Julia Gillard Australia's first female prime minister

Julia Gillard Australia's first female prime minister

Gillard set to get ‘a good government back on track’

Julia Gillard has been sworn in as Australia’s first female Prime Minister after being elected unopposed this morning.

In her first press conference as Prime Minister, Ms Gillard said a good government had lost its way and she had a responsibility to step up and make sure it got back on track.

”I have accepted that endorsement, and I am truly honoured to lead this country, which I love. I am utterly committed to the service of our community,” she said, shortly after taking over from outgoing prime minister Kevin Rudd.

”I know the Rudd Government did not do all it said it would do, and at times it would get off track.

”Can I say to the Australian people there will be some days I delight you, there may be some day I disappoint you. On every day I will be working my absolute hardest for you.”

Ms Gillard also used her first press conference as incoming prime minister to throw open the Government’s doors to the mining companies, however she will press ahead with the government’s proposed new tax. She would not say which aspects were up for negotiation.

She said she would cancel the Government’s ads on the issue, and called on the miners to cancel theirs in ”a show of good faith and mutual respect”.

”Australians are entitled to a fairer share of our inheritance, the mineral wealth in our grounds, but to reach a consensus we need to do more than consult, we need to negotiate and we need to end this uncertainty,” she said.

”That’s why I am throwing open the government’s door to the mining industry, and I am asking in return that it the mining industry open its mind.”

She also promised to introduce a ”price on carbon”, but did not say whether that would take the form of an emissions trading scheme or a carbon tax. However, she did say it would happen as global and domestic economic conditions improved.

She said she took her fair share of responsibility for the Government’s record, its achievements and errors.

”Australians one and all, it is with the greatest humility, resolve and enthusiasm that I sought the endorsement of my colleagues to be the Labor leader and to be the prime minister of this country,” she said.

She said there would be ”consequential changes in cabinet” and she would announce these at an appropriate time. She would also talk to Mr Rudd, who has indicated he is willing to serve in whatever capacity is asked of him, about where his future lay. She said she would try to maximise the stability of the Government.

Treasurer Wayne Swan is the new Deputy Prime Minister. He and Ms Gillard will be sworn in this afternoon.

Ms Gillard said she would call an election ”in the coming months” and would not live in the Lodge unless and until she wins that poll.

Kevin Rudd stood down as Labor leader this morning, despite vowing last night that he would fight on and declaring he could win today’s vote.

It is understood Mr Rudd agreed to stand down and allow a clean handover of power after realising Ms Gillard had overwhelming support in the Caucus and would have won a ballot easily.

Labor spokesman Senator Michael Forshaw said it had been ” a difficult time for the Prime Minister and for the party”.

”The meeting was conducted in a very orderly manner. It was a very gracious speech by the Prime Minister, and also by the new leader and deputy leader,” he said.

”[Mr Rudd] led us to victory in 2007, a victory that was achieved when many people thought we would spend many more years in opp. That is a great achievement, he did that with Julia Gillard as deputy leader. We now have a new team and I look forward confidently to the next election.”

The change in leadership came after a dramatic night at Parliament yesterday.

Momentum for the change built rapidly from about 7pm, at which time Ms Gillard was not prepared to challenge. However, she asked for a leadership ballot after several hours of meetings in Mr Rudd’s office.

That meeting began at 9am this morning and was over by 9.35am.

Mr Rudd led Labor out of opposition for the first time in more than a decade in 2007 and was seen as a saviour for the party and opinion polls showed he remained immensely popular for most of the first two years of his term.

Despite this, he was unpopular within his party and did not have a faction providing a power base behind him.

Questions about his leadership began after he announced the Government was putting off its proposed emissions trading scheme, despite earlier saying it was the greatest moral challenge of our time. He was also criticised for his handling of the botched stimulus measure putting insulation into homes.

Support for him, and his party, continued to plunge after he announced a new tax on mining, designed to pay for promises to cut business taxes, boost superannuation contributions and end compulsory income tax returns.

Link requested by Anim Rahman | original source

Place your ads here!

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment