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Rudd attacks Richardson over leadership rumou -

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Rudd attacks Richardson over leadership rumours

Broadcast: 07/10/2011

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

Kevin Rudd has accused former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson of having relevance deprivation
syndrome for suggesting he is plotting to overthrow Julia Gillard.


ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Kevin Rudd's taken aim at former Labor Party powerbroker Graham Richardson,
who's again suggested the Foreign Minister and two lieutenants are plotting to overthrow Julia

Mr Rudd says he's working with Julia Gillard to ensure Tony Abbott doesn't become prime minister.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Graham Richardson's repeated claims that backbenchers Mark Bishop and Allan
Griffin are gathering numbers for a Rudd comeback.

They've stayed mum.

Now the Foreign Minister's downplaying his relationship with them.

KEVIN RUDD, FOREIGN MINISTER: I think in the last couple of months I've probably seen Griffo twice.

And Mark Bishop, I don't know how long it's been seen I've seen Mark, but a long time ago.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Richardson says Mr Rudd has form.

(Reads statement from The Australian)

"He knows how to run long-term campaigns of guerrilla warfare," he writes in today's Australian.
"Mark Latham and Kim Beazley can attest to that."

KEVIN RUDD: You know there's a thing in politics called relevance deprivation syndrome? Is Mr
Richardson suffering from that? Probably.

TOM IGGULDEN: He also described Mr Richardson as a mouthpiece for the ALP's (Australian Labor
Party) factional bullies, who he's blamed in the past for unseating him as prime minister.

KEVIN RUDD: Is Mr Richardson taking hundreds of thousands of dollars a year at the moment in
salaries to go out there and bag the Labor party and the Labor Government every day? Probably. In
fact, definitely.

TOM IGGULDEN: But on the substance of the claims, Mr Rudd was less direct.

REPORTER: Would you say that you are actively trying to undermine Julia Gillard to get back into
the top job?

KEVIN RUDD: What I'm actively seeking to do is to do everything possible to prevent Mr Abbott from
becoming the prime minister of Australia. And in that context I'm working hard with the Prime
Minister and working hard with my ministerial colleagues to do that.

TOM IGGULDEN: He says he's been touring ALP-held seats not to seek support for a run at prime
minister, but to sell the government's policies.

KEVIN RUDD: The other reason for being out and about is also to get a clear message out about what
happens if Mr Abbott was to become prime minister.

TOM IGGULDEN: One thing he'd do is likely keep Julia Gillard's idea to require billion-dollar
resource projects built with government assistance to give local manufacturers a better chance to
compete for work.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: Look I think all of us want to see more local content, and let's
see exactly what the Prime Minister's got in mind. But in principle, yes, I think that's a good

TOM IGGULDEN: But the Opposition's also used the idea to refocus its attack on the carbon tax.

MATHIAS CORMANN, LIBERAL SENATOR: If Julia Gillard was serious about increasing local content she
would scrap her carbon tax which will make locally manufactured goods less competitive.

TOM IGGULDEN: An Opposition-dominated inquiry's predictably recommended parliament kill off the
carbon tax.

MATHIAS CORMANN: So between now and 2050 the carbon tax will cost the Australian economy $1
trillion in today's dollars.

TOM IGGULDEN: A dissenting report from Government members of the inquiry, predictably recommended
the opposite.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: And there are many ways in which Australian manufacturing can
benefit from a clean energy future.

TOM IGGULDEN: The International Monetary Fund issued a less politically-influenced view of the
carbon tax today; it says it's a good idea.

That was part of a report card on the Australian economy which said, amongst other things, that
house prices are overvalued by up to 15 per cent, that there was enough fiscal space to delay the
surplus past next financial year. And that the mining tax could be broadened to help pay for the
elimination of other inefficient taxes.

Tom Iggulden Lateline.