Shopping centre mogul Frank Lowy must have watched with
interest the arrival and departure of Robert Gerard as one of his
colleagues on the Reserve Bank Board.

Back in 1992 Prime Minister Paul Keating
promised Lowy that he would reward him with a Reserve Bank post.
Keating told his Treasurer John Dawkins to make the arrangements but
Dawkins was obviously more thorough and politically astute than current
Treasurer Peter Costello.

Dawkins discovered that Lowy’s Westfield group was in the middle of a
dispute with the Taxation Office. Dawkins rang Lowy and persuaded him
that until the dispute was settled it would not be appropriate for him
to be on the Reserve Bank Board.

Current Caltex Chairman Dick Warburton got the gong instead. There was
apparently some reluctance on Lowy’s part to accept the postponement
but he was eventually given the job in June 1995 and he has been there
ever since.