Sky News Agenda with Kieran Gilbert - Monday 24 June

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS AGENDA WITH KIERAN GILBERT
MONDAY, 24 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Mandatory Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, Government-funded CHOICE reports to help Australian shoppers, Appointment of Matt Kean as Chair of Climate Change Authority.

KIERAN GILBERT, HOST: Let's return now to politics here in Canberra. We've got a lot to talk about with the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh. You've released this review into the Code of Conduct and into supermarkets. It's going to be made a compulsory code of conduct with some massive fines if the major players breach the rules here, do you think those fines are likely or will the supermarkets change their behaviour?

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Well, these are huge firms, Kieran. Woolworths's estimated revenue this year is $50 billion and so it does make sense that there's significant penalties associated with the industry code. We've got a very concentrated grocery sector, as you well know – the top three have a 75 per cent share. So, it's appropriate that we have a mandatory code of conduct governing their relationship.

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Joint Press Conference with Minister Watt and Dr Craig Emerson - Monday 24 June

JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE
Senator Murray Watt
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Emergency Management

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
DICKSON SHOPS, CANBERRA
MONDAY, 24 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Review of Food and Grocery Code of Conduct to deliver a better deal for Australian farmers and consumers; Avian flu; Support for live sheep export industry.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning everyone thanks very much for coming along on a beautiful Canberra morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition. Australia's supermarket sector is one of the most concentrated in the world. The top three supermarkets control three quarters of the market. With great power comes a responsibility to do the right thing by consumers. Last week, the Albanese government announced price monitoring which we will fund CHOICE to do grocery price comparisons every quarter. That grocery price comparison is appropriate in order to ensure that shoppers get the very best deal. We've tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to do a deep dive into supermarket pricing, to make sure that supermarkets provide a fair deal. We've heard from many suppliers or supermarkets that they feel left out in the cold. And that's why we've asked Craig Emerson one of Australia's best economic policy brain's, a former competition minister, to look at the Food and Grocery. I'm here today with Murray Watt, the Agriculture Minister, and Craig Emerson, who has conducted this important review, to announce the Albanese Government will be accepting all of Craig Emerson's recommendations. That means that a Code set up by the Liberals and Nationals to be voluntary, without appropriate penalties attached, will now have substantial penalties associated with breaches. We know that large firms don't just squeeze their consumers they squeeze their suppliers too. We've heard too many stories about the suppliers not getting a fair deal. This is about a fair deal for families and a fair deal for farmers. The Albanese Government is committed to a more competitive and dynamic economy. We understand the benefits that competition brings to the economy. And I'm really pleased now to hand over to Craig Emerson to talk about his important reporting. And then to Murray Watt to wrap up.

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Sky News Agenda with Kieran Gilbert - Thursday 20 June 2024

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
TV INTERVIEW
SKY NEWS AGENDA WITH KIERAN GILBERT
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Government funded CHOICE reports to help Australian shoppers, ACCC inquiry into supermarkets, Government’s cost-of-living measures, Reducing inflation, Reliable renewables versus risky reactors.

KIERAN GILBERT, SKY: Aldi has the cheapest prices for groceries nationwide according to a report on supermarket prices. The survey conducted by CHOICE, it found Aldi was 25 per cent cheaper compared to Coles and Woolies. Basket of the same 14 items, you can see there, totalled more than $51 at Aldi, $68 plus at Coles, and $69 up - $69.33 at Woolies. The report was commissioned by the Albanese Government in response to national frustration over growing costs. Let's bring in the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh. What did you make of the findings? I don't think a lot of people would be surprised by those numbers.

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: I think people weren't surprised that Aldi was the cheapest, but many were surprised by the magnitude of the difference. 25 per cent is really significant. And you've also got non-trivial differences between Coles and Woolworths. Woolworths is cheaper in Sydney, Coles is cheaper in Melbourne. That's also important information for shoppers to have. Information is power, and we're trying to put that information in the hands of consumers by funding CHOICE to do its grocery price comparisons not every two years but every three months, with the next one coming out in September. We want to make sure that shoppers have power to go down the road and get the best deal. That puts competitive pressure on a sector which has pretty high levels of market concentration compared to other countries.

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ABC Brisbane Mornings - Thursday 20 June

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RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC BRISBANE MORNINGS WITH ELLEN FANNING
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Randomised policy trials and the Australian Centre for Evaluation.

ELLEN FANNING, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Treasurer, a former professor of economics, no less, and earlier this week, he gave a stirring speech calling for a bit of evidence before we, well, let's say, threaten parents with the suspension of welfare payments if they don't get their kids to school. Or we make our surly teenagers sit through healthy living lectures. And why? Because although these programs seem like, well, they would work, Andrew Leigh reckons they probably don't. He joins me now. Dr Leigh, thank you so much for joining us.

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure, Ellen, thanks for having me on.

FANNING: Yes, I have enjoyed watching your passions over the years for research and they are undimmed in office. I love the start of this speech where you sort of list four things that would seem to be, as the Americans would say, self-evident. Cut the welfare if they won't send the kids to school. Literacy tests always are a fair representation of student ability. And let's just stick to one more if you lecture the adolescents about risky behaviour, they'll undertake less risky behaviour. That's all obviously true, isn't it, Andrew?

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Doorstop Parliament House - Thursday 20 June 2024

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
PARLIAMENT HOUSE
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Government funded CHOICE reports to help Australian shoppers, Inquiry into the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Well, good morning everyone. Thank you very much for coming along on a beautiful crisp Canberra morning. My name is Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities, Treasury and Employment.

Information is power and the Albanese Government is putting that power in the hands of consumers. With today's CHOICE price monitoring report on the cheapest supermarket prices. We know many Australians are facing cost-of-living pressure. And we know that CHOICE has a strong track record of carrying out these price monitoring surveys. But in the past, the surveys have done been done every two years, and some of the information has been behind the paywall, available to CHOICE subscribers only. What's different about the report being released today is that it's available to everyone and will be carried out every three months, with the next report coming down before the end of September.

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ABC Sydney Mornings with Fran Kelly - Thursday 20 June 2024

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC SYDNEY MORNINGS WITH FRAN KELLY
THURSDAY, 20 JUNE 2024

SUBJECTS: Government funded CHOICE reports to help Australian shoppers, ACCC inquiry into supermarkets, Nuclear power.

FRAN KELLY, HOST: Aldi is cheaper than the two major supermarket chains. Fans, did you get that? Aldi is the cheapest, cheaper than Coles, cheaper than Woolies. The first comprehensive survey by CHOICE, commissioned by the Federal Government as part of its inquiry into competition within the supermarket sector, or the lack of it, has confirmed that Aldi is the cheapest by a whopping 25 per cent. Mind you, in many suburbs across Sydney, there is no Aldi within cooee, of course. So, that leaves you with Coles and Woolies and CHOICE found that their basket of goods was about a dollar apart. Andrew Leigh is the Federal Assistant Minister for Competition. Andrew Leigh, welcome to Mornings.

ASSISTANT MINISTER ANDREW LEIGH: Thanks, Fran. Great to be with you.

KELLY: Andrew Leigh, I could have told you Aldi was cheaper than the Coles and Woolies, but what do you take from this first CHOICE quarterly report?

LEIGH: You could have told me they were cheaper, but could you tell me they were 25 per cent cheaper? That for many people has been one of the surprising factors out of the CHOICE price monitoring report. The other factor is some of the differences across jurisdictions. In Sydney, for example, Woolworths is the cheapest supermarket, in Melbourne, it's Coles and so that's also useful information for consumers.

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The Future of Medicare: Research-Informed Policy for Better Access and Health - Speech

THE FUTURE OF MEDICARE: RESEARCH-INFORMED POLICY FOR BETTER ACCESS AND HEALTH

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Symposium
Wednesday 19 June 2024, Canberra

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal elders, on whose traditional lands we meet, and pay respect to all First Nations people here today.

In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a father proudly tells his son ‘When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England.’

Building Medicare wasn’t easy. In the 1960s, economists John Deeble and Dick Scotton of the University of Melbourne carried out an industry study of the health care sector. In a recent article, Ross Williams recounts their work (Williams 2024). Using data on 5000 people across four states, combined with Ronald Henderson’s poverty survey, Deeble and Scotton showed the problems in the existing system.

They found numerous shortcomings. Pensioners got free health care, but low-income workers didn’t. Around one in five Victorians lacked health insurance, and therefore risked a double whammy – if they became badly ill, they could lose their life savings to medical bills. Meanwhile, the system was regressive, since the most affluent enjoyed tax deductibility of both premiums and co-payments.

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Unchain My Job - Opinion Piece

UNCHAIN MY JOB

Bianca, a young hairdressing apprentice, didn’t feel she was receiving enough training. So she looked at switching jobs. But it turned out that Bianca’s employment agreement barred her for working for any competitor within 10 kilometres for a year.

There’s also Betty, who was terminated from her job as a store manager. Even although she had been fired, she was still bound by a clause in her employment agreement that prevented her from working anywhere in the Northern Territory. If she wanted to work as a store manager anytime in the next twelve months, Betty would have to move interstate.

And then there’s Madison, who worked at a consulting firm. After experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination, she negotiated a resignation. But the firm still did its best to uphold a clause in her employment agreement that prevented Madison from taking a job with any client of her former employer.

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Discovering What Works: Why Rigorous Evaluation Matters - Speech

DISCOVERING WHAT WORKS: WHY RIGOROUS EVALUATION MATTERS*

Australian Evaluation Showcase
Monday 17 June 2024, Canberra

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY ***

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of these lands, and pay respect to all First Nations people present.

You might think that certain truths are so self-evident that they transcend the need for evidence. For example, in the area of education, surely we know that:

  • Parents are more likely to get their kids to school with the threat of losing income support.
  • Literacy tests are a fair representation of students’ ability.
  • Early childhood staff have the skills they need. 
  • A health program that is co-designed with students and educators will address adolescents’ risk behaviours.
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Pedals of Possibility: Unleashing the Power of Two Wheels

PEDALS OF POSSIBILITY: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF TWO WHEELS

In 1816, Europe found itself grappling with the aftermath of a catastrophic volcanic eruption half a world away. The eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia precipitated what came to be known as the ‘Year Without a Summer,’ casting a shadow of agricultural despair across continents. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the very fabric of nineteenth century society, so heavily reliant on equine power, frayed under the scarcity of food and the loss of horses. It was within this crucible of necessity and ingenuity that Baron Karl von Drais, a German civil servant with a keen mind for invention, introduced a creation that would eventually revolutionize human mobility: the ‘Draisine’, or as it is more romantically known, the ‘Laufmaschine’ (which translates as running machine.

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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.