Conservatives’ win shifts focus to local issues in Australia

  • AFP, Sydney
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2013 02:19 IST

Australian politics looks set for a period dominated by domestic concerns as new Prime Minister Tony Abbott seeks to move on from a vitriolic campaign with a focus on local issues, analysts said Sunday.

The conservative leader, who ended six years of Labor rule with a comprehensive victory over Kevin Rudd on Saturday, launched his term with a promise to govern for all Australians and pledging a new emphasis on issues such as roads, childcare and broadband.

Abbott’s win would also likely see the seasoned political brawler adopt a more pragmatic stance as he looks to reinvent himself, they said.

“At first take I would suggest we’re going to see a far more inward-looking government than we have previously,” said Norman Abjorensen, from the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific.

“I think the foreshadowed cuts to our foreign aid budget last week really put the writing on the wall that we’re going to look at domestic policy as being all-important,” he added, referencing Abbott’s pledge to slash Aus$4.5 billion debt.


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