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Coalition axes Bracks appointment -

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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The first official act of Tony Abbott's incoming government has been to sack Steve Bracks from the New York Consul General job he was given by Julia Gillard. The former Victorian premier was expected to head to the United States this month having just completed a series of briefings in Canberra. Labor is describing the move as petty and vindictive, and Mr. Bracks says his appointment had followed due process. Meanwhile, Labor's new more collegial caucus rules are set to be tested later this week when the party room meets to select a replacement for Kevin Rudd.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: The Labor caucus will meet on Friday to decide on a new leader, some on the party's right are reportedly trying to have Bill Shorten elected unopposed. But organisers on the left have started a public campaign against what they're calling a back room deal and they're urging Anthony Albanese to stabracksnd. Putting the leadership to a vote would be complicated. New rules brought in by Kevin Rudd would give ordinary ALP party members a say in the outcome. The outgoing PM's still getting plenty of free advice from colleagues after the election loss.

BRENDAN O'CONNOR, LABOR MP: It wasn't a great campaign but I think he did work hard.

TOM IGGULDEN: Until today it had been only retiring Labor colleagues urging him to quit politics in the interests of unity.

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: It's time now for him to contemplate leaving the Parliament so that the Labor caucus can draw a line in the sand, get behind the leader and the leadership team and take it up to Mr Abbott.

TOM IGGULDEN: Another colleague's putting it more strongly.

LAURIE FERGUSON, LABOR BACKBENCHER: He has not owe him anything in this last election campaign, as far as I'm concerned. I think he should find a pressing need to do some research on politics since the 1990s or Qing Dynasty porcelain.

TOM IGGULDEN: Tony Abbott he's begun on plans to make good on his stop the boats promise using Labor's asylum seeker policy.
TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER: I spoke with Peter O'Neill, the PM of PNG yesterday. We will make the most of the arrangements which the former government put in place with PNG.

TOM IGGULDEN: But the Coalition's reversed another Labor decision to appoint former Victorian premier Steve Bracks as Consul General in New York. He'd quit his old job and was preparing to take up the post in weeks.

STREVE BRACKS, FORMER VICTORIAN PREMIER: I believe I was right for the job, we've had previous senior politicians in this job before over a long period of time and senior business people.

TOM IGGULDEN: Julia Gillard made the appointment in May after she'd named an election date. The Coalition says it should have been consulted.

MARK DREYFUS, OUTGOING ATTORNEY GENERAL: The caretaker conventions do not require consultation with the Opposition on anything up to the date of issue of the writs. I think it's a petty and vindictive act on the part of the incoming Government as its first official decision.

TOM IGGULDEN: But there's no sympathy from a former Liberal Victorian premier.

JEFF KENNETT, FORMER VICTORIAN PREMIER: It's not vindictive. Steven was a political appointment made at the time when the election had been called, although a long time in advance.

TOM IGGULDEN: Meanwhile Tony Abbott's chances of reversing another of Labor's legacy has been given a boost with the suggestion from ALP back bencher Nick Champion that the Coalition be allowed to repeal carbon pricing and introduce its direct action policy. That runs counter to indications from senior Labor figures that the party would block such moves in the Senate.

EMMA ALBERICI: And in news just in from Canberra, it's been revealed tonight that PM elect Tony Abbott has had a telephone conversation with the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono laying the groundwork for a potential official visit by Mr Abbott to Australia's northern neighbour.