Distilling Gillard

This is what Prime Minister Julia Gillard really had to say in her first press conference.  The original can be found here.

JOURNALIST:

Did you finally, in deciding to take this move, were you moving from the position that you believed Labor was unelectable under Kevin Rudd’s leadership?

JULIA GILLARD:

Yes.

JOURNALIST:

When will the people get a say on this?

JULIA GILLARD:

Well as I’ve indicated, obviously in the coming months I will go to the Governor-General and I will ask that she call the election. But in the time in between, I’m asking the Australian people for their consideration and support to achieve the things that I have outlined today and to run a good and stable Government focused on the needs of the Australian people.

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, one policy you didn’t mention was asylum seekers. Are you going to shift the Party to the right on that and secondly, do you envisage a role for Mr Rudd in your ministry?

JULIA GILLARD:

No.  I do not envisage a role for Kevin at this stage.  Yes I shall move to the right on asylum seekers.

JOURNALIST:

On the mining tax, it’s caused Labor all sorts of troubles in the resources states, WA and Queensland in particular. You talk about the move towards negotiating rather than just consultation, what are the key parameters under which you will be negotiating and do you hope to have this resolved before the election?

JULIA GILLARD:

I believe that Australians are entitled to a fairer share of the mineral wealth that is in our ground and belongs to all of us. We will negotiate through with the mining industry and I do believe that there is a consensus emerging that Australians are entitled to that fairer share and that the mining industry can pay more tax.  So Yes I expect to have it resolved before the election.

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, do you think the money that was going to be spent on the mining ads was a waste and did you argue against that spending in Cabinet; and also, were you saying that the doors on the mining tax have been closed?

JULIA GILLARD:

What I have decided today as incoming Prime Minister is I will order the taking of whatever steps are necessary to remove that government advertising as quickly as possible and in an exercise of respect, I’m asking the mining industry to do the same with its ad campaign.  So clearly I thought the money was a waste.

JOURNALIST:

Aside from the mining tax, why and how did Kevin Rudd lose his way and what will you be doing differently to address that?

JULIA GILLARD:

He wasn’t a team player.  We are all enhanced by working in a team together.

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, you obviously didn’t just come to this realisation the Government was losing its way yesterday. Can you explain to us your categorical denials that you wouldn’t seek the leadership?

JULIA GILLARD:

And on the question of how I came to my decision, I have been Kevin Rudd’s Deputy, I have done everything I believed I could do as Deputy to express the concerns I’m expressing now and on the inside of the Government, to do what was necessary to get the Government back on track.  Ultimately I blame Kevin.  It was necessary for me to take this step to take control and to ensure that the Government got back on track

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, given your comments a moment ago about team work and about restoring, I suppose, those more traditional ways of Cabinet, government and so forth, do you intend to restore Labor’s tradition of allowing the factions to nominate their candidates for your ministry or will you continue Kevin Rudd’s system where the Prime Minister decides?

JULIA GILLARD:

The factions put me here, I am not going to backstab them just yet like I did with Kevin.  I’ll make it look like I’m working together with them, just like I did with Kevin.

JOURNALIST:

Are you now beholden to the factional bosses and will they have influence over your choice of ministry?

JULIA GILLARD:

I would defy anyone, anyone to analyse my parliamentary career and to suggest that on any day I have done anything other than made up my own mind in accordance with my own conscience and my best views about what’s in the interests of the nation.  Since I am seeking in consensus in all things and factions exist, yes I am beholden to them and they will have some influence.

JOURNALIST:

You will be Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Can you talk to that and what that means to you?

JULIA GILLARD:

Well there may be some firsts. When you look back in the history books all the photos are in black and white, so first woman, maybe first redhead. We’ll allow others to delve into the history and I’ll allow you to contemplate which was more unlikely in the modern age.

Look, I’m well aware that I am the first woman to serve in this role but can I say to you I didn’t set out to crash my head on any glass ceilings. I set out to keep my feet on the floor and to be there walking the streets, talking to Australians about what’s the right thing for this nation.

JOURNALIST:

Prime Minister-elect, how hard is it going to be for you to restore Labor’s standing; and how hard do you think it will be to win the election; and have you been given a position in Saturday’s match as full-forward?

JULIA GILLARD:

I can disclose that I have received a text from Jason Akermanis inviting me to play that role but I’m not intending to take that up.

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, is the position that you announced on the carbon price any different from the delay that Kevin Rudd announced a couple of months ago? Or is it the same?

JULIA GILLARD:

I haven’t checked the polling data yet so I have no idea.

JOURNALIST:

How much arm twisting was there to get you to take this [the Prime Ministerial role] on?

JULIA GILLARD:

I would not be here unless I was resolved and enthusiastic about the task.

JOURNALIST:

Ms Gillard, I was just wondering if – you’ve opposed Tony Abbott in a number of incarnations – what approach will you be taking to convince Australians should not be Prime Minister and you should?

JULIA GILLARD:

I’ll be seeking first and foremost to govern the country, to exhibit by my conduct what I believe in and how as a Prime Minister I perform. People will have the ability to see what I do as Prime Minister and judge me by it.

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