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Monday, December 05, 2005

Best Man for the job at the RBA board?

This is part of the transcript of yesterdays Insiders.

BARRIE CASSIDY: The Robert Gerard matter and now his resignation from the Reserve Bank, Peter Costello is talking nonsense, isn’t he, when he says Mr Gerard has not avoided a dollar of tax?

JOHN HOWARD: He is not talking nonsense. Look, I think Peter Costello has been very unfairly attacked over this issue. The procedure that was followed for the appointment of Robert Gerard is the same procedure that has been followed for all of the appointments that this government has made to the Reserve Bank board. Peter Costello and I were both wanting to find somebody with a manufacturing background and also we wanted to find somebody from a state other than New South Wales or Victoria because the allegations was that the Reserve Bank was too Sydney-centric or at the very least big state-centric. Peter came to me and said, “What about Roberts Gerard?” He is the largest employer in the private sector of people in South Australia. He’s a highly successful…

Firstly everyone is jumping up and down about how Howard dumped it on Costello, but what I find most interesting is that didn't say they wanted to find the best person for the job in the first place. Clearly they narrowed the field fine enough that they were then able to select a liberal party donor.

So who are they going to get to replace Gerard on the RBA board? How about a someone like a first home buyer from Brisbane or penisoner from the Central Coast or job seeker from Tassie? Maybe not but it would be different.

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