Portfolio: Prime Minister
|Held position since: 2007|
|Constituency: Griffith (Qld)||In Parliament since: 1998|
|26th Prime Minister of Australia||19th Leader of the Australian Labor Party|
Kevin Rudd is Australia’s Prime Minister. He gained office in the 2007 Federal election in a landslide victory over former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard. This victory was described as a “Ruddslide” by the media.
Rudd has led the Australian Labor Party since December 2006 when he and Julia Gillard challenged then opposition leader Kim Beasley and deputy Jenny Macklin in a party vote. Kevin Rudd shot to popularity as the newer, more accessible alternative to John Howard, running with the campaign slogan of “Kevin07”.
In the Labor opposition in 2001 Kevin Rudd was appointed Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and in 2003 and 2005 gained International Security and Trade respectively.
When he gained the office of Prime Minister, Rudd broke the long-standing Labor party tradition of the frontbench members being chosen by a party vote. He instead directly chose his Cabinet.
As the PM, it is difficult to narrow down the issues that most directly effect Mr. Rudd. However, the most long-running concerns of the Prime Minister are his election promises. Some of these include:
- Action on climate change: The Labor party has been pushing the passing of its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which has thus far been blocked by all non-government Senators. Negotiations are presently underway with the Liberal party. Rudd has also passed a renewable energy bill.
- The “Education Revolution”: This includes a national curriculum and aims to increase Australia’s education ranking in comparison to other developed nations.
- A National Broadband Network: This is a Fibre to the Home network aimed at improving Australia’s broadband internet coverage and speed. Tenders were opened to phone companies earlier this year, however the Government opted to start a new state-run company. This is also in-line with Rudd’s push for further federalism in Australia.
- The Apology to the Stolen Generation. 13 February, 2008. This is possibly Kevin Rudd’s largest and most anticipated speech.
- “Labor’s message then is this: we believe in a strong economy; we believe also in a fair go for all, not just for some.”
- “John Howard's credibility on the entire Iraq war has been torpedoed by John Howard's own intelligence agency.”
- “When it comes to labour market reform, here's the difference between us and John Howard: John Howard regards labour as just like any other economic commodity. We actually see labour as made up of human beings. These are human beings with an intrinsic dignity. When they go to the workplace, they're not just like a lump of wood or a piece of coal, these are human beings, and they should be treated properly as people with intrinsic rights.”
- “My name is Kevin, I'm from Queensland, and I'm here to help.”
(Quotations (only) sourced from: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/rudds-first-speech-as-labor-leader/story-e6frg6n6-1111112637300 and http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Kevin_Rudd#cite_note-first_opp-0)