Roger Corbett puts foot in mouth and breaches Reserve Bank protocol

Fairfax Media chairman Roger Corbett has breached Reserve Bank Board protocol by publicly commenting on party politics, attacking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and supporting Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
His widely-reported comments created a storm of comment in today’s mainstream media with Mr Rudd saying: “It’s a free country, anyone can what they like.”
Up to a point. Although he has breached no formal rules, as a member of the Reserve Bank Board Mr Corbett is deemed to be independent of party politics.
Instead he has delivered prime time remarks – on the eve of the federal election – favouring Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and rubbishing Mr Rudd. I think it appears to be, prima facie, a sackable offence.
Speaking to the ABC’s Lateline on Tuesday night in a pre-arranged interview, Corbett said Labor made a mistake in dumping Julia Gillard as prime minister and switching back to Mr Rudd.
“He’s a man that really has done the Labor party enormous damage, destabilised it and is now wishing to present himself to the Australian people as a prime minister,” Mr Corbett told Lateline interviewer Emma Alberici. “I don’t think the Australian people will cop that.”
Corbett said that if Abbott was elected on Saturday he would make “a good prime minister”.
“He’s a very sincere, nice type of human being … he’ll be very dedicated, focused in the job,” the former Woolworths chairman said.
“We certainly need, in the economic times we are about to go into, some really clear and good leadership.”
Corbett was given the Reserve Board post by Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello in 2005. His current term expires in December 2015.
So much for the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Board. And so much for the “independence” of the Fairfax Media board.


  1. was gobsmacked when I heard the interview. If the worst happens on Saturday Australia will have not even a smidgen of freedom of the press. Fairfax – just a rather more sophisticated version of Murdock.

  2. The amount of media bias the Prime Minister has copped is just disgraceful.Frankly the PM has handled it superbly.I bet Tony Abbott would not have been able to handle the media pressure that has been put on Mr Rudd.Most ABC journalists in particular Sales and Ulhmann are as bad as the ones working in commercial TV and Radio,and of course Murdoch papers!

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