From the CEO - October 2017


I'm writing this article over India, some 32,000 feet in the air on my way to London to attend the Australian British Chamber's Infrastructure Catalyst. London's Crossrail and High Speed Rail 2 are key areas for discussion at the conference and directly relevant to our Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project and the McGowan Government's Metronet project. 

During September, I presented the findings from my 2017 Bi-annual International Study Tour at which I touched on Crossrail. Due to popular demand, I will be doing an encore performance on 16 November for those that missed it. At the November presentation, I will include findings from the Catalyst and meetings in oil and gas city Aberdeen. 

Two nights prior to departing Perth, I attended the MercyCare's annual oration as a guest of the Hyatt Regency to hear from this year's orator Saroo Brieley. His is a harrowing story of separation from his family at five years of age, to being adopted by an Australian family, and Saroo's dogged determination to be reunited with his Indian family once more. His journey, which was captured on the big screen in Lion, was so much more powerful in person.  

Caring for our community is a huge task for government, the not-for-profit sector and many volunteers. This month we will release our report on an ageing population. FACTBase Bulletin 56 examines the region's ageing demographic profile and importantly seeks to identify the opportunities arising. At our Perth in Focus luncheon on 24 October, I will present the research findings and a panel of local experts will give their views. As an important part of Perth's economic future, I hope you can attend. 

Also on this plane trip, I am reading the first draft of the 2017 FACTBase Special Report - Sizing the Economy. It too will add to the extensive evidence base we are creating for the B4 project. Pulling a vast array of facts and figures together, the report analyses the major components of the region's economy. Starting in the 1950s, it documents the greatest period of economic and population expansion that the Perth and Peel region has experienced. State Agreements are unique to WA and were a catalyst for multinational firms to invest at that time. The report will be released on 29 November and I expect it will generate much interest, as it provides a basis for forward planning, just as the agreements of the 50's and 60's did all those years ago. 

I presented Filling the Pool for the 83rd time in September at the launch of the government's OnBoardWA program, an initiative to get 50% of women on government boards by 2020. On launching the online registration system, the Premier and the Minister for Women's Interests, Simone McGurk said that government will lead the way in having gender balanced boards and encourage others to do the same.  As I said on the day, I was first appointed to a government board in 2005 and it's been a thoroughly rewarding experience, getting to understand the inner workings of government. Women wanting to register can do so here.

In signing off, I would like to welcome Lisa Kazalac as our newly appointed Manager Research & Policy who is a welcome addition to our small, tightly knit team. Lisa has government policy experience, is a trained economist and brings a solid understanding of membership organisations having previously worked at CCI and REIWA. With so many events between now and the end of the year, Members and stakeholders will no doubt meet her shortly. 

Other articles from Insight, October 2017 (view email newsletter):