Andrew Leigh, thanks very much for your time this afternoon.
ANDREW LEIGH: Pleasure, Anna. Great to be with you.Read more
NEWSDAY, SKY NEWS
MONDAY, 15 AUGUST 2022
Subjects: Labor’s plans to rebuild the charity sector; Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax
TOM CONNELL: We're volunteering less than we used to. So why is that the case? Joining me now is Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. Thanks very much for your time. You're delving into this problem. Why do you think we're not out there volunteering, putting as many hours as we used to into the community?
ANDREW LEIGH: It's part of an overall decline that we've seen, Tom. Australians are not only less likely to volunteer, but less likely to join community organisations, to play team sports. We've got fewer friends than we did in the 1980s, and we know fewer of our neighbours. We've become disconnected. I don't think this is the fault of either side of politics, but certainly the former government's war on charities didn't help. That prompted three open letters from the sector, calling on successive Liberal Prime Ministers to back off their attacks on charities. Labor’s ended the war on charities, but I'm now reaching out to charities through these building community forums - which kicked off in Sydney today - asking for their ideas about how we can work together collaboratively. Philanthropic funders, charities and government, to build more reconnected Australia.Read more
MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2022
Subjects: Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax; ATO settlement with Rio Tinto and the use of marketing hubs; JobKeeper
LIAM BARTLETT, HOST: I wanted to talk about the world of commerce ‑ the wild, wonderful, wacky world of tax, in particular, with a revelation in the Financial Review this morning that oil and gas giant Shell has confirmed that it is selling Queensland gas to global customers via a Singapore marketing hub, which of course raises questions all over again about what they call transfer pricing to lower domestic tax payments. In other words, the price you end up selling it to is not necessarily reflected in the amount of tax you end up paying to the country that you draw that product from. It's drawn attention all over again to how the big industry players sell gas offshore. And it also comes hot on the heels, you may recall last month the decision by Rio Tinto ‑ another industry giant ‑ to pay almost a billion dollars to settle the dispute to the Australian Taxation Office over the mining company's use of a marketing hub in Singapore. These marketing hub pricing mechanisms have been around for a while. Now all this leads me sort of back to Rome, so to speak, because you might recall during the election campaign a lot was made of this from the then Labor opposition about forcing the multinationals to pay more tax. And we spoke then to the Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh, who has become now that Labor is in government the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and he joins us on the program. Andrew, good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY: Good morning, Liam. Great to be back with you.Read more
MONDAY, 8 AUGUST 2022
Subjects: Labor’s plans to make multinationals pay their fair share of tax; ATO settlement with Rio Tinto and the use of marketing hubs; international agreements on multinational tax avoidance; windfall tax; competition
PATRICIA KARVELAS, HOST: By now, most Australians would be feeling the effects of record inflation and rising interest rates, even if you don't have a mortgage. But high commodity prices, which is one of the drivers of that inflation, are also delivering a $27 billion boost to the budget bottom line. And that's, of course, welcome news for the Treasurer as he prepares to hand down his first budget in October. We get two budgets this year with a change of government. And with budget repair a priority, the government has multinationals like Google and Facebook in its sights, canvassing a range of measures to force them to pay more tax. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and our guest this morning. Welcome back to Breakfast, Andrew Leigh.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY: Thanks, Patricia. Great to be with you.Read more