News Headlines Reflective of 2020 to Date

The following headlines drawn from the national press and various sector newsletters/journals reflect the focus of considerable comment on the economy, education, wages, penalty rates, corporate governance, public sector outsourcing, on regulator performance, the roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government, the job market for graduates, future training for the workforce, the role of unions, the role and effectiveness of boards, the impact that the pandemic has had on pay increases, the focus on accountability, the recession and the federal budget.

Future articles in our re-awakening of Egan Associates newsletters will focus on many of the above issues.  Another article in this edition commences that journey commenting on leadership in Australia and stakeholder expectations, having as a core focus the alignment of accountability, authority and capability in both the private and public sectors.

The community, including elected officials, senior executives, public servants, board members and staff have absorbed a bombardment of responses to commissions of enquiry, budget reviews, increasing unemployment arising from the pandemic as well as small business concerns with government policy at both federal and state level.

Observations both positive and negative in relation to the effectiveness and integrity of judgements made by boards, senior executives, senior public servants and elected officials, which impact directly on their economic horizon in relation to funding the outcome of sub-optimal decisions and a volatile – and for many superannuants – declining investment values over the past 6-9 months.

Set out below is a compilation of headings which we noted in reading the National Press, journal articles, researches across both the public and private sector, and community responses to the economic consequences dating back to droughts, floods, bush fires, followed by the pandemic, which were being progressively managed with varying degrees of success over the past 12+ months.


  • Australia in recession:  biggest economic contraction since great depression:  ABS confirms
  • Budget impact of the Corona Virus
  • Budget 2020: a recalibration of fiscal strategy
  • Economy knocked back to pre-pandemic level to end of 2021: RBA
  • Economies malfunction when we can’t trust our leaders
  • Employment jumps as wage growth hits record low
  • Minimum wage increase a ‘big blow’ for tourism
  • Rise and fall: how the inflation dragon has been slayed
  • Thousands of university graduates to face worst job market in 30 years
  • Wage growth tipped to crash as job market struggles
  • World bank forecasts worst global recession in 8 decades


  • ASIC publishes information on variable executive remuneration
  • Board delegated oversight of risk
  • Boards not blameless in corporate failure
  • Boards not blameless on expectation gap
  • Call for accountability arising from corporate initiatives: Rio Tinto Directors’ Duties
  • Does your board have the STEMs skills it needs?
  • It’s true: “dud” Directors keep filling up boardrooms
  • Love, Power and Scandal
  • Many are called, few are chosen
  • Mission Impossible: Westpac highlights Directors’ dilemma
  • New ASX corporate governance rules apply to 30 December 2020 financial statements of listed entities
  • Rebalance to get risk levels right in the recovery
  • Sins of omission can be sins of commission
  • The pillars of modern governance that you need to know
  • Wake-up call for boards as activists doubt their capability
  • Why Australia needs a new accord on director’s duties
  • Why aren’t boards listening anymore?


  • A major loss-maker:  UTS shelves its primary teaching degree
  • Back to your desks: group-think pitfalls
  • Cost of priority degrees to be slashed, some fees to soar in funding overhaul
  • In defence of exams and the ATAR
  • Industry calls for $3.9B intervention to save apprenticeships
  • Pandemic changes outlook on teaching
  • ’Picking winners’ will not solve skills shortages: academics
  • Research in jeopardy as foreign PhDs stay home
  • Skills training misses the mark with employers
  • UNIs and VET join forces to build aerotropolis and jobs of the future
  • Universities will be forced to sell assets and look at mergers
  • Universities to drive major overhaul
  • We couldn’t do our jobs without maths:  why the subject is not just for engineers


  • Big name US companies criticised for CEO bonuses just before filing for bankruptcy
  • ‘Corporate Suicide’: Kogan faces backlash over $80M executive bonuses
  • Goodbye hefty bonuses: Coronavirus could finally shake up CEO pay
  • Executive salaries under the microscope
  • KPMG to repay portion of salary cuts as revenue defies downturn
  • Partners not staff should take the COVID19 profit hit
  • The case for longer vesting and simpler LTI programs


  • Australia must prepare for catastrophic natural disasters amid rising threat from climate change
  • Becoming better innovators
  • Defining public interest
  • Economies malfunction when we can’t trust our leaders
  • Expect worse:  NSW fire enquiry backs limited use of controlled burns
  • How do we plan for an unprecedented future?
  • Regulator performance role to be established within PM&C
  • Staff cap ‘Ideological born chain’ on APS
  • Senate committee calls for scraping of APS staff cap immediately


  • ESG in volatile markets
  • Safety, privacy and sustainable change – ethical investing in a pandemic
  • Super funds take a hit during the COVID crisis


  • Airport land deal raises doubts on Federal infrastructure spending
  • ASIC expense scandal puts chairman and deputy in the gun
  • Deeply flawed ASIC needs urgent clean out
  • Lessons in dealing with crises
  • Multimillion-dollar, iCare contracts were awarded in “sham tender”
  • New corruption offences: Integrity commission draft bill released
  • New procurement panel and rules require APS to report expenditure on consultants
  • Opinion: Our political arena is not fit-for-purpose in 21st Century Australia
  • Overcoming self- deception
  • Prime Minister’s skills overhaul to drive recovery
  • Probe into Boarder Force payments to arms manufacturer ‘serious and ongoing’
  • Public service outsourcing in the spotlight as Government tightens the reins
  • Shaking-up procurement
  • The roles and responsibilities of the three levels of Government
  • Thodey report : capability review coming
  • Would you let your kid be a public servant?


  • Cap on WA public sector pay increases to continue
  • Government to push freeze in public sector wages
  • No wage freeze for Tasmanian public servants: State Government confirms
  • NSW public servants’ wage increases slashed in $3B cost-cutting bid
  • Public service pay rises
  • The cost of Government’s graduates package
  • Victorian Premier to become highest paid state leader as tribunal grants pay rise for MPs
  • 850 NBN staff paid more than $200,000 amid Government pay crackdown


  • Does your team have an accountability problem?
  • How Westpac missed money laundering
  • How to succeed as a banker of the future
  • Ownership of decision making
  • Pressure on decision makers for organisation cyber responsibilities
  • Resilience, empathy and good communication: vital skills for managers
  • Would you ever give staff 100% autonomy?


  • $18,500 a year for all:  a basic income would reduce inequality says study
  • CFMEU’s 5% pay rises threaten post-pandemic recovery
  • Cuts to penalty rates will boost jobs
  • Fair Work backs waving penalty rates for working from home
  • Job security vs salary:  the new priorities for Australian workers
  • Training review target awards and minimum wages
  • Unions oppose employer push to waive penalty weights
  • Wage growth at risk in broken bargaining system
  • Woolworths hands $57 million in shares to staff