Committee for Economic Development of Australia

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The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (or CEDA) describes itself as Australia's "leading independent think tank" and describes its purpose as being "to promote Australia’s economic development in a sustainable and socially balanced way." [1]

Sharon Beder classifies CEDA as a conservative think tank. [2] However, CEDA's published work on issues such as tax cuts [3] and privatisation [4] suggests a variety of ideological perspectives.

Recent and current sponsors of CEDA's work include: Macquarie Bank, Lexus, Rio Tinto, Manpower, NSW Department of Education and Training, ANZ Banking Group, Promina, Deacons, and Bluescope Steel. [5]

According to CEDA's 2004/05 annual report: "More than 800 organisations around Australia are CEDA members – a unique, influential group of leaders from business, academia, the public sector and community organisations." The report also shows how their annual revenues have been increasing rapidly in recent years:

2001–02 AU$3,472,006
2002–03 AU$3,768,084
2003–04 AU$4,525,041
2004–05 AU$5,293,698

CEDA’s "flagship print magazine" is Australian Chief Executive.

Tax cuts

In May 2006 CEDA published a report [6] by the economist Nicholas Gruen arguing that if policymakers wanted to encourage economic growth through tax cuts, they should direct those cuts to lower income earners rather than cutting the top tax rates. The Sydney Morning Herald's Ross Gittins noted [7]:

"Gruen finds little support for the belief that high tax rates discourage work effort by high earners. After all, we know that it's highly skilled and highly paid managers and professionals who are already working the longest hours.
"All the research evidence says it's people at the bottom end of the income scale whose decisions about work are most affected by the tax rates they face. Tax rates particularly influence people with greater freedom to decide whether to work or not to work because they're their family's 'secondary earner' - usually mothers."

Climate change

In the May 2006 issue of CEDA's Australian Chief Executive an article adapted from Professor Warwick McKibbin’s address to a CEDA conference (held on 21 November 2005) entitled, Greenhouse gas emissions and the Australian economy. He notes that:

"...we are uncertain about the links between carbon dioxide emissions, and we are uncertain about the timing and magnitude of climate change. Some forecasters predict very severe and large changes in temperatures very quickly. A small minority believe that this is a complete and utter scientific fraud. I’m making the argument that this is a serious issue that we should take seriously. Nonetheless, we have to acknowledge that there is a great deal of uncertainty about climate change itself."
"The debates in the public press, the debates on television, the debates among politicians, are about choosing either to do nothing or to do something drastic. A prudent policy will avoid both these extremes. We’ve got to look for an answer somewhere in the middle."

McKibbin's preferred approach has been dubbed the McKibbin-Wilcoxen Proposal. [8] (Pdf)

According to Melinda Howes, writing in a 2002 issue of Actuary Australia: "Warwick McKibbin, professor of international economics at ANU [is] one of the foremost opponents of the Kyoto Protocol."

Leadership team


Board of Governors

CEDA’S International Counterpart Network

Related SourceWatch Resources


CEDA's national office is in Melbourne. It has other offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. [9]


External links