Economy // Regional development

CEDA CEO update: 6 July 2020

While some of us remain re-confined to home, elsewhere around the country people are clearly getting on with business, particularly in the West, writes Melinda Cilento in the latest CEO update.

It is an interesting time to be residing in one of the lockdown suburbs of Victoria where things feel disconnected from the rest of the state and country, and as if all eyes are focused on us in terms of what's next for COVID and recovery. 
While some of us remain re-confined to home, elsewhere around the country people are clearly getting on with business, particularly in the West. 
This was confirmed by last Friday’s retail sales figures, which showed that as restrictions began to ease through May, people got out and about and did a bit of spending. Nationwide retail sales increased by 17.7 per cent in May, with the strongest growth, at nearly 20 per cent, recorded in WA.
This strength confirmed the emerging green shoots that CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, referred to in discussions at the virtual recovery roundtable with CEDA trustees in WA earlier in the week. Jarrod reported that the roundtable conversation focused mostly on the longer term opportunities now presenting themselves. That is certainly the focus for us here at CEDA as we look to continue to adapt and evolve our program and conversations.
In that vein, I am pleased that we will be delivering our second so-called ‘hybrid’ event – combining a smaller face-to-face audience with livestream delivery – in Sydney next week, featuring the NSW Premier (more information below). I have also asked the team to prioritise planning for safely restarting face-to-face events in the states that are looking increasingly ready for that. Look out for more details in coming weeks.
Over the last two weeks I have spoken directly about the reshaping of our own organisation as CEDA seeks to accelerate its transition to building stronger and deeper member engagement and lifting our policy voice and impact. Sadly, this week we say goodbye to some of our team and I wanted to say a final thank you to those team members for their contribution and wish them well in the future.
Next week I hope to provide members with a full run down on the reshaped CEDA, what that means for members and how we will continue to work with members to deliver on our purpose of shaping economic and social development for the greater good – something that in these uncertain times is more important than ever.
In the meantime, our program of content – livestreams, podcasts and blogs with high profile people tackling important issues – continues uninterrupted.
Watch: Tomorrow we have a livestream on Smart infrastructure: Australia’s future roadmap with Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, the Hon. Alan Tudge. As Australia ramps-up efforts to restore the economy post COVID-19, national infrastructure projects will play a critical role in strengthening the job market, increasing spending and rebuilding communities.
Other speakers include:
  • Siemens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Connolly
  • Westport Taskforce, Independent Chair, Nicole Lockwood
  • AECOM, End Market Director, Infrastructure and Environment ANZ, Ray Rawlings
You can register here.
Also this week, Resilient communities through a crisis, is on Thursday 9 July. Join us as we welcome leaders from government and the corporate sector to review Australia’s crisis response in 2020, from bushfires, floods and COVID-19, and priorities for coming back better.
Speakers include:
  • Resilience NSW, Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM
  • Green Building Council of Australia, Chief Executive Officer, Davina Rooney
  • WSP, President and Chief Executive Officer A/NZ, Guy Templeton
  • Esri Australia, Manager, Esri Disaster Response Program, Mark Wallace
You can register here.
You can also book for our livestream next week on Wednesday 15 July with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on the road to recovery here.
Tickets for these online events are free to CEDA members, with low cost tickets available to non-members. You can also catch up with CEDA’s livestreams on demand on the video archive page of the website.

Read: On the blog this week and following his appearance at CEDA's State of the Nation digital forum, Indigenous Business Australia Chief Executive Officer, Rajiv Viswanathan, argues that COVID-19 is an opportunity for Australian business to re-evaluate its relationship with Indigenous Australian communities and build more genuine and meaningful partnerships in Learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures to lead our recovery. You can read more here.
Also on the blog this week, SAS Chief Privacy Strategist Europe and Asia-Pacific, Kalliopi Spyridaki, writes about the challenges of establishing global regulation for artificial intelligence. She says that to effectively regulate AI, countries need to start small, think big and work together. You can read more here.
Listen: Released today, listen in to my conversation with Hireup CEO and co-founder Jordan O’Reilly on the NDIS, individualisation in disability support, and the implications of technology in human services. Listen here.
Last week we also released a podcast of my discussion with Anti-Poverty Week Executive Director, Toni Wren, about poverty, Jobseeker, and what needs to be done to help those below the poverty line. You can hear more here.
Also last week on The Economists' Corner Podcast, CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, was joined by First State Super Chief Investment Officer, Damian Graham, as they explored the role of superannuation in Australia's economic recovery. With a review of the retirement income system underway, and the superannuation sector navigating market volatility, find out what that role is. You can catch up here.
Finally, thank you to our new and renewing members this week. I have been heartened by the strong support for our work through membership during this period.
New members
EDGE Employment Solutions (WA)
Pilbara Ports Authority (WA)
Renewing members
National member:
State members:
Adelaide Casino (SA)
Australian Property Institute (NSW)
Clean Energy Finance Corporation (NSW)
DLA Piper (QLD)
Essential Services Commission (VIC)
Gerard Daniels (WA)
Macquarie University (NSW)
Minda Incorporated (SA)
National Insurance Brokers Association of Australia (NSW)
Queensland Urban Utilities (QLD)
Southern Cross Care (SA)
WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (WA)
Until next week, stay safe and enjoy the Victorian footy teams heading your way.
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.;