Treasurer Jim Chalmers has met with Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe and other financial regulators as he comes to grips with his new role and Labor’s return to government after almost a decade in opposition.
Both major parties went into last Saturday’s federal election promising to review the operations of the RBA, such as looking at how it targets inflation and the make-up of the central bank’s board.
Dr Chalmers says he has worked with Dr Lowe in the past and has a lot of respect for the RBA governor.
Ahead of the meeting, the new treasurer told the heads of regulatory agencies the government was keenly aware of the broader issues facing the economy.
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“We’re very conscious of the macroeconomic challenges, we’re conscious of the challenges in the housing market, data and digital, climate change, regulation and all the rest of it,” he said on Wednesday.
“We wanted to make sure you were amongst our highest priorities to have a conversation about the challenges as you see it but also to see how we might be able to work together most effectively as part of the new government.”
Among those at the meeting were the heads of the ATO, ACCC and ASIC.
Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy was also at the meeting, who Dr Chalmers said he had already provided a large number of briefings to the incoming government.
“We’ve been basically joined at the hip since Sunday, getting a whole bunch of briefings,” he said.
“An important part of what we need to do now involves all of the good work of you and your agencies.”
Dr Chalmers told ABC TV on Wednesday Labor had inherited “very tricky” economic conditions, such rising inflation and interest rates, falling real wages and a trillion dollars worth of debt.
The treasurer has promised to deliver an economic update when parliament resumes in June or July, before handing down his first budget with new Finance Minister Katy Gallagher in October.