Australia’s prime minister Kevin Rudd was forced to step down from his post last week and the nation got its first female prime minister, Julia Gillard. The fact that they got a female prime minister is positive of course but I’m not too impressed at all about how the Australians have handled this. The people elected Kevin Rudd back in 2007 and now his own party who claim to have lost confidence in him voted for Julia to take over his post.
I’m far from an expert on Swedish politics and even less Australian, but after reading up on the news I can see that Kevin Rudd made a lot of good things happen (correct me id I’m wrong).
Things that Kevin Rudd has done and made happen as a prime minister;
- He did what should have been done a long time ago, he made an official national aplogy to all Aborigines and the Stolen Generations for their “profound grief, suffering and loss“.
- He worked hard on getting a carbon pollution reduction scheme through the Parliament and one of his first offical acts after being sworn in was to sign the Kyoto Protocol, a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, aimed at fighting global warming.
- He helped Australia avoiding the recession, saving half a million Australians from losing their jobs.
- Australia is not as advanced in their housebuilding as us Swedes and even though it gets cold in winter and very hot in summer they still haven’t realised that insulation can both save them energy and money by keeping the cold and the heat out. As part of its economic stimulus program, the government offered householders a rebate for ceiling insulation. But lack of knowledge on how to implement this lead to 4 deaths and multiple housefires resulting in bad publicity for Rudd of course.
- He believed in a “Big Australia” and therefore increased the immigration quota.
- He established 20 regional cancer centres across the country.
- He looked over Australia’s workplace laws and added more “family-friendly work practices” to the former policy Work Choices. A National Employment Standard were set in the new Fair Work Australia policy including maximum weekly hours of work – 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours, requests for flexible working arrangements – allows parents or carers of a child under school age or of a child under 18 with a disability, to request a change in working arrangements to assist with the child’s care, parental leave and related entitlements – up to 12 months unpaid leave for every employee, plus a right to request an additional 12 months unpaid leave, plus other forms of maternity, paternity and adoption related leave and annual leave – 4 weeks paid leave per year, plus an additional week for certain shift workers. Things like this makes me appreciate the system and benefits we do have in Sweden, read for example the post I’ve written HERE about the benefits of working in Sweden.
Michaela has written a long post explaining this further in her blog Svensk Down Under, go have a look HERE (in Swedish).