CEDA CEO update: 13 July 2020

Message from the CEO: a new way of working at CEDA, campaigning to raise the rate and avoiding the economic cliff.

As I have mentioned in previous weeks, CEDA has been reshaping how it works and I am pleased to be able to provide more detail on these changes. 

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated changes at CEDA both in terms of timing and scale, but the reshaping of the organisation is consistent with the strategic direction and transition we have been pursuing to deliver greater impact through our research and stronger communication, as well as deeper engagement and collaboration with our members and other stakeholders. 
A considerable amount of work has underpinned the design of our new structure and the focus of activity. The starting point for deciding how best to respond to the near and longer term challenges presented by the COVID crisis was a clear-eyed focus on CEDA’s purpose to positively shape economic and social development for the greater good, and how to best deliver against that purpose. 
The new structure will allow CEDA to deliver high quality events in a range of formats, while stepping up our focus on research and driving deeper member engagement with our work. Importantly, as I have mentioned previously, we will continue to have teams based across the country to ensure that, as a truly national organisation, we are capturing insights from the breadth of our membership base.

Our activities will now be coordinated in a ‘one CEDA’ approach across the following work streams: research and policy, membership, programming, partnerships and collaboration, communications, operations, and people and culture. You can see the full staff directory and organisational structure here.  

Within this new structure are plans for important new activities, including a very strong focus on collaboration and partnerships. You can expect more detail on these in coming weeks and months. In the meantime, we are recruiting for a number of new roles that align with our focus on impact and engagement, including in the research and policy, membership, communications and IT teams. We currently have an opening for a Membership Manager NSW.

In addition, we will continue investing in new IT systems to improve how we interact with and support our members.
I look forward to working with you as we begin to roll out our work program across these key areas.

Raise the rate for good

CEDA is one of the organisations joining ACOSS tomorrow as part of a National Day of Action, calling for the rate of JobSeeker and other income support payments to be permanently lifted.

CEDA’s research reports, Disrupting disadvantage (2019) and How unequal: Insights on inequality (2018), both highlighted that payments such as Newstart keep recipients living well below the poverty line and without the financial capacity to increase their prospects of securing a job and building self-reliance.

The JobSeeker payment has replaced Newstart during the COVID crisis, providing badly needed additional financial support. The anecdotal evidence of the benefits this has provided to individuals and families is compelling and there are strong arguments based on decency and dignity to support a permanent lift in the payment, but also strong economic arguments, as these payments contribute to higher spending and levels of economic activity.

I know many CEDA members support raising the rate and I encourage you to support this campaign if you can. We will definitely be pushing out our support across social media tomorrow.

Watch: Hear from NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday 15 July from 1pm to 2pm on “the road to recovery.”

This event is a hybrid with a smaller audience in attendance and a livestream, a model we will be looking to run in other states in the not too distant future now that restrictions for some are starting to ease. Planning is underway so I hope I can highlight some of these in coming weeks.

There has been strong interest in this event. Unfortunately, as someone living in Melbourne I am unable to be there in person, but I’m looking forward to tuning in to the livestream. You can still register for the livestream here.

Also this week we have an event on Thursday from 12.30pm to 1.30pm on Does disruption drive innovation? While most aspects of the crisis have been devastating, one positive has been the speed of innovation in a range of sectors and workplaces, from healthcare delivery to manufacturing and supply chains. This livestream will explore how organisations have been recalibrating their research focus in the face of COVID-19.
Speakers include:
  • Dr Cathy Foley AO, Chief Scientist, CSIRO
  • Professor Peter Høj AC, President and Vice Chancellor, The University of Queensland
  • Dr Prins Ralston, Principal, Nous Group
You can register here.

Next week on Tuesday 21 July you can hear from financier and Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Rt Hon. William Russell, in conversation with Deloitte Access Economics, Lead Partner and CEDA Board member Dr Pradeep Philip on scaling up finance and investment in green recovery measures to transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future. Register here.

Read: the first of a series of information papers prepared by CEDA Council for Economic Policy members was released on Friday. This Economic Recovery Series will explore issues ranging from how different sectors of the labour market will be impacted by the COVID crisis, the role of housing in recovery, a global economic outlook and the role of institutions in crises.

The first piece, Macroeconomic policy: avoiding the cliff, was written by Dr Percy Allan AM and the Hon. Dr Craig Emerson and looks at the broad fiscal and monetary policy options available to avoid an economic cliff in September when Federal Government support measures are due to expire.

Recent blogs cover the changes to university course funding and alternatives to imprisoning First Nations people.

A C+ for the new higher education prices
Swinburne University of Technology Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Impact) and CEDA Council for Economic Policy member, Professor Beth Webster, argues that many of the recently announced changes to university course funding are counterproductive and ignore crucial evidence established by the 2011 Lomax-Smith Review of Higher Education Prices on which she was a panel member.

Costs, consequences and alternatives to imprisoning First Nations people
University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Law Professor, Dr Thalia Anthony, writes that “the momentum of the First Nations Deaths in Custody movement in Australia has provided an opportunity to consider the costs and consequences of incarceration and pave a new path.”

Finally, thank you to our renewing members this week.

National member
McKinsey & Company
State members
Energy Safe Victoria (VIC)
Horizon Power (WA)
icare NSW (NSW)
Infrastructure Victoria (VIC)
Pritchard Francis (WA)
Queensland Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation (QLD)
Queensland Health (QLD)
As always, stay safe.
Melinda Cilento


About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;