Rudd’s resignation speech as foreign minister #respill #ruddvenge #ALP #AUSpol


It has been for me a great privilege to serve our country as foreign minister, to represent our people abroad and thank the people of our country for their support as I discharge these responsibilities.
But, while I am sad to leave this office, I am sadder still that it has come to this.
The last time I resigned from a position in public office was when I resigned as prime minister of Australia.
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Regretably, there have been some similar factors at play today.
It’s time for some plain speaking on this. The truth is I can only serve as foreign minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers.
In recent days, minister [Simon] Crean and a number of other faceless men have publicly attacked my integrity and therefore my fitness to serve as a minister in government.
When challenged today on these attacks, Prime Minister Gillard chose not to repudiate them.
I can only reluctantly conclude that she therefore shares these views. The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as foreign minister if I do not have Prime Minister Gillard’s support.
I therefore believe the only honourable thing and the only honourable course of action is for me to resign.
And I do so with a genuinely heavy heart and after much personal reflection.
There are other factors too that I have had to take into consideration today.
The truth is the Australian people regard this whole affair as little better than a soap opera. And they are right, and under current circumstances, I won’t be part of it. It is also, I believe, a distraction from the real business of government. I also believe it is affecting the business community and I agree with recent statements by peak bodies to this effect. It is important that business confidence is maintained in Australia, the economy and jobs are core to what any responsible government is about.
I also believe this ongoing saga is bad for my good friend Anna Bligh as she fights the fight of her life in Queensland.
She’s a great Premier. She’s a good friend and I believe the good people of Queensland deserve some clear space over the coming month as they make [up] their minds on a very important decision on the future of Queensland, my home state, a state I’m very proud to be from.
The truth is I also feel very uncomfortable doing this from Washington and not in Australia but I don’t feel that I have a choice, given the responsibilities I have before me in the days ahead here in Washington, in London on the future of Somalia and piracy in the Indian Ocean and in Tunis on the future of Syria.
These are important challenges for the world where a responsible Australian voice needs to be heard, a voice which I have sought to inject in my period as foreign minister on these core challenges. And under no circumstances do I want Australia’s international reputation brought into disrepute because of this ongoing saga.
Therefore, [Australian] ambassador [to the United States Kim] Beazley will discharge my functions here on my behalf here in Washington tomorrow and the permanent secretary of my department, Dennis Richardson, will represent me in London and in Tunis.
I will return home to Brisbane tomorrow, arriving back there on Friday morning. Over the days ahead, I will be consulting honestly and openly with my family, with my community and my parliamentary colleagues, taking their counsel on what I should do next and what my next step should be.
I will then make a full statement to the Australian people on my future before Parliament resumes next Monday.
I deeply believe that, if the Australian Labor Party, a party of which I have been a proud member for more than 30 years, is to have the best future for our nation, then it must change fundamentally its culture and to end the power of faceless men.
Australia must be governed by the people, not by the factions. But I can promise you this: there is no way – no way – that I will ever be party to a stealth attack on a sitting prime minister elected by the people………….

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About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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