On Friday, the House of Representatives standing committee on economics will hold its biannual public hearing with the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
This will mark the final appearance before the House economics committee by outgoing RBA governor Philip Lowe, whose seven-year term is set to end on 17 September.
Dr Lowe will be joined by his successor, RBA deputy governor Michele Bullock, as well as other central bank officials, including acting assistant governor (economic) Marion Kohler and assistant governor (financial system) Brad Jones.
The hearing follows the RBA’s latest interest rate call earlier this month, which resulted in the cash rate remaining on hold at 4.1 per cent for the second consecutive time.
“The RBA’s decisions to pause interest rates in July and this month were welcome news to mortgage holders and renters. Although inflation is declining, it remains a key challenge to Australia’s economy and household budgets are still feeling the pressure,” commented House economics committee chair and Labor MP Daniel Mulino.
“The committee takes its scrutiny of the RBA seriously and will continue to examine how the challenges of tackling high inflation are evolving – especially in light of the RBA’s mandate of returning inflation to the 2 to 3 per cent range over time.”
Notably, this will also be the RBA’s first public hearing since the review of the central bank was released in April.
In July, Dr Lowe announced a number of “significant” changes which he said represented a “substantial” response to the review’s recommendations. These include holding eight board meetings a year instead of 11, which will now be longer and followed by a media conference.
“The less frequent and longer meetings will provide more time for the board to examine issues in detail and to have deeper discussions on monetary policy strategy, alternative policy options and risks, as well as on communication,” the RBA governor said at the time.
“Likewise, the staff will have more time for analysis, with less time spent preparing summaries of recent developments. The board will also be able to hear directly from more staff and have greater opportunity to request work on particular topics.”
Dr Lowe’s last RBA board meeting as governor will take place on 5 September. He is also scheduled to make a speech, titled “Some final remarks”, to the Anika Foundation in Sydney on 7 September.
While pledging to continue scrutinising the RBA at Friday’s hearing, Dr Mulino added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank governor Lowe for his long service to the community – not just the past seven years as governor but also the 40 years he has spent at the RBA.”
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.