2018 Outlook Conference Program

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Day 1 - Thursday 11 October

Thursday 11 October
8.00am - 9.00am


9.00am - 9.10am

Welcome to Country

9.10am - 9.30am

Welcome to the Outlook Conference

Professor A. Abigail Payne, Melbourne Institute
Mr Paul Whittaker, The Australian
Professor Duncan Maskell, The University of Melbourne

9.30am - 11.00am

Plenary 1: Delivering Growth with Equity

The Reserve Bank of Australia has raised concerns about the risks associated with Australia's high levels of debt and very high asset prices. How can Australia manage monetary and fiscal policy to deliver growth?

Professor Efrem Castelnuovo, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
Dr Luci Ellis, Reserve Bank of Australia
The Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Treasurer
Professor Ian Harper , Melbourne Business School
Ms Karen Chester, Deputy Chair, Productivity Commission

11.00am - 11.30am


11.30am - 12.30pm

Plenary 2: Politicians Delivering Change

With a federal election coming up, we need to consider the state of the political system and what the future might look like after the 2018/2019 election. Is the political system delivering change?

Ms Caroline Overington, The Australian (Moderator)
Dr Paul Kelly, The Australian
The Hon. Peter Costello AC, ECG Financial
Professor Ross Garnaut AC, Melbourne Institute
Ms Jennifer Westacott AO, Business Council of Australia

12.30pm - 2.00pm

LUNCHTIME ADDRESS: The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia

Mr Paul Whittaker, Editor-in-Chief, The Australian (Introduction)
Dr Paul Kelly, The Australian (Moderator)
Professor Duncan Maskell, The University of Melbourne

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 3a: The energy trinity

Where to next for a national energy policy that responds to domestic concerns and international commitments?

Ms Ticky Fullerton, Sky News (Moderator)
Dr Leslie Martin, The University of Melbourne
Dr Ed McManus, Powershop
The Hon. Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy
Dr Kerry Schott AO, Energy Security Board

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 3b: Is there more to business than business?

Should business be more forcefully engaged in policy debates and how should it respond to social change?

Mr Damon Kitney, The Australian (Moderator)
Ms Jayne Hrdlicka, a2Milk
Mr Andrew Bassat, SEEK Ltd
Ms Diane Smith-Gander, AGL Energy; Wesfarmers Ltd

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 3c: The Innovative Potential of Data

In many of our conversations and in reporting we can be overly focused on matters pertaining to data access and privacy. Less discussed is the power of data to inform and innovate. How can we best use data and analytics to promote innovation in policy and practice, and what are the important questions we should be trying to answer with data?

Professor A. Abigail Payne, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
Professor Shitij Kapur, The University of Melbourne
Ms Melinda Cilento, Committee for Economic Development of Australia

3.15pm - 3.30pm


3.30pm - 5.00pm

Plenary 4: Equity and Fairness

Australia has been experiencing strong economic growth for decades. Does growth equate to equal opportunity? Are our policies and practice fostering equity? How do we ensure we are delivering effective programs and promoting the wellbeing of all Australians across the income distribution?

Professor David Ribar, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
The Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh, Member of Parliament
The Hon. Kelly O'Dwyer, Member of Parliament

Outlook Conference Dinner

Join us in the magnificent surroundings of the National Gallery of Victoria for the Outlook Conference Dinner on Thursday 11 October from 6pm. This promises to be a sociable evening of great food, entertainment and networking – not to be missed.

Cocktail Event: Has social media really destroyed privacy?
Mr Jackson Hewett, Associate Editor, The Australian (Moderator)
Ms Claire Lehmann, Founding Editor, Quillette
Dr Vanessa Teague, Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Mr Fergus Hanson, Head of International Cyber Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Dinner Address: The Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition
Professor A. Abigail Payne, Director and Ronald Henderson Professor, Melbourne Institute, The University of Melbourne (Introduction)
Professor Paul Kofman, Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics (Welcome)
Dr Paul Kelly, The Australian (Moderator)

Day 2 - Friday 12 October

Friday 12 October
8.30am - 9.15am


In-depth discussions of topics relating to Australian social and economic policy led by subject-matter experts. Roundtables are free to attend but registration is essential and seating is limited. Learn more about the Roundtable topics here.

8.30am - 9.15am


Not joining a Breakfast Roundtable? A light breakfast and informal networking opportunity will also be available.

9.30am - 11.00am

Plenary 5: How to Fix Wages

Australia has been one of the few countries not to experience a recession in recent memory, but surveys show that Australians are pessimistic about their future. Should the government guarantee a basic living wage? Are business tax cuts enough to lift pay packets?

Professor Mark Wooden, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
Mr Tim Lyons, Per Capita
Professor Bob Gregory, The Australian National University
Professor Judith Sloan , Melbourne Institute; The Australian

11.00am - 11.30am


11.30am - 12.30pm

Session 6a: Skill Development and Education: Delivering for Growth

Is the education system delivering the people with the skills Australia needs to drive growth? Is access to education equitably distributed across Australia’s income distribution?

Professor Marco Castillo, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
Ms Jennifer Westacott AO, Business Council of Australia
Mr Mark Scott AO, NSW Department of Education

11.30am - 12.30pm

Session 6b: Relieving Cities' Growing Pain

Australia's major cities are expanding rapidly as a result of population growth. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, accounted for more than 70 per cent of Australia’s population growth in the 2016-17 financial year. Is this growth sustainable and how can policy makers do more to harness the benefits of this growth?

Professor Carolyn Whitzman, The University of Melbourne (Moderator)
The Hon. Anthony Albanese, Member of Parliament
Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne
The Hon. Alan Tudge MPLiberal Party of Australia

11.30am - 12.30pm

Session 6c: The Political Economy of Tax

Given the nature of politics and the challenges of implementing legislation, what tax reforms would be most beneficial? What tax reform measures are politically achievable?

Professor Judith Sloan, Melbourne Institute; The Australian (Moderator)
Professor Robert Breunig, The Australian National University
Professor John Freebairn AO, The University of Melbourne
Mr Chris Richardson, Deloitte Access Economics
Professor Miranda Stewart, The University of Melbourne; The Australian National University

12.30pm - 2.00pm

Lunchtime Session: Economic outlook: the view from business

Australia is enjoying a record run of economic growth with widely shared prosperity.  Can business plan on that continuing?

Mr John Durie, The Australian 
Ms Jeanne Johns, Incitec Pivot
Mr John Gillam, CSR 
Ms Catherine Tanna, Energy Australia

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 7a: The Link Between Health and Economic Growth

Most people think of health and wellbeing as something of concern primarily to individuals. To what extent might it be a cause and consequence of economic growth?

Professor Allan Fels AO, The University of Melbourne (Moderator)
Professor Anthony Scott, Melbourne Institute
Ms Lucinda Brogden, National Mental Health Commission
Dr Ralph Lattimore, Productivity Commission

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 7b: China-Australia: Bumps in the Road

The China-Australia relationship is important from a strategic and economic perspective. Like any relationship, from time-to-time there are bumps in the road from an economic and/or political perspective. How should Australia handle its economic and strategic relationships with China?

Professor Ross Garnaut AC, The University of Melbourne (Moderator)
Senator The Hon. Penny Wong, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Mr Richard McGregor, Lowy Institute
Mr Andrew Michelmore, Former CEO, MMG Ltd

2.00pm - 3.15pm

Session 7c: Equality: Perceptions versus Reality

Are we becoming more unequal as a society? At last year’s Outlook Conference there was a difference in opinion on whether the data suggest there are issues of economic inequality in Australia. This session will delve further into this issue and address what we know about economic inequality and how governments might want to tackle issues to reduce such inequality.

Professor Gary Banks AO, Melbourne Institute (Moderator)
Professor Shelley Mallett, Brotherhood of St Laurence; The University of Melbourne 
Professor Roger Wilkins, Melbourne Institute
Mr Jonathan Coppel, Productivity Commission

3.15pm - 3.30pm


3.30pm - 4.30pm

Plenary 8: Wrap-up Session: Growth and Equity: Raising Political Ambition – What Have We Learned?

Reflections on lessons learned throughout the 2018 Outlook Conference and the challenges that governments and industry will face in the near future.

Mr David Uren, The Australian (Moderator)
Professor A. Abigail Payne, Melbourne Institute
Dr Paul Kelly, The Australian
Ms Kathryn Fagg, Reserve Bank of Australia
Mr Terry Moran AC, Committee for Economic Development of Australia
Mr Michael Brennan, Chair, Productivity Commission

5.00pm - 7.00pm

Cocktail Party (co-hosted by the Melbourne Institute and the Women in Economics Network)