The Australian Government has established the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) to coordinate advice to the Australian Government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commission will be led by Mr Neville Power, an eminent Australian businessman. He will be supported by an Executive Board of Directors drawn from across the private and not-for-profit sectors comprising: Mr Greg Combet AM, Ms Jane Halton AO, Mr Paul Little AO, Ms Catherine Tanna, and Mr David Thodey AO. They will be joined by the Secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Philip Gaetjens, and Home Affairs, Mr Mike Pezzullo. The Commission will advise the Prime Minister and operate within his portfolio.
The Commission will bring together a co-ordinated national picture and assist in mobilising a whole‑of-society and whole-of-economy effort, to take action against the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
It will advise the Prime Minister on all non-health aspects of the pandemic response, working in tandem with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Brendan Murphy. The CMO and the medical expert panel he leads – the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) - will continue their role of advising the National Cabinet on Australia’s health management and response to the virus.
The National Cabinet, comprising the Prime Minister and State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers, continues to lead the national response at a government level.
The Treasury will continue to lead and coordinate on economic policy and financial markets issues advice, given its deep understanding of and connections to market participants.
Working with the CMO to fully understand the health position, the Commission will, through its own inquiries and analysis of matters referred to it, ensure the Government receives the most comprehensive advice available to meet with challenges ahead. The intention is to work cooperatively across private-to-private and public-to-private networks to unlock resources, break bottlenecks and fix problems so Australian families, businesses and communities are supported in the months ahead.
The Commission will not duplicate the work underway across the Australian government, rather it will work collaboratively with the Agency Heads and state and territory governments to identify cross portfolio and cross jurisdictional issues where business knowledge and networks can be mobilised to broker a solution.
Each member of the Commission’s Executive Board will lead the development of strategies and engagement within a specific stream or sector relevant to their expertise, with a focus on mobilising and coordinating public, private and not-for-profit actions. APS Departmental Secretaries and Agency Heads will support their work and ensure necessary resources are committed to the delivery of agreed outcomes.
The existing National Coordination Mechanism, which coordinates the cross jurisdictional response to non-health aspects of the pandemic, and the Business Liaison Unit on Coronavirus will provide reporting to the Commission, including direct, real-time advice on efforts to drive national consistency across all Australian jurisdictions.
The functions of the Commission will be to:
- mobilise whole-of-economy effort to ensure the economic and social impacts from the global COVID-19 pandemic are anticipated and mitigated;
- assist the Government to ensure all resources are marshalled in a coordinated and effective manner; and
- drive the development and co-ordination of staged and proportionate plans on critical non-health factors including:
- transport and logistics challenges
- industry co-ordination and adjustment
- labour and workforce planning
- delivery of essential services and maintenance of critical infrastructure
- support to vulnerable Australians
- input of scientific and technological expertise.