Sky News Afternoons with Kieran Gilbert - Transcript


SUBJECTS: Federal budget, inflation, migration, Opposition Budget reply.

KIERAN GILBERT (HOST): Now the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Dr. Andrew Leigh is an economist by trade. I spoke to him earlier and I asked him whether he thinks this week's Budget would make the inflation challenge worse.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Can you imagine, Kieran, as a Labor Government if we hadn't dealt with some of these cost of living pressures right now? You know there's people doing it really tough and I think it would -

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ACT Labor Press Conference Budget 2023 - Transcript

Joint Press Conference with
Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for Public Service

Alicia Payne MP
Member for Canberra

David Smith MP
Member for Bean


SUBJECTS: 2023/24 Budget; Investments in Canberra; Income support; Housing affordability; Bulk billing; APS jobs

SENATOR THE HON KATY GLLAGHER, MINISTER FOR FINANCE:  Okay, well thanks for coming everyone. This is a really strong Budget for Canberra. Obviously a lot of the key measures in the Budget will flow through to Canberrans, so support around energy relief, the investments in Medicare, the cost of living package will flow through. Importantly, there's a couple of other areas that are really strong for Canberra which is the announcement around our National Cultural Institutions, over $600 million flowing into the ACT to deal with a decade of delay and of neglect and under resourcing and underinvestment in those important institutions. That was one of the key things that all of us as federal members in the ACT wanted to see. And indeed, it was one of the top issues that the Chief Minister had raised with me around areas he wanted to see further investment from the Commonwealth. The other area is in the public service. It's our big employer in town. So what happens to the public service matters to this city because a lot of the small businesses and other industry that's located in Canberra is linked to the strength of the public service. So in the last couple of Budgets we have addressed again, a decade of neglect from the former government, of under-resourcing, of underinvestment and that significantly impacted on services, not just to people in the ACT, but around the country. So in these two Budgets in October, and in May, you'll see that we've fixed up some of those issues around lack of staffing. We're addressing some of the conversion issues from contractors and labour hire back into permanent workers in the APS. And we're making sure that key service delivery agencies, many of them located here, actually have the money to do the work that the people of Australia need them to do. Whether it's processing passports, visas, looking after veterans, or supporting pensioners with their engagement with Services Australia and Centrelink. And so this matters to Canberra, it matters to Australia, but we've taken a really responsible approach to the APS and that will have significant impact on Canberra's economy. I might hand to my colleagues now and they'll make a few statements and then happy to take questions.

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2CC 1206 AM Canberra - Transcript


SUBJECTS: Structural deficit in the budget, funding for cultural institutions, changes to prescription fees, raising JobSeeker, increasing wages for aged care workers.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO (HOST): Morning. As we've been discussing all morning, last night Jim Chalmers handed down his -  well, he's calling it his second Budget, but let's be honest, it's the first real Budget for this Labor Government. To talk to us about it is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and the Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Stephen. Great to be with you and your listeners.

CENATIEMPO: The first surplus in 15 years. On the face of it, sounds like a good thing, but it doesn't really address the structural deficit. We go back into deficit next year and for the foreseeable future.

LEIGH: That's right, Stephen. So, there's a significant structural issue to be dealt with, and clearly, in one or two Budgets, we're not able to deal with the problems that have built up over nine years of Coalition misrule. But it is a welcome sign to be back in surplus, or the projected surplus that we've got. And that's largely off the back of better employment figures and better wage figures than we'd been anticipating. More Australians are in work and Australian's wages starting to rise. So, that's a really welcome story for the economy as a whole flowing through to the Budget.

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Choosing Openness – Key to Future Prosperity – Opinion Piece

Choosing Openness – Key to Future Prosperity

Munhwa Ilbo – 2 May 2023

None of us make our own running shoes, fix our own teeth, or build our own cars. We gain from living in societies where people specialise in what they do best, and work together to produce complex goods and services. So too it makes sense for the relations between countries that the free flow of goods and services has made people around the world healthier, wealthier, and wiser. From 2 May, in Incheon, the Board of Governors at the Asian Development Bank’s 56th Annual Meeting are discussing these issues around “economic openness”. This year’s theme is ‘Rebounding Asia’, and member countries will be looking for the best way forward to rebound from the global economic downturn.

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Choosing openness in the international economy - The Lowy Institute

Choosing openness in the international economy

The Lowy Institute, 2 May 2023

The Covid pandemic was good for isolationists and xenophobes, and bad for globalisers and internationalists. Yet since the agricultural revolution, one of the keys to prosperity has been specialisation. None of us make our own running shoes, fix our own teeth, or build our own cars. We gain from living in societies where people specialise in what they do best, and work together to produce complex goods and services.

So too it makes sense for countries to specialise and encourage global commerce. The free flow of goods and services has the potential to make people around the world healthier, wealthier and wiser.

For medium-sized economies the benefits of specialisation are all around us. Hospitals are packed with imported products, from machines to vaccines. Much of what is sold in modern supermarkets comes from overseas. Trade brings new ideas and challenges local firms to serve their customers well.

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Choosing Openness: How Regional Partnerships Boost Economic Dynamism - Speech

Choosing Openness: How Regional Partnerships Boost Economic Dynamism

Yonsei University, Seoul
Tuesday, 2 May 2023


Thank you to the Institute of East and West Studies at Yonsei University for inviting me to speak here today.

And to all attending students, thank you for coming along to listen.

I am honoured to be representing the Treasurer as Australia’s Governor to the Asian Development Bank for its 56th annual meeting of the Board of Governors.

It is a pleasure to be making my first visit to the Republic of Korea. Not just because my wife and I compulsively watched Squid Game. And not only because our three boys hope that their dad will return from South Korea fully ‘Gangnam Style’. They’re also hoping I’ll snap a selfie with NewJeans – whose performance at the Asian Development Bank reception will show the VIPs who the real VIPs are. OMG indeed.

In Australia, the cultural influence of the Korean Wave (Hallyu) is phenomenal.

In fact, South Korea’s cultural importance is on par with its economic importance to Australia.

Our bilateral relationship is underpinned by a shared vision for an open, prosperous and resilient Asia-Pacific region.

South Korea is Australia's fourth-largest two-way trading partner and third-largest export market (DFAT 2023).

Growing our economic, trade and investment ties with South Korea is a key priority for the Australian Government. 

We operate under a free trade agreement, which I will discuss later in more detail.

We also benefit from the Australia–Korea Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which is a program of enhanced bilateral cooperation under three pillars – strategic and security; economic, innovation and technology; and people-to-people exchange.

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Asian Development Bank Meeting in Republic of Korea - Media Release


I leave today for the Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Incheon, Republic of Korea.

It is vital that Australia is well represented at this important meeting for the Asia-Pacific region as we prepare to hand down the Budget next week.

Economic conditions are challenging throughout the world, including here in our own neighbourhood. Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine, a worsening food crisis and extreme weather events all threaten the region’s post-COVID recovery.

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ABC Canberra with Adam Shirley - Transcript


SUBJECTS: Establishing a centralized evaluation unit, Stage 3 tax cuts, JobSeeker.

ADAM SHIRLEY (HOST): I wonder whether at work you’ve had a consultant come in before, whether you are a consultant yourself? Because often when things could be improved, when there’s a problem or whether organisations, large and small, are looking to sharpen, sharpen up what it is they do, consultants come in. It’s been a part of the landscape in federal government for many a year, to quite a tune as well, tens of millions of dollars can be paid to the big boys and girls from places like PwC, EY and others, McKinsey, to name a few. And the current federal government reckons that there’s a bit too much money historically that’s been going to those consultants.

Dr Andrew Leigh is Assistant Minister for Treasury and the Member for Fenner here in the ACT, and he’s talking about a new Treasury evaluation unit which is aiming, amongst other things, to identify all the consultants and maybe cut back on the spending on them. Dr Leigh, good morning to you.


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ABC Melbourne Drive with Raf Epstein - Transcript


SUBJECTS: RBA Review, Medicare, Stage 3 tax cuts, Home buyer grant, Monopsony, JobKeeper.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN (HOST): Andrew Leigh, thanks for joining us.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure, Raf. Great to be with you and your listeners.

EPSTEIN: You're an ambitious man. You understand the economy. Are you frustrated that the government isn't as ambitious as you are?

LEIGH: This is an ambitious government moving quickly on reforms. People will see the cheaper childcare reforms taking effect in the middle of the year. Cheaper medicine is already in effect. We've got the Safeguards Mechanism as a core part of our climate policy, and we’re getting our renewable share up from a third up to four fifths of the electricity grid. We're setting big targets for electric vehicles and today we brought down the Defence Strategic Review, which is the biggest review of our Defence posture in the postwar era. There is nothing small-target about what we're doing, Raf. We're a great reforming government in the Labor tradition.

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2GB Overnights with Clinton Maynard - Transcript


SUBJECTS: Reserve Bank of Australia Review, Monetary policy, Reducing government debt, GST, multinational tax reform.

CLINTON MAYNARD (HOST): The review into the Reserve Bank and the review has been scathing. It makes more than 50 recommendations for change that the new Federal Government, I shouldn't say new, they’ve been in power since May, but they are accepting. Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities but critically, Treasury. He joins us on the program. Andrew, thank you for your time.


MAYNARD: Thanks for your time, this is a very complex issue. It's the most comprehensive review of the RBA in decades and about time. But just to, I guess, almost dumb it down for our audience to simplify it, how is this and the changes that your government is going to adopt, how is it going to make it better for people who have a mortgage or loans and are subject to interest rates?

LEIGH: Well, the first thing is to note that the review has been conducted at a time at which the Reserve Bank is under intense pressure. There's been a lot of attention paid to their decisions made around interest rates, not only in the current period where they'd forecast that interest rates wouldn't be rising until 2024, but then needed to raise interest rates; but also in the period 2016 to 2019. So, the review goes into some detail over the question as to whether rates could indeed have been lower over that period, 2016 to 2019, and whether you might have gotten better employment outcomes of that period. And really where it lands, Clinton is in saying that the decisions of the Governor weren't really challenged by the board and that by having an expert board, people who understand monetary policy, understand the macroeconomic models that are being brought to bear on the problem, then you might get a more contestation of the decision. And I think that's true anytime you're making a complicated decision. If you're running a trucking company, you'd want a board with trucking experts around the room who are able to really test the decisions being made by management. That's the model that exists for a lot of other central banks around the world, but we haven't tended to have that. We've tended to have this model of a board for the Reserve Bank that's talented generalists rather than monetary policy specialists. And the review says it's time that changed.

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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.