15 March 2020

Government establishes Business Liaison Unit on Coronavirus

The Morrison Government today announced the creation of a new Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit in Treasury to build on existing efforts to support confidence, employment and business continuity. 

The role of the Unit will be to engage with peak business groups on systemic issues relating to Coronavirus to ensure these are being addressed by Government. 

It will be staffed by experienced officials drawn from agencies across the Australian Public Service and will work closely with the private sector. 

It will also be a source of information for business groups on the Australian Government’s response to Coronavirus and the actions that agencies are taking to support business at this difficult time.  This will allow for information to be disseminated quickly and effectively across the business community. 

The Unit will supplement existing stakeholder relationships and liaison work undertaken by Government agencies, who will continue to engage closely with business stakeholders in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

It will work closely with the Chief Medical Officer, the Department of Health and the National Coordination Mechanism in the Department of Home Affairs. 

The Unit will be overseen by Dr Gordon de Brouwer. Dr de Brouwer is a highly respected and experienced former public servant having held senior roles across Treasury, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as the Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy.  Gordon played a central role in the coordinating of Australia’s hosting of the G20 in 2013 and was closely involved in the policy actions taken during the Global Financial Crisis. 

The Unit will begin operating on Monday 16 March 2020 and will be contacting peak business groups.