Treasurer calls for bipartisan support on RBA reform

The treasurer has called on the opposition to work with the government on laws to reform the Reserve Bank.

Jim Chalmers has confirmed the reforms, based on an independent review of the central bank that’s yet to be publicly released, will have a legislative element.

“And my view is that the recommendations should be beyond party politics in this building,” he said, commending his opposition counterpart Angus Taylor for his willingness to cooperate on the matter so far.

The shadow treasurer said he was “very happy” to work with the government on sensible proposals.

“We need a credible, capable, effective Reserve Bank,” Mr Taylor told 2GB on Monday.

“We have seen real errors being made in recent times, and so anything that will strengthen the bank, we will support.”

Dr Chalmers also said the review panel had briefed crossbenchers ahead of the final report in the interests of securing key votes that may be needed to pass legislation through the Senate if the opposition chooses to oppose the reforms.

The treasurer is reviewing the 51 recommendations laid out in the RBA review conducted by Professor Renee Fry-McKibbin, Professor Carolyn Wilkins and Dr Gordon de Brouwer.

Changes to the governance structure are on the cards, as well as adjustments to the way the central bank communicates with the public in the wake of the botched forward guidance that implied interest rates would stay at their record lows until 2024.

As well as recommendations about the leadership and board structure, Dr Chalmers said the reviewers had also made suggestions relating to the “statement of conduct of monetary policy”.

This statement sets out the bank’s objectives as agreed between the bank governor and the federal treasurer, and presently includes the RBA’s commitment to keeping inflation within a two-three per cent target band.

Dr Chalmers confirmed he has been waiting on the RBA review before nutting out the next monetary policy agreement with the central bank.

The full RBA review is expected to be handed down within weeks.


Poppy Johnston
(Australian Associated Press)


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