House of Representatives Committees

Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration

Review of the Reserve Bank of Australia annual report 1996-97

Media release, 1 May 1998

RESERVE BANK GOVERNOR TO FACE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE AGAIN

Reserve Bank Governor, Ian Macfarlane, will appear again before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Institutions and Public Administration on Thursday 7 May in Melbourne to report on the conduct of monetary policy.

Committee Chairman, Mr David Hawker MP, said 'the Bank's appearance is timely allowing the Committee to again canvas the Bank's views on the Asian currency crisis and the impact of that crisis on the Australian economy. It is also time to address a number of current bank supervisory matters with the new financial sector reform legislation now progressing through the Parliament. As well, the Committee will follow-up a number of matters raised in its March Interim Report on the RBA.'

'At the Committee's November hearing the RBA adopted a reasonably optimistic stance on the Asian crisis in the longer term and the prospects for Australia in the light of that situation. The RBA's more recent projections have become a little less favourable but it is still expecting Australia to be among the better performers in the OECD area. The Committee will be looking for the RBA's current projections and the evidence to support those views' said Mr Hawker.

Mr Hawker noted that 'In recent speeches the RBA has been tactfully critical of the IMF's handling of the Asian financial crisis and has outlined misgivings with the IMF program in Indonesia. The RBA will be expected to elaborate on its concerns.'

'More recently the level of Australia's current account deficit and the levels of foreign debt have blown out. The RBA's views and suggested policy responses will be sought.'

Mr Hawker said 'Some of the other matters that the Committee would address at the hearing include:

Mr Hawker reiterated that 'the hearing provides the Parliament, financial sector and the community with valuable insights into the way in which the RBA conducts its activities and monetary policy and the basis for its decisions.' He said that 'the Committee expects to table its final report on this inquiry before the end of the current parliamentary session.'

Ends
1 May 1998
Further information:
David Hawker, MP (Chairman) (03) 5572 1100 (Electorate)
Bev Forbes (Inquiry Secretary) (02) 6277 4587

Program - Reserve Bank of Australia Public Hearing

Date: Thursday 7 May 1998
Time: 10.30am to 2.00pm
Location:
Meeting Rooms 4 and 5
6th Floor
Customs House
414 La Trobe Street
MELBOURNE VIC 3000

Witnesses:
Mr I J (Ian) Macfarlane, Governor
Dr S A (Stephen) Grenville, Deputy Governor
Mr G J (Graeme) Thompson, Deputy Governor

Note: Media access to the public hearing room will be available from 8.30am.Members of the media are required to check-in with the Security desk on the ground floor of Customs House to obtain a day pass to facilitate access to the building.

Committee Membership 38th Parliament


Chairman:Mr David Hawker MP
Deputy Chairman:Mr Gregory Wilton MP
Members:
Mr Anthony Albanese MP
Mr Larry Anthony MP
Hon Ian Causley MP
Mrs Christine Gallus MP
Mr Joe Hockey MP
Mr Mark Latham MP
Hon Stephen Martin MP
Mr Stephen Mutch MP
Dr Brendan Nelson MP
Mr Christopher Pyne MP
Dr Andrew Southcott MP
Hon Ralph Willis MP

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