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Cornerstone Group Insights and Analysis


How to talk to Government in the era of COVID-19

Are you trying to communicate with Governments and hitting brick walls?

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Nick Melas portrait

Cornerstone expands with the appointment of Nick Melas

Nick’s deep knowledge of government processes, strong relationships with a broad and genuinely bipartisan network of decision makers and influencers, and a hands-on practical understanding of complex regulatory frameworks will enhance the already high level of service that Cornerstone clients have come to expect.

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James Cullen talking about Budget 2021 on Sky News First Edition

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: The right budget at the right time

It’s basically what we thought it would be a couple weeks out, ultimately lower debt and deficit than what they forecast previously, a massive budget improvement of over $100 billion.

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Hon Craig Laundy, Jason Falinski MP (Liberal) and Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP (ALP)

Cornerstone’s Insights Forum kicked off for 2021 with a successful in-person event

The Cornerstone Group held its first Insights Forum event for 2021 this week focussing on the importance of reaching ‘across the aisle’.

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Anytime Fitness

Collectiveness Wellness Group partner with Cornerstone Group

A quality strategy government relations partnership between Cornerstone Group Australia and Collectiveness Wellness Group was quickly deployed with key decision-makers to both educate and seek change to the COVID-19 Marshal Plan that was threatening the viability of 24-7 gyms.

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James Cullen on Sky News February 2021

James Cullen on Sky News: Pressure on vaccine and borders to ramp up ahead of federal election

Until we get those vaccine numbers out to that high number where the government and its health advisers are after… this is going to continue to happen.

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Health workers wearing face masks

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: COVID-19 and the economy

There’s quite a few things that need to happen here in terms of rebooting the economy and getting growth picking up next year, but obviously with an eye to paying down debt.

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Woman wearing face mask

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: COVID-19

We’re starting to get conflicting health advice from the Commonwealth level and Victoria in particular about whether or not it’s actually safe to have schools operating in that face-to-face learning.

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iPad displaying the stock market going down

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: Stimulus package, economy

There’s a lot of the hallmark here of the first Rudd Government stimulus, in terms of payments which will be directed to low income earners, on the pension and potentially Newstart, I think that’s a big tick.

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Peter Hendy

What should/can be the role of corporations in Australia’s engagement and influence in Asia?

I mention John Stone because he taught me that being on top of Australian domestic economic data and trends and also political issues was a necessary condition to be a good analyst, it wasn’t a sufficient condition.

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Particle envelope of a single, spherical shaped, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) virion

James Cullen on Sky News: Mike Baird leaves NAB, economic stimulus, impact on economy of coronavirus, investment guarantee, Newstart

I suspect that senators will be pursuing Mr [Steven] Kennedy this morning about what is the likely impact on the economy of the coronavirus in the June quarter

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Stock market data

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: Surplus, economy, coronavirus, Sports rorts.

There’s a strong expectations management game from the Treasurer and the Government which is understandable given what we’re seeing unfold across global markets.

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James Cullen Sky News

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: Wage theft, Well-being Budget, domestic violence, economy, Budget surplus.

James is asked about the recent stories in the news about wages theft. “What does this tell you, that these big companies are doing this on purpose or the system’s too complicated?”

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Powerlines in South Australia - Photo by Francesco Patrinostro on Unsplash

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: Ausgrid seeking ADF assistance, climate change policy, coal, Queensland LNP, Superannuation Guarantee.

Ausgrid weren’t aware about the official knocking on the head of their request for army assistance. Ausgrid was saying: “oh no we don’t want taxpayers to have to pay for anything”. But if you call in the army, that’s essentially what happens.

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Aerial view of Canberra - Photo by Linda Xu on Unsplash

Return of Australian Parliament 2020 – Change in The Nationals and Greens

Last week we had a refreshing first sitting week of the year with political hostilities put on hold while all members of parliament came together to honour those affected by the national bushfire emergency including the victims and rural fire service volunteers. Those preferring the Canberra political blood sport were not long disappointed, with the […]

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House of Representatives, Australian Parliament House. Photo by Aditya Joshi

James Cullen on Sky News First Edition: Parliament’s return, Angus Taylor, sports grants affair, RBA Governor’s speech.

With the first major question time, it was interesting to see where Labor went, with so much that happened over the summer.

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Insights Forum 2019

Cornerstone’s Insights Forum hosts Australia’s political and policy leaders

Cornerstone as Australia’s leading bipartisan government relations and advocacy firm will again be hosting a series of Insight Forum events that bring together leading members of the Australian Government and the Opposition.

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Cornerstone Expands Sydney Office With Senior Appointment

We have appointed James Cullen as Senior Director – Government Relations in our Sydney office.

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Critical Minerals, Science and Technology Central To PM’s Trade Visit To USA

A commitment to growing stronger linkages in science and technology.

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Peter Fraser portrait

Future Cornerstone Growth Assured by Appointment of General Manager and Business Development Director

Cornerstone Group Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of government and public affairs veteran Peter Fraser as General Manager and Business Development Director. Peter will lead the Sydney office and take responsibility for driving new business. Peter will also provide strategic advice on government relations, public affairs, reputation management, and issues and crisis management […]

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Cornerstone scoring for clients in Canberra

Cornerstone Founder and Director Joseph Tannous recently visited Canberra with former Kangaroo’s great and mortgage broker Steve “Beaver” Menzies, for discussions with a number of Federal Government Ministers regarding financial sector policies in the wake of the Haines Banking Royal Commission. Here they are outside Parliament House with rugby league tragic and Deputy Prime Minister […]

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Ministerial Reshuffle Presents Business Opportunities

The ministerial reshuffle following the recent Federal election presents new opportunities for business. Particular areas to watch are government services, energy, industrial relations, defence industry, health and indigenous affairs. It is reasonable to say Australian markets and the Australian electorate were, generally, not expecting the Morrison Government to be re-elected on 18 May. This was […]

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Forum discusses 2019 federal election, policies

The machinery of government and how to influence policy after the 2019 federal election were key subjects of discussion during a recent Cornerstone Insights Forum. The Chatham House rule event was held at NSW Parliament House on Friday 26 April. Experiences of former ministers invaluable Cornerstone’s co-chairs, the Hon. Simon Crean and the Hon Dr […]

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Government relations impacted by clusters in NSW

The NSW Government’s shift to portfolio clusters is meant to make the public’s interaction with it easier; but what does it mean for business and its government relations strategies?

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Return of NSW Government Doesn’t Mean Business as Usual

The return of the Coalition Government in NSW on a slender two-seat majority in the Lower House may not necessarily mean business as usual for the State. Indeed, the business sector will need to engage proactively with both the Government, Opposition and crossbenchers to ensure its voice is heard. Although the Coalition has been returned, […]

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Stock market signs

Public Affairs Central To Success For Foreign Companies In Australian Market

The key purpose of any public affairs campaign is to build support, trust and credibility amongst stakeholders – the general public, media, community groups, and government.

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China and USA shaking hands

Face-off In Buenos Aires. Can Trump And Xi Reach A Deal To Avert A Trade War?

Trump has imposed tariffs on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports. And China has responded with its own tariffs, primarily hitting US agricultural exports to China.

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Rising lanterns in a night sky

Perception Of Control Excludes Hong Kong Firm From Lighting Australia

Few should be surprised by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s preliminary decision to block the CKI bid for APA’s critical infrastructure gas pipeline. In his statement of yesterday the Treasurer said he had advised CKI that its bid “would be contrary to the national interest”.

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Bondi beach and swimming pools

Liberal Loss Of Wentworth Raises Stakes For Business

The likely win by independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps means Australia will have a hung Federal Parliament for the remainder of this parliamentary term.

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Stock market graph on mobile device

ASX Tumble Reinforces Need For Effective Communication

During times of market uncertainty, it is essential that companies communicate with their investment community and stakeholders through targeted communication.

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Alistair Nicholas addressing Macquarie University graduates

Cornerstone CEO Tells 2018 Macquarie Graduates to Leverage Their Advantages to Help Others

Join a cause or get some of your friends together to start a cause to fix a problem no one else is fixing.

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NPC Building

China’s Business Culture Mirrors Political System

Even where Australians have been hired in management positions because of their local knowledge and experience, a lot of decisions are still referred back. That obviously slows down the decision-making process.

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Alistair Nicholas speaking with a client

Cornerstone Group Appoints International Public Affairs Veteran Alistair Nicholas As CEO

As CEO Alistair will also be a member of the company?s Advisory Board. He will work closely with the board, including Cornerstone Founder and Executive Director Joseph Tannous, and Co-Chairmen The Hon. Dr Peter Hendy and The Hon. Simon Crean.

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Peter Hendy

We Were Wrong To Abandon GST Reform: Peter Hendy

I strongly suspect the decision by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the cabinet not to proceed with these type of changes severely affected the new Prime Minister’s standing in the polls.

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Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas

Liberals Want Former Deputy Police Commissioner In Key Inner West Seat

The Liberal Party has asked the former NSW deputy police commissioner, Nick Kaldas, to run as a candidate in the marginal seat of Strathfield.

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The Hon Simon Crean

Cornerstone Welcomes The Hon Simon Crean As Co-chair

Simon’s knowledge and experience of the inner workings of government will provide our clients with a strategic advantage in government relations and corporate affairs.

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