intelligence oversight Rex Patrick
Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick. (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s powerful COVID-19 commission, tasked with charting a way out of the coronavirus economic crisis, has been granted a new mandate that will see much of its work remain a secret.

In changes announced yesterday, the prime minister said the commission, dominated by company directors, would now work “within government” as an advisory board to cabinet, meaning much of its advice would fall under cabinet confidentiality rules. 

Senator Rex Patrick described the changes as “deeply concerning” and said he would challenge the new rules by calling on the national cabinet to release the minutes of a May meeting under the Freedom of Information Act