Monday, 27 February 2012

Transcript of Statement

I congratulate Julia on her strong win today. The Caucus has spoken, I accept the Caucus' verdict without qualification and without rancour. To each and every one of my supporters who together delivered nearly one third of the Caucus, I thank them, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

To those who did not vote for me but with whom I have had some truly great conversations in recent days, can I thank them for their friendship and for their civility.

To those who have been a little more willing in their public character analysis of me in recent times, could I say the following - I bear no grudges, I bear no-one any malice, and if I've done wrong to anyone in what I have said, or in what I have done to them, I apologise.

It's time - in fact it's well past time - that these wounds were healed. Because what we in this Government and this party and this movement are wedded to is a high purpose.

Our purpose is to serve the nation, not ourselves.

Our purpose is to serve the people of Australia, not ourselves.

Our purpose is also to serve those who need the direct agency of government, everyday, in order to live, and to live with decency.

The unemployed, those who depend on our disability services system, those who can't afford a flash school, those who rely entirely - entirely - on the public health system of Australia. And of course our Indigenous brothers and sisters as well.

And to do this we must serve the people, not ourselves.

And that is what I dedicate myself to doing.

To Julia I would say the following as I have said just now in the Caucus - I accept fully the verdict of the Caucus, and I dedicate myself to working fully for her re-election as the Prime Minister of Australia.

And I will do so with my absolute ability dedicated to that task.

To the good people of Australia let me say a few things as well.

Firstly, thank you. Thank you on behalf of Therese and myself and the family for the extraordinary wave of public support that we have had, not just in recent days, but in recent years. You have been an enormous encouragement to the journey we have walked so far in public life. And from the bottom of our hearts and as a family a huge thank you from us.

I believe that when I nominated for the position of leader of the Labor Party, that this was doing exactly the right thing. I resigned as Foreign Minister because it was the right thing to do. I stood for the leadership because I believed it was the right thing to do. I knew it would be tough but I was not about to go and squib it. We Queenslanders are made of different stuff to that.

To thank some folks - firstly, the great institution of state, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. To the Secretary, Dennis Richardson; to the Deputy Secretaries; and to all of our ambassadors and high commissioners abroad and all our staff - you are a marvellous team of professionals. Each and every one of you, I'm proud of you.

You serve Australia well. You do so in ways which are rarely seen by the public at home.

We as a nation are blessed by their professionalism, and together we've achieved great things.

We've established and consolidated the G20 as the continuing global institution of global economic governance where Australia for the first time in our history has a seat at the table. Together we've helped establish a single institution in Asia for the first time in Asia's history which has all the principal powers of the region including the United States round the one table, hopefully to negotiate a peaceful future for our country and for the region rather than defaulting into conflict or war.

I'm proud of the fact also that through Australian foreign policy we have led the way in global initiatives in support of the end of tyranny in Libya.

We are leading the global debate on Syria, and the fact that we have been in the forefront of our support for people who this day will lose their lives through starvation in the horn of Africa.

I'm proud of all these things. I'm proud of the fact that we have consolidated our principal relationships right across this region. We now have defence and foreign ministers’ dialogues with all the principal countries of our region.

We didn't have that before. We have it now with Japan. We have it now with Korea. We have it with Indonesia. We have it prospectively with India.

These are important steps forward.

Together we have re-birthed our relationship with Europe. We have established now high-level strategic dialogues with Germany, with France, and taken it further in its consolidation with United Kingdom and with the European Union. We've also opened new chapters in our relationships with Africa, and Latin America.

Why do I emphasise these things?

Sometimes we get caught in a static frame. I've never been like that. Roll the clock ahead 10, 15 years and you will see the billion people of Africa and the 600 people of Latin America becoming the huge engine-drivers of the next wave of global growth, following those of China, and following those of India.

I'm proud of these things.

We are a middle power with global interests and with regional interests. I've sought to deliver on both.

I believe we have.

It's been the right thing to do.

I'm also proud of the fact of some little things - the fact that we've been able to appoint Australia's first Ambassador for Women and Girls, to take the challenge of dealing with the appalling exploitation of women and girls that we see across so many parts of the world.

And to announce - but not yet deliver - the fact that in this term we will have our first Indigenous Australian appointed as an Australian ambassador abroad from within the ranks of the Australian foreign service.

I also want to thank AusAID, a brilliant agency. We are now, I believe, the seventh largest aid donor in the world. We are now respected by all the other principal aid donors in the world, across Europe and the United States and in Canada. We work together in dealing with the great challenges of global poverty. And through AusAID's director, Peter Baxter, I say to each and every one of my team there, well done; you are a terrific group of people and you this day are saving lives in Australia's name and all Australians are indebted to you for doing that.

To a little-known institution called ACIAR - the Australian Council for International Agricultural Research. I'll ask Matthew Franklin to explain its precise functions now.


Thank you.

This is a great bunch of folks; they are probably amongst the foremost experts in agricultural science and seed productivity in dealing with poor and developing countries anywhere in the world; so when I go somewhere - East Timor or to the north of Africa - and they can't get enough out of seed yield, we get those folks to go and do the work. A brilliant bunch.

I also would like to thank ASIS and its Director Nick Warner; and that's about all I can say about that.


Can I thank also members of the Diplomatic Corps here in Canberra, to my colleagues and through the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps for their extraordinary support for me as Minister.

To my foreign ministerial colleagues around the world; we have worked together as great teams in dealing with some of the world's current challenges. I don't wish to name them all, but I count William Hague as a personal friend - we have worked very closely together; I count John Baird, the - a new Foreign Minister of Canada - or newish Foreign Minister of Canada in the same category; Marty Natalegawa, next door in Indonesia; Alain Juppe in France; Westerwelle in Germany; and the fact that right across the region, including my good friend Foreign Minister Kim in Korea, we have done enormous things together.

It's been a great team effort, often completely invisible to you good folks in the media, as it should be. But the team work has been great.

Now to my staff; this is where you start to gum up. The staff - where are they?

Oh, good. My staff; Philip Green, from the Department of Foreign Affairs, my Chief of Staff - formerly Australia's High Commissioner in South Africa and formerly high commissioner also in a number of other African countries prior to that - a first-class diplomat, a first-class professional. Philip, thank you so much for your work. I didn't expect to land you in all of this when you came into my employ.

To the deputy, Kate Sieper - who many of you know because she deals with you, ladies and gentlemen of the press - I thank her as well; she is terrific. Be gentle to Kate, she's having a baby soon, okay? And I'm going to hold you responsible for that, Dennis Shanahan; you're one of the senior ones in the gallery.

Can I also thank Patrick Gorman. Where are you, Patrick? Okay, Patrick, who has come to me from the far reaches of WA to work for this curious Queenslander, he's done a terrific job as well.

I also see Ranya Alkadamani up there. Ranya, terrific; a woman who comes to Australia, the daughter of Syrian parents who at a personal level has followed what has happened to her home communities back home and the ravages of what's unfolded in recent times.

My fantastic staff; what can I say about you all? You're just terrific. As are my electorate office staff in Brisbane.

To my family; Therese, to the kids, Jessica, Albert - my son in law, and the bubby, whenever the bub comes; the baby's due in May, be kind. To my son Nick and his fiancée Zara - they're getting married in April; Marcus, who's currently in the tender care of the Chinese Government at Peking University. Family for me is everything and I could do nothing in public life were it not for their support.
And darling, you have been a rock in recent days, an absolute rock in what is always one of the tough times in politics which are days like this.

Finally to the good burghers of Griffith themselves; my local community which Therese and I and our family love to bits. It's a wonderful part of Brissie for those of you who come from Queensland. It's where we live and have our being. To them I thank them for all their support as well as through them to my local and many branch members of the Griffith Federal Electorate Council of the Australian Labor Party.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will continue as the federal Member for Griffith. I will continue, as I've stated before, with the support of my local community to continue as the federal Member for Griffith into the future and beyond the next election.

Having said those remarks, let me just say, these are difficult times for the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Labor movement. If you look on the wall in this room - which people watching television won't see - it bears the photograph of each previous Labor leader back to the days of Federation when John Christian Watson formed the first Australian Labor government in 1904.

We've been around for a bit; we've done a few things. We got most of them right and we got a few things wrong. We, however, are on the side - the progressive side of Australian politics; we intend to stick there as well.

Over the years we've had a few internal problems as well, but we've got over them and we've written the history of this nation; the other mob have just reacted to it.

My task as a member of this parliament and a 30-year long member of the Australian Labor Party, as its former leader, as its former foreign minister and as its former prime minister, is to now throw my every effort in securing Julia Gillard's re-election as Labor Prime Minister at the next election.

We will now take our leave.

Thank you.


  1. Very sad Kevin. I guess I wanted to know you. I wish you the best. You are a very good person. Carbon Tax? It's a great idea, despite current negativity on this vital project. In 10 years time Aussies will appreciate what the clean air, really means. And exactly how great this project has helped for Australian, and how it has given us air to breath. I can see your wonderful family have their similar outlooks, beginning with your son doing studies in China. You have left your mark in life, maybe not even relating to your career, but the love and interests of own kids have, in the broader scheme of things, with a World wide peace, love for other, customs, culture, (plus Cantonese language skills!) and an understanding of how governments overseas work. It is a different prospective, which few can say they've experienced.

    I am going to find it difficult not to try to correspond with you. This is that. You are cuddly, with a great sense of humour..sorry about any spelling errors, as I'm slightly dyslectic! Love Naomi Ummm a Tell me if you want me to do a website for you! ;-)

  2. Whether in a small business or large business or the very important business of politics we see people accused of working in isolation and bullied simply because they have been so accepting of the need for change and advocated for positive change without realising their colleagues don't get it and are scared. I strongly feel this has happened with you Kevin and it makes me so sad that our political parties are so backward they dont recognise this in themselves. I cried when you lost the position of Prime Minister because I had felt that for the first time we had a leader strong enough to put their foot down and insist on accountability and able to do it while still exhibiting integrity and be a role model for our children. I cried again today. We have not only lost a wonderful Prime Minister now we have lost a Foreign Minister who was an amazing representative of Australia overseas. My short time as a labor voter has ended because I insist on my government considering my country before their individual needs and comfort. I wish you every success from this point forward and can only hope this isnt our last chance to have you as our leader.

  3. The speech you gave this morning was moving and nice to heard. It was much harder to listen to Gaillard’s speech after the ballot…

    After attacking you for weeks, Labor members including the PM are now start talking about how good are you and the great work you have done. What are they thinking! No wonder people just don’t like them, don’t trust them and won’t vote for them! Bunch of liers.

    Wish you well and you are indeed people’s ex PM.

  4. Your an inspiration Kevin :)

    I wish you all the best for your future.
    Please never give up helping and supporting the Indigenous First Peoples of the country.
    You truly are a super person

  6. God has greater plans for you Mr Rudd.

  7. Wow - a very impressive speech. Thank you Mr Rudd.

  8. Run as an independent at the next federal election...still serve the people of Griffith and represent Australia as a whole, but please don't give "that woman" an extra seat.....She IS NOT our Prime Minister elect, I'm disappointed that your caucus buddies would re-elect "that woman" as the leader of our country....That joke "what's similar between Australia and Mac Donalds? both are run by red haired clowns" rings true today more so than before....When will your caucus listen and act on the wishes of the Australian people and sack that cow???

  9. Like I said Mr Rudd! 'Your a winner!

    In a restorative sense... it was clear from the conversations (that people were having) that for the majority of Australian's this was 'not' about sorting out the leadership, nor answering to the negativity directed at you in the last few weeks.... it was about the treachey of the 2010 coup. And it goes to say alot for Labor members who stand for fairness! I think that those voicing that sense of injustice were quite right in doing so!

    I see your committed to finding a way forward, and if I were in your electorate you would have my vote hands down! If you were leader of the Labor Party you would be clearly out front for the next election. Right now I am now lost I am afraid!

    I am reserving any further opinion; actions speak louder than words! It is going to take more than... look at the good we are doing! I am going to have to see genuine unity, positive regard and respect between the Labor members. Some improved policy. If they haven't got each others interests; if as a volunteer, member or a voter I am not listened to or cannot feel proud to belong to the Labor Party... you haven't got anything.

    Alot of good has been achieved, but alot of policies need to be revisited. You promised West Australians a fair share of the GST in 2008 when you were here (talking to the party faithful)! You acknowledged our contribution to the country. In this regard the Government has failed. The carbon tax proposals of $28 per tonne (too much)! I understand your interests are now for your beloved Queensland, but promises have been made.

    Good luck with your future!

  10. In my opinion, the caucus made a huge mistake in backing Julia in 2010, there is no way that they could have backed down and voted u in Kevin . They would not have servived the backlash that would create.However come around sept,and her # are still low the same mob will be looking to replace her.In this case they can as she was not voted in by the people , u on other hand were and as such should only be able to be replaced by the people . Please don't leave us there will be other opportunity for u to chalenge u r the choice of the people, and sadly the A.L.P. will learn this. Thank u for recogniseing the people of Australia all of us.

  11. I support the decision of the caucus, I hope you do Kevin

  12. Kevin is our choice we want him back! Many people i know feel ripped off by Labor and how they have taken the power away from Australians. We voted Kevin Rudd in and they voted him out, then with the
    poll yesterday it was there choice again and once again they havnt listened to our opinions at all. So i was wondering is there anything that we can do about it?
    Can we ask for a revote with Australians voting? Or is there any way that we can get our say. This wont end until the Australian people get to voice there opinions and are heard.

  13. We voted you in, we never voted you out,we want you back in and yet labor still chooses to ignore Australians you should not sit in the back you deserve your own party,
    you deserve to be prime minister. Australians should get a vote and that should be the only way to end this. Don't give up!!! We are behind you all the way

  14. I don't support the caucus with their decision, to my way of thinking they have committed and act of corruption and contempt to say the least.
    The people in 2010 have voiced their opinion load and clear in the labor party to govern Australia with Kevin Rudd as its leader, what right have they got to challenge the peoples choice.
    They talk about function and dysfunction, weren't they part of the decision making at the time, wasn't Julia Gillard the deputy Prime minister and at the same time planing a to over-through the person that brought victory to the labor party.
    How can anyone trust her or her mate in power, I for one don't and million other Australians like me don't.

  15. I will never back labor unless you are in charge again Julia has damaged the labor partys once good reputation. Now she has left alot of us forced to vote for tony abbott as he is the better option and we dont really even like him. There is nothing more disrespectful then what julia did to become pm. I think K rudd should perhaps form is own party. Even worse is that they never even considered Australias in the caucus vote it is far beyond clear that we want our prime minister that we voted for back in charge Kevin rudd please do not give up the war has only began

  16. You are the leader we need please keep trying we are right behind you let us vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. I hope when we all vote for tony because we cant stand Julias ethics, that labor will wake up to itself and put you back in charge where you belong!!!

  18. We feel betrayed by Labor. we the people voted Kevin Rudd in, if we we were dissatisfied with his leadership we would of voted him out ourselves. How dare anyone take that god given right as Australian citizens away from us.. As Australia's oldest party they should know it's the people who will ALWAYS decide who has the privilege of ruling this great country. For when the nations future is decided by a small few at the expense of the majority, then Democracy in this country has failed it's singular purpose. To give every man and woman a say in how our country is run. The people WILL be heard. It is only a matter of time. Kevin should not take this lying down he is who we want!!!! he has to keep fighting and so should the 31 mp on his side

  19. Kevin you were a great leader dont give up keep fighting we are all fighting for you!! There are tonnes of facebook pages being made after you in support

  20. Very sad to hear that you lost Kev. You're one of the few politicians that I look up to. Really need more people like you especially in today's world where so much negativity and malice has become the everyday norm, and that people have basically resign to fate. Griffith is lucky to have you. I'm happy that Martin Ferguson of the Batman constituency sided with you. I will be happy to vote for you the next time (if it happens) you get the chance to lead again.

  21. While Julia Gillard is Prime Minister....Labor has lost my vote.
    If you are in the seat Kevin, you have my vote 120%.

    1. my thoughts exactly i will not give a single vote to labor until julia gillard is out, i cannot justify voting for labor no matter how amazingly perfect for the position they are as that vote gives strength to julia gillard and the position she stole from K Rudd, im sorry kevin but while ur on the outside looking in my votes are going else where :(

  22. Kevin, just want to say that I really appreciate the time, when Prime Minister, that you phoned our monthly ALP branch meeting and addressed us and took questions from the floor via speakerphone. That was a highlight. Cheers.

  23. Kevin, if you really wish to serve the people of Australia, you need to step away from Labor, and either become an independent or create a brand new party. Labor is corrupt and has a history of backstabbing it's elected MP's!! A Leopard does not change it's spots!! I will only vote for you if you are not part of the Labor party!! I was praying the Caucus would do the right thing, but was not surprised, only very disappointed. Today has seen more deceit by the party! Please stop supporting a party and a supposed leader that does not care about the people that she is supposed to represent. You should not have to apologize for caring about people! I will not vote for the other supposed leader (Tony) either. Now, the whole issue of Carbon Tax is a ridiculous farce!! When we are being Poisoned with Toxic Industrial Waste, such as Fluoride in our drinking water. Hitler put Fluoride in the drinking water in the Concentration Camps to make the Prisoners Docile and Sterile! Fluoride is the main ingredient of Prozac! Being poisoned with endless Geo-Engineering, is another global problem too!! The planet had been sprayed for approximately 15 years! Yes there are many different topics that people are talking about. Some may be true, some may not be true, but one thing I do know, is this. The clouds are fake and man made. If man has done that, then it is not a good thing. It is not for the betterment for man or the environment!! Do not insult my intelligence by saying it's not true!! It's about time that the suppressed technology from numerous sources from people like Nicola Tesla gets released!! 100 years of unnecessary Oil use, resulting in the plunder of the planet. I will Vote for the party who makes a Stance and says No to Poisoning the Planet. Says No to Mansanto. Says No to GMO's. Says No to Fluoride in the Drinking Water. Says No to Geo-Engineering. Says No to Fracking! Says No to the Secret Cabal!! Says No to Ripping Off the 99% to give even more Money to the 1%!! Says Yes to Releasing Green Technology! Says Yes For a Decent Way of Life. Says Yes to Telling The Truth of this Planet's Real History!! Says Yes to Bringing Down and Reveling the Corruption!! The Future MUST be about the RIGHTS of the People. Not the WANTS of the Rich Elite. For Any Country!! A suggestion for a future government. Wouldn't it make far more sense for say the Education Minister to have been a Teacher or Professor. For the Police Minister to have been a Policeman. For the Defence Minister to have been in the Defence Force, etc. Rather than someone who does not have a clue about how the organizations are run. That from personal experience the Minister would then do a much better job, as they would have worked in that particular field!! Anyway Namaste to you Kevin, and your family :)

  24. I was very disappointed to not see you voted in as Prime Minister again. It should not have surprised me though, as the current Labor party is full of backstabbers and powerplayers who just want a piece of the power-pie, and will manipulate it to their own ends. That is my impression of a party that I have voted for since I was old enough to vote. I used to be a member of the Labor party, and I used to be a union member, but Bill Shorten has turned me off that for good. I have lost faith in the Labor party since Julia Gillard 'took over.' I did not vote for her, I do not like her methods, or the tactics she used to become Prime Minister. I feel betrayed by the Labor Party. I feel let down. What I don't feel is a duty to support the Labor Govt anymore.

  25. We now know how democracy by the people for the people really works. What's happened is salt not needed.It's salt
    that does not enhance the taste but destroys it.

  26. Don't let you flag fly at half mast Kevin. Battles come and go and with them wins and defeats. It is hard not to change after a defeat, but therein is the real strength of character. Same strength you apply in making plans and telling the truth. I was never a fan of any politician, that stems from coming to Australia from a country literally destroyed to non-existence by politicians. I'd hate to see that happen here, and the way Australian politicians conduct themselves and the lack of thought for the well being of the Australian people is a beginning of the path that leads there.

  27. I am so relieved you will not be returning as PM. Thank godness that's over and you can return to the shadows where you truly belong. Hopefully this signals the end of your digusting lust for power.

  28. There was one man before you that they tried to kill but He came back stronger and better than ever.
    His name was Jesus Christ.
    They tried to kill Him but they could not because his power was stronger than theirs and His Power was Love.
    The two hardest teachings in the Bible are 'turning the other cheek' and 'love thy enemies', 'do good unto others that hate you'.
    In your speech, in your words and by your actions, you have exemplified these hard teachings and every young child and every person should learn from the example you have set.
    I know you have experienced exquisite suffering and you now have the most personal insight of the suffering Our Lord went through as you have walked with him to Calvary.
    A journey of suffering that I and others cannot even begin to imagine.
    He has been journeying with you as you walked your personal Calvary, carrying your cross and the cross of others as others spat at you and condemned you.
    But the healing started when God sent an angel to speak on your behalf, to declare the truth of the events of the night of June 2010.
    "Labor is the party of fairness. It was not fair - it was wrong"
    It was wrong to depose a first-term elected Prime Minister, without warning.
    There! It has been said, a loud thunderclap across Australia You have been vindicated!
    Every sentient being who answers to his own conscience and who answers to the Light will recognise and acknowledge the truth of what was said.

    But God's message to you now is as John the Baptist said in John 3:30 " He must increase, but I must decrease"
    God wants you to magnify Him in other ways now.
    There are no titles now, no 'Prime Minister', no 'Foreign Minister', just Kevin Rudd, MP
    but then again, Jesus did not have any titles except the one the Romans nailed to the cross, 'King of the Jews'
    God does not need you to have titles to recognise you as His precious child, so very precious in His sight and so very loved for following in His Beloved Son's footsteps.
    Let your light continue to shine in the darkness, never give in to the forces of evil, continue to follow your own conscience, continue to do what is right.
    The Australian People are behind you.

  29. I want rudd PM with no carbon tax and gillard in jail. ahmen.

    1. Your generous analysis overlooks such things as his temper, and such lethal foulups as the pink batts scheme and the boat people scheme (and that many of his own colleagues can't stand him) By most accounts, he's like a mackeral in the moonlight: from far off, he shinees, but close up he stinks.

      As for Gillard, she's a survivor but give me Abbott as PM!!!

    2. I know Kevin Rudd has faults. Who doesn't? "Let he who has no sin cast the first stone." But I also believe that people can be better than themselves. They can rise above themselves, in spite of all their shortcomings. I think people on both sides of politics can recognise the generosity and graciousness of Rudd's response. You generally can judge the measure of a man (or woman) by his or her graciousness in defeat and response under pressure. Rudd's responses, in spite of the vile attacks was admirable.

  30. I voted Labour all my life. I felt proud to have you as a PM and cried the day Gillard took over. What happened to democracy? Australia's voice? It felt like democracy died that day.

    I would have voted for Labour if you had go back in...Now? All I know is I will not vote Labour again. If you ever start up your own Party you have my vote, the peoples choice.

  31. Mr Rudd, your time will come ! Your supporters will always be cheering and waiting for you to return as Australia's PM !

  32. Please don't go away. Australia and the world needs you. We will vote for Julia because the thought of what the budgie smuggler would do to our great nation is too terrifying to contemplate. I can't wait to see what door opens for you now. Surely something extraordinary. Hope you take us along with you for the ride. Your strength and dignity are inspirational, and after having the year from hell in 2011 (losing both my parents to cancer) I am in desperate need of inspiring. Thank you and hope to see you down Oxford St one day.!

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  37. In a restorative sense... it was clear from the conversations (that people were having) that for the majority of Australian's this was 'not' about sorting out the leadership, nor answering to the negativity directed at you in the last few weeks.... it was about the treachey of the 2010 coup. And it goes to say alot for Labor members who stand for fairness! I think that those voicing that sense of injustice were quite right in doing so!