CEDA CEO update: 24 August 2020

Border closures a pressing economic issue, impact of working from home, discussed in the CEO update this week.

As we are starting to see the health response to COVID-19 working (again) with more promising case numbers in Victoria and the ability of other states to manage small outbreaks, the most pressing issue now is how we can reconnect our communities and economy and reignite economic activity. 

National Cabinet failed to reach a consensus on Friday but some states have agreed to make variations to their border closures and this should be a priority. The AFR highlights today that NSW, the state that has largely kept its borders open, is showing the strongest jobs recovery. This sends a clear message about the benefits of adjusting policies swiftly to accommodate business and economic opportunities, while staying on top of COVID.

Talking of adjusting policies, many businesses had to swiftly adjust their work from home policies earlier this year. Out today CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball analyses how work from home has impacted employees and productivity. You can find Jarrod’s report here.

I will also be talking about Rethinking Work as part of the AFR Reshaping Australia Dialogues series this Thursday. Facilitated by AFR Editor-in-Chief, Michael Stutchbury, other speakers include Telstra CEO Andy Penn; BHP Chief People Officer, Athalie Williams; WeWork GM Australia, Balder Tol and Expert360 CEO and Co-founder, Bridget Loudon. From work from home and new working models to industrial relations, it should be an interesting discussion. You can find out more here.

In CEDA specific news, we are progressing well with recruitment for a number of senior roles, and I am pleased to announce that in September, Cassandra Winzar will be taking up the role of Senior Economist based in WA. Cassandra has most recently been with the WA Department of Communities Housing Authority as Principal Economist but has previously worked for the RBA and EY. I’m looking forward to the WA insights and expertise Cassandra will bring to our team.

We are also pleased to welcome Ali Condon and Angela Jones to the roles of Associate Director, Membership and Membership Manager respectively. Ali and Angela start next week and will be based in NSW.

Watch: this week is action packed in terms of our livestream offerings with a focus on social housing, Australia’s energy mix, and Australia’s economic outlook.

Tomorrow we have Prioritising social and affordable housing with Landcom CEO, John Brogden AM, First State Super (becoming Aware Super as of September 2020) Chief Investment Officer, Damian Graham and Brisbane Housing Company CEO, Rebecca Oelkers speaking. You can still register here.

Then on Wednesday we have NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster presenting an economic update. Register here.

On Thursday A new technology roadmap – from what to how will examine Australia’s future energy mix and how the current disruption may drive new investment for critical technologies as the nation focuses on economic recovery. Speakers include Siemens Energy Australia Pacific Region CEO, Michael Bielinski; Star Scientific Global Group Chairman, Andrew Horvath; AEMO Chief System Design and Engineering Officer, Alex Wonhas; and Clean Energy Finance Corporation CEO, Ian Learmonth. Register here.

In late breaking news, we have added an event on Tuesday 1 September, The digitisation of services with former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Impact Lab Chair, the Rt Hon. Sir Bill English; CSIRO Director Health and Biosecurity, Dr Rob Grenfell; NSW Minister for Customer Service, the Hon. Victor Dominello; and Portable Chief Strategy Officer, Sarah Kaur. This event precedes CEDA’s research out in the September on The digitisation of human services. Register for that event here.

I hope you are also able to plan ahead for some great activities scheduled for coming weeks, including events on border force, climate change, innovation and of course our Copland Lecture with the Hon. Julie Bishop. See below for further details.

Australian Border Force Commissioner, Michael Outram APM, will speak on Supporting our recovery through strong border management, on Thursday, 10 September. Register here.

Climate in recovery: building back better will be held on Friday, 11 September with Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, and United Kingdom Government, High Level Climate Action Champion, Nigel Topping. Register here.

Digital innovation and productivity will include CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, NBN Co CEO, Stephen Rue and AustCyber CEO, Michelle Price, speaking on Monday, 14 September. Register here.

CEDA Copland Lecture
CEDA’s flagship event, the Copland Lecture, will be held on Friday 16 October with ANU Chancellor, the Hon. Julie Bishop. This hybrid event will be hosted from Perth. Ms Bishop will be speaking on strategic and ethical leadership in a time of change and disruption, providing insights from her engagement with leaders around the world through times of disruption. You can register for the livestream here and tickets for the face-to-face event will be available shortly.

Listen: In the latest episodes of The economists’ corner, CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball speaks with Mercer Senior Partner and Senior Actuary for Australia, David Knox on the superannuation sector during the crisis and what a future retirement income system could look like. Listen here.

Read: As mentioned above, this week on the blog, CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, writes about an issue that’s affected almost all of us over the past year: working from home. He assesses the early evidence about the effects of working from home during COVID-19 on employee well-being and productivity and finds that the outcomes have been mixed. Read more here.

Leadership team profiles
Following last week’s profile of CEDA Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball, this week the focus is our Director, Programming, Fleur Morales who is now overseeing the programming for public, livestream and trustee events. You can read Fleur’s profile here.
Once again thank you to all our renewing members this week:

National member
ACIL Allen Consulting
State members
Sunshine Coast Council (QLD)
Global Centre for Modern Ageing (SA)
Bank of Queensland (QLD)
As always, stay safe.


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.;