Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens Appears Before House Economics Committee

Glenn Stevens, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, has appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

Stevens told the committee that economic growth “was probably about trend in 2012 as a whole” but “our sense is that the economy has entered 2013 at a pace a little below that”.

Stevens said that “the economy will be adjusting to the peak if the mining boom and some other areas of demand will have room to grow more quicly than they have in recent years”. He said the threat of extreme financial instability in the euro area “has abated” and the United States has avoided the worse of the “fiscal cliff”. He said the slowdown in China has come to an end.

Text of opening statement by Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Steven to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

In the six months since the August hearing, economic and financial conditions abroad have generally improved. We can see three key sets of developments.

First, the threat perceived in the middle of last year of extreme financial instability arising in the euro area – and, in the eyes of some, possible disintegration of the euro – has abated. This followed various important steps taken by European policymakers. Interest rates faced by some of the key sovereigns which were under acute pressure have declined markedly, and funding conditions for many European banks have improved to the point where some of the central bank funding that had been supplied has been repaid. These countries, and Europe generally, still face immense challenges and it is, as usual, important to stress that sentiment remains vulnerable to setbacks. But a truly disastrous outcome was, once again, avoided. [Read more…]


Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings At The National Press Club

Tasmania’s Labor Premier, Lara Giddings, has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra.

Giddings spoke at length about the state of Tasmania’s economy. She defended her state’s share of the proceeds of the Goods and Services Tax, praised the National Broadband Network and talked of Tasmania’s place in the Asian Century. [Read more…]


Wayne Swan’s Speech To The AWU National Conference

The Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has addressed the Australian Workers’ Union National Conference in Brisbane.

Swan’s speech follows Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s appearance last night.

Swan’s speech returned to his familiar theme of Labor values, warned of Tea Party tendencies in the Liberal Party, reiterated the government’s commitment to jobs, and emphasised the importance of the government’s re-election in September. [Read more…]


Senator Christine Milne’s Address To The National Press Club

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has addressed the National Press Club and announced that the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government is at end end.

Milne [Read more…]


Greens End Agreement With Gillard Government

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has ended the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government.

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Milne said the ALP had walked away from the agreement and “into the arms of the big miners”. [Read more…]


In Barton, Tony Abbott Promises Home-Grown Policy With A Strong Australian Accent

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, was campaigning in the NSW electorate of Barton this morning.

Barton is held for Labor by the former Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, with a margin of 6.86%. McClelland has announced that he will not contest the seat at this year’s election. There has been speculation that he may cause a by-election by resigning to take up a judicial post from the NSW government.

Abbott [Read more…]


Julia Gillard’s Speech To The Australian Workers’ Union National Conference

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has addressed the National Conference of the Australian Workers’ Union in Brisbane.

The AWU is an important component of Gillard’s power base. The support of Bill Shorten, the former National Secretary of the AWU, and Paul Howes, the current National Secretary, was crucial to Gillard’s overthrow of Kevin Rudd. Treasurer Wayne Swan is supported by the AWU and its National President, Bill Ludwig. The AWU is an important component of the right-wing faction of the ALP. [Read more…]