Government names new RBA governor

First woman to lead bank replaces Philip Lowe

Government names new RBA governor


By Ryan Johnson

Michele Bullock has been named as the new Reserve Bank governor replacing Philip Lowe after seven years at the helm.

Bullock (pictured above), who is currently the RBA deputy governor, is the first woman to be appointed RBA governor in the central bank’s history.

The RBA board met with the Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday morning and the decision was announced in a press conference involving Albanese and Chalmers.

Albanese described Bullock, who has nearly four decades of experience working at the RBA, as “eminently qualified to lead the national institution”.

"Michele's will be an important job at an important time. The appointment follows a rigorous process, including consultation with the opposition," Albanese said. 

Chalmers said  Bullock was the “best person placed” to take the Reserve Bank into the future.

“Ms Bullock is an accomplished economist with wide experience in the RBA, including as deputy governor and deputy chair of the payment systems board,” said Chalmers.

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

Chalmers said the "historic appointment" came after months of deliberation and consultation. 

"This is a big job. This is one of the most important appointmments that we will make as a government so we have treated it methodically and in a consider and consultative way," Chalmers said. 

"We thank Phil Lowe for more than four decades of dedication and commitment and service, not just to the Reserve Bank and not just tot the economy but to our country as well. Phil Lowe goes with respect; he goes with gratitude, and he goes with dignity. I want to make that clear."

Bullock has served as the deputy governor at the RBA since April 2, 2022, and is also deputy chair of the Reserve Bank Board and deputy chair of the Payments System Board and a member of Chief Executive Women. Bullock will take over as RBA governor on September 18 for a seven-year term.

Lowe will not be getting the three-year extension he requested, which would have taken his term out to 10 years.

Responding to the government’s decision to appoint Bullock as governor, Lowe said the Treasurer had made a “first-rate appointment”.

“I congratulate Michele on being appointed governor,” Lowe said. “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. I wish Michele all the best.”

The role of Reserve Bank governor comes with several responsibilities, including chair of the Reserve Bank Board, the Payments System Board and the Council of Financial Regulators. As governor, Bullock will also be responsible for the management of the RBA.

Following the announcement, Bullock said she was “deeply honoured” to have been appointed to this “important position”.

“It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards,” Bullock said. “I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people.”

Lowe will continue in his position until the end of his term on September 17. The position of deputy governor from September 18 will be filled by the Treasurer.

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