The Gillard Government

The Gillard Government was the Government of Australia led by the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, of the Australian Labor Party. The Gillard Government commenced on 24 June 2010 when she was sworn in as Prime Minister by the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce.

On 23 June 2010, after meetings throughout the evening between Julia Gillard and then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, as well as ALP factional leaders, Rudd addressed the awaiting media at 10:30 pm AEST and announced that Gillard had asked Rudd to resign or hold a leadership ballot in the 115 member caucus the following day to determine the leadership of the Labor Party and hence the prime ministership of Australia.

Rudd initially said he would challenge Gillard at the election. However, hours before the vote, he resigned as leader when it became apparent that he did not have enough support to overcome Gillard and keep his post. Gillard thus won the election unopposed. Shortly afterward, she was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia by Governor-General Quentin Bryce. The same caucus meeting appointed Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan to succeed Gillard as Labor’s deputy leader, and hence Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

On the same day as being sworn in, Gillard in her opening address said that “It is my intention to lead a government that is focused each and every day on meeting the needs of working families around the country” and acknowledged that at times the Rudd Government “went off the tracks … I came to the view that a good Government was losing its way”, distancing herself from the Rudd government’s policies regarding problems with the Home Insulation Program, a significant delay to a planned carbon emissions reduction scheme, a move to introduce mandatory Internet filtering, and the introduction of the Resource Super Profits Tax

Gillard served as Deputy Prime Minister in the Rudd Government before successfully mounting an internal Labor Party challenge against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and becoming the first female Prime Minister of Australia. With Treasurer Wayne Swan as her Deputy, Gillard went on to lead her party to the 2010 Australian federal election against the Liberal-National Coalition of Tony Abbott.

The election resulted in a hung Parliament in which Gillard secured the support of the Australian Greens and three independents in order to form Government. Management of the Labor Party’s alliances with the Greens and Independents remained an ongoing issue for the government: in late 2011, the government secured the defection of a Liberal member to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives, but in early 2012 the government lost the support of independent Andrew Wilkie, and in May it suspended backbencher Craig Thomson from the ALP over the Craig Thomson affair. Speaker Slipper, in turn, resigned in October 2012 over inappropriate conduct.

The Greens ended their formal alliance with Labor in February 2013 over taxation policy, but continued to offer confidence and supply.

Leadership tensions between Gillard and her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, continued throughout the term of the Gillard Government, resulting in Labor leadership spills in February 2012, March 2013 and June 2013, the last of which ended her prime ministership.

Major issues of Gillard’s premiership included climate change policy and related controversial taxation; management of asylum seeker policy; the introduction of a Mineral Resource Rent Tax; an unrealised policy of restoring the Federal Budget to surplus; the roll out of a National Broadband Network; engagement in the Afghanistan War; and proposals for restructuring of schools funding following the Gonski Review, and for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Gillard Government came to an end when Kevin Rudd won the leadership of the Australian Labor Party on 26 June 2013 and the Rudd Government was sworn in the following day. See: Wikipedia

2010-06-24 Gillard Government

Former premier Morris Iemma savaged Mark Arbib, saying he had wrecked the prime ministership of Kevin Rudd in the same manner he had wrecked the NSW government.

The MP for Fowler Julia Irwin said Mr Arbib “has a lot to answer, for the damage he has done to NSW Labor.”

Ms Irwin said her fellow MPs were being pressured by factional leaders and trade union bosses, who had “got them to where they are”.

“I’m sad to say that a lot of them are going to sell their souls,” she said.

Although Mr Arbib was privately framing the coup as the work of the Victorian Right MPs David Feeney and Bill Shorten, he is known to have been in discussions for weeks.

Some weeks ago he consulted powerbroker Graham Richardson as to whether he should shift the NSW Right’s support to Ms Gillard.

Daily Telegraph: Men who made and broke a PM

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