THE Australian Industry Group's chief executive Heather Ridout - the woman who is everywhere - has received another prestigious appointment, with the government announcing she will join the Reserve Bank board.
Ms Ridout is on a number of national policy and consultative groups, including Infrastructure Australia, Skills Australia, the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing and the National Workplace Relations Consultative Committee.
She was also a member of the Henry review of the Australian taxation system, which produced a blueprint for reform.
Ms Ridout said yesterday, ''It is an honour to be appointed to this most important position'', adding she had an abiding interest in strong and balanced economic policies.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said last night Ms Ridout had been ''a driving force in Australian business and public policy development over many years.
''She's been very active … as a board member and as a business advocate - she's got a very strong understanding of the pressures which are faced by business in sectors of our patchwork economy.''
He said he was not concerned about Ms Ridout's advocacy role posing a conflict of interest with her Reserve Bank position. This was a matter for Ms Ridout, he said.
While the Coalition has criticised Ms Ridout for being too close to the government, she has recently been a strong critic on specific issues, for example calling for substantial changes to the Fair Work Act and condemning the proposed carbon price as being far too high.
Ms Ridout, appointed for five years, replaces Graham Kraehe, chairman of BlueScope Steel.
Mr Swan also announced that Philip Lowe will become deputy governor of the bank. He replaces Ric Battellino, who is retiring from the board at the end of his term and from the bank after a career of 39 years. Dr Lowe has been at the bank since 1980. In 2009 he became assistant governor (economic).
Mr Battellino chaired the bank's risk management committee and faced questions on the bank's knowledge of bribery allegations at subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia. The bank wrote to the parliamentary economics committee in October conceding he had misled it about how much information had been available to the bank's auditors.