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Australia Changes

  • November 25th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

rudd_22aafor-web.jpgThe Australian Labor Party government swept into power at elections on Saturday (24.11.07) has signaled a change in the country’s international commitments.

WORKING WITH FRIENDS AND ALLIES

The Party leader and Prime Minister elect, Kevin Rudd (picture), told cheering supporters on the night of his electoral victory the new government would be working closely with friends and allies around the world.

“To our great friends and allies in Europe and beyond, we look forward to working in partnership,” said the former diplomat.

LABOR’S CLEAN SWEEP

The centre-left ALP completed its control of all Australian governments, in the States and Territories, with Saturday’s win at federal level, converting a deficit of 16 seats in the national House of Representatives to a likely surplus exceeding ten.

The defeated conservative head of government, Liberal Party leader John Howard, looked very close to losing his own parliamentary seat.

Considered a successful model by conservative parties in other countries, (see EUAustralia 6 and 22.11.07), he had been in power since 1996.

MOVES FOR CHANGE

The Rudd government will be committed to moves on climate change, far more in step with policies in European states, beginning with ratification of the Kyoto accord on global warming; to date Australia has kept out of Kyoto, in close affiliation with the Bush administration in America.

The Labor Party has also promised more aggressive support for trade liberalisation and the withdrawal of land forces from Iraq.

It may disappoint some of Australia’s international critics by continuing with mandatory detention of asylum seekers who arrive in the country illegally, though on a more “humane” plan of management.

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