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The Rudd Government: Australian Commonwealth Administration 2007 - 2010


This tenth volume in the Australian Commonwealth Administration series has been one of the most difficult to assemble, primarily because the period of review has seen major oscillations and change in the fortunes of many key figures and key issues. The book was initiated in early 2009 when the Rudd government dominated both the political landscape and the opinion polls, and was completed for publication shortly after the 2010 election when Rudd had been replaced as Prime Minister and Labor had narrowly been returned to form a minority government.

We are well aware that the contributing authors have had to make frequent adjustments to their contributions and to their line of argument to capture the turbulence of the period; in fact, our first working title was Rudd’s First Government! The editors are grateful for their flexibility and their resilience and also for their capacity to deliver a manuscript so soon after the election result. Our thanks go to them and to the staff in the many public agencies who have provided data to support their research.

We are especially grateful to two colleagues from the ANZSOG Institute for Governance at the University of Canberra who have lent their very different expertise as ‘consultant’ editors: Professor Roger Wettenhall and Professorial Fellow Bill Burmester. Roger has contributed to all 10 volumes in the series and brings prodigious academic expertise and experience to the task. As a recently retired senior public servant, Bill has typically offered a complementary and valued perspective to that of our academic colleagues. We also wish to acknowledge the contributions of Helen Ayres and Anna Price to Chapter 9.

We wish to express our thanks to Jan Borrie for her exceptionally thorough copyediting and to John Butcher from The Australian National University for his oversight of the publication arrangements with ANU E Press. Finally, we are pleased that award-winning cartoonist David Pope from The Canberra Times has offered his cartoons to illustrate each chapter. David has a growing reputation as a fearless cartoonist and the selection in this volume gives an excellent insight to his talent.

This volume is the first e-publication in the series and we invite readers to take the opportunity to download individual chapters and, even, the entire volume. We want our work to be accessible intellectually and hope that this publishing venture will make it accessible physically as well.

Chris Aulich

Mark Evans

ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra

November 2010

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