BCA Represents Wide Interests

10 January 2011

Letter to the Editor
The Australian Financial Review

Katie Lahey
Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia

David Richardson’s argument that members of the Business Council of Australia represent narrow sectional interests and could therefore be ineligible for appointment to the Reserve Bank of Australia Board (“RBA Full of Business Heavies”, January 7) is thin on several levels.

First, to suggest the focus of Australia’s leading chief executives is “narrow” ignores large numbers of stakeholders, apart from shareholders, to whom they are increasingly accountable.

Mr Richardson’s contention also misrepresents the nature of the BCA, an organisation through which business leaders make a contribution to the development of national interest policy – in traditional areas like tax and regulatory reform but also in health, education and improving opportunities for Indigenous Australians and for women.

And to say that the BCA includes many companies with “powerful positions in uncompetitive parts of the Australian industry” (“RBA Board Out of Balance”, Letters, January 7”) fails to take account of the challenging global economy in which the vast majority of our members operate.

If the RBA Board is to represent the Australian community, individuals who steer the nation’s most successful businesses in a competitive world are well qualified to make a contribution.



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