The latest round of COVID-19 lockdowns in Victoria and New South Wales is a real blow to Australia’s economic recovery and seems to have brought a more resigned sense of what the months ahead might look like. On the positive side, I hope this latest round of cases and lockdowns serve as a further wakeup call that sees vaccination rates lift around the country and a return to strong policy coordination between governments. We now have a raft of evidence on what works – it would be great to see this formalised in consistent ‘at the ready’ policy and financial response packages. Later this month, CEDA’s Chief Economist Jarrod Ball will release his quarterly economic briefing to trustees, which is sure to provide valuable insight into the evolving situation.
More broadly on research and policy we have recently agreed our own priorities for the year ahead. We have distilled these into five critical questions facing the nation that we will address through our research, events and digital content:
We trust these questions will resonate with your interests and concerns and we look forward to driving debate and policy progress on these important issues. You can watch this short video for more information on the issues CEDA will tackle in the year ahead.
Finally, CEDA was sad to learn of the passing of Mal Draeger last week. Mal was one of CEDA’s longest serving staff members, contributing a great deal to CEDA’s success during his remarkable 35-year tenure. Those who worked with Mal over the years speak of the passion and warmth he brought to all that he did, qualities that have certainly helped CEDA become what it is today. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
As always CEDA has a range of exciting events coming up.
On 27 July, join Minister for Superannuation Financial Services and the Digital Economy Senator the Hon Jane Hume; Microsoft Australia Corporate Affairs Director Belinda Dennett; and KPMG Futures National Leader James Mabott for an interactive livestream on the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents for Australia. CEDA is excited to be part of driving the conversation forward on this increasingly pivotal topic. You can register to attend that event online here.
This week on the CEDA podcast, I spoke with CyberCX Chief Strategy Officer and former National Cyber Security Advisor Alastair MacGibbon on risks and opportunities for Australia in cybersecurity. We cover a lot of territory, including recent considerations regarding liability in the case of cyber attacks and the need for more enforcement in cybercrime to ‘increase the costs to criminals’, in Alastair’s words. You can listen to that here.
In the media:
CEDA has been active in the media in the past two weeks speaking on a wide range of issues. In the Sydney Morning Herald last weekend you may have seen CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball discussing the cost of NSW’s construction shutdown.
On Saturday, you may also have seen my letter in The Australian discussing the need for a fundamentally new way of developing and implementing policies and programs that impact Indigenous peoples.
Following comments from RBA Governor Philip Lowe about the impacts of migration on wages, CEDA Senior Economist Gabriela D’Souza told the Sydney Morning Herald the claim that high migration can negatively affect wages isn’t borne out by the evidence.
This week in CEDA’s opinion articles, CEDA Senior Economist Gabriela D’Souza, pushing back against recent comments from RBA Governor Philip Lowe on migration, argues the evidence actually shows a positive link between migration and wages. Read more here.
Also this week, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber makes the case for a broad, nationally consistent road user charge to replace the taxes currently paid by motorists. You can read that here.
Thanks to our newest Member Accenture Australia, and thank you as always to our renewing members this month.
Accenture Australia (Elevate)
James Cook University
Port of Brisbane
University of Wollongong
CITIC Pacific Mining
Delegation of the European Union
We would also like to thank Government of South Australia for renewing their all-of-government package which includes:
Environment Protection Authority
SA Department for Child Protection
SA Department for Correctional Services
SA Department for Education
SA Department for Energy and Mining
SA Department for Environment and Water
SA Department for Health and Wellbeing
SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport
SA Department for Innovation and Skills
SA Department of the Premier and Cabinet
SA Department for Trade and Investment
SA Department of Treasury and Finance
SA Department of Human Services
SA Department of Primary Industries and Regions
SA Department of the Attorney-General
South Australia Police
Until next time, all the best.
CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.