The federal government has established a new national body consisting of high profile public servants and business leaders to underpin its response to COVID-19.
The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) will coordinate advice to the government about the social and economic impact of the pandemic, cushion the economic impact and pave the way for recovery.
“The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission is about mobilising a whole-of-society and whole-of-economy effort so we come through this unprecedented health crisis,” Prime Minister Scott Morison said on Wednesday.
“The Commission will assist the Government to ensure all resources are marshalled to this vital task in a coordinated and effective manner.”
Perth Airport Chairman and former Fortescue boss Neville Power and his deputy chair David Thodey, who led the recent wide-ranging APS review, will lead a high-profile executive board of Commissioners appointed to advise the prime minister on all non-health aspects of the pandemic response.
Former MP and ACTU secretary Greg Combet, former health department head Jane Halton, former Toll MD Paul Little and Energy Australia MD Catherine Tanna will be joined by the Secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Phil Gaetjens and Home Affairs, Mike Pezzullo.
The Board will work with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Brendan Murphy who is leading the national health response, and the National Cabinet, representing premiers and chief ministers.
The Australian Government’s National Security Committee of Cabinet’s COVID-19 Taskforce and the Expenditure Review Committee of Cabinet round out the Commonwealth’s response to the global outbreak.
Mr Power said in his new job as Chair he would focus on mobilising and coordinating the public, private and not-for-profit effort to position the nation for recovery.
“The role of the Commission is to minimise and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on our businesses, our communities and our people,” Mr Power said in a statement.
“I see my job as working closely with businesses to prioritise and solve problems to support as many businesses and jobs as we can.
“Where there is a workforce that is no longer gainfully employed, we want to find a place where that workforce is needed.
“Where there is idle equipment, we want to find a way to repurpose it and where we have capacity in our supply chains we want to make sure it is fully utilised.”
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