How can we secure Australia’s future? With Will Witheridge
William Witheridge, 2018 Commonwealth Bank John Monash Scholar
PhD in Economics at New York University, United States of America
When Federal Cabinet meets, approximately 19 ministers gather to write and implement the best policies to secure our economic future. This is not an easy task, but thankfully William Witheridge, the 2018 Commonwealth Bank John Monash Scholarhas some great ideas on how to do this well. His long-term aspiration is to join this table as a senior economic adviser to the Australian Prime Minister. He is currently completing a PhD in Economics at New York University to accelerate his chances for having an influence on securing our economic future.
Will has already worked for the OECD Chief Economist and as an Economic Policy Advisor for the Australian Government during the Brisbane G20 Summit of 2014. In the future his goal as an economist is to apply his curious and creative mind to influence economic policy through spending and tax reforms. A large portion of his research is based on public infrastructure spending to boost productivity and economic growth. This is important for both businesses and households alike. Will wears many hats as a mathematician, statistician and data analyst to discern the optimal mix of taxes and borrowing required to support the growth of public infrastructure and best serve society.
Through the lens of macroeconomics, striking the balance for public spending that supports businesses and households is crucial. These policy decisions influence the daily earning and spending habits of citizens from essential items such as groceries, to luxury items such as holidays. Households and businesses alike use public roads and bridges, as well as digital communication networks. In Australia infrastructure like this is so entrenched in our daily lives that it often goes unnoticed. Travelling to other regions in the world however, you start to understand the effects that a lack of infrastructure can have on people both economically, and socially.
In Australia our challenges focus on cities and urban areas where population growth sees the need for sustainable infrastructure that promotes livability and alleviates congestion. The Commonwealth Bank’s vision for the future sees cities as an ecosystem that will recognise the interdependency that binds economic and social infrastructure delivery through sustainable financing. The reality of this vision is supported through the policies that Will is forecasting which will raise living standards and make society more inclusive.
Australian Governments informed by economists of the past, have helped establish the lifestyle we are accustomed to today, but more can be done. Will is gearing up to support governments with integrating economic, social and environmental factors into policy decisions. When Australia’s Federal Cabinet meets under his watch, we will have a strong understanding of how this interdependency of factors can be used, to deliver a future for the very best human, environmental and economic outcomes.