Environmental defenders and investors lash Nev Power’s compromised Covid-19 commission over consultation lies

SYDNEY, June 18 2020 - Greenpeace and five environmental and investor groups have lodged a complaint with the Prime Minister after the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) falsely claimed to have consulted with them when no such discussions occurred. 

Today the groups including The Wilderness Society, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, and the Sunrise Project published an open letter calling out the false claims and urging a renewables-led economic recovery, after NCCC Chair Nev Power told a Senate committee his group had engaged with more than 1000 organisations.

“The government’s secretive gas-stacked Coronavirus commission poses a real threat to the climate, economic recovery efforts and fundamental democratic principles,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.

“The COVID commission has falsely claimed to have consulted with environmental groups and a broad range of sectors, despite being stacked with gas industry representatives, appearing to advance a gas agenda while ignoring that gas is a destructive fossil fuel that has made a massive contribution to the climate crisis. 

“Greenpeace, and a range of other groups who have had no interaction with the Commission, are named on a list of organisations the commission alleges to have engaged, when no such consultation has occurred. 

“Not only has the Commission not consulted widely, but its leaked interim Manufacturing Taskforce report has recommended special access for gas and petrochemical companies to lay claim to public money to prop up unviable and short-term projects, while ignoring the need to act on climate change. For all these reasons any many more Greenpeace is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to abolish this conflicted and compromised commission.”

On top of its unsubstantiated consultation claims, the Commission has no representation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and businesses, virtually no representation from sectors most impacted by Covid-19, such as tourism, hospitality and the arts, and is weighted to sectors that will fuel climate change and are unlikely to drive the necessary economic activity due to their capital-intensive nature.

Earlier this month, members of the commission appeared before a Senate hearing where NCCC Chairman and gas company executive Nev Power revealed that his commission did not consider options other than gas to spur manufacturing and the NCCC has not undertaken any kind of cost-benefit analysis to support its decisions to advocate for certain projects. [1]

More evidence of the murky relationship between private interests and the Commission was revealed when Mr Power confirmed reports that his personal executive assistant, previously his secretary at Strike Energy, is being paid for by taxpayers and the payments are being made through his private trust. Furthermore, Mr Power is not required to disclose or keep receipts for how he spends his more than $260,000 taxpayer-funded allowance. 



[1] https://reneweconomy.com.au/covid-commission-ignores-conflict-of-interest-issues-of-pro-gas-taskforce-73855/ 


Read the full letter here




Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager, Nelli Stevenson

0481 303 815

[email protected]