Farewell National Covid Commission but what did it do?

The PM announced yesterday that the NCC Advisory Board Commissioners had answered “the call for their country’ and would be disbanded. However, other than to drive a large and publicly-funded expansion of the domestic gas industry – the so-called gas-fired recovery – it is not at all clear what this advisory board achieved. Most appear to have been paid handsomely for their efforts – in wages and in the interests of their businesses – so not really much of a sacrifice.

Their task was not clearly defined other than general ‘trouble-shooting’, decisions were made behind closed doors, and the Chair of the Board, Nev Power, amongst others, had a serious conflict of interest in gas.

Power would not be interviewed by the press and the Commission’s deliberations were kept secret. 

The Saturday Paper reported in August last year there were 1,100 documents related to the NCCC’s discussions about gas projects, all of which remain a mystery, despite FOI requests.

At one point the NCCC was supposed to focus on job creation, another to take a ‘deep dive’ into new technology and advanced manufacturing.

It is not obvious that this happened but we may never know.

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