Harnessing The Data Deluge: The Surprising Power Of Big Data And Artificial Intelligence - Speech

HARNESSING THE DATA DELUGE: THE SURPRISING POWER OF BIG DATA AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE*
Address to the 10th Annual Australian Government Data Summit
Hotel Realm, Canberra
Thursday, 28 March 2024

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

I’m pleased to join you today, in the tenth year of the annual Australian Government Data Summit. Robust, rigorous data and statistics are vital for delivering outcomes for all Australians.

Throughout our nation’s history, Australia’s statisticians and statistical agencies have punched above their weight in this – or should I say, found themselves in the right tail of the distribution. The nation’s first statistician, George Knibbs (known to his friends as ‘The Knibb’) published papers on mathematics, geodesy, wealth, and population. He was an acting professor of physics at the University of Sydney. He published a book on the federal capital. He was a member of the British Astronomical Society. He even wrote a book of verse.

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Parliament Passes Labor’s Designated Complaints Measure – Consultations Now Open On Further Details - Joint Media Release

Joint media release with
Julie Collins MP
Minister for Small Business

PARLIAMENT PASSES LABOR’S DESIGNATED COMPLAINTS MEASURE – CONSULTATIONS NOW OPEN ON FURTHER DETAILS

Yesterday the Parliament passed the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Fair Go for Consumers and Small Business) Bill 2024. This reform, which forms part of the Albanese Government’s Better Competition election commitment, establishes a designated complaints function within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from July 2024.

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Starting with Statistics to Transform Disadvantage - Speech

STARTING WITH STATISTICS TO TRANSFORM DISADVANTAGE
Launch of the 2024 Child Social Exclusion Report
Parliament House, Canberra
Wednesday, 27 March 2024

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

Thank you Claerwen for the warm introduction and to Aunty Violet Sheridan for your Welcome to Country. I also acknowledge the many researchers and policy advocates here and the work you all do to create a fairer Australia.

Thank you to UnitingCare for inviting me here today to celebrate the 2024 Child Social Exclusion Index Report. The report is a collaboration between University of Canberra researchers and UnitingCare, which has worked for over 100 years to support vulnerable Australians and advocate for social justice.

Tackling disadvantage is at the heart of our Government’s vision for Australia (Albanese, 2022), and one of the most important challenges of our time.

It is a topic I have been focused on since my university days. The title of my 2004 PhD thesis was ‘Essays in Poverty and Inequality’, a set of issues that I expanded on in my 2013 book: ‘Battlers and Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia’. 

Tackling inequality and exclusion must start with robust data and statistics. That is what this report does. It extends the concept of poverty to measure social and material disadvantage, and highlights the geographical areas facing high levels of child social exclusion. I congratulate you on the report, and your contribution to a long and rich tradition in the social sciences.

It is a history which says we must start with robust statistics to transform disadvantage. It shows that data-driven indices and maps can create change significant social change. It is this tradition that I am going to focus on today, and which I hope inspires you, as you consider the findings of the report.

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World Down Syndrome Day Breakfast - Speech


WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY BREAKFAST

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

THURSDAY, 21 MARCH 2024

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose lands we meet and pay respects to all First Nations people present today.

Happy World Down Syndrome Day 2024!

I am honoured to be asked to address you on this important occasion to raise awareness and celebrate the rights and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome around the world. I acknowledge my parliamentary colleagues who are here today, including Amanda Rishworth, Libby Coker and Ged Kearney. I also acknowledge the role that Down Syndrome Australia plays in supporting and advocating for people with Down Syndrome across the country.

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Fairer, Cleaner: The Transparent Investment Revolution - Speech

FAIRER, CLEANER: THE TRANSPARENT INVESTMENT REVOLUTION
Climate Integrity Summit 2024, Parliament House
Wednesday, 20 March 2024

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people on whose lands we meet and pay respects to all First Nations people present today.

Thank you to the Australia Institute for hosting this annual summit on climate integrity, and to Richard Dennis for the invitation to deliver this address today. I am delighted to be joining such a distinguished line-up of speakers, including their excellencies Mr Anote Tong, former President of the Republic of Kiribati, and Mr Enele Sopoaga, former Prime Minister of Tuvalu.

My focus this morning is on climate and tax transparency in our financial system so that we can drive down emissions and create a fairer society in the process.

Transparency at work

This time last year, news broke that global biotechnology company Amgen is being sued for hiding its $10.7 billion dollar tax bill from investors. The plaintiffs said that “Amgen’s share price fell 6.5 per cent in August 2021, and a further 4.3 per cent in April 2022, because the company waited until then to disclose its potential liabilities” (Stempel, 2023). The US Inland Revenue Service “accused Amgen of underreporting taxes from 2010-2015, mainly for attributing what should have been US taxable income to a Puerto Rico unit” (Stempel, 2023). It powerfully illustrates how shareholder value is intimately linked to what is known about a company.

Consumers and investors have long understood that what they buy, and the investment decisions they make, have the power to influence ‘grand’ social, economic, and environmental challenges. As far back as the 1700s, John Wesley advised his congregants against “any sinful trade” (Uberti, 2023). When the Methodist Church began investing in the stock market at the turn of the 20th century, they avoided companies involved in alcohol and gambling (Goff, 2006). When investors saw the destruction of the Vietnam War in the 1970s, they created the first ethical fund – the Pax World Fund – so they could avoid investing in weapons and weapons manufacturers (Uberti, 2023).

Meanwhile, debate has raged about what this all means for corporations, and how they balance their responsibilities to shareholders and to the public. We must create a financial system in which Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into shareholder value, as much as acquisitions or sales. Without transparency and robust public reporting, how will we know about the Environmental, Social and Governance factors faced by a company, and make decisions about where to invest our dollars accordingly?

The more that companies make regulatory or reputational risks they face transparent through data and metrics, the more that investors are empowered to vote with their feet on their values and make long-term, values-aligned sustainable investment decisions. With good ESG data, metrics and standards, people can move their capital with precision and thereby shape the world. “This is how values drive value”, as Mark Carney puts it (2020 & 2021).

 

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2CC Breakfast With Stephen Cenatiempo Tuesday 19 March - Transcript

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
2CC BREAKFAST WITH STEPHEN CENATIEMPO
TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2024

SUBJECTS: Airline competition, increasing paid parental leave, making sure multinationals pay their fair share, expansion of tax treaty network.

STEPHEN CENATIEMPO, HOST: All right, let's talk federal politics with the assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and the Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh. Andrew, good morning.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Morning, Stephen, great to be with you.

CENATIEMPO: You've talked about competition policy in the airline industry in a recent speech. I don't think anybody would disagree with the principles of what you're saying, but competition in the airline industry in Australia has been difficult because running an airline is not particularly profitable.

LEIGH: That's right, Stephen and as one person put it, we've basically got three big airlines in Australia, the trouble is two of them are owned by the same outlet, Qantas and Jetstar. That's meant that you've had less competition than you would have if you had three independently operated competitive airlines. We do have this evidence from the Competition Task Force that when you've got three airlines flying a route, then the price per kilometre is half what it is when you've got a monopoly carrier. And I think Canberrans have experienced that there's a range of routes where you've really just got one carrier flying. People in Darwin feel it, too. Sometimes it can be cheaper to fly from Darwin to Singapore than Darwin to Sydney, despite the fact that Sydney is closer. So, airline competition is a big issue for the Government and the Aviation White Paper that Catherine King is spearheading is really aimed at making sure that flyers get a better deal.

CENATIEMPO: But how do you do that? Because in the past when we have had three carriers the prices have been down for consumers, but that third carrier invariably ends up going broke.

 

 

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ABC Canberra Breakfast With Adam Shirley 19 March - Transcript

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA BREAKFAST WITH ADAM SHIRLEY
TUESDAY, 19 MARCH 2024

SUBJECTS: Need to reform Parliament’s culture, role of factions, Government’s policies to encourage competition in the supermarket sector, proposals to break up the big supermarkets.

ADAM SHIRLEY, HOST: Dr Andrew Leigh had a life not in the political bubble at all until he entered it. He's now the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and for some time, he's been the Federal Member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, good morning to you.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Good morning, Adam.

SHIRLEY: Are you allowed, to be yourself, truly in the role you hold and the party you work with?

LEIGH: I think so, but probably one of the things that's worth throwing into the discussion is that politics is a team sport. So, that, for me, brings two obligations. In the locker room: you need to make an argument as to what you ought to do out in the field. Out in the field, you play the strategy you agreed in the locker room. So, that will have people having more robust conversations in the party room than will necessarily be reflected in the conversation in the broader society. Just as when the Raiders go out in the field, they don't play as individuals, they play as a team.

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Inauguration of the Canberra Baps Shri - Speech

INAUGURATION OF THE CANBERRA BAPS SHRI
Swaminarayan Hindu Mandir
Taylor, ACT
Sunday, 17 March 2024

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, on whose lands we meet today, and all First Nations people present. 

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Deputy Indian High Commissioner Suneet Mehta, the many visiting dignitaries from Sydney, Perth and New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen.

This is my third visit to this BAPS Hindu Mandir. On my first visit, only the bare bones of the structure had been completed. On my second visit, much of the internal work had been completed. This third visit, the building looks perfect, inside and out. At this rate, I can only imagine how good it will look when I am back here for my fourth visit!

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ABC Canberra Drive with Ross Solly Thursday 14 March 2024 - Transcript

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
RADIO INTERVIEW
ABC CANBERRA DRIVE WITH ROSS SOLLY
THURSDAY, 14 MARCH 2024

SUBJECTS: Proposals to ban TikTok; benefits of four-year terms; John Howard’s belated backflip; case for fixed terms; teen mental health and social media.

ROSS SOLLY, HOST: Andrew Leigh is the member for Fenner and he joins us on the program this afternoon. Andrew Leigh, good to have you on the show.

ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION, TREASURY AND EMPLOYMENT ANDREW LEIGH: Great to be with you, Ross.

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Tax Treaty Expansion Consultations Open - Media Release

TAX TREATY EXPANSION CONSULTATIONS OPEN

The Albanese Government is working to expand Australia’s global relationships with consultations opening on the expansion of Australia’s tax treaties network.

The Government is entering into new tax treaty negotiations with Brazil, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden and Ukraine as part an expansion of Australia’s tax treaty network. Submissions are sought on the key outcomes Australia should seek in negotiating these tax treaties and other issues related to Australia’s tax treaty network.

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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.