National COVID-19 Coordination Commission appoints new members in shift to advisory board

By Shannon Jenkins

Monday July 27, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has gained several new members and will be reformed as an advisory body, according to the prime minister.

At a press conference on Monday Scott Morrison announced that Mike Hirst, Samantha Hogg, Su McCluskey, Bao Hoang, Laura Berry and Paul Howes would be joining the commission board.

Morrison noted the commission would continue to work closely with business leaders and key industry sectors.

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.

“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.”

Hirst is a retired career banker, and will advise the government on financial services. During the Global Financial Crisis, Hirst was appointed to the federal government’s Financial Sector Advisory Council.

As the former chief financial officer of Transurban, Hogg will advise on resources and infrastructure, while Hoang — founder of Vietnamese food chain Rolld — will deal with business (franchising) and health care services.

McCluskey will handle agriculture and regional Australia on the advisory body. She was a member of the Review Panel for the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission Legislation, the Small Business Digital Taskforce and led the review of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Howes, the national managing partner of KPMG Enterprise, will advise on superannuation, workforce and workplace relations. He joined KPMG in 2014 after 15 years in the Australian labour movement, including seven years as the national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union. He is a director of the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce, and has served on the boards of a number of policy institutes.

Berry will advise on Indigenous business and procurement. Berry was appointed CEO of Supply Nation in 2015. She is currently a member of Telstra’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, and both McKinsey & Company and NRMA’s RAP Steering Committees. She was named one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Women of Influence in 2018.

The new appointees join existing members Nev Power, Jane Halton, Paul Little and David Thodey.

Morrison said Catherine Tanna has advised him that she intends to step down from the NCCC once existing projects on utilities and energy are completed.

Greg Combet resigned from the NCCC earlier this month.

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