I am pleased to announce today that the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission is moving into a new mode, shifting its focus to concentrate on creating jobs and stimulating our economy as we learn to live with this pandemic.
While the health response continues to be of the utmost importance in managing outbreaks as they arise, we have to continue our focus on recovery and reform.
The Government’s JobMaker Plan is built on enabling a business-led economic recovery. We are driving skills and training reform, bringing business and unions together to create the industrial relations conditions to get people into work, locking in affordable and reliable energy, expanding opportunities for small business in the digital economy, boosting our manufacturing capability, underpinning renewed housing construction, delivering a record infrastructure investment pipeline, deregulation and streamlining project approvals and federation reform. And there is more to do on issues such as taxation, research collaboration and ensuring regional Australia prospers in the years ahead.
I have asked the Commission to concentrate its efforts and business expertise on providing advice on what more could be done to create as many jobs as quickly as possible to accelerate Australia’s economic recovery.
When I announced the establishment of the Commission, I said its key task was to fix problems. It has certainly done that – from sourcing personal protective equipment and helping address supply chain challenges to ensuring businesses have the tools to stay open or to reopen safely.
Under the leadership of Nev Power as Chair, the Commission will continue to work closely with business leaders and key industry sectors, focusing on areas where we can make the most gains, most quickly.
Joining this effort as part of the new Commission Board will be Mike Hirst, Samantha Hogg, Su McCluskey, Bao Hoang, Laura Berry and Paul Howes. Together they bring valuable expertise in the sectors of finance, resources and infrastructure, regional Australia, small business and workforce issues. I look forward to their contribution to our economic recovery.
They join existing members Nev Power (Chair), Jane Halton, Paul Little and David Thodey. Catherine Tanna has advised me that once existing projects on utilities and energy are completed she intends to step down from the Commission. I thank her for the contribution she has made over recent months.
The group will now be called the National COVID-19 Commission (NCC) Advisory Board, to better reflect its role. I look forward to continuing to receive advice from the NCC on how Australia can best recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
New Board member biographies are attached – click here.