ESOC 2008

New Agenda for Prosperity

Thursday, 27 March 2008

8.45–9.30am Session 1: Official Opening
Chair Professor Stephen Sedgwick, Director, Melbourne Institute
Speaker Professor Glyn Davis AC, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne
Keynote Address
Chair Professor Glyn Davis AC, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, Prime Minister – Read the speech online

9.30–10.45am Session 2: The Challenges of Growth

Will the China boom continue? As the Reserve Bank lifts interest rates rise and Canberra hands out tax cuts, can Australia’s long growth cycle continue in the face of inflationary pressures at home and a possible US credit-crunch recession abroad? What has to be done to reinvigorate productivity growth?

Chair Professor Stephen Sedgwick, Director, Melbourne Institute

Mr Philip Glyde, Executive Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics – View presentation

Mr Chris Richardson, Director, Access Economics – View presentation

Mr Gary Banks AO, Chairman, Productivity Commission – View presentation | Download the paper

10.45–11.15am Morning Tea
11.15am–12.35pm Session 3: Is Australia Advancing Fairly?

Australia has never been richer. But has the boom bypassed substantial areas of society? How should policy better promote opportunity on the disadvantaged edges of widespread prosperity?

Chair Ms Melinda Cilento, Deputy Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia

Mr Tony Nicholson, Executive Director, Brotherhood of St Laurence – View presentation | Download the paper

Professor Peter Saunders, Social Research Director, Social Foundations, The Centre for Independent Studies – View presentation

Professor Mark Wooden, Deputy Director and Director, HILDA Survey, Melbourne Institute – View presentation

Hon Dr Geoff Gallop, Professor and Director, Graduate School of Government, The University of Sydney – Download the paper

Chair Mr Michael Stutchbury, Deputy to the Editor-in-Chief (Business), The Australian

The Hon Wayne Swan MP, Treasurer – Read the speech online

2.30–4.00pm Session 4: Concurrent
Session 4A: Is there a Housing Crisis?

Is the rising cost of home ownership a real crisis – or are Australians paying the price of borrowing too heavily? Is the housing problem concentrated among lower-income first home owners or renters? How should policy respond?

Chair Professor Julian Disney, Chair, National Affordable Housing Summit

Associate Professor Judith Yates, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, The University of Sydney – View presentation

Mr Anthony Richards, Head, Economic Analysis Department, Reserve Bank of Australia – View presentation

Mr Bill Evans, General Manager, Economics, Westpac Banking Corporation – View presentation

Dr Frank Gelber, Chief Economist and Director, Economics and Property, BIS Shrapnel – View presentation

Session 4B: From Welfare to Work

Unemployment has fallen to generational lows just as labour force participation has risen to record highs. What more can be done to shrink the pools of the long-term unemployed, disability pensioners and jobless families?

Chair Professor Guay Lim, Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute

Mr Michael Horn, Senior Manager, Research and Policy, Brotherhood of St Laurence – View presentation | Download the paper

Professor Robert Gregory AO, Professor of Economics, Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University – View presentation

Dr Hielke Buddelmeyer, Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute – View presentation

Mr Andrew Johnson, Executive Director, Australian Council of Social Services – View presentation

Session 4C: Education Revolution

The Rudd Government has proclaimed its commitment to an education revolution. What kind of revolution is required to make education more relevant and effective from pre-schools and schools to skills training and universities?

Chair Professor Stephen Sedgwick, Director, Melbourne Institute

Professor Collette Tayler, Chair of Early Childhood Education and Care, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne – View presentation | Download the paper

Professor Geoff Masters, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council for Educational Research – View presentation

The Hon Tony Smith MP, Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training – Read the speech

Professor Richard Larkins AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, Monash University – View presentation


Mr Eric Sidoti, Director, The Whitlam Institute

4.00–4.30pm Afternoon Tea
4.30–6.00pm Session 5: After the Apology

The Rudd Government says it is now focused on practical measures to combat Indigenous disadvantage. What does this mean for the Howard Government’s intervention in the Northern Territory? What are the results so far? Can the model be applied elsewhere?

Chair The Hon Fred Chaney AO, Chair, Desert Knowledge Australia

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Read the speech

Professor Marcia Langton AM, Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, The University of Melbourne – View presentation

Professor Ian Anderson, Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit and the Centre for Health and Society, The University of Melbourne – View presentation

Mr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM, Senior Gumatj Elder

7.00 for 7.30pm Gala Dinner

Ballroom, Park Hyatt Melbourne, 1 Parliament Place off Parliament Square, Melbourne

Chair Mr Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large, The Australian

Professor Ross Garnaut AO, Garnaut Climate Change Review and Professor of Economics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University – Read the speech

Friday, 28 March 2008

8.30–10.00am Session 6: The Infrastructure Catch-Up

After the fiscal consolidation of the 1990s, infrastructure investment is undergoing a catch-up. But are the regulation, pricing and governance of basic infrastructure still hindering the economy’s supply lines?

Chair Mr George Megalogenis, The Australian

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government – Read the speech

Dr Michael Keating, Chairman, Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal – View presentation | Download the paper

Mr Rod Sims, Director, Port Jackson Partners Limited – Download the paper

Mr Garry Bowditch, Executive Director, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia – View presentation

10.00–10.30am Morning Tea
10.30am–12.00pm Session 7: Concurrent
Session 7A: Making Hospitals Work

Short term injections of cash may relieve some of the symptoms of the ailing health system. But can changed funding arrangements end the buck passing and improve the health of Australians?

Chair Professor James Angus, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne

The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing

Ms Mary Ann O’Loughlin, Director, The Allen Consulting Group – View presentation

Dr Stephen Duckett, Executive Director, Reform and Development Division, Queensland Health – View presentation

Professor Anthony Scott, Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute – View presentation

Session 7B: The Broadband Impasse

What is needed to turn the political football of broadband into the investment required to produce substantially faster internet speeds? Should the dominant telco be regulated more or less?

Chair Ms Jennifer Hewett, National Affairs Correspondent, The Australian

Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Mr Graeme Samuel AO, Chairman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Mr Ravi Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer, Primus Telecom – View presentation

Mr Donald McGauchie AO, Chairman, Telstra Corporation Ltd – View presentation

Session 7C: Tax Reform

Both the Hawke–Keating and Howard Governments delivered major tax reform. As the boom delivers big increases in revenue, what should be the Rudd Government’s tax reform agenda? Is fresh thinking required?

Chair Mr Alan Wood, Economics Editor, The Australian

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Shadow Treasurer – Read the speech

Professor John Freebairn, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne – View presentation | Download the paper

Professor Paul Kerin, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Business School – View presentation | Download the paper

Professor Neil Warren, Head of School, Australian School of Taxation (Atax), The University of New South Wales – View presentation | Download the paper

Mr Tim Cox, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Session 7D: David Finch Lecture – Understanding Global Imbalances

Large global imbalances are a natural consequence of globalisation of financial markets and significant demographic change (and high oil prices). We should not be surprised by or anxious about them, and should be wary of proposals for policy actions to eliminate them.

Chair Professor Margaret Abernethy, Dean, Faculty of Economics and Commerce, The University of Melbourne
Introduction Mr Ian Renard, Chancellor, The University of Melbourne

Professor Richard N. Cooper, Mauritis C. Boas Professor of International Economics, Harvard University

Professor Cooper is Vice-Chairman of the Global Development Network and a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Panel of the US Chief of Naval Operations, and the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity. He has served on several occasions in the US Government and was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boxton from 1990–92. As a Marshall Scholar, he studied at the London School of Economics, and earned his PhD at Harvard University.

12.00–1.30pm Lunch

Grand Buffet Hall, Union Building

Chair Professor Peter McPhee, Provost, The University of Melbourne
Speaker The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, Leader of the Opposition – Read the speech
1.45–3.15pm Session 8: Concurrent
Session 8A: Innovation and Research

The Rudd government has firmly put reform of Australia’s innovation and research systems on its agenda. What does the government intend? What is needed?

Chair Dr Mike Woods, Commissioner, Productivity Commission

Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Professor Alan Robson AM, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia

Mr Hutch Ranck, Managing Director, DuPont Australia and New Zealand – View presentation

Dr Rowan Gilmore, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Commercialisation – View presentation

Professor Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of South Australia – View presentation

Mr Charles Laycock, Chief Executive Officer, Iatia Vision Sciences – View presentation

Session 8B: Boosting Labour Supply

Has the economy reached full employment, or can policies on immigration, childcare, mature workers and training boost labour supply much more?

Chair Professor Judith Sloan, Commissioner, Australian Fair Pay Commission

Mrs Heather Ridout, Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group – View presentation

Mr Jeff Lawrence, Secretary, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Associate Professor Guyonne Kalb, Principal Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute – View presentation

Dr Andrew Leigh, Fellow, Economics Program, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University – View presentation

Session 8C: Dealing with the Regulatory Burden

The new government has promised to stem the explosion of business regulation. Can this really be done? Are there big gains in just making regulation better?

 Dr Gary Banks AO, Chairman, Productivity Commission

The Hon Lindsay Tanner MP, Minister for Finance and Deregulation – Read the speech

Mr Henry Ergas, Regional Head Asia Pacific Region, CRA International – View presentation

Dr Stephen King, Commissioner, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Dr Nicholas Gruen, Chief Executive Officer, Lateral Economics – View presentation

3.15–3.30pm Afternoon Tea
3.30–5.00pm Session 9: The Environmental Constraint
Chair Mr Matthew Warren, Environmental Writer, The Australian

Mr Peter Cosier, Director, Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists – View presentation

Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems – View presentation

Mr Alan Johnston, Assistant Commissioner, Environmental and Resource Economics, Productivity Commission – View presentation

Mr David Pearce, Director and Principal Policy Analyst, The Centre for International Economics – View presentation


Mr Mitchell Hooke, Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia

Professor Mike Young, Director, Research Chair, Water Economics and Management, The University of Adelaide – Download the paper

5.00–5.15pm Closing Session
Speaker Mr Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large, The Australian