Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set up a national coronavirus commission, headed by former chief of Fortescue Metals, to "solve problems" with supply chains and staff.
Mr Morrison said the new commission would coordinate decisions across governments and the private sector and advise the government on re-purposing manufacturing for essential equipment, and shifting staff from defunct industries to areas that needed them.
"They will say 'Prime Minister, we need you to do this. We need you to authorise this. We recommend that you take these actions to get these problems sorted'," Mr Morrison said.
The group would "reach out and into corporate Australia to solve problems on behalf of the nation".
Mr Morrison said he had called Mr Power last night and told him, "Nev, I need you to serve your country."
The deputy chairman is former Telstra chairman David Thodey, who also headed the government's review of the public service last year.
Other members are former senior public servant Jane Halton former head of Toll Holdings Paul Little, head of Energy Australia and Reserve Bank board member Catherine Tanna, former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and former Labor MP Greg Combet, and two senior public servants - the head of Prime Minister and Cabinet Phil Gaetjens, and the head of Home Affairs Michael Pezullo.
Mr Power said his task was to "join businesses together to solve two problems".
"Where there is a workforce that is no longer gainfully employed and where there is a workforce that's needed, where there's equipment that can be redeployed, where we need to intervene to protect our critical supply chains and our utilities," he said.
"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 livelihoods as quickly as we possibly can afterwards."
An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Catherine Tanna.
- For information on COVID-19, please go to the federal Health Department's website.
- You can also call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080
- If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000)
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