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PARLIAMENTARY REPORT


leadership took a serious blow when, 20 minutes before the vote, powerbroker Hon. Bill Shorten, MP, advised publicly that he was shifting his support behind Mr Rudd.


Ms Gillard, shortly after her defeat, confirmed that in accordance with her pledge she would not recontest the next election. Ms Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010 and Prime Minister from 2010 to 2013.


She stated that “I am very


proud of what this government has achieved, which will endure for the long term. Very proud of the way in which we achieved health reform, against the odds, with newly elected conservative leaders. Very pleased that we pushed through and put a price on carbon – an historic reform that will serve this nation well and required us to have the guts and tenacity to stare down one of the


AUSTRALIA


Prime Minister, Ms Gillard said “I want to just say a few remarks about being the first woman to serve in this position. There’s been a lot of analysis about the so-called gender wars. Me playing the so-called gender card because heavens knows no-one noticed I was a woman until I raised it, but against that background, I do want to say about all of these issues, the reaction to being the first female Prime Minister does not explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing about my prime ministership”.


Mr Rudd, after being elected as the new leader, said “I want to pause to acknowledge the achievements of my predecessor, Julia Gillard. She is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, of great strength and great energy. All of you here in the national press gallery and across the nation would recognise those formidable attributes in her, and I know them, having worked with her closely for some years”. In relation to why he


Hon. Tony Abbott, MP


most reckless fear campaigns in this nation’s history”. In relation to the leadership ballot Ms Gillard stated that “I understand that at the caucus meeting today, the pressure finally got too great for many of my colleagues. I respect that. And I respect the decision that they have made. But I do say to my caucus colleagues: don’t lack the guts, don’t lack the fortitude, don’t lack the resilience to go out there with our Labor agenda and to win this election. I know that it can be done”. On being the first female


recontested the position, Mr Rudd revealed that “for me, it’s pretty basic, it’s pretty clear. I simply do not have it in my nature to stand idly by and to allow an Abbott government to come to power in this country by default. I’ve known Mr Abbott for 15 years, since I was elected to this place the first time. I recognize his strengths. I also recognize, however, that Mr Abbott is a man steeped in the power of negative politics. And he’s formidable at negative politics. But I see no evidence of a real positive plan for our country’s future”. On 27 June Mr Rudd was sworn in as Prime Minister by the Governor-General of Australia. Some commentators raised concerns, but not for long, about Mr Rudd’s ability to control the floor of the House of Representatives particularly in view of statements by some


226 | The Parliamentarian | 2013: Issue Three


independent members that their agreement to guarantee support in any no-confidence motion was with Ms Gillard. At 12 noon when the House met, Mr Rudd advised the House that he had been sworn in as Prime Minister and discussed Ministerial arrangements. Throughout the day, the government managed business and there was no move to bring on a no-confidence motion. The Leader of the Opposition,


Minister has been dragged down. Her replacement owes the Australian people and the Australian Parliament an


Hon. Anthony Albanese, MP Sen. the Hon. Penny Wong


Hon. Tony Abbott, MP, congratulated Mr Rudd on his appointment. In relation to Ms Gillard, Mr Abbott noted that “the former


explanation. Frankly, he owes the Australian Parliament an explanation at this time”. In the wake of Ms Gillard’s defeat, a number of loyal Ministers resigned including the Treasurer, Hon. Wayne Swan, MP, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Sen. the Hon. Stephen Conroy, the Minister for School Education, Skills, Science and Research, Hon. Peter Garrett, MP, the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Hon. Craig Emerson, MP, and the Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, Hon. Greg Combet, MP. In contrast, Mr Rudd’s


Sen. the Hon. Jacinta Collins, MP


Prime Minister should have been dealt with by the Australian people at an election and not by the faceless men in the caucus last night”. Mr Abbott further commented that “this is a fraught moment in the life of our nation. A Prime


appointment as Prime Minister created the opportunity for a number of Rudd supporters who resigned under Ms Gillard to return to the Ministry or take on more senior positions. Notably, Hon. Anthony Albanese, MP, took on the role of Deputy Prime Minister, Sen. the Hon. Penny Wong became Leader of the Government in the Senate and retained her position as Minister for Finance and Deregulation. Sen. the Hon. Jacinta Collins became Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate and joined the Cabinet as Minister for Mental Health and Aging, Hon. Chris Bowen, MP, was


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