Kevin Rudd has announced he is stepping down as Foreign Minister.

Mr Rudd is at the centre of leadership tensions within the Labor Party and said he no longer felt he had the support of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

More to come, here

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• Paul Barclay on Big Ideas (ABC Radio National, here) had a fascinating interview on the philosophical underpinning to the Labor leadership crisis, and political leadership generally, with writer and journalist George Megalogenis. The link is … ABC Radio National here.


I am not going to judge Kevin Rudd based on media reports today claiming his supporters told Clubs Australia last year that Mr Rudd would overturn my poker machine reforms. I look forward to speaking to him personally in due course.

For the record, it was the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who instigated the Productivity Commission Inquiry Report into problem gambling and it was the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who reneged on her written agreement with me to introduce meaningful poker machine reform.

Karl Stevens

• Senator Catryna Bilyk

Labor Senator for Tasmania
Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety

Labor Leadership

When the Federal Labor Caucus holds its leadership ballot on Monday, I will be supporting Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

Julia Gillard has successfully negotiated with the cross-benches to form Government. Under her leadership this Government has successfully passed over 200 bills, despite the challenges presented by the current Parliament.

The major reforms passed by this Government will ensure that Australia develops twenty-first century broadband infrastructure for all Australians, delivers a national curriculum for our schools, places our nation’s health care on a secure and sustainable footing, and finally takes serious action on climate change by pricing carbon pollution.

Having the strength and resolve to achieve these reforms under difficult circumstances demonstrates that Julia Gillard has the best chance of beating Tony Abbott at the next election.

Recent speculation about leadership has made it difficult for the Gillard Labor Government to sell our positive message about our incredible achievements in Government.

Following Monday’s ballot, Federal Labor should regard the question of leadership as resolved.

The Australian public expect us to continue getting on with the job of Governing the country.

We need to come together to beat Tony Abbott at the next election, because the relentless negativity, fiscal recklessness and policy vacuum presented by the Coalition has shown that they are not fit to govern.

• Misha Schubert, The Age: Albanese’s tears stem abuse