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Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 04/06/2006

NO.053

TREASURER TO ADDRESS G-8 FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEETING

The Treasurer, MrPeter Costello, has accepted an invitation to attend meetings of Finance Ministers of the Group of Eight leading industrial nations (G-8) in StPetersburg, Russian Federation, from 9-10June.

The Treasurer has been asked to lead a discussion on good governance in public finance, sharing with G-8 Finance Ministers Australia’s success story in delivering strong fiscal outcomes.

As 2006 Chairman of the Group of Twenty (G-20) systemically important industrialised and developing economies, the Treasurer will also discuss with G-8 Finance Ministers the G-20’s work in advancing issues of governance reform at the IMF and World Bank, including the reform of voting rights at the IMF.

The Treasurer was previously invited to attend the G-7 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Washington last April to discuss these IMF and World Bank reform issues. However, he was unable to attend because of Budget preparations.

The G-20 is continuing to assist progress towards an agreement on these issues by the governing bodies of the Fund and Bank at their Annual Meetings in Singapore in September. The Treasurer plans to attend those meetings as Governor for Australia of the Fund and Bank.

The invitation to StPetersburg is an honour for Australia and reflects the recognition accorded for our leadership on international economic issues and our strong record of fiscal management.

We are recognised as having world’s best practice fiscal policies, not only in delivering successive budget surpluses but also on key budget framework issues such as fiscal transparency and the Charter of Budget Honesty, the Inter-Generational Report, the medium-term focus of fiscal policy, the outcomes approach to budgeting, and our balance sheet management which has seen Australian Government net debt eliminated.

This invitation not only recognises the strength of our domestic economic performance and the quality of our international engagement, it also enhances Australia’s standing and influence in global forums to the benefit of all Australians.

4 June 2006

Contact: Jonathan Epstein
0438 927 109

Background

The G-8 comprises the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.

The G-20 comprises the members of the G-8 plus the following 11countries: Australia (2006 chair), Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. The European Union is also a member, represented by the rotating Council Presidency and the European Central Bank.

Australia will host, in Melbourne, the 2006 meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, from 18-19November. The meeting will consider a number of key themes with a focus on practical outcomes: reform of the IMF and World Bank; energy and minerals security; demographic change; economic policies and reform in member countries; and the effectiveness of overseas aid.