Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania



30 April 2020

Peter Gutwein, Premier

Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council

The Tasmanian Government’s number one priority is to keep Tasmanians safe and secure during the coronavirus pandemic.

As we move towards rebuilding a stronger Tasmania we need to acknowledge that things will be very different and factor this in as we plan for the future.

The Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council has been established to provide advice to the Government on strategies and initiatives to support the short to medium, and the longer term recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Recovery Council will provide advice and recommendations on how to best mitigate the economic and social impacts of the pandemic. It will also identify opportunities for economic and social renewal.

The Recovery Council will help develop the roadmap to rebuild a stronger Tasmania and will make recommendations to:

  • identify additional immediate short term actions, as well as the medium and longer term issues to be addressed by government, the community and the private sector to facilitate sustainable economic growth and mitigate the social impacts of COVID19;
  • target sectors in which Tasmania has, or can develop a competitive and brand advantage;
  • capture opportunities for, or identify impediments to employment growth;
  • support and enable Tasmanians to take advantage of a different way of life and work and business, or to reinvent themselves in new and emerging industries; and
  • identify opportunities to address the impacts of COVID-19 on the community through sustainable social initiatives.

The Recovery Council will be chaired by Mr Don Challen AM, an individual that Tasmanians know and trust.

He is recognised as one of Tasmania’s leading business and community figures, and has been widely recognised for his outstanding contributions in the corporate, community, charitable and philanthropic areas.

He was Secretary of the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance from 1993 to 2010 and has held a raft of significant Board roles across prominent Tasmanian businesses.

Mr Challen was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2013 for his significant work to economics and public administration in Tasmania in the treasury and finance sector.

I am very grateful to Mr Challen for providing his expertise during this most significant time for our state.

I am also very pleased that a number of highly engaged and experienced individuals have also agreed to be a part of this council, from across a broad spectrum of our community, including:

  • Kym Goodes – former CEO of TasCOSS, whose advocacy work to help those most vulnerable is widely admired across Tasmania.
  • Dale Elphinstone – Executive Chairman and Founder of Elphinstone, Mr Elphinstone started his career as a 15 year old apprentice before building one of Australia’s most successful businesses.
  • Professor Rufus Black – Vice Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, Professor Black’s private sector experience includes almost a decade with McKinsey & Company, and as a law firm director.
  • Samantha Hogg – brings significant executive management experience across the resources and infrastructure sectors, and has national and international experience in finance, marketing and strategic projects.
  • Paul Ranson – Chief Executive of the Bank of Us, Mr Ranson also has 25 years’ experience in local government and is a Director of the TCCI.
  • Brett Torossi – who is an acclaimed business woman and tourism operator in her own right, with extensive executive leadership experience and board roles across a suite of businesses and industries.
  • Tim Gardner – Executive Chairman of Stornoway and Chair of Metro Tasmania, Mr Gardner has significant experience in organisational leadership and culture, with a particular focus on infrastructure services.
  • Leanne McLean – The Commissioner for Children, Ms McLean has a wealth of experience as a leader in social policy development, including working for the benefit of and in support of young Tasmanians.

A secretariat will be established in the Department of Treasury and Finance supported by DPAC and State Growth to provide support for the Recovery Council, and will draw on resources from across Government as required.

The Recovery Council will engage directly with industry and community groups, as well as Members of Parliament who will have the opportunity to provide submissions to directly inform the development of the Recovery Council’s work.

The Recovery Council will provide advice on immediate actions and initiatives to the Government by July 2020 and an interim report containing findings and recommendations by September 2020 so that it can inform the development of the 2020-21 Budget later this year.

The timing of other reporting stages will be determined following consideration of the status of the pandemic, towards the end of 2020, as well as timing the final report to inform the 2021-22 Budget.



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