Julia Gillard, who was born in Wales but raised in Australia since the age of four, addressed the issue of Australia’s stalled carbon credit system immediately after winning the top job.

However, there is likely to be some form of public and business consultation and there’s an election looming later this year, decreasing the already slim chances of an operational scheme getting the go-ahead.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s popularity with the electorate, and his Labour party, plummeted after he put back plans for a trading scheme until at least 2013.

He did not immediately step aside, but when it became clear he lacked the support of his party going into a leadership election, he conceded to Mrs Gillard.

Mrs Gillard, now the country’s first female PM, will have to fight an election in merely months as the labour party attempts to hold onto the power it won in 2007.

Putting the environment at the front of her campaign she told a press conference: “It is as disappointing to me as it is to millions of Australians that we do not have a price on carbon.

“In the future we will need one, but first we need to establish a community consensus for action.”

Luke Walsh

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