Announced at 9.40am on Friday by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Michele Bullock has been named as Phil Lowe’s successor to the RBA Governor throne.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers says the “history-making” appointment of Michele Bullock as the next Reserve Bank governor will take effect from September 18 this year.

“Michele Bullock is the person best-placed to take the Reserve Bank into the future,” Dr Chalmers said.

"Michele is an outstanding economist, but also an accomplished and respected leader.

“Her appointment best combines experience and expertise with a fresh leadership perspective at the Reserve Bank as well.” 

Ms Bullock previously held three different assistant governor positions at the RBA between 2010-2022 before being appointed deputy governor in April 2022.

Earlier this morning, it was revealed Phil Lowe would not be reappointed beyond September.

The Treasurer had been consulting and deliberating on the decision for months.

When questioned on the possibility of reappointing Dr Lowe, Dr Chalmers said it was “not wildly out of the norm that Phil will finish up after seven years.”

"Typically Reserve Bank governors haven't been extended,” he said.

“The last couple have, but there has been eight and five of them [that] haven't been extended.

“I think once we realised we had the right candidate, there is no point extending governor Lowe if you have the right candidate ready to go.”

Three people were considered favourites to step into the role: Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy, Finance Department Secretary Jenny Wilkinson, and Deputy RBA Governor Michelle Bullock.

Following the announcement, Deputy Governor Michele Bullock said she is deeply honoured to have been appointed.

“It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards,” Ms Bullock said. 

“I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people.”

Governor Phil Lowe said the Treasurer has made a first-rate appointment.

“I congratulate Michele on being appointed Governor,” Dr Lowe said.

“The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA. I wish Michele all the best.”

Governor Lowe will continue in his position until the end of his term on 17 September 2023 and will travel to India next week with Dr Chalmers for a G20 meeting of finance ministers and independent governors.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Dr Lowe and his commitment to the RBA, our economy, and country. 

"I also want to acknowledge Dr Lowe's seven years of service to the nation, committed to supporting jobs, incomes and businesses during the depths of the pandemic and global economic downturn,” Mr Albanese said.

"It was an extraordinary time and we thank Dr Lowe for helping the Australian economy navigate these unprecedented challenges and most recently the global economic consequences of Russia's illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine."

The position of Deputy Governor from 18 September 2023 will be filled by the Treasurer in due course.

More to come...

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