Interview: New PM to maintain course of key policies: Australian scholar

08:21, June 30, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Julia Gillard last Thursday became Australia's first female Prime Minister, ousting Kevin Rudd as the new leader of the Labor Party. "It came all of a sudden, but it won't mean a fundamental shift in policy direction." Professor Peter Drysdale said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua recently.

"On major issues of policy the tax reform, on foreign policy, on policy towards China, and our partners in the region, Gillard already demonstrated she has very strong grasp of the issues and she is likely to maintain course on those policies."

He said he doesn't think people will see any major change in policy direction from her primeministership. He said Gillard was an important part of the process of development of policy in the Rudd government, a key member in the government.

Gillard has scraped Rudd's 'Big Australia Policy' in her first move as the Prime Minister, instead, she wants a sustainable population development policy. But the professor said such a move is just "a shift in nuance". "There will be change on policy nuances on some issues. She will probably act more politically in a sense of seeking to calm anxieties in communities," he said.

Drysdale said it's quite baffling for people inside and outside Australia to watch it happen in such a short time in Australian politics. "But I think what happened fundamentally was that gradually former PM Rudd's standing in the polls lost ground very rapidly. The government is facing election this year in Australia. The key members of government will concern that under Rudd's primeministership, the government might loose a lot of ground in that election. So there was a move to change the leader as smoothly as possibly could and that let Gillard become our prime minister."

The Professor said there was very little prediction this would happen. Some people had seen that there were difficulties for Prime Minister Rudd. The polls narrow considerably. But most of the polls, not all of the polls, still suggested that Rudd would successfully fight an election anytime soon.

"But the things were changing very rapidly. Senior people in a Government think time perhaps come to change leadership. Because Rudd lost certain amount of credibility with policies of climate change. And also with concern within the government about his independent decision-making style and that persuaded Julia Gillard in the end to contest the leadership."

Professor Drysdale believes the diplomat-turn former Prime Minister did a good job before being dumped. He said everybody in the country including Gillard understands the tremendous assets that Kevin Rudd brought to public life in Australia. "His international leadership and his reformist commitments were all widely appreciated certainly within the government and by Gillard herself."

Dyrsdale said the Super Profit Tax Reform is an important reform and the substance of which is very sound and most analysts who understands the nature of the reform were very supportive for the reform.

He said the tax reform will strengthen the bilateral relations as this tax was originally advised as a means to make a more secured environment for foreign investor undertaking investment in resource sector in Australia and other countries in which the resource tax of this kind have been imposed.

Drysdale also said, on style, Julia Gillard is an exceptionally polished and professional political leader. She manages herself in public debate extremely well. "She is very calm, cool and effective in political debate and the articulation of policies. So she among political leaders in Australia to stands out which is quite exceptional."

"I believe as prime minister, she will continue to put a huge amount of energy into the investment and development of the relationship with China and the neighbors in the Asia Pacific region in the same way as former prime minister Kevin Rudd committed to." he said.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
  • A visitor passes by in the exhibition of Istanbul design week on Sept. 28, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul design week will be hosting designers and design exhibitions from around the world in Istanbul from Sept 28 to Oct 2 with the participation of 25 countries. (Xinhua/Ma yan)
  • Red flag flies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 28, 2011. A spokesperson with China's manned space program said Wednesday that fuel has been injected into the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket in preparation for launching the Tiangong-1 space module Thursday evening as planned. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • A militant loyal to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) waves in a tank near Bani Walid, one of the pro-Muammar Gaddafi strongholds, on Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
  • Jewish worshippers pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 28, 2011, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish new year which will begin at sunset on Sept. 28 and conclude at nightfall on Sept. 30. (Xinhua/Muammar Awad)
  • High school student Johanna Choapa is helped by her father after announcing the end of hunger strike in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Sept. 28, 2011. The end of the strike took place to make way for a dialogue with the government, seeking to resolve the four-month crisis in the education sector. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
Hot Forum Discussion