Westpac Chief: Cooperate With Gillard
Gail Kelly, the chief executive of Westpac, has advised business leaders to cooperate with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She added that despite disagreements over policies, the business section should work with the government.
The Prime Minister has been reaching out to the business community amidst the criticisms over key issues like carbon tax and the government’s insistence on delivering a budget surplus.
Kelly said business leaders should engage constructively with the Prime Minister. She acknowledges that Gillard is reaching out and consulting to all sectors affected.
The support of the financial services chief is a much-needed boost for the Prime Minister, who suffers from a low approval rating.
Kelly said that based on her personal experience, she knows that the Prime Minister listens. She added that even when one has a different point of view, Gillard will try to understand.
The chief executive also said that she has had many discussions with the Prime Minister over policy issues. She said that although they may have different standpoints on things, they enjoy a healthy respect on each other.
It is not a surprise that Kelly is showing support to Gillard. Westpac and its competitors also faced tough criticism over different issues like job cuts in the bank and mortgage pricing. The banking sector was also criticized for failing to meet the cuts of the Reserve Bank.
Just last week, Westpac’s retail bank passed just 37 basis points of RBA’s 50 basis point cut.
Kelly, however, declined to comment whether her talks with Gillard also focused on banking issues.