The COVID commission set up in the early days of the pandemic will be reborn as a strategic advisory body and pulled within government as focus shifts onto economic recovery.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a media conference the COVID-19 Coordination Commission established in March, now to be known as the National COVID-9 Commission (NCC) Advisory Board, is “moving into a new mode” with a broadened membership representing the business sector and an advisory role to cabinet.
“We believe that the commission now needs to move into a new gear … and as a result I’ve decided to re-establish it as an advisory board to myself as PM, to work across the full spectrum of our job maker plan,” he said on Monday.
“The COVID commission won’t be an external agency, it will work within government and will form part of the deliberative processes … through the expenditure review process, through the cabinet process.”
The new body would not replace or supplant other channels of advice, Mr Morrison said.
Chair Neville Power says the transition marks a shift away from the commission’s initial problem-solving focus on sourcing protective equipment, ensuring testing, addressing supply issues and dealing with IR issues to help businesses stay open.
The new body will provide a more strategic advisory role, Mr Power said.
“We’re in a transition now to focus much more specifically on creating jobs and accelerating the return of our economic activity so that we can restore lives and livelihoods,” he told reporters.
“As we move into this phase we’ll be very focused on recovery of the economy.
“I welcome our new members to the Board and look forward to continuing our important work.”
Former Bendigo Bank head Mike Hirst, transport and infrastructure executive Samantha Hogg, inaugural Regional Australia Institute CEO Su McCluskey, businessman Bao Hoang, indigenous procurement leader Laura Berry and former ACTU vice president Paul Howes will join Chairman Neville Power, Jane Halton, Paul Little and David Thodey on the commission.
Greg Combet and Catherine Tanna will not continue on the commission.
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