As you all know Julia Gillard has been voted in as the leader of the Federal Labor Party and as such Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
Kevin Rudd has had his say and Julia has made her first speech as PM.
Kevin Rudd’s speech was one full of emotion with tears seeming to be just below the surface. He outlined his achievements, as expected, thanked the Australian people and the Labor Party for their support during his time as Prime Minister. He also confirmed that he will stand as a candidate in the next election.
Like I said Kevin Rudd’s speech was full of emotion with his family standing behind him in support. At one stage he joked that “What I am less proud of is the fact that I have now blubbered.” Perhaps if had done a bit more blubbering and shown a bit more human emotion he would not be in this position now. It worked for Bob Hawke so it was worth a go.
On to Julia’s speech which of course is quite important for the future of the current Government and an historic moment.
She paid tribute to her parents and the hardworking values that they taught her. It was these hardworking values that were to set the mood for the rest of her speech.
I won’t go through the whole speech here. There are plenty more places where you will be able to read about that.
What I thought were the biggest things to come out of her speech were her wishes to focus on leading a hard working Government focused on providing quality services for the people of Australia. but some of the big changes in direction will come with Julia Gillard “throwing open the Governments doors” to the mining companies to negotiate on the mining tax issue.
Julia will halt the Governments advertising campaign on the mining tax and asked the mining companies to halt theirs as well. Although she would not say it in questioning, she did seem to indicate that everything was negotiable including the previously non-negotiable 40% tax rate. This could be the one thing that makes the biggest difference as it has been the biggest weapon used against them in recent weeks and has done a lot of damage.
Julia did recognise the part she has played in the Rudd Governments shortcomings but also claimed credit for its success.
Of course there was the compulsory tribute to Kevin Rudd.
When asked about the change in her commitment to Kevin Rudd as leader she stated that it had become more and more apparent to her that the government had “lost its way” and she had done what she could as Deputy Leader and it was time for her to move to take the leadership.
Upon being asked whether she would be living in The Lodge Julia Gillard said that should would continue to live in her house in South Australia and her flat in Canberra. Obviously there is no benefit in moving house if you may have to move again in a few months time.
Wayne Swann also spoke but really only echoed what Julia Gillard had said and created a united front for the new Labor leadership.
Tony Abbott has also had his say on the matter saying that despite the change in leadership it makes no difference. It is “the same product different salesman.” He sought to capitalise on Julia Gillard’s line that “the Government had lost its way.” He also tied Julia Gillard straight back to the failings of the Rudd Government saying that she was the “co-author” of its policies along with Kevin Rudd.
It was predictably full of the political spin that you would expect from Tony Abbott.
Highlighting the fact that Julia Gillard was not elected as Prime Minister and he stated his dissappointment that the style of New South Wales Labor had come to Canberra.
One thing That Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard both agreed upon was that they are each there to make sure that the other is not elected as Prime Minister. Well of course they are that is usually how elections work in our system.
Julia Gillard has now been sworn as Prime Minister by the Governor General Quentin Bryce.
While Julia Gillard would not be drawn on when an election would be held she did say that she would be visiting the Governor General soon to ask for an election to be held.
Certainly this election will be interesting.
How will a Gillard Goverment afect the election campaign and its eventual result?
How will Julia Gillard’s leadership change to direction and feel of the Federal Government?
Certainly Julia Gillard has a job to do. She may not have intended to “crash her head through any glass ceilings” but now that she has she will need to justify her acheivement and buckle down to the hard task ahead of leading the Country and leading the Government to the next election.