Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia


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24th November 2007 - Kevin Rudd wins Australian election

Labor's New Directions: Clean Coal
Kevin Rudd says:

"Australia is being left behind responding to climate change – and that is bad news for Australian jobs and the economy.

"Labor's paper, New Directions For Australia’s Coal Industry, outlines our detailed plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions and create and secure jobs in the coal industry.

The plan follows the announcement by 27 European Union leaders to cut greenhouse emissions by 20% by 2020.

At the same time, under a Howard Government, Australia is set to increase emissions by 27% by 2020.

"The EU will join China and California in getting 20% of its energy from clean energy sources. Under the Howard Government, Australia has a paltry 1% clean energy target.

"Responsible governments are not dominated by climate change sceptics.

"How can the Howard Government - which is full of climate change sceptics - be part of the climate change solution?"

Clean Coal
"Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter. The industry is worth around $24.5 billion in exports annually and directly employs more than 30,000 Australians.

"Burning coal for energy, however, results in the emission of large amounts of greenhouse gases, and that’s why Australia needs a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change and protect jobs.

"Labor's new paper follows the release on 25th February of our National Clean Coal Initiative which included:

Setting up a $500 million National Clean Coal Fund to generate at least $1.5 billion in new investment in partnership with the private sector;
Setting a national objective for clean-coal generated electricity to enter the national electricity grid by 2020; and
Increasing the funding for the CSIRO by $25 million for research and development of clean-coal technologies."

Reform Agenda
"Labor is committed to a bold clean energy reform agenda, including:

Reducing Australia ’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2050;
Boosting the mandatory renewable energy targets to encourage greater use of solar and wind;
Setting up the $500 million clean coal fund;
Setting up a national emissions trading scheme; and

Immediately ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

"We will be making further announcements on renewable energy and other energy sources in the coming months."



Top Aussies queue to attend PM summit - 9th Feb 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Australia's smartest and biggest achievers in their fields will attend Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's summit to generate innovative ideas for the country.

Cate Blanchett, Collette Dinnigan and the Sass and Bide duo could sit alongside national figures such as Tim Costello and Tim Flannery as part of the 2020 summit.

A cross-section of the community, including indigenous leader Mick Dodson, atmospheric scientist Graeme Pearman and Babcock and Brown chief executive Phil Green are among the 1,000 best and brightest selected to generate innovative ideas.

Aussie Home Loans' John Symond, Dick Smith, burns expert Fiona Wood and NRMA president Alan Evans have also expressed interest in the summit, News Limited reported.

The federal government is hoping for a gathering of the country's greatest minds to attend the summit on April 19 and 20.

Mr Rudd has locked in diary dates with several high profile participants and the 10 co-chairs and panel members have been finalised and will be announced early this week.

More than 400 Australians who consider to be the brightest in the country sent application forms to the prime minister's office this week.

A Labor Party insider working on the conference said the fight to secure an invite that already begun.

"There's a flood of people trying to get an invite, ringing up nonstop," he told News Limited.



Rudd takes the reins - 12th Feb 2008
(Credit: The Age)

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been sworn in by Chief Justice Murray Gleeson at the official opening of the 42nd Australian Parliament in Canberra.

Mr Rudd, along with Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and ministers Martin Ferguson, Nicola Roxon, Anthony Albanese, Peter Garrett, Tony Burke, Jenny Macklin, Simon Crean and Lindsay Tanner were the first MPs to be sworn in by Justice Gleeson.

Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson was sworn in with deputy Julie Bishop, Nationals leader Warren Truss and other members of the shadow cabinet including Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott.

Harry Jenkins, the Labor MP for Scullin, was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

His father, Dr Harry Jenkins, was speaker between 1983 and 1986.

Mr Jenkins was previously a deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and an assistant deputy speaker.

The first day of the Federal Parliament since last year's change of government kicked off at 9am with the inaugural Welcome to Country ceremony, in which MPs took part in a historic ceremony involving the indigenous owners of the land on which Parliament stands.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers and musicians performed during the ceremony, which opened with a speech by Ngambri elder Matilda House-Williams.

Ms House-Williams described the Government's decision to invite the traditional owners of the land to open a parliamentary session as "a human act" to reach out to all Australians.

She added a note of humour to the formal occasion by describing the setting, Parliament House, as being like any other house. "It leaks," she said.

Accompanied by a didgeridoo player and her two grandchildren, Ms House-Williams greeted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and presented him a message stick.

She said her welcome, on this occasion, was far different from that accorded Jimmy Clements - an elderly Aboriginal man - barefoot, dressed in an old suit and accompanied by his dogs, who attended the opening of Parliament House in 1927.

''On seeing Mr Clements, a policeman asked him to leave because he wasn't dressed appropriately for the occasion,'' she said.

Ms House-Williams said the ceremony allowed a safe passage to all visitors.

''For thousands of years our people have observed this protocol, it is a good and honest and a decent and human act to reach out and make sure everyone has a place and is welcome....(full article at The Age).


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