Hon Peter Costello
Australia’s Longest Serving Treasurer
- Global Issues
Peter Costello was first elected a Member of the House of Representatives for the seat of Higgins in 1990 and has been a Member of seven Australian Parliaments. He was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia in May 1994 and served in that post to November 2007.
He was Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007, the longest serving Treasurer in Australia’s history. Peter Costello brought down twelve consecutive Federal Budgets, including ten surpluses. During this period he eliminated the Commonwealth Government net debt of $96 billion.
Peter Costello introduced the largest tax reform in Australian history, a New Tax System, introducing GST and cutting income and company taxes as Treasurer. In addition:-
- Financial supervision was re-designed arising from the Financial Systems Inquiry.
- Corporations law was reformed and modernised under the CLERP program.
- The largest reform of superannuation was introduced with the abolition of tax on superannuation payouts for those over 60.
- The Future Fund was established currently holding over $60 billion in assets.
- The Higher Education Endowment Fund was established as a perpetual fund for the Australian University sector with an initial contribution of $6 billion.
Peter Costello served as Chair of the OECD Ministerial in 2000, Chair of the APEC Finance Ministers in 2007, and Chair of the G20 in 2006. The G20 is the group of 20 countries considered systemically important to the International Financial System. Peter was also one of the 24 member committee of the International Monetary Fund, a Governor of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank for approximately10 years.
In December 2009 Peter Costello was appointed a Guardian to Australia’s Future Fund. He is currently a Member of the Independent Advisory Board to the World Bank in Washington. In January 2011 he was made a Companion (AC) in the Order of Australia. He has written a best-selling memoir published in 2008 by Melbourne University Press.
Peter is married to Tanya and they have three children. Peter holds degrees from Monash University where he was, for a time, a part-time teacher in law and economics/politics, as well as a member of the University Council. Prior to entering Parliament, he was a barrister. He was counsel in some of Australia’s best-known industrial disputes.
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