Last updated on February 26, 2024
10.00am – Kevin Rudd has been sworn in as Prime Minister by the Governor-General, Michael Jeffery, in a ceremony at Government House, in Canberra.
Governor-General Michael Jeffery with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein
Rudd becomes the nation’s 26th prime minister and the head of the first Labor administration since 1996. He replaces John Howard, the second-longest serving prime minister in the nation’s history.
At the ceremony, the Governor-General asked Rudd for an assurance “that you have been elected leader of the party holding a majority in the House of Representatives, that you can form a government and that you will have the confidence of the House of Representatives.”
Rudd gave this assurance and on that basis the Governor-General accepted the resignation of John Howard, which had been tendered last Friday. Accepting Howard’s resignation also terminated the commissions of all the previous government’s ministers.
Rudd was first sworn as an Executive Councillor. He was then sworn in as prime minister, bringing an end to the Howard government after 11 years, 8 months and 22 days in office.
Julia Gillard has also been sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister, the highest executive position ever held by a woman in the Australian government.
The remainder of the ministry is now being sworn in.
- Listen to Kevin Rudd Being Sworn In As Prime Minister (4m)
- The ABC’s 12.00pm news bulletin reports Rudd’s swearing-in (m)
Transcript of Kevin Rudd swearing-in ceremony at Government House.
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Well, Mr Rudd, on Monday the 26th of November, I invited you to form a government and today we’re gathered to swear with those nominated by you as the leader of the governing party in the House of Representatives.
I must therefore formally ask you to give me your assurance that you have been elected leader of the party, holding a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, that you can form a government and that you will have the confidence of the House of Representatives.
KEVIN RUDD: Your Excellency, I’m pleased to advise you that we have such a position and to provide you with that assurance.
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Thank you very much. In that case, I’ll now accept the resignation of the Prime Minister, the Honourable John Howard, which has the effect of terminating all the appointments of the former government. Under the powers conferred on me by the Constitution I’m therefore pleased to swear you in as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister.
Before I do that, and again in accordance with the Constitution, I’m pleased to summon you as an executive councillor and ask you to take the oath as an executive councillor. Malcolm, thank you.
SPEAKER: Do you, Kevin Michael Rudd, being chosen and summoned by the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia to be a member of the Federal Executive Council, swear that you will, when required, advise the Governor General or the person for the time being administering the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to the best of your judgement and consistently with the good government of the Commonwealth of Australia and that you will not disclose the confidential deliberations of the Council.
KEVIN RUDD: I do swear, so help me God.
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Congratulations. Now if we can get to the real key and I invite you to take and subscribe the oath of office as Prime Minister.
KEVIN RUDD: I, Kevin Michael Rudd, do swear that I will well and truly serve the Commonwealth of Australia, her land and her people in the office of Prime Minister, so help me God.
GOVERNOR GENERAL: Thank you.
Prime Minister I congratulate you most sincerely and I know you have the very, very best wishes of the nation as you undertake your very important challenge [indistinct]. Congratulations and well done.
KEVIN RUDD: Thank you very much your Excellency.