Incoming RBA governor promises to lead bank into change

Michele Bullock says she’ll lead the Reserve Bank into change after being appointed the central bank’s first female governor since it was established in 1959.

‘History-making appointment: Michele Bullock

“I think a big part of my role is going to be leading the bank through change,” she said during a televised meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers following her appointment.

Mr Albanese on Friday announced that Ms Bullock will be promoted from her current position of RBA deputy, replacing Governor Philip Lowe, whose term won’t be extended.

“Ms Bullock is an accomplished economist with wide experience at the RBA,” he told a media conference.

“The incoming governor will oversee the implementation of the recommendations  of the RBA Review to make sure we have the most effective central bank and monetary framework as Australia and the world faces ongoing economic challenges.”

Her seven year term begins on September 18.

‘History-making appointment’

Treasure Jim Chalmers described it as a history-making appointment which would provide a fresh leadership perspective for the bank.

“Part of role is to ensure that we can implement in to best possible way the recommendations of the Reserve Bank Review. I know that Michele Bullock is commited to the RBA review process as am I.”

He also said even though Ms Bullock was appointed above other frontrunners, Treasury Secretary Stephen Kennedy and Finance Secretary Jenny Wilkinson, the government now had the best of all words.

“I say this is the best of all worlds,” he said. “We get Michele Bullock at the reserve bank and we get Stephen Kennedy and Jenny Wilkinson (in the public service),” he said.

“We’ve got those three in the key positions and that’s a really good outcome.”

Mr Albanese denied there was anything to read into Governor Lowe’s term not being extended, saying like Governor Lowe, five of his predecessors only served a seven year term.

Ms Bullock joined the RBA in 1985 and was appointed Deputy Governor in April 2022. She is Deputy Chair of the Reserve Bank Board and Deputy Chair of the Payments System Board and a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).

Governor Lowe described the decision as a first-rate appointment.

“I congratulate Michele on being appointed Governor,” he said in a statement.

“The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA.”

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