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Establishment of the COAG Reform Council.

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I am pleased to announce, in my capacity as chairman of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), that the COAG Reform Council (CRC) has commenced operations.

The CRC comprises Mr Paul McClintock as chairman, Dr Geoff Gallop as deputy chairman, and Dr Doug McTaggart, Mr John Langoulant, Mr Peter Corish and Ms Helen Silver as members.

The members of the CRC held a preliminary meeting last week to discuss how they would perform the role set for the CRC by COAG. I am advised by the chairman that discussions were productive and that all CRC members look forward to undertaking this new role.

The establishment of the CRC is an important step in the continuing COAG National Reform Agenda (NRA), which encompasses human capital, competition and regulatory reforms, and will help underpin Australia’s future prosperity through increasing Australia’s productivity and workforce participation.

COAG agreed that the CRC’s role will be to monitor progress in implementing NRA reforms and to assess the costs and benefits of reforms referred to it unanimously by COAG. On 13 April 2007 COAG referred a number of proposals to the CRC in the areas of transport, energy and regulation reform, initially for monitoring of progress and subsequently for assessment of costs and benefits. The CRC will provide COAG with annual reports on progress.

The CRC will develop a work program in the coming months to guide its performance of these activities over the medium to long term.

To support its work, the CRC will immediately move to establish a permanent secretariat. It will be advertising for an experienced senior person to head this secretariat, and other secretariat positions, in the near future.

I wish all the members of the CRC well in undertaking their work.

• Mr McClintock is chairman of Medibank Private Limited, Symbion Health Limited and Thales Australia, and a director of Perpetual Limited and Macquarie Infrastructure Group. He is also a former Secretary to the Cabinet and head of the Cabinet Policy Unit in Canberra.

• Dr Gallop is the director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and former Premier of Western Australia.

• Dr McTaggart is the chief executive officer of Queensland Investment Corporation, a member of the National Competition Council and a former senior Queensland public servant.

• Mr Langoulant is the chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Western Australia and a former senior West Australian and Commonwealth public servant.

• Mr Corish is a commissioner of the National Water Commission, former president of the National Farmers’ Federation and an agribusinessman based in northern New South Wales.

• Helen Silver is a senior executive at the National Australia Bank and a former Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance.

Further details on the NRA and the Communique of the 13 April 2007 COAG meeting can be found at

6 June 2007