Morrison renews COVID-19 commission, adding Roll’d boss Bao Haong to beef up SME representation

COVID-19 commission

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks at a press conference on July 21, 2020.

The franchise sector has secured representation on a renewed COVID-19 commission advising the Morrison government, with Roll’d chief executive Bao Haong set to sit on an expanded board of business people and entrepreneurs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the COVID-19 commission will be renewed on Monday and will provide advice on the implementation of the JobMaker policy, which canvasses sweeping changes to industrial relations and vocational training in the wake of the pandemic.

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,” Morrison said.


Roll’d co-founder Bao Hoang. Source: supplied.

The COVID-19 coordination commission was initially created during the first stages of the pandemic in late-March to provide advice to the government about public-private partnerships to tackle the outbreak.

“The COVID Commission will work within government, it won’t be an external agency,” Morrison said.

“It will work within government and can form part of the Cabinet deliberative processes, which is an important innovation.”

Former mining executive Nev Powell will continue to lead the renewed advisory group, but he’ll be joined by a number of new members, including Haong, former Bendigo Bank boss Mike Hirst, Samantha Hogg and Sue McClusky.

They join existing members David Thodey, Jane Halton, Paul Little, Peter Harris and Andrew Liveris.

Former Labor MP and Australian Council of Trade Unions boss Greg Combet resigned from the commission in late-June.

Powell indicated the next phase of the commission will be focused primarily on the vocational training aspect of the JobMaker program, but may have input into talks about workplace law reforms.

“Our focus is primarily around workforce trends and how they will be impacted … [with a] particular focus around transitioning skills and helping people upskill and re-skill into the roles that are craved restored in the economy,” Powell said.

“The Attorney-General has a specific group looking at the industrial relations reforms. So, we may have an opportunity to input to that, but it is not our primary focus.”

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