Government | Regulation

CEDA CEO update: 29 June 2020

High quality events continue with four Federal Ministers - a message from the CEO.

As many of you would be aware, last week was a challenging one for CEDA as we announced a significant reshaping of our organisation to accelerate strategic changes already in train and streamline operations in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These changes impacted all of our teams, and it is testament to the calibre of our people, including those who will be departing the organisation, that we continue to deliver our high quality program of work. This includes four Federal Ministers joining our digital events program over the next week and a half.

I will have more to say about the reshaped CEDA in coming weeks, but for now I want to again thank those who will be departing CEDA for their contribution and, on behalf of their colleagues and CEDA members, wish them well at this difficult time. Can I also acknowledge and thank the many members who have been in touch with the team and me to express their support.
As part of the changes announced last week, I highlighted a greater focus on research and policy. We are moving quickly to implement our new structure, with advertising starting this week for a Senior Economist role based in Perth. This will ensure we are capturing economic and policy insights and trends from across the country and our members at this important time of policy debate and development in Australia. Please be in contact if you have an interest in the role or can recommend a candidate. You can access more details about the role here.
There have been quite few other things happening since my last update in addition to the changes announced at CEDA. Late in the week I had the opportunity to catch up with the leaders of some of CEDA’s peer organisations from around the world, including those in the US, Germany, Spain, Japan, Finland, Croatia and Tunisia, to share our respective health and economic experiences. 
The key issues and themes from this conversation included: concern about relations between China and the rest of the world and the outlook for trade and investment flows more broadly; questions about the extent to which the Chinese consumer (especially the lower income ‘aggregate’ consumer)  can support recovery there; and the need for sustained fiscal support in all countries, including in the US which is facing its own fiscal cliff sooner than Australia. 
Most participants raised concerns regarding the economic outlook for 2021, with my US colleagues noting that business is very worried about next year. An interesting aside: given the likely prominence of postal voting in the US elections this year, we were told to expect uncertainty and potential delays in results, akin to the 2000 Bush-Gore election. Overall, I finished the call pleased to be in Australia.
Earlier today we heard from Federal Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt, and global health leaders as they assessed how COVID-19 will transform health care and health systems. COVID-19 has fundamentally reshaped the healthcare system, disrupting everything from service delivery, consumer expectations and digitisation in health while spurring a greater reliance on collaboration.
While some disruptions may prove to be unique to the COVID-19 experience, many changes in the delivery of healthcare and design of health systems are likely to stay. According to the Minister “the goal is to make telehealth an abiding legacy”. On a broader scale, many believe that COVID-19 will serve as a catalyst to develop a more effective, efficient, innovative and global approach to healthcare. Thanks goes to Siemens for their sponsorship of this event. 
We also had Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon. Anne Rushton, speaking today at our virtual Trustee roundtable on the Impacts of COVID-19 on the Social Services portfolio.
We also have appearances from a further two Federal Ministers coming up.
Watch: On Thursday 2 July in Rebuilding Australia’s workforce, Federal Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, will discuss Australia’s current employment situation, discuss the people who are most at risk in the current labour market, anticipate the next phase of workforce recovery, and outline what government and business need to do to secure the future.
Other speakers include:
  • Robert Hillard, Chief Transformation Officer, Deloitte
  • Simon Lusted, Managing Director Strategy, Product & AI, Asia Pacific & Americas, SEEK
  • Mark Steyn, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hudson
You can register for that event here.
On Tuesday 7 July, we welcome Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, the Hon. Alan Tudge, speaking on Smart Infrastructure: Australia’s future roadmap. As Australia ramps up efforts to rebuild the economy post COVID-19, national infrastructure projects are critical to strengthen the job market, increase spending and to rebuild communities.
Other speakers include:
  • Jeff Connolly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens (Australia and Pacific)
  • Nicole Lockwood, Independent Chair, Westport Taskforce
  • Ray Rawlings, End Market Director, Infrastructure and Environment ANZ, AECOM
We are also pleased to announce that NSW Premier, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, will speak for CEDA at a special response to recovery event on Wednesday 15 July. Much like our sessions with the Prime Minister and Federal Opposition Leader at State of the Nation earlier this month, this will be a hybrid event, with select Trustees invited to attend and the event also livestreamed for all our members to access.
You can register for the livestream here.
For all our livestreams, tickets 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 in The evidence around virtual hospitals, Sax Institute, Knowledge Exchange Program Manager, Dr Gabriel Moore, assesses the evidence surrounding telehealth and virtual medicine, which has become an important resource for Australian healthcare during the pandemic, and says the early signs are promising. You can find out more here.
Listen: This week on The lowdown, as we focus on restart, author of Global Megatrends and CSIRO Senior Principal Scientist – Strategy and Foresight, Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, talks about foresight, strategy, digital leaps forward, plausible futures and making wise choices. You can hear more here.
Finally, thank you to our renewing members this week:
National members:
Nous Group
PwC Australia
State members:
AMP Services (NSW)
British Consulate-General (NSW)
Business SA (SA)
CITIC Pacific Mining (WA)
Citipower and Powercor Australia (VIC)
City of Adelaide (SA)
City of Gold Coast (QLD)
cohealth (VIC)
DevelopmentWA (WA)
Endeavour Energy (NSW)
Landcom (NSW)
Lifeline WA (WA)
NT Department of Treasury and Finance (NT)
Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (WA)
The Smith Family (VIC)
The University of Western Australia (WA)
Transport for NSW (NSW)
WA Department of Treasury (WA)
Western Sydney Airport (NSW)
Wilson Transformer Company (VIC)
Thanks once again to all of our members and the wider CEDA community for your continued support, it is greatly appreciated.
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.;