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Notice given 31 August 2000

673  Senator Lees: To move—That the Senate—

(a) draws to the attention of the Reserve Bank board its statutory obligation under section 10 of its Act to exercise its powers in a way that will best contribute to the maintenance of full employment in Australia and the economic prosperity and welfare of the people of Australia in addition to the stability of the currency;

(b) notes that:

(i) the 1996 Statement of Policy objectives commits the bank to an objective of ‘keeping underlying inflation between 2 and 3 per cent, on average, over the cycle’ rather than always within that range, and

(ii) inflation was below 3 per cent for the past 4 years while unemployment is above 6.5 per cent and any reasonable definition of full employment; and

(c) calls on the Reserve Bank to decline raising interest rates further until it is clear that the full employment objective is being threatened by inflation clearly setting a cyclical average above 3 per cent.