CEDA CEO update: 16 August 2021

Sharing some recent CEDA successes and considering the shift from pandemic to endemic. 

In the spirit of staying positive amid ongoing lockdowns around the country, I want to start by sharing some of CEDA’s recent successes. Last week, the Inquiry into Australia’s Skilled Migration Program’s final report adopted several of our recommendations, including enabling intra-company executive transfers, and reforming and regularly reviewing the skilled occupation list. If these recommendations are taken up by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke who commissioned the inquiry, they will significantly boost Australian companies’ competitiveness on the international skills market when borders re-open.

We have also had a great response to our recently released report into the aged-care workforce. It is really pleasing to see our work engaging so many people on the urgent issue of workforce shortages in aged care. I am confident that this report will drive the same kind of meaningful reform that our migration work has. You can hear more about our aged care work from the report’s author, Senior Economist Cassandra Winzar, at our livestream on 3 September.

While I am sure we had all hoped COVID would not be the dominant theme that is still is today, here we are. As we continue to grapple with all that COVID can throw at us, it is good to see the NSW Government continuing to evolve and strengthen measures to slow transmission. I was particularly pleased to see that the NSW Government are now providing payments for individuals isolating while waiting for test results, an issue I raised in a Sydney Morning Herald op-ed some weeks ago.

With lockdowns extending in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, a snap lockdown in the NT, and Queensland on high alert, the economic impact of the pandemic is again front of mind. Governments must remain agile and continue to provide appropriate financial support to bolster our economic and social resilience if we are to achieve the same bounce back we enjoyed earlier in the year.

As the pandemic has evolved, the team and I have been keeping a close eye on developments overseas for relevant insights. For example, several countries have been using rapid antigen tests at scale, which can provide lessons for Australia. CEDA is hosting a Trustee Roundtable on 3 September, Test for success: rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 in Australia to explore this issue further. The Director of CDL Rapid Screening Consortium in Canada Devin Elke will join UNSW epidemiologist, Mary-Louise McLaws, to consider the role of rapid testing in Australia’s COVID recovery. Registrations are that event are now open.

On 13 September, CEDA will host a livestream with Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC to consider how to balance elimination and suppression strategies on the road to recovery. Registrations for that event, Pandemic to endemic: Beyond the jab, are also now open.

I will also host a CEO Roundtable on 8 September for CEDA Lead members, which will feature the presentation of some new research from Accenture to guide our discussions on the path out of pandemic. Please contact the membership team to express your interest in attending.

On 18 August, join a livestream with Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Officer Michel Masson as he presents the state’s updated 30-year infrastructure strategy to Parliament. Mr Masson will be joined by Committee for Melbourne Chief Executive Martine Letts and Mineral Carbonation International Chief Operation Officer Sophia Hamblin Wang to discuss how the strategy will help to enhance productivity, respond to climate change and meet the social and economic needs of Victorians. Register here.

Last week on the Economists’ Corner podcast, I spoke with Clean Energy Finance Corporation Chief Executive Ian Learmonth about the implications of the recent IPCC report for Australia’s path to net-zero. Listen to that here. Look out for more discussion on climate and the energy transition on our podcasts in the months leading up to the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Also on the podcast, our Chief Economist Jarrod Ball discussed the findings of our aged-care workforce report with outgoing Aged & Community Services Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow; Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Federal Assistant Secretary Lori-Anne Sharp; and the report’s author, Senior Economist Cassandra Winzar. Listen here.

In the media: 
Our aged-care research received a lot of media attention in the past week. CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball spoke to Stephen Lunn for an article in The Australian on the report’s key findings, and report author Cassandra Winzar spoke with ABC News Radio Breakfast.

Our Senior Economist Gabriela D’Souza spoke with SBS about how the lack of new migrants will affect the results of this year’s Census. Read that here.

In the first of a series of opinion articles on business dynamism, CEDA Senior Economist Melissa Wilson shows how encouraging consistent, best-practice management across the economy would significantly boost productivity. As she writes in her piece, adopting managerial best practice is low-hanging-fruit to boost Australia’s productivity. Read that here.

Also this week, Phillips Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Matt Moran discusses Phillips’ recent survey showing how Australian healthcare providers have adapted to the pandemic, and considers how to boost technology adoption in Australian healthcare. Read that here.

Welcome to our newest members Australian Technology Network and Green Golden Energy. And as always, thanks to our renewing members.

New Members
Australian Technology Network
Green Golden Energy

Renewing Members
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
McConnell Dowell

Bond University
Brisbane Economic Development Agency
Edith Cowan University
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Transport for NSW
WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Atlas Urban Economics
City of Playford
HSBC Bank Australia
Lifeline Australia
NGIS Australia
Queensland Family and Child Commission
Torrens University Australia

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.;