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Conservative Tony Abbott elected in Australia, sweeping out Labor government

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Conservative leader Tony Abbott swept won Australia's national elections this weekend. The vote has swept away the Labor government for failing to reap the benefits of the country's now fading mining boom. "From today I declare that Australia is under new management and Australia is once more open for business," Abbott told his supporters in Sydney.
 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A former boxer, Rhodes Scholar and trainee priest, Abbott has promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on boat people currently swarming into Australia for sanctuary.

After a highly unsatisfactory six years, Labor dumped Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010 for Australia's first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Rudd was then hastily reinstated in June of this year in a desperate bid to stay in power.

"It is the people of Australia to determine the government and the prime minister of this country and you will punish anyone who takes you for granted," Abbott said.

Rudd, in the meantime was given a rousing welcome in his hometown of Brisbane. Rudd conceded defeat and announced he would step down as party leader.

"I know that Labor hearts are heavy across the nation tonight. I gave it my all. But it was not enough to win," Rudd said, supported by his wife and family.

Australia's Labor party overall vote was its worst since 2004, when conservative Prime Minister John Howard won his fourth and final term, but was not as bad as the party had feared. Labor held on to all of its close seats in Rudd's home state of Queensland, and held onto several marginal seats in western Sydney.

Abbott's Liberal-National Party coalition had won around 52.6 percent of the national vote, and projected it would win at least 88 seats in the 150-seat parliament.

Abbott could end up with a majority of around 30 seats, ending the country's first minority government since World War II.

"This was an election that was lost by the government more than one that was won by the opposition," former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke told reporters.

The 55-year-old Abbott built up a strong opinion poll lead on the back of promises to rein in government spending, scrap an unpopular tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia's northwest.

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Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)