Post-Budget Interview with Adam Shirley - Transcript, ABC Canberra



ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): One man who had a very clear line of sight on a lot of the Federal Government’s decisions, spends, cutbacks and ultimately final Federal Budget for this year is Dr Andrew Leigh, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. He’s also the federal member for Fenner here in the ACT. Dr Leigh, thanks for your time today.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES, AND TREASRY ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure, Adam. I’m still reeling over this Dr Who decision.

SHIRLEY: Devastating.

LEIGH: Like you, I grew up on Tom Baker and the like, and the idea of it not being part of the ABC and the BBC is very strange.

SHIRLEY: Much like a Federal Budget perhaps – tough decisions have to be made. I mean, you probably won’t talk to us about the things you wish your colleagues, including Finance Minister Katy Gallagher had stumped up for but didn’t. What is your read of what the ACT and broadly Australia will do out of this?

LEIGH: Well, for the ACT, you’ll remember the Coalition budget earlier this year where we got less than a fifth of our fair share of infrastructure spending. That changed last night with a fair share of infrastructure spending going to the ACT - $86 million for light rail, the Scrivener Dam upgrades $38 million, $15 million for the AIS arena, $5 million for the Garden City cycle route, $5 million for the Gorman House Arts Centre, and a range of other smaller projects.

So with Katy Gallagher in the Finance portfolio the ACT is definitely not forgotten and is central to what we’re envisaging for revitalizing the country. And also the investment in ongoing public service jobs, scaling back on those unnecessary consultants and contractors, investing more in stable, full-time public service jobs after a decade of cutbacks in the public service which saw a tenth of the public service go.

SHIRLEY: So a couple of listeners have raised the Canberra Hospital, Woden CIT, separate to, I think – what is it – the hostel at Woden as well. Did you as a government consider or look at better funding for a hospital and health system which you know is desperately overstretched?

LEIGH: We’re certainly working closely with the ACT government on their priorities, and that was why we invested in that youth foyer at the Woden CIT campus and why we’re also investing in active engagement through the University of Canberra’s sports hub precinct.

SHIRLEY: But health and the hospital. I mean, you know any family or individual knows that the real difficulties in getting good care on time in the ACT right now.

LEIGH: Absolutely. So the budget includes investments for a Medicare urgent care clinic on the south side. And that will aim to take pressure off Canberra’s emergency departments. And we’re working very closely with the ACT Government to try and get down those waiting times.

You know, I’m a dad, I’ve spent time sitting in emergency rooms with kids. It’s not fun. We’ve got to make sure that we do a better job in bringing down those waiting times and providing that important care.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Labor's Budget delivers on investments to build a better future for Canberra








The Albanese Labor Government’s first Budget delivers on our election commitments and invests in local infrastructure upgrades that will see our city grow.

After a decade of disdain for the National Capital from the former Liberal/National Government, we will ensure that the ACT is not ignored when it comes to infrastructure investments that create jobs, boost our economy and ensure that our city flourishes into the future.

The Federal Budget includes $86 million in funding for Stage 2A of the Light Rail Project to ensure that Canberrans on the Southside get the same transport benefits as those who use the tram between Civic and Gungahlin.

The Government will also provide funding to deliver the National Security Office Precinct in Barton.

This project will be a permanent solution to the critical accommodation and capability requirements of several national security and other Commonwealth agencies, and is expected to be utilised by the Office of National Intelligence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

These major city-shaping investments are in addition to the nearly $39 million that we committed to deliver during the Federal Election, including:

  • $15 million to upgrade and reopen the AIS Arena so that Canberrans have access to the facilities they deserve for sports, community events and concerts
  • $10 million to build a Youth Foyer at the Woden CIT campus to deliver student accommodation and wraparound services for young people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness
  • $3.2 million to improve the health of Canberra’s waterways through revegetation, weed control and water flow management efforts across the Ginninderra, Molonglo and southern ACT Catchments
  • $5 million to improve cycling connections on the Northbourne Avenue corridor through the inner-north suburbs of Canberra through the construction of a new Garden City Cycle Route.
  • $5 million to revitalise Canberra’s beloved Gorman House Arts Centre to support our vibrant arts community
  • $750,000 to undertake a scoping study to investigate the options to give the University of Canberra Capitals WNBL team a permanent home stadium
Read more
1 reaction Share

2GB Money News with Luke Grant - Transcript



LUKE GRANT: But still five days to go until the budget is delivered and a whole lot of promises still to come. Something that was outlined as part of the election commitments was the move to limit tax avoidance by multinational companies. One of those government members driving that campaign is Andrew Leigh, who is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and I'm delighted to say he's on the line. Now, before we get to budget matters, I saw a piece he wrote about multinationals paying their fair share of corporate tax in Australia. And I want to get to that as well, but there's so much to talk about, Andrew. But employment, according to the ABS, with employment increasing slightly by around 1000 people, the number of unemployed increasing by about 9000 people. This is from their statement today, the unemployment rate rose by less than 0.1% remained at 3.5 in a rounded term. Do you reckon we've reached the point where the rate now might head the other way? What's your feeling about this?

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARIRTIES, AND TREASURY DR ANDREW LEIGH: Well, I'm really hopeful we're going to keep the unemployment rate low. Because full employment really does help to drive wage growth and to ensure that people get jobs who wouldn't have otherwise get a look in. We know that it's only in full employment that people who have unconventional CVs, who are minorities, finally get a chance to get jobs. So we need to spread the benefits of economic growth and low unemployment is a great way of doing that. It's why full employment was such a big priority at our Jobs and Skills Summit that we held recently. Because Labor knows how much it matters for Australians.

Read more
1 reaction Share

2022 APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting - Media Release

This week I will be representing the Treasurer at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

These meetings are an opportunity, ahead of next month’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand, for APEC economies to discuss fiscal and monetary interventions and key risks. This is especially timely given the highly uncertain global outlook and the fact that many APEC economies are currently dealing with similar challenges to Australia, including high inflation, skills shortages, energy transitions, and increased public sector borrowing costs.

At the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting, we will affirm the importance of sustainable finance in curbing carbon emissions, and digitalisation in making growth more inclusive. We will also collaborate on areas which require collective action including climate change, sustainable development, and digital connectivity.

In addition to the Finance Ministers’ Meetings, I will also meet bilaterally with senior economic policymakers from other nations to discuss looming challenges in the global economy. A key emphasis for me will be discussing initiatives to promote economic dynamism in the Asia-Pacific region, including greater engagement on competition policy.

1 reaction Share

A Zippier Economy: Lessons from the 1992 Hilmer Competition Reforms - Speech - Sydney Ideas

A Zippier Economy: Lessons from the 1992 Hilmer Competition Reforms

University of Sydney
Monday, 17 October 2022

I acknowledge the Gadigal people, traditional custodians of the land on which we gather today, and pay my respects to their Elders past and present.

Thank you to Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney’s flagship public talks program, for hosting me today. I welcome the students, members of staff and alumni attending this afternoon. Having spent six years earning a couple of degrees here, including a year editing Honi Soit, it’s good to be back.

Given the topic of today’s presentation – lessons from the 1993 Hilmer Review and the subsequent National Competition Policy reforms – it’s also my pleasure to acknowledge Professor Fred Hilmer, who has joined us today. It’s both exciting and daunting to have the subject of today’s talk in the audience.


As Professor Hilmer told me recently, the National Competition Policy reforms were big, bold and far-reaching.

He’s right in every respect – they’re regarded as among the most significant economic reforms in Australia’s history.

And we’re still talking about them 30 years later because they provide a powerful lesson for building a zippier economy.

Successful reform often looks deceptively easy afterwards.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Australia signs Tax Treaty with Iceland

The Albanese Government has signed a new tax treaty with Iceland, the first of its kind between the two nations. Once in force, the treaty will facilitate cross-border trade and investment and enhance the economic relationship between Australia and Iceland.

The treaty will make it easier for Australian companies to access capital and export to Iceland through reduced withholding tax rates.

By giving effect to the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations, the treaty is a demonstration of the Albanese Government’s commitment to tax integrity.

The treaty will also provide more certainty and reduced compliance costs for Australians and Australian businesses who earn income here and in Iceland.

Once the domestic implementation requirements have been completed the treaty will enter into force.

A summary of the main features of the new treaty is available on the Treasury website.

Quote attributable to Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh

“This is a great step forward for Australia and Iceland’s economic relationship. It will help to build the trade and investment relationship between our nations.”

“This treaty demonstrates the commitment of the Albanese Government to enhancing tax integrity by incorporating measures to prevent international tax avoidance.”

1 reaction Share

Statement of Progress on Harmonisation of Fundraising Laws - Media Release

Joint media release with 
The Hon Melissa Horne MP
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs

The Albanese Government is working with charities and supporting State and Territory governments to harmonise fundraising laws.

Australia’s state and territory fundraising laws were developed at a time when most fundraising was conducted in person.

Today, with most fundraising done online, the cost and complexity of complying with multiple state and territory fundraising requirements is a major issue for the charity sector.

Substantial progress has already been made on the development of a national framework for fundraising laws, with feedback from industry consultations with the charity sector in February and March 2022 used to inform this development.

The framework adopts a principles-based approach to enable charities and donors to have a clear understanding of conduct, but also allows for greater flexibility as to how charities achieve compliance.

It also broadly aligns with existing regulatory codes of conduct, minimising the impacts on fundraisers that are already members of regulatory associations such as the Fundraising Institute of Australia.

On 9 September 2022, State and Territory Consumer Ministers met in Adelaide and reaffirmed their support for the reform of outdated and inconsistent conduct obligations across state and territory fundraising laws.

A Working Group of jurisdictions is finalising a framework of nationally-consistent fundraising conduct requirements for the Council on Federal and Financial Relations to agree and release in late 2022 (subject to the agreement of all participating jurisdictions).


1 reaction Share

These Are My Favourite Running Routes In Each Australian Capital City

Men's Health, Thursday 6 October 2022

Humans evolved to run, the story goes, because it allowed us to chase big game to exhaustion on the African Savannah. It’s the simplest of sports, and despite all the technological advances in exercise science, many of us still like nothing more than lacing up our sneakers and heading out for a jog.

One of the best aspects of running is how easy it is to take it on the road with you. If you’re travelling for business or pleasure, it doesn’t take much to pack your running gear. A run is a perfect way to greet the dawn, take a midday break, or shake off the stress at the end of the day. 

As a member of parliament, my job regularly takes me to different parts of Australia. Over the years, I’ve explored plenty of paths and trails. There’s lots of running routes I’m yet to try, but I’ve got my favourites for every city. My ideal route avoids traffic lights, and stays by the water.

So if you find yourself in a new city, here’s a run to get you started.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Launch of Miranda Stewart's 'Tax and Government in the 21st Century' - Speech, Canberra

Tax and Government in the 21st Century
Parliament House, Canberra
Thursday, 6 October 2022

One of Florence’s great city-states is the walled city of Sienna. Home to the famous Palio di Siena, an annual spectacle described as ‘the world’s most insane horse race’, its city building shows on the wall a painting known as ‘The Allegory of Good and Bad Government’. Painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338 and 1339, it shows a well-governed society – happy people, productive enterprises, strong communities; and a badly-governed one – crime, garbage and dysfunction.

Miranda Stewart has chosen for her cover image of Tax and Government in the 21st Century a segment of Lorenzetti’s fresco depicting good government. It underpins her central message – and one that the rulers of Siena knew in medieval times – that taxation is an integral part of a good society.

Tax and Government in the 21st Century takes a broad sweep, both in time and space. It begins with the origins of modern tax systems, and the way that taxation was expanded to cover public goods. As the Bismarckian welfare state grew, so too did a need to fund unemployment insurance, health insurance and pensions. Stewart’s history is impressive, but I couldn’t help feeling that she perhaps gave too little attention to the role of war in expanding tax systems. For example, Australia’s federal income tax was introduced in 1915 (to pay for World War I) and massively increased in 1942 (to pay for World War II).

Budgeting, Miranda Stewart notes, is fundamentally an ethical exercise. She discusses the growing emphasis in government budgets on analysing the impact of taxation and spending policies on gender and inequality, and discusses the rise of green budgeting. Fittingly, as Treasurer Jim Chalmers has noted, a major focus of the October 2022 budget will be on wellbeing, and measuring what matters.

Another trend that Stewart notes is the rise of fiscal rules. In 1990, she notes, less than ten countries had fiscal rules. In 2021, more than one hundred countries had fiscal rules. But rule-following is imperfect, to say the least. Stewart concludes that fiscal rules are ‘frequently honoured in the breach’, such as when the 2008-2009 global recession causes many countries to breach rigid budget rules. Troublingly, she suggests that a result of this episode was less budget transparency, as some countries engaged in ‘creative accounting’ to conceal the breach.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Albanese Government ends limbo for eight environmental organisations - Media Release

Joint media release with
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for the Environment and Water

4 October 2022

Eight organisations have been added to the Register of Environmental Organisations (REO) as the Albanese Government continues to work through the backlog of advocacy organisations left in limbo by the previous government.

Entry on the REO gives deductible gift recipient (DGR) status to organisations whose principal purpose is protection and enhancement of the natural environment, or provision of information, education or carrying on of research about the natural environment.

Taxpayers may claim a deduction for donations of $2 or more made to DGRs, helping these organisations raise funds from individuals, companies, and philanthropic foundations for their work. Without DGR status many charities and advocacy organisations would struggle to remain operational. As a result, DGR status was often delayed for organisations that advocated on issues that brought them into conflict with the Morrison Government.

The eight organisations are:  Climate for Change Inc, Our Atmosphere Ltd, Veterinarians for Climate Action Ltd, Zero Emissions Noosa Inc, Climate and Environment Foundation, The Bimblebox Alliance Inc, Whitsunday Conservation Council Inc, and Australian Land Conservation Alliance Limited.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Stay in touch

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter


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.