In a historic appointment, the next Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the person charged with bringing down inflation and leading the bank through change, has been named as Michele Bullock.
Federal cabinet has on Friday morning ticked off Treasurer Jim Chalmers' pick of the deputy Reserve Bank governor who he called a "first class economist who also has remarkable leadership attributes."
Meantime, he and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the outgoing Governor Philip Lowe and slammed opposition leader Peter Dutton for politicising the appointment process.
Mr Dutton shed bipartisanship on Thursday, warning that the Coalition would object to the appointment of a senior bureaucrat as "somebody who is familiar" to the government. The government saw this an an attack on the public service.
Ms Bullock's competition included Finance Department secretary Jenny Wilkinson, Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy and Australian Statistician David Gruen.
Asked how much the Liberal leader's views on all candidates for RBA governor had been taken into account, Mr Albanese responded, "Zero. Less than zero. It must be said."
"When I heard about those comments, I just thought, 'is there anything that this bloke won't play politics with, and won't be negative about?'" he said.
Dr Chalmers added, "We won't be taking lectures from the party of robodebt."
After facing scorching criticism throughout the latter years of his seven-year term, Dr Lowe's term will now expire in September.
"We thank Philip Lowe for more than decades of dedication and commitment and service, not just to the Reserve Bank and not just to the economy, but to our country as well," the Treasurer said.
"Phil Lowe goes with our respect, he goes with our gratitude, and he goes with dignity."
He said the governor has carried on in a way "characteristically kind and classy".
The RBA Governor has released a statement saying the Treasurer has made a first-rate appointment.
"I congratulate Michele on being appointed Governor. The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA. I wish Michele all the best,' Dr Lowe said.
Senior Opposition figures, including shadow finance minister Jane Hume, have in recent weeks been vocal in their support of Dr Lowe.
The decision to elevate Ms Bullock continues the recent convention of appointing from within the RBA. Dr Chalmers said he consulted with business, unions and the opposition in making his decision.
"I wasn't obligated to consult the Opposition on this appointment but I did it anyway," he said. "And I thank Angus Taylor for making the time on a couple of occasions, including this week, to talk about this appointment."
Ms Bullock will be the ninth governor of the RBA and is the first woman in the role.
"It is an absolute honour and I'm really happy that I've got such great support from the government. So thank you very much," she said in her public first words after being confirmed for the job.
"I think a big part of my role is going to be ... leading the bank through change."
Ms Bullock's career with the central bank has spanned over four decades, with the past 10 years being spent in various assistant governor roles until her appointment as deputy governor in April 2022.
The prominent economist was deemed a strong contender among a shortlist of respected top bureaucrats.
"Ms Bullock is eminently qualified to lead this national institution," Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.
"Michele's will be an important job at an important time with the challenges that we face globally. Challenges which I have of course have been discussing at the NATO summit over recent days.
Dr Chalmers said Ms Bullock's appointment was "genuinely about who is best placed to take the Reserve Bank forward into the future."
Dr Chalmers and Dr Lowe are due to head to India next week for G20 meetings.
The new governor is due to start her seven-year term on September 18. Ms Bullock's appointment leaves a vacancy for the role of deputy governor, which will be filled in the coming months.