Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister who led the Australian Labor Party to a landslide victory in a left-wing backlash against the Howard government in 2007, has been ousted from power.
His deputy, Julia Gillard, moved for change in the Labor party leadership after major policy switches at the start of the year saw Rudd renege on the Emissions Trading Scheme and promises not to spend public money on political advertising.
The Caucus of Parliamentary Labor Party MPs gave her a majority backing which saw the Welsh-born politician take power on Thursday 24th June 2010. She was sworn in by the first female Governor General Quentin Bryce.
Kevin Rudd may well have become a victim of a $100 million television advert campaign by mining companies opposed to the Resource Super Profits Tax. It remains to be seen whether Julia Gillard will remain allied to the 40% extraction profits tax which has seen some of the world’s most powerful companies threaten to pull investment out of Australia.
Julia Gillard has become the first female Prime Minister of Australia and now heads a Labor coalition government. She has a boyfriend of four years, no children and professes to be an atheist.