Kevin Rudd will put his Labor colleagues on alert for an imminent election as he assembles the federal caucus in Sydney today to prepare for a “tough campaign” in the wake of his policy shifts on border protection and climate change. The Prime Minister is expected to overcome objections to the severity of his new policy on asylum-seekers to gain a show of support for the “no settlement” regime despite doubts among some of the party’s Left faction. Amid talk within the caucus that the federal election would be held on August 31, party members reported a positive response from voters to the Papua New Guinea solution to asylum-seekers over the weekend.
Mr Rudd’s spokesman yesterday said the Prime Minister would assure the caucus that asylum-seekers would have “no possibility” of being settled in Australia but would go to PNG instead. “As Mr Rudd said on Friday, this is a tough policy,” the spokesman said. “But it is one that he believes will make a real difference in the fight against the scourge of people-smuggling. He will explain the policy in detail to his colleagues.”
While Left member and Labor candidate Cath Bowtell described the PNG plan as “very disappointing”, other members of the faction have been willing to accept the new stance.
Full Article: Rudd to rally troops for an early election | The Australian.