Street cafe

New year, new vibe. Well, maybe, or is it more of the same? The great resignation continues and so do the great pay rises if you listen to Richard Evans of recruiter Talent Nation.

Evans who’s managing director of the company said people are looking at new roles. “Throughout the GFC everyone hunkered down.” After a long period without a pay rise and two years of Covid they’re now looking at new roles. Sustainability expertise is particularly on offer with “whole teams being built out”, he says.

While a sustainability manager might have needed to be “across everything” previously, now there might be on focused on climate change, another on human rights and another on reporting. Specialisations are being built.

As for salaries, these were rising even as Evans and his colleagues were writing the report. By mid year there was a 10 per cent increase across the board and Evans says, “I would not be surprised to see that continue”.

Salaries at the senior level are between $200,000 and $250,000 depending on the size of the organisation. For a tier one property company it could be $350,00 to $400,000 but for a highly skilled person possibly with a particular focus. They need to be senior, he says, because they’re engaging at the board level.

What’s emerging too is the title of chief sustainability officer.

In 2019 that was an emerging title, but by the end of the year there could well be many more CSOs.

Evans says most of the most lucrative appointments have been internal because these are the people who best understand the enterprise and can work with what its investors expect.

The report was a tad disappointing on women, Evans said. “To be honest I was surprised there was a pay gap” especially after the strong result from women’s pays last year.

“It’s looks like we’ve gone backwards a bit.” But then again the stronger representation in the report from the mining sector, which is skewed towards males, might be the cause of the discrepancy in expectations.

“And doesn’t’ reflect what we’re seeing. Anecdotally, diversity and inclusion is front and centre and men and women are not being paid any different.” This is especially so for candidates for new roles

Among those hiring aggressively is Woolworths. “They have been building capability and capacity and hiring quite aggressively in the market.”

But it’s the property companies that are most satisfying to work with he says because “they got rid of compliance a long time ago and they’ve got different strategies – some are quite aspirational.”

Elizabeth Farrelly stands as independent in Strathfield

Elizabeth Farrelly, the former Sydney Morning Herald columnist is now well into campaigning as an independent for the upcoming New South Wales byelection for the seat of Strathfield, about 15 kilometres west of Sydney, that will be held on 12 February.

It’s a quick campaign you’d have to say, but Farrelly’s recognition factor must be pretty strong, even that far out from the “latte belt” of the inner city, thanks to her column that for nearly 30 years pinged pretty well all the wrongdoings by governments, developers (and architects) alike. And how it must have irked them.

Her writings on ugly, inappropriate, overly dense and green-averse development continues in her political aspirations.

You can get an even deeper story in her book published last year called Killing Sydney, a title by the way that might sound dramatic until you read the book and realise it’s an urban planner’s “who dunnit”. Prime for any city lover for that matter. The book is a painful reminder of the damage done needlessly to the city, and much of how it was done. Something so easy to forget in the scrum of the daily media blitz and especially as we humans are so well programmed to forget pain.

“In the upcoming by-election, you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reverse the damage that is being done to Strathfield,” her recent letter to residents said.

“Governments have lost their way. They have forgotten that they are meant to work for the common good. The major parties presume it’s business as usual but, if that means more of the same, then it’s time for a change.”

Farrelly calls for “honest, accountable, clean government; government in the public interest.

“For 15 years I have watched the city I love ravaged by shonky development and greedy government. Every year, more public assets are sold off, public parks whittled away and majestic trees cut down for more motorways and skyscrapers thrown up without local services or amenities.”

Farrelly also takes a swipe at shoddy building syndrome, citing the Building Commissioner’s assertion that 41 per cent of new strata buildings in Sydney have “major defects”.

But there is so much more to take a swipe at. Surely this is just the start.

In other jobs news…

After 13 years as chief executive officer Jones Lang LaSalle and 40 years with the Stephen Conry is stepping down and stepping into retirement. He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia and was national president of the Property Council of Australia from 2019 to 2021. 

His successor has not yet been named. 

Daniel Fernandes took on a new role as sustainability manager at construction, property and infrastructure company Lendlease. He previously worked for construction, refurbishment and fitout business Built as sustainability manager. 

Matthew Di Maggio has taken over as principal planner at national urban solutions company Ethos Urban. With more than 7 years’ experience in statutory planning, Mr Maggio was previously a senior planner at the Inner West Council. 

Christine Zeitz has been appointed to Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) president of South Australia-Northern Territory State Advisory Council (SAC) and member of board of directors, replacing Miriam Silva who has retired after six years. Ms Zeitz has over 30 years experience in defence, security, ICT and intelligence across the Asia-Pacific and has worked as a diversity and inclusion advocate. 

Sean Holmes has been promoted from associate to director associate director, sustainability, regional team leader at WSP’s Newcastle office, north of Sydney. He started with the company in 2015 after more than five years with AECOM and moved from Sydney in 2016 to an office of about 150 people. (More on this soon).

At the global, big end of town reporting level chief executive of Global Reporting Initiative Eelco van der Enden welcomed the appointment of new leaders at Sustainability standards provider – Sue Lloyd as vice chair of the ISSB, and Janine Guillot, chief executive of the Value Reporting Foundation, as special advisor to the chair, Emmanuel Faber. It would all contribute tostronger financial disclosure that reflects sustainability risks, as the ISSB is setting out to achieve, along with wide-ranging reporting on sustainability impacts, as enabled by the GRI Standards. If businesses are to be held accountable and meet the transparency expectations of their stakeholders, comprehensive reporting against both of these pillars is a prerequisite,” he said.

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