Lindsay Tanner Announces His Retirement

A history-making day in Australian politics has produced another unexpected turn of events with Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner announcing that he will retire from politics at the forthcoming election.

The announcement came at the end of new Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s first Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Tanner said he had approached former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a couple of weeks ago and indicated he would not contest the election. He said the decision “is driven entirely and absolutely by matters of personal circumstances”.

Tanner was elected as the member for Melbourne at the 1993 election. He has served in six parliaments.

Hansard transcript of Lindsay Tanner’s statement to the House of Representatives.

Mr TANNER (Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (3:15 PM) —On indulgence, I rise to advise the House that I will not be contesting the forthcoming federal election. I just wish to outline some of the reasoning behind my decision. A couple of weeks ago I spoke with the then Prime Minister indicating that it was my intention not contest the coming election. He asked me to delay consideration of this decision, indeed to reconsider. He indicated that he wanted me to stay on as a minister even if I did choose to step down. I concurred with his request and we agreed that we would revisit the matter at the end of the parliamentary sitting period. In fact, we had an appointment scheduled for 9.30 this morning to consider this matter. As you all know, by one of those strange quirks of fate that tend to occur in politics, other matters intervened. So I found myself doing what I expected to do—namely, confirming my intention not to recontest the election—slightly later in the day to a different Prime Minister, the incoming Prime Minister. I am now formally advising the House of my decision. I have indicated to the incoming Prime Minister that I am equally happy to continue serving in my current ministerial position until the election or to step aside without demur should she choose to ask me to do so. [Read more...]


Political History Made As Julia Gillard Becomes Australia’s First Woman Prime Minister

Julia Gillard has stepped into Australian political history as the nation’s 27th and first female Prime Minister.

Gillard was sworn in at Government House at 1pm by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. Treasurer Wayne Swan was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.

Gillard-Bryce

The ceremony took place following the pair’s unopposed election at the ALP Caucus meeting at 9am. Despite announcing last night that he would contest the ballot, the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, chose not to run.

Gillard is the 12th person to serve as a Labor Party prime minister since Federation in 1901.

Following the swearing-in, Gillard returned to Parliament House to face her first Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Gillard-Swan-Bryce

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Kevin Rudd’s Final Press Conference As Prime Minister

Following his loss of the ALP leadership at a Caucus meeting on June 24, 2010, Kevin Rudd held his final press conference as Prime Minister.

Rudd

Rudd delivered a tearful statement recounting the achievements of his government. He did not take questions.

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Transcript of Kevin Rudd’s final press conference as Prime Minister – June 24, 2010.

I was elected by the Australian people as Prime Minister of this country to bring back a fair go for all Australians and I have given my absolute best to do that, I’ve given it my absolute all. In that spirit I am proud of the achievements that we have delivered to make this country fairer. [Read more...]


Julia Gillard’s First Press Conference As ALP Leader: “I Believed A Good Government Was Losing Its Way”

Following her election as leader of the ALP, Prime Minister-elect Julia Gillard held a press conference in Canberra.

Gillard

Accompanied by the new deputy leader, Treasurer Wayne Swan, Gillard said she had asked her colleagues for a leadership change “because I believed that a good government was losing its way”.

Gillard promised to address the mining tax and said she was immediately suspending all government advertising on the issue. She asked the mining companies to do likewise “as a show of good faith and mutual respect”.

She said: “I can assure every Australian that their Budget will be back in surplus in 2013.”

Gillard also promised that if elected as Prime Minister, “I will re-prosecute the case for a carbon price at home and abroad.”

Gillard-Swan

The new Prime Minister paid tribute to Kevin Rudd as “a man of remarkable achievement” who had seen the nation through the global financial crisis. She said she would be “talking to Kevin about his future in the Parliamentary Labor Party”.

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

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Transcript of press conference by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, following their election by the ALP caucus, prior to their swearing-in by the Governor-General.

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you for joining me in this jam packed room.

And can I say, Australians one and all, it’s with the greatest humility, resolve and enthusiasm that I sought the endorsement of my colleagues to be the Labor Leader and to become Prime Minister of this country. 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 people.

I grew up in the great state of South Australia. I grew up in a home of hardworking parents. They taught me the value of hard work. They taught me the value of respect. They taught me the value of doing your bit for the community.

And it is these values that will guide me as Australia’s Prime Minister.

I believe in a Government that rewards those who work the hardest, not those who complain the loudest.

I believe in a Government that rewards those who, day in and day out, work in our factories and on our farms, in our mines and in our mills, in our classrooms and in our hospitals, that rewards that hard work, decency and effort.

The people who play by the rules, set their alarms early, get their kids off to school, stand by their neighbours and love their country.

And I also believe that ‘leadership’ is about the authority that grows from mutual respect shared by colleagues, from team work and from hard work, team work and spirit.

It’s these beliefs that have been my compass during the three and half years of the most loyal service I could offer to my colleague, Kevin Rudd.

I asked my colleagues to make a leadership change.

A change because I believed that a good Government was losing its way.

And because I believe fundamentally that the basic education and health services that Australians rely on and their decent treatment at work is at risk at the next election.

I love this country and I was not going to sit idly by and watch an incoming Opposition cut education, cut health and smash rights at work.

My values and my beliefs have driven me to step forward to take this position as Prime Minister.

Today I want to make some commitments to the Australian people.

I want to make firstly a commitment that I will lead a strong and responsible Government that will take control of our future.

A strong and responsible Government improving and protecting the essential public services and basic rights our people depend on, including so importantly, their rights at work.

I wish to make two acknowledgments.

I take my fair share of responsibility for the Rudd Government’s record, for our important achievements and for errors made.

I know the Rudd Government did not do all it said it would do.

And at times, it went off track.

I also certainly acknowledge I have not been elected Prime Minister by the Australian people.

And in coming months I will ask the Governor-General to call for a general election so that the Australian people can exercise their birthright to choose their Prime Minister.

Between now and this election, I seek their consideration and their support.

And I seek that consideration and support as we emerge from the biggest financial crisis the world has faced since the Great Depression, with the lowest debt, amongst the lowest unemployment rates and the highest growth of the world’s economies.

This is an achievement we should be proud of – the working people, employers, employees, the trade unions, the small and big businesses, the employer associations who all made this possible.

I give credit to every hardworking Australian for hat has been achieved during these difficult economic days.

I give credit to the Labor giants, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, as the architects of the prosperity of modern Australia.

I give credit to John Howard and Peter Costello for continuing these reforms.

And I particularly give credit to Kevin Rudd for leading the nation in such difficult times and keeping people in work.

And today I can assure every Australian that their Budget will be back in surplus in 2013.

So, having seen the global financial crisis and how or nation has responded, it has reinforced in me my belief that when this nation pulls together, we can do great things.

It is my intention to lead a Government that uses that spirit and that will to do even more to harness the talents of all of our people.

To do even more to make sure that every child gets a fair go in life and a great education.

It is my intention to lead a Government that does more to harness the wind and the sun and the new emerging technologies.

I will do this because I believe in climate change. I believe human beings contribute to climate change.

And it is as disappointing to me as it is to millions of Australians that we do not have a price on carbon.

And in the future we will need one. But first we will need to establish a community consensus for action.

If elected as Prime Minister I will re-prosecute the case for a carbon price at home and abroad. I will do that as global economic conditions improve and as our economy continues to strengthen.

There is another question on which I will seek consensus and that is the proposed Resources Super Profits Tax.

Australians are entitled to a fairer share of our inheritance, the mineral wealth that lies in our grounds. They are entitled to that fairer share.

But to reach a consensus, we need do more than consult. We need to negotiate.

And we must end this uncertainty which is not good for this nation.

That is why today I am throwing open the Government’s door to the mining industry and I ask that in return, the mining industry throws open its mind.

And today, I will ensure that the mining advertisements paid for by the Government are cancelled.

And in return for this, I ask the mining industry to cease their advertising campaign as a show of good faith and mutual respect.

Negotiations will occur with the mining industry. They will be led by the Treasurer and new Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Martin Ferguson.

Can I say as well as dealing with these issues that as incoming Prime Minister I want to say to our troops, men and women at home and abroad.

We are a grateful country and we acknowledge your sacrifice.

Our country relies on you to keep us safe.

To keep the peace and to honour the U.S. and the other alliances that are so important for our nation.

The most recent loss of life of brave Australian soldiers in Afghanistan and the injuries that have befallen our troops remind us all of the depth of the sacrifice that our serving men and women can be called on to make.

Our thoughts are certainly with the grieving families.

Ultimately, Kevin and I disagreed about the direction of the Government. I believed we needed to do better.

But Kevin Rudd is a man of remarkable achievement.

He made wonderful history for this nation by saying ‘Sorry’ to Indigenous Australians.

He was the Leader who withdrew our troops from Iraq and had the foresight to reinforce our commitment in Afghanistan.

The Leader who saw us through the global financial crisis.

The Leader who turned his intelligence and determination to health reform, combating homelessness and closing the gap for Indigenous Australians.

And he came within a breath of brokering an international agreement on climate change.

Truly remarkable.

Of course I will be talking to Kevin Rudd about his future in the Parliamentary Labor Party.

I am also delighted to be standing here with the new Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan.

Wayne guided us through the very difficult waters of the global financial crisis. Now he’s guiding us back into surplus, getting the Budget back in the black.

Wayne is an outstanding Treasurer of this country and I know he will make an outstanding Deputy Prime Minister.

Of course, there will need to be some consequential changes in our Cabinet and ministerial arrangements and I will announce them at an appropriate time.

In conclusion can I say to my colleagues assembled, to the men and women off the press, I will dedicate my abilities to what I believe in.

A nation where hard work is rewarded and where the dignity of work is respected.

A nation that prides itself on the excellence of its education system.

Where Government can be relied upon to provide high quality services for all Australians.

An Australia that can achieve even greater things in the future. We should not be afraid of the future.

A strong Australia respected as a global force for progress, for peace and for tolerance.

A bright democracy for the world to admire.

And a sanctuary for all of our people.

Can I say to the Australian people there will be some days I delight you; there may be some days I disappoint you.

On every day, I will be working my absolute hardest for you.

WAYNE SWAN: Thank you very much, Prime Minister.

Can I just say it’s an unexpected privilege to be elected Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party and therefore Deputy Prime Minister.

Today we move forward with Julia Gillard. Today we move forward with an intelligent, strong, competent and compassionate leader. She has been a first class Deputy Prime Minister and she will be a first class Prime Minister.

Now today isn’t a day for celebration. Today is a day to knuckle down and to get back to work and that is precisely what we are going to do.

My focus is on providing continuity and stability and delivering the responsible economic management that has been the hallmark of this Government from day one.

Of course my priorities as Deputy Prime Minister are built on the beliefs I’ve held all of my life – a strong economy, a dynamic and internationally competitive business community, secure well-paid jobs, reward for effort, a fairer go for people on low-incomes, giving more Australians a role in our prosperity and security and dignity in retirement.

Now we have a very good story to tell about creating jobs and growing our economy but despite our success nationally with the economy, there are many people who still do it tough and of course they are the focus of our concerns everyday. We do understand that many families are under financial pressure and we understand that we need to address those concerns.

I also just want to just mention the importance of health and education, dealing with schools, our training systems, national broadband. They remain very important priorities for our Government.

But underpinning all of that is our emphasis on strong, responsible economic management.

Now I just wanted to say a couple of things about Kevin Rudd because I’ve worked closely with Kevin over 20, 25 years. It’s a really tough day for Kevin, for his family and for his staff but I’d like to pay tribute to the hard work that he has put in, in his time as Prime Minister but also in his time in public service over a long period of time. It’s a tough day but he’s done a lot of good and he’s worked very hard over a long period of time. But for us, it’s straight back to work.

JOURNALIST: Did you finally, in deciding to take this move, were you moving from the position that you believed Labor was unelectable under Kevin Rudd’s leadership?

GILLARD: I think I’ve made clear my reasons for taking this position. I came to the view that a good Government was losing its way. I came to the view that for the Australian nation I had a responsibility to step up, to take control and to make sure that this Government got back on track. And I believe too I’ve got a responsibility to make sure that at the next election, Labor is there at its strongest, putting its case as to why the Australian people cannot and should not risk the Opposition’s cuts to health and education and a return to Work Choices.

JOURNALIST: When will the people get a say on this?

GILLARD: Well as I’ve indicated, obviously in the coming months I will go to the Governor-General and I will ask that she call the election. But in the time in between, I’m asking the Australian people for their consideration and support to achieve the things that I have outlined today and to run a good and stable Government focused on the needs of the Australian people.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, one policy you didn’t mention was asylum seekers. Are you going to shift the Party to the right on that and secondly, do you envisage a role for Mr Rudd in your ministry?

GILLARD: Well Mr Rudd, Kevin, has obviously indicated publicly and he has indicated to me privately that he sees a future for himself in the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. When I spoke in this room not many hours ago at our caucus meeting, I said I believed Kevin Rudd had a great future in the Labor Party and in the Federal Parliamentary caucus if he wanted one. Now of course we will have those discussions.

Today is obviously a difficult day for Kevin, for his family so he will probably choose to spend some time with his family and there are plenty of times for those discussions.

On the question of asylum seekers can I say this; I can understand that Australians are disturbed when they see boats arrive on our shores unannounced. I can understand that Australians are disturbed by that. I can understand that sense of anxiety. This country is a sanctuary, it’s our home so we’ve got a responsibility to manage our borders and manage the question of asylum seekers in the best possible way.

I’ve got no truck at all with elevating and fear-mongering about a problem for political advantage which is what I believe the Opposition is seeking to do. But I am full of understanding of the perspective of the Australian people that they want strong management of our borders and I will provide it.

JOURNALIST: On the mining tax, it’s caused Labor all sorts of troubles in the resources states, WA and Queensland in particular. You talk about the move towards negotiating rather than just consultation, what are the key parameters under which you will be negotiating and do you hope to have this resolved before the election?

GILLARD: I’m not going to go through parameters today. What I am saying and it’s a genuine offer is the door of this Government is open, I’m opening that door, I’m asking the mining industry to open its mind.

I believe that Australians are entitled to a fairer share of the mineral wealth that is in our ground and belongs to all of us. We will negotiate through with the mining industry and I do believe that there is a consensus emerging that Australians are entitled to that fairer share and that the mining industry can pay more tax. Building on that consensus, we will have those negotiations.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, do you think the money that was going to be spent on the mining ads was a waste and did you argue against that spending in Cabinet; and also, were you saying that the doors on the mining tax have been closed?

GILLARD: Well can I say, Patricia, I am not going to canvas back through earlier Cabinet discussions but I am going to say this loud and clearly; I take my fair share of the responsibility for the decisions of the Rudd Government, absolutely. What I have decided today as incoming Prime Minister is I will order the taking of whatever steps are necessary to remove that government advertising as quickly as possible and in an exercise of respect, I’m asking the mining industry to do the same with its ad campaign.

JOURNALIST: Opening the doors to the industry, does that mean everything is on the table including the 40 per cent rate of taxation?

GILLARD: I’m not going to canvas through framework questions here. Today I’m indicating a very clear predisposition to the mining industry about the best way forward. I’m there throwing the door of Government open, I’m inviting the mining industry to walk through that door.

JOURNALIST: Aside from the mining tax, why and how did Kevin Rudd lose his way and what will you be doing differently to address that?

GILLARD: I think that this has been a good Government but I do believe we have lost our way. I believe that we have on a set of issues, and I have canvassed some of them today, not delivered the kind of stability and certainty and good management that Australians would seek. I also believe that it’s important if you lead a team to rely on the collective efforts of the team. We are all enhanced by working in a team together.

So it is my intention as Prime Minister to lead a Government that draws on the best efforts of my Cabinet and ministerial colleagues, on the best efforts of each member of our parliamentary executive and the best efforts of each member of our caucus to ensure that our Government is on track, doing what Australians expect us to do -providing decent services, protecting their jobs and ensuring that they’ve got decent treatment and fairness when they perform those jobs.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, you obviously didn’t just come to this realisation the Government was losing its way yesterday. Can you explain to us your categorical denials that you wouldn’t seek the leadership; and secondly, what are you going to do about the G20?

GILLARD: I’m inviting my colleague, Wayne Swan, to attend the G20 on the nation’s behalf and I believe he has accepted my invitation to do that.

SWAN: And I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon.

GILLARD: And on the question of how I came to my decision, I have been Kevin Rudd’s Deputy, I have done everything I believed I could do as Deputy to express the concerns I’m expressing now and on the inside of the Government, to do what was necessary to get the Government back on track.

I obviously, I obviously formed the view that I could not perform that role from the position as Deputy, that it was necessary for me to take this step and I acknowledge that this is a difficult day, it’s a very difficult day for Kevin Rudd, but it was necessary for me to take this step to take control and to ensure that the Government got back on track. I have obviously formed that view in recent days.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, given your comments a moment ago about team work and about restoring, I suppose, those more traditional ways of Cabinet, government and so forth, do you intend to restore Labor’s tradition of allowing the factions to nominate their candidates for your ministry or will you continue Kevin Rudd’s system where the Prime Minister decides?

GILLARD: I think I’m indicating to you very clearly and I actually believe my track record as a Member of Parliament and as Deputy Prime Minister bares this out; I believe in consultation, I believe in talking to people and getting their best. If we look at the workplace relations legislation, the getting rid of Work Choices and the new Fair Work system, I consulted for hour after hour with business leaders, with union leaders, with small business leaders to get the balance right.

You consult and then you decide. I will take that approach to all questions in my Prime Ministership, including the question you raise of appointments to the parliamentary executive.

JOURNALIST: Are you now beholden to the factional bosses and will they have influence over your choice of ministry?

GILLARD: I’d remind the assembled friends from the media that this isn’t my first day in the parliamentary building. I’ve been here since 1998 and I would defy anyone, anyone to analyse my parliamentary career and to suggest that on any day I have done anything other than made up my own mind in accordance with my own conscience and my best views about what’s in the interests of the nation.

JOURNALIST: You will be Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Can you talk to that and what that means to you?

GILLARD: Well there may be some firsts. When you look back in the history books all the photos are in black and white, so first woman, maybe first redhead. We’ll allow others to delve into the history and I’ll allow you to contemplate which was more unlikely in the modern age.

Look, I’m well aware that I am the first woman to serve in this role but can I say to you I didn’t set out to crash my head on any glass ceilings. I set out to keep my feet on the floor and to be there walking the streets, talking to Australians about what’s the right thing for this nation.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister-elect, how hard is it going to be for you to restore Labor’s standing; and how hard do you think it will be to win the election; and have you been given a position in Saturday’s match as full-forward?

GILLARD: I can disclose that I have received a text from Jason Akermanis inviting me to play that role but I’m not intending to take that up. Dennis, speaking to you, I should also indicate that it is my clear intention as Prime Minister to make it unlawful to indicate as a de facto speaker what should happen during Question Time from the press gallery, if you could bear that in mind in your conduct later today.

On the question of Labor’s chances at the election, I took this step in part because I was so determined, so determined, to make sure at the next election this nation does not endorse a path that would see cutbacks to our schools, jeopardising the thing I most profoundly believe in – that every Australian child, every Australian child deserves a chance at a great quality education. That would cut back services like health and that would jeopardise people’s rights at work.

I spoke a little bit earlier about growing up in South Australia. I grew up in a hardworking family. My father John, my mother Moira, with my sister Alison and the thing I learned from growing up in that family is hard work matters, but for families like mine, quality government services matter. And for families like mine, being treated decently in your workplace matters. And I was not going to allow that to become the prevailing government of this nation without stepping up to fight it with every ounce of my being.

JOURNALIST: Mr Swan when did you decide to support Ms Gillard?

SWAN: Yesterday.

GILLARD: Not a word wasted.

SWAN: I said before it was an unexpected privilege.

JOURNALIST: What brought you to that decision?

SWAN: I came to that decision because I believed we needed a very clear and decisive outcome once I became aware that colleagues from across the parliamentary party were looking for change. So I took the view that we needed a really clear and decisive change.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, is the position that you announced on the carbon price any different from the delay that Kevin Rudd announced a couple of months ago? Or is it the same?

GILLARD: Well obviously I was a participant in the decision about the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and I don’t in any way seek to diminish my role in making that decision. I came to that decision because I fundamentally believe that if you are going to restructure our economy so that we can deal with a carbon price and deal with all of the transformations in our economy that requires, then you need community consensus to do so.

Whilst Kevin Rudd, I believe did some remarkable things arguing here and internationally in the battle for climate change and I am full of admiration for the efforts of Senator Penny Wong working alongside him, the reality is that we were facing a situation and we continue today to face a situation where there is not that community consensus about a carbon price; where there is not deep understanding about what that would mean and how it will require us to work differently and live differently.

If I am elected as Prime Minister, then I will use the office of Prime Minister and the ability it gives me to speak to the Australian people to pursue that argument for change. And I will purse that argument for change as vigorously as I can and as long as I need to, to see the establishment of that community consensus.

JOURNALIST: It’s very obvious that in a number of seats around the country, a large number of seats, Labor is trouble and your colleagues tell us that privately that recent party polling is part of the reason you are here now. To continue to football parlance, have you been handed a ‘hospital pass’?

GILLARD: I suppose I should have foreseen that use of football parlance.

I believe as long as, you know, I am in a position to be out there putting the argument and putting the case for Labor, for fairness, for decency, for an Australia that rewards hard work, for an Australia that is not afraid of the future, that it is incumbent upon me to use all of my efforts to do that.

Will that be successful? Well that is in the hands of the Australian people at the election I will call in coming months. But I’ll use the time in between to address some of the issues the Australian people have obviously indicated their deep concern about and to make sure this Government day after day, step by step, piece by piece is delivering good, competent, stable Government.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, was it your intention that Parliament will be sitting after winter break and when do you think you’ll be moving into the Lodge?

GILLARD: Well I’ve said that in coming months I will talk to the Governor-General about calling an election and I won’t give a more specific timeline than that. If you can allow me some small indulgence, I’m not sworn in yet and this is my first press conference as Prime Minister so I anticipate you would understand why I’m not being more definitive about things like election timetables.

On the question of, you know, moving homes and other things, I’m very happy in my home in Altona, I’m very happy in my flat in Canberra, I’d be happy to stay there for a considerable period of time. Indeed I believe it is appropriate for me to stay there until we have an election and I have fulsomely earned the trust of the Australian people to be Prime Minister.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, can I just clarify a couple of things? First of all when you say you’re going to get consensus on a carbon price, will that be that you will be seeking consensus on the proposal you’ve already put forward on an ETS? And secondly, does all the community consensus building mean having a better relationship with the Greens in future?

GILLARD: If I can just take the second part first, the Greens and the Labor Party come at these issues from different perspectives. We are a Party of Government, we are a Party that strives to the Government of this country, we are the Government of this country today and that means that there are obligations on us about getting the balance right which are not obligations on a Senate party like the Greens Party.

Having said that, I believe in dealing with all senators with respect. I negotiated with the Greens and with Senators Fielding and Xenophon to get the Fair Work Act through and to eradicate Work Choices. There would have been many sitting here today who would have said that could not have been done. I negotiated with the Greens in a spirit of consensus to get the student income support bill through to make sure that there was a fairer system of assisting students going to university. There were quite a few along the way who would’ve said that couldn’t be done.

I intend to bring that approach of dealing with people from different political perspectives like Senator Brown with respect as we work on the Government’s agenda.

And on the ETS, obviously in saying what I’ve said about Senator Wong, I believe Senator Wong has worked hard with Kevin Rudd to get a balance in the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister Gillard, could I just clarify the comment you made before? Are you saying you will not move into the Lodge unless you win a general election?

GILLARD: I am saying that.

JOURNALIST: When will there be a reshuffle?

GILLARD: We’ll make some announcements in coming days about ministerial arrangements so I’ll take some time to do that.

JOURNALIST: Will there be a big shake-up?

GILLARD: It is my intention to deal with these changes to maximise the stability of the Government.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, are you suggesting Kevin Rudd and his family will continue living there until the election even though he’s not the Prime Minister?

GILLARD: I’m not suggesting that, Patricia, I’m not suggesting that. I have not spoken to the Prime Minister about these arrangements and I think the Australian people would want to extend to Prime Minister, former Prime Minister Rudd, you know, dignity and respect and appropriate transition time to make arrangements for his family. You would have seen his son Marcus today, for example. Marcus is here in school in Canberra.

So you know, these things that are of political moment are also of personal moment and I think people understand that, so let’s let that happen as it needs to, to meet the needs of the Rudd family. For me, for me I have made a decision I will continue to live where I live now and I will present as obviously the next election and we will see what happens at the election.

JOURNALIST: How much arm twisting was there to get you to take this on?

GILLARD: I would not be here unless I was resolved and enthusiastic about the task.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible) compromise if, as a result of the mining tax negotiations, there is compromise unless revenue raised will you pare back those consequent revenue spending commitments that have been made rather than compromise the commitment to getting the Budget back in surplus?

GILLARD: I will repeat what I said before. I am not here today ruling things in and ruling things out. The Treasurer, the new Deputy Prime Minister, will lead a team with Martin Ferguson to conduct these negotiations. The only entry point for these negotiations I believe, is that people need to understand the Government is determined to make sure that Australians get a fairer share of the mineral wealth in their grounds.

So we will work through step by step, piece by piece in a spirit of negotiation. I am asking for an act of goodwill today and I am offering one. I will take the Government advertising off our TV screens as soon as possible and I ask the mining industry to do the same.

JOURNALIST: Wayne Swan, will you take the mining ads off the TV, do you think that’s a good idea?

SWAN: Yes I do and I’d like to see the mining industry respond.

JOURNALIST: (inaudible)

GILLARD: Well as you would be aware, we have an appointment with the Governor-General fairly soon and whilst I’m not an expert on protocol I suspect that it’s fairly poor form to be diabolically late to being sworn in as Prime Minister so what we will do is we will take Matthew, you and Phil and then we will call it a day. Matthew.

JOURNALIST: Ms Gillard, I was just wondering if – you’ve opposed Tony Abbott in a number of incarnations – what approach will you be taking to convince Australians should not be Prime Minister and you should?

GILLARD: I’ll be seeking first and foremost to govern the country, to exhibit by my conduct what I believe in and how as a Prime Minister I perform. People will have the ability to see what I do as Prime Minister and judge me by it.

On the question of Mr Abbott, I will be saying to the Australian people long and loud the things that Mr Abbott does not truthfully tell them – that he will reintroduce Work Choices and that he is determined to return to his track record of cutting health and he is determined to cut back funding to our schools.

JOURNALIST: Mr Rudd and Mr Swan have previously said with the mining tax that certain key elements are absolutely non-negotiable including the 40 per cent rate. Are you saying those things are now on the table?

GILLARD: I’m saying to you that today, today I’m taking a step forward in that debate – negotiations, our ads off the TV screens and calling on the mining industry to do the same. The Treasurer, the new Deputy Prime Minister will lead a team to negotiate. We will obviously be involved in making public statements as those negotiations continue.

JOURNALIST: You said ministerial changes would maximise stability. Would making Mr Rudd Foreign Minister help maximise stability? And in that three hour meeting you had with him last night, was any offer made in return for him stepping aside?

GILLARD: Well one thing I will not do now and I will never do is speak about the contents of my discussion with the Prime Minister last night. That was a confidential discussion between the two of us. I would view me talking about that as a gross breach of trust and I won’t do it.

On the question of Mr Rudd and his future in the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, you know, step at a time, settle, step at a time. This has been a dramatic and difficult day for Mr Rudd and his family. I will have that conversation with Mr Rudd at the appropriate point.

Thank you very much.


Gillard Elected ALP Leader Unopposed; Rudd Does Not Run; Swan New Deputy

Julia Gillard has been elected unopposed as leader of the ALP and will become Australia’s first female Prime Minister in a few hours.

Gillard was chosen at an ALP Caucus meeting in Canberra this morning. After accepting Gillard’s call for a leadership ballot last night, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd chose not to nominate when Caucus met. Reports suggest he would have been crushed in a contested ballot.

The member for Lalor will become Australia’s 27th prime minister. She will be the 12th person to serve as a Labor prime minister since 1901. She has been a member of parliament since 1998.

Treasurer Wayne Swan was elected deputy leader unopposed and will become Deputy Prime Minister in Gillard’s place.

  • Listen to the Caucus Returning Officer, Senator Michael Forshaw, announce Gillard’s election (3m)

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  • Watch Forshaw’s announcement (3m)



Lateline: Paul Howes Confirms AWU Has Ditched Rudd For Gillard

Paul Howes has confirmed that the Australian Workers’ Union has withdrawn its support from Kevin Rudd in favour of Julia Gillard.

The National Secretary of the AWU has appeared on Lateline to signal that the union movement has deserted the prime minister and will support a change of leader at tomorrow morning’s Caucus ballot.

  • Listen to Paul Howes on Lateline (15m)

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Transcript of Paul Howes interview with Tony Jones on Lateline, June 23, 2010.

TONY JONES: One of the key moments of tonight’s extraordinary developments was the announcement that the Australian Workers Union had lost confidence in Kevin Rudd and was backing a move to Julia Gillard. Well the national secretary of the AWU is Paul Howes. He joins us in the studio. Why did you do that? [Read more...]


Rudd Announces ALP Caucus Leadership Ballot; Gillard To Challenge

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that there will be an ALP caucus ballot for the party’s leadership tomorrow morning.

Rudd emerged from a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make the announcement at around 10.25pm. He confirmed that Gillard requested a ballot.

Rudd

The announcement followed several hours of feverish speculation, following an ABC report at 7pm that Rudd’s leadership was under challenge.

Rudd warned of a “lurch to the right” under Gillard. He said: “If I am returned as the leader of the party and the government and as Prime Minister then I will be very clear about one thing – this party and government will not be lurching to the right on the question of asylum-seekers as some have counselled us to do.”

  • Listen to Rudd’s press conference (9m)

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  • Watch Rudd’s press conference (8m)
  • Watch Paul Bongiorno on Channel 10 Late News, June 23, 2010 (12m)

Transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s press conference, held at 10.25pm on June 23, 2010.

Rudd: Earlier this evening, Julia Gillard came to see me and has requested a ballot for the leadership of the Labor Party. [Read more...]