Power appointed to lead coronavirus response

NEV Power has been named as chairman of the Australian government’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).
Power appointed to lead coronavirus response Power appointed to lead coronavirus response Power appointed to lead coronavirus response Power appointed to lead coronavirus response Power appointed to lead coronavirus response

Former FMG CEO Nev Power will lead Australia's coronavirus response

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The NCCC will coordinate advice to the Australian government on actions to anticipate and mitigate the economic and social effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The executive board comprises former government minister Greg Combet AM, former Department of Health head Jane Halton AO, former Toll Holdings boss Paul Little AO, EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna and former Telstra CEO and current CSIRO chair David Thodey AO as deputy chair.

The board will be joined by the secretaries of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Philip Gaetjens and Home Affairs, Mike Pezzullo, and will work in tandem with chief medical officer Dr Brendan Murphy.

Since stepping down as CEO of Fortescue Metals Group in 2018, Power has been chairman of Perth Airport.

The energetic mining engineer led FMG through some of its toughest days when the iron ore plunged to below US$40 per tonne in 2016.

"The commission's job, put simply, is to solve problems," prime minister Scott Morrison said today.

"You work in the mining sector, you need to know how to solve problems and big ones. There are only big issues in the mineral sector.

"And it's great that Neville, when I rang him the other day, I simply said, ‘Nev, I need you to serve your country'."

Power said Australia needed to focus on minimising and mitigating the impacts of coronavirus on the country.

"And that's through the preservation of jobs, as much as we possibly can, given the constraints that we have around the restrictions from the coronavirus," he said.

"So my role is going to be looking for those problems and looking for opportunities where we can join businesses together to solve two problems, where there is a workforce that has no longer gainfully employed and where there's a workforce that it is needed, where there's equipment that can be redeployed, where we need to intervene to protect our critical supply chains and our utilities.

"And also very importantly, looking to the future, because we know that this virus will come and go and we want to be well positioned to make sure that we restore people's jobs and livelihood as quickly as we possibly can afterwards. So our priority is to identify those areas and ask people for their help and look for coordination across all of those areas to minimise the impact of this virus."

The NCCC will be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Eight Australians have died of COVID-19 with nearly 2400 cases recorded in Australia.

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