Dear Reserve Bank of Australia,
At the Keynote Address to the Financial Review Business Summit 2023 on 8 March 2023 the Governor stated:
"But it’s interesting: we’ve also been receiving letters recently, saying—this is the first time since I’ve been the Governor—‘Thank you for preserving the value of money,’ because there are parts of the community who know how damaging inflation is. So it’s a difficult time."
Release the letters Phil refers to in his remarks.
Release the envelopes of the letters Phil refers to in his remarks.
Release replies sent to the writers of the letters Phil refers to in his remarks.
Ayn Rand Superfan
In terms of the FOI Act 1982, I confirm receipt of your request and advise that processing of it commenced on 11 March 2023. In the absence of a date range from you over which to search for documents relevant to your request, we will use 4 May 2022 as the starting point (when the cash rate target was upwardly adjusted for the first time since November 2010). Please let me know if this is unacceptable to you (no reply will indicate acceptance).
Please be advised that, consistent with the provisions of the Information Publication Scheme, the Bank’s policy is to release all documents provided to applicants under the FOI Act 1982 on the Bank’s FOI disclosure log close to the same time they are provided to the applicant. The publication of any FOI related documents on our website will also be notified to the Bank’s RSS feed subscriber list.
Also please note that in the current environment, we intend to redact (in terms of section 22) the names and/or identifying material of junior officers (below Deputy Head of Department level) and email and phone contact details for all staff from any documents designated for release in relation to your request. If you have any issues with this intention, please let me know.
Phil Lomas | FOI Officer
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA | 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
p: 02 9551 9744| e: [RBA request email] | w: www.rba.gov.au
Dear Ayn Rand Superfan,
I refer to your recent request seeking correspondence with the Bank that
includes positive views and/or comments about the Bank’s conduct of
monetary policy, as referenced in a speech by the Governor on 8 March
I advise that we have identified 16 documents relevant to your request,
and they are listed below:
1 - 230213 1049 - comments for Dr Lowe
2 - 230214 0951 - Switchboard message - a supportive message from a
member of the public supportive of the RBA
3 - 230214 2054 - Many thanks
4 - 230215 1155 - Thank you for the work you are doing
5 - 230215 1648 - Thankyou
6 - 230215 1856 - Thank you all
7 - 230215 1924 - A word of encouragement
8 - 230215 2119 - support for your actions
9 - 230216 0033 - Great Job On Economy
10 - 230217 0842 - Keep up the good work
11 - 230217 1110 - Interest rates
12 - 230217 1111 - I support Reserve Bank and their decisions to raise
13 - 230217 1236 - Phillip Lowe is brilliant
14 - 230217 1247 - interest rate rises
15 - 230218 0041 - Interview
16 - 230219 1030 - Support of Governor Lowe
17 - 230220 0856 - Thank You...
Note these are all emails and there have been no physical letters or
envelopes received (as specifically referenced in your request). The
emails are sorted in date order as received (format YYMMDD HHHH) and the
descriptions of them are exactly as noted in the subject line of each
email. With a couple of exceptions, the subject lines give a clear
indication of the nature of the feedback (positive). For the subject
lines that do not do this, I can confirm that the content is positive,
and that each email contained statements of support of the Board’s
decisions to raise interest rates across the current tightening cycle.
I have decided to deny access to all of them in terms of section 47F
(personal privacy -
of the FOI Act 1982 Cth.
The documents are all emails sent to the Bank by members of the public
wishing to pass on their support for the Bank’s actions in conducting
monetary policy. It is my view that the writers have an expectation that
their comments would be received by the Bank without being released
publicly. I have decided that it is unreasonable to disclose the
personal views that make up the content of these emails and any replies
as their writers are entitled to expect that the matters raised and
their chosen method of engagement (via email) with the RBA would not be
made public. As section 47F is a public interest conditional exemption,
I must consider the public interest factors in favour of disclosure and
whether factors favouring access to the document would do any of the
following from S11B
(a) promote the objects of this Act (including all the matters set out
in sections 3 and 3A (disclosure would not do this);
(b) inform debate on a matter of public importance (as the material
relates to the personal views of the writers, and their views have no
more nor less standing than those with contrary views, disclosure would
not do this);
(c) promote effective oversight of public expenditure (the material
does not concern public expenditure); or
(d) allow a person to access his or her own personal information
(disclosure would not do this).
I have taken these factors into account and have considered whether
access to the personal information of the writers of the emails captured
by your request would, on balance, be contrary to the public
interest. It is my view that the factors favouring access in S11B (as
well as any other factors) do not outweigh my view that disclosure is
not appropriate, and it would not be in the public interest.
Accordingly, in my view, denial of access to the information is
appropriate in terms of section 47F and the public interest test in
In terms of the FOI Act, I advise that you have rights to review of my
decision if you are dissatisfied with it. You may apply as detailed
below for review of my decision.
Under section 54 of the FOI Act, you may apply in writing to the Reserve
Bank of Australia for an internal review of my decision. The internal
review application must be made within 30 days of the date of this
email, and be lodged in one of the following ways:
email: [RBA request email]
post: Attn FOI Officer, SD, Reserve Bank of Australia, GPO Box 3947,
Sydney NSW 2001
Where possible, please attach reasons why you believe review of the
decision is necessary. The internal review will be carried out by
another officer within 30 days.
Information Commissioner review
Under section 54L of the FOI Act, you may apply to the Australian
Information Commissioner to review my decision. An application for
review by the Information Commissioner must be made in writing within 60
days of the date of this email, and be lodged in one of the following
email: [email address]
Anthony Dickman | Secretary
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA | 65 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
p: +61 2 9551 9744 | e: [RBA request email] | w: www.rba.gov.au