Annual Report
2013–14

G20 Taskforce

The G20 Taskforce in the Department is responsible for coordinating the policy agenda, logistical arrangements and security for Australia’s hosting of the G20 Brisbane leaders summit over 15–16 November 2014 and preparatory meetings. This will be the most significant international meeting ever hosted in Australia and is a unique opportunity to contribute to global economic decision-making and better global economic outcomes.

Highlights 2013–14

We contributed to and supported the G20 meetings by:

  • supporting the Prime Minister’s launch of Australia’s G20 presidency (1 December 2013) and his address outlining Australia’s agenda (World Economic Forum, January 2014)
  • working with G20 countries to ensure a streamlined but ambitious G20 agenda for 2014 focused on practical outcomes to enhance growth and job creation, and to strengthen global economic resilience
  • helping to secure G20 members’ agreement to deliver growth strategies at the Brisbane summit that would increase the collective G20 GDP by at least two per cent above the currently projected level over the next five years
  • supporting sherpa meetings in Sydney (December 2013), Uluru (March 2014) and Melbourne (June 2014) and providing support to meetings of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (in February and April 2014) and a wide range of other meetings
  • extensive engagement with G20 countries and with business and community stakeholders to build support for practical and ambitious summit outcomes
  • consulting actively with the G20 engagement groups, including business (B20), civil society (C20), organised labour (L20), think tanks (T20) and youth (Y20) to ensure the G20 agenda is well informed by a wide variety of community views
  • providing logistical support for G20 meetings, including coordinating security
  • delivering an extensive public communications programme, including through maintaining the G20 website www.g20.org and commissioning the G20 2014 logo
  • hosting several community information forums in Brisbane, as part of a comprehensive community engagement programme in the lead-up to the summit.

Official photo of G20 Sherpas in Sydney at the first Sherpa meeting of Australia’s G20 presidency. Photograph
Front Row L to R
Thomas Scholar (U.K.),  Svein Andresen (F.S.B.), Yasumasa Nagamine (Japan), Arega Hailu Teffera (Ethiopia), Yvonne Tsikata (World Bank), Hector Ortega Nieto (Mexico), Svetlana Lukash (Russia), Heather Smith (Australia), Mehmet Gucuk (Turkey), Wah Wah Maung (Myanmar), David Lipton (I.M.F.) Gesa Miehe-Nordmeyer, Gabriela Ramos Patino (O.E.C.D.) and Bhekuyise Mfeka (South Africa).
Back Row L to R
Hugo Gobbi (Argentina), Antonio Jose Cabral (E.U), Il Houng Lee (Republic of Korea), Boon Kwee Peter Ong (Singapore), David Walker (New Zealand), Simon Kennedy (Canada), Paolo Toschi (Italy), Jorge Toledo Albinana (Spain), Baodong Li (China), Mahendra Siregar (Indonesia), Usha Titus (India), Stephen Pursey (I.L.O.), Matthieu Peyraud (France), Luis Antonio Balduino Carneiro (Brazil) and Timothy Yeend (W.T.O.)

As part of AustraliaÕs G20 presidency, the first Sherpa meeting was held in Sydney, Australia on the 11-13 December 2013.  This will be the first of four sherpa meetings, in preparation for the Leaders Summit in Brisbane in 2014.
Each G20 leader has a Sherpa who is a senior official responsible for providing advice on G20 issues and preparing for the summit.  AustraliaÕs Prime Minister is supported by the G20 Sherpa, Dr Heather Smith, who will chair the Sherpa meetings during AustraliaÕs presidency. 
This meeting has been the first opportunity for Australia to discuss a G20 agenda focused on practical actions to strengthen growth and create jobs.

Photo 2.7 Official photo of G20 Sherpas in Sydney at the first Sherpa meeting of Australia’s G20 presidency.

Figure 2.8 KPIs for the G20 Taskforce

Group of G20 meeting Met
High-quality, relevant and timely advice and support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and Cabinet committee chairs, Portfolio Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries based on an objective and thorough understanding of issues and whole of government perspective.
Regular, timely and collaborative communication and cooperation with other central agencies, portfolio departments and other key stakeholders.
Advice and support for key stakeholders for state occasions and official visits that is timely, relevant and of high-quality.
Successfully advance Australia’s interests through the G20.

Australia will welcome the leaders of the major advanced and emerging economies to Brisbane on 15–16 November 2014 when it hosts the G20 summit. This will be the most significant international meeting ever hosted in Australia and is a unique opportunity to contribute to global economic decision-making. The Brisbane summit is the culmination of a year-long intensive work programme.

The G20 Taskforce is responsible for coordinating the policy agenda, logistical arrangements and security for the Brisbane summit and preparatory meetings. The Taskforce is assisting the Prime Minister in advancing Australia’s G20 agenda through his engagement with G20 leaders, business leaders and other stakeholders.

We supported the Prime Minister’s launching of Australia’s presidency in Brisbane on 1 December 2013 and outlining our G20 agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 1 January 2014.

During 2013–14 we engaged and worked with a number of other departments to coordinate Australia’s policy agenda across key areas of focus, including trade and competition, investment in infrastructure, improving employment opportunities, fairer global tax arrangements, a resilient financial sector, and more effective international institutions.

We worked with the Treasury on policies to reform the global financial system, as well as on logistical and policy matters for the G20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ meeting in Sydney in February 2014, where it was agreed to lift collective G20 output by at least two per cent above the currently projected level over the next five years.

We have engaged with the Department of Employment on employment policy, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on development and trade, the Attorney-Generals Department on the anti-corruption agenda, and the Department of Industry on energy policy.

We provided policy and operational support for Australia’s previous and current G20 sherpas, PM&C Associate Secretary Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM and PM&C Deputy Secretary Dr Heather Smith. This included support for Dr de Brouwer’s attendance at the St Petersburg G20 Summit (September 2013) and Dr Smith’s attendance at the Sherpa meeting in Moscow (October 2013) and in her role as chair of Sherpa meetings in Sydney (December 2013), Uluru (March 2014) and Melbourne (June 2014). Dr Smith visited G20 and non-G20 countries throughout 2013–14 and met with business and community stakeholders to build support for practical and ambitious summit outcomes.

We consulted actively with G20 engagement groups representing business (B20), civil society (C20), organised labour (L20), think tanks (T20) and youth (Y20) to manage stakeholder expectations and ensure policy discussions are well informed by a range of views.

Our work to ensure effective arrangements for the summit and other meetings has required collaboration across government and with State and Territory governments, particularly Queensland.

PM&C is increasing public understanding of the G20 and its relevance for all Australians through media, the official website (www.g20.org) and local community engagement. In Brisbane we have facilitated two community information forums to provide the public with the opportunity to ask questions about the summit event and to inform themselves.