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« The Doctor and the Dealman: An Energy Update | Main | Greg Gordon: Turn on to Big Utilities, Pt. I »

Mining Tax could cost Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, his Job

Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard 24 June 2010.jpg
Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

On the air waves this morning we have the possibility of a change of leadership in Australia as the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is well down in the popularity polls as the proposed mining tax becomes his Achilles heel.

June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose support slumped after he abandoned a carbon-trading plan and proposed taxing the mining industry, faces a leadership challenge today from deputy Julia Gillard that may cost him his job.

Rudd needs a majority of Labor lawmakers when the party meets at 9 a.m. in Canberra. Gillard, who requested the ballot yesterday after Rudd began losing support, confirmed she would seek to oust Rudd, without further comment.

While Rudd said he was “quite capable” of beating back Gillard’s challenge, one analyst, Andrew Hughes, said the prime minister was likely to lose.

“He is a goner,” said Hughes, a political analyst at Canberra-based Australian National University, in a phone interview. “It’s the most significant political downfall in Australian political history.”
Three Labor Party lawmakers, including one minister and another who heads the party’s largest faction, also predicted Rudd’s defeat. They declined to be identified because of their party affiliation.

The Australian Workers Union, which represents over 135,000 people in such industries as agriculture, construction and hospitality and favors the mining tax, endorsed Gillard yesterday.
Rudd began to slide in polls in April after he shelved his carbon-trading proposal, a key campaign pledge when he won office in November 2007. Then he proposed a 40 percent tax on the “super profits” of resource projects in Australia, the world’s biggest shipper of coal and iron ore, and refused to back down even after members of his own party objected.

UPDATE 6.25am: JULIA Gillard is the red-hot favourite to lead Labor into the next election as Kevin Rudd faces a 9am challenge to his leadership.

Mr Rudd will put his leadership to the test at 9am today in a ballot of Labor MPs that could deliver Australia its first female Prime Minister.

Opening at $1.40 when betting commenced on last night, Ms Gillard is now $1.20 to be in charge when voters next go to the polls, while Mr Rudd’s odds have blown out from $2.70 to $4.

Well it doesnt look good at the moment for Kevin Rudd and we will know the outcome shortly. We will publish the result in the comments section as soon as we the results of this leadership challenge is over.

Have a good one.

Got a comment then please add it to this article, all opinions are welcome and very much appreciated by both our readership and the team here.

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Reader Comments (3)

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Kevin Rudd has stepped down so there will be no ballot, hence Julia Gillard should be confirmed as the new Prime Minister shortly.

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUranium Stocks

Julia Gillard makes history as she is appointed the first lady Prime Minister in Australia, what chance the mining super tax now?

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUranium Stocks

Here is a snip out of her interview last night on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation 7.30 Report. (Note the ABC is our Govt owned org full of journalists well soaked with Greenleft bias.)
Towards the end of page and remember this lady is a Labor lawyer - to assess the true meaning of her statements you might need a couple of lawyers yourself to pick over each word. One thing she did say was there will be a Fed election before end this year. IMHO the tax as announced on 3 May is dead - but she and her Treasurer Wayne Swan will fight tooth and nail to lay the biggest tax they can on the resource sector;

KERRY O'BRIEN: But what you are making clear is no change on the ETS before the election.

On the mining tax, you've dumped the Government's advertising campaign, you've won an early concession from the mining industry with its advertising but beyond that what has changed? Because the miners are not going to keep their minds open, as you have asked them to do, unless you put everything on the table including the size of the tax and whether it goes on existing projects or not.

Is everything up for discussion?

JULIA GILLARD: What I have said today is what I mean. We are opening door of the Government for negotiations. We have asked the mining representatives to open their minds. I asked for a show of goodwill from them as a reciprocation for what I was prepared to do and that was to take the Government advertising off TV.

I think today we have established some more goodwill. I think we have already established, as a foundation stone for agreement, that the mining industry can pay more tax and that Australians are entitled to their fair share.

Kerry, I'm not going to seek to design the parameters of the resources super profits tax here in a media interview several hours into being Prime Minister.


JULIA GILLARD: But what I've found in my life and with complicated issues in the past is if you get people round a table with a modicum of goodwill and some respectful conversations, you never know where you might get to and I'm be willing to lead a government that has those negotiations and respectful conversations.

WSH note: Two online/phonein polls last night ran 2 to 1 against voting for her - I can only hope those numbers are real and continue to reflect true voting intentions.

June 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWarwick Hughes

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