Rudd names his summit team

Sydney Morning Herald
26 February, 2008
By Phillip Coorey Chief Political Correspondent

CATE BLANCHETT will join the former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer and the vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Glyn Davis, on the steering committee of the Federal Government's Australia 2020 Summit.

The summit, to be held in Canberra on April 19 and 20, will be attended by 1000 people who will propose and discuss ideas about the challenges facing the nation.

Professor Davis will chair the summit. Blanchett and nine others will each head a group of 100 people.

Each group will have a field to discuss. Blanchett's group will have the theme "towards a creative Australia".

Mr Rudd made good on his promise that the event would be free from partisan politics by appointing Mr Fischer, a former leader of the National Party, to head the group discussing "future directions for rural industries and rural communities".

The banker and former Liberal MP Warwick Smith will head the group discussing "economic infrastructure, the digital economy and future of our cities".

The Reverend Tim Costello will head the group with the theme "strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion".

The chairman of News Ltd, John Hartigan, will head discussions of "the future of Australian governance". Last week Mr Hartigan was appointed to a committee to help draft Labor's industrial relations legislation.

Most participants in the summit will have some expertise and will have been invited, although the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said interested people had until Friday to nominate themselves.

In an effort to spread the pre-summit fever, the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, said on Sunday that all primary and secondary schools would be invited to host their own summits before the Canberra event.

Ms Gillard said the Government was inviting schools to register with Australia 2020.

She said schools taking part would be provided with "age-appropriate conversation starters" to help guide their summits.

"The ideas, issues and questions raised through the schools summit will be taken forward to the youth summit announced last week and from there to Australia 2020."

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