House of Representatives Committees


Chairman’s foreword
Membership of the Committee
Terms of reference
List of abbreviations
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Monetary policy and other issues
Appendix A — Submission
Appendix B — Hearing, briefings, and witnesses
Appendix C — Third statement on the conduct of monetary policy
Appendix D — Glossary of terms

Chairman's Foreword

Strong global commodity prices continue to fuel Australia’s sustained period of economic growth. In these expansionary conditions, the role of the RBA is crucial in ensuring that inflation is controlled and monetary policy facilitates the stability of the Australian currency and the maintenance of full employment.

It is widely recognised that Australia is experiencing capacity constraints – shortages of capital and labour – as a result of its strong and extended period of economic growth. The unemployment rate remains very low by historical standards, and the effects of this are further heightened by record high labour participation rates.

Job vacancies continue to increase, and strong demand for labour is confirmed by a range of business surveys and liaison reports. A high level of business investment, however, is expected to bring about expansions in capacity, particularly in the resources sector.

Favourable conditions in global commodities markets have created an expansionary environment in Western Australia , however Mr Stevens highlighted the spread of these effects throughout the country. Resources have been shifting to areas where they are most needed, and employment growth is strong in all states.

In mid 2006, the economy experienced a mild pick-up in inflation as a result of solid economic growth and the associated capacity constraints. The RBA Governor reported that he was ‘considerably more comfortable’ with inflation expectations now than in August or November 2006 although the inflation challenge is far from over and vigilance will be required over the short to medium term.

I would also like to take this opportunity to commend Mr Glenn Stevens on his first appearance as the new Governor of the RBA and look forward to meeting with him and other RBA representatives at the next public hearing on 17 August 2007 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach.

The Hon Bruce Baird MP


Membership of the Committee


The Hon Bruce Baird MP


Deputy Chair

Ms Sharon Bird (from 1 March 2007)

Dr Craig Emerson MP (to 1 March 2007)



Mr Steven Ciobo MP

Mr Stewart McArthur MP


Mr Joel Fitzgibbon MP (to 7 February 2007)

Mr Patrick Secker MP


Ms Sharon Grierson MP

The Hon Alex Somlyay MP


Mr Michael Keenan MP

Mr Lindsay Tanner MP

Committee Secretariat


Mr Stephen Boyd

Research staff

Ms Sharon Bryant

Mr Andrew McGowan

Ms Amelia Johnston

Administrative Officer

Ms Natasha Petrovic



Terms of Reference

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration is empowered to inquire into, and report on the annual reports of government departments and authorities tabled in the House that stand referred to the Committee for any inquiry the Committee may wish to make. The reports stand referred in accordance with the schedule tabled by the Speaker to record the areas of responsibility of the Committee.

List of abbreviations


Current Account Deficit


Consumer Price Index


Gross Domestic Product


Goods and Services Tax


Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries


Reserve Bank of Australia

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