• Pessimistic: Sydney business leaders
    Pessimistic: Sydney business leaders

A survey of senior leaders in Sydney demonstrates strong support for the economic and health response to Covid-19 by NSW government, but flags concern about the broader impact of the pandemic.

The survey found that three quarters of organisations do not expect 2019 revenue to bounce back until the year after next. It also revealed that almost all, some 83 per cent, have most of their staff working from home, and expect they will permanently have more people working from home in the post-Covid world, which could have big implications for offices in the Sydney CBD.

The Sydney Leadership Survey, commissioned by the Committee for Sydney, polled 100 organisations representing 450,000 employees in Australia.

According to the poll, the majority of leaders, 85 per cent, are satisfied with NSW government’s handling of the health crisis, and almost as many, 78 per cent, are satisfied with its handling of the economic crisis.

The figures were a touch higher than approval of the federal government’s handling of the crisis, which showed that four fifths are satisfied with its handling of the health crisis, and three quarters satisfied with the handling of the economic crisis.

The respondents said investing in an economic stimulus package based on infrastructure should be the top priority for both the NSW and federal governments, and they also want to see investment in social and affordable housing projects that would help support the construction sector.

Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney, said: “Our survey results highlight how Covid has affected leading organisations in Sydney – and how senior leaders think the pandemic has been handled.”

“They show strong support for the government’s handling of the crisis, at both a federal and state level. Support for the response by the NSW government is slightly higher than their federal counterparts, which is a big boost for the way the premier and her government have responded.

“Our members think that investment in infrastructure should be a priority for both state government and the commonwealth. This means continuing to fund the big public transport projects, but also smaller projects like giving money to councils to refurbish local parks and high streets.

“Investing in social and affordable housing is also a win-win policy. It helps to produce more housing for people on low-income, whilst also keeping the construction industry going and supporting tradies.”

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