Australia's new prime minister: Your comments

Julia Gillard Julia Gillard will lead the Labor Party into October's national elections

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Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female prime minister after former PM Kevin Rudd stood aside from a party ballot.

Ms Gillard's appointment was the result of a surprise leadership vote in the ruling Labor Party.

BBC News website readers from Australia have been commenting on the country's new leader.

Read your previous comments

GOOD LEADERSHIP

It just goes to show that the prime minister can never rest on his or her laurels. Despite doing a good job, Kevin Rudd has paid the price of taking his power base for granted. Julia Gillard is a strong performer and should be a match for the opposition leader if past form is anything to go by. It will be interesting to see if she is as good a prime minister as she was a deputy.

Richard, Melbourne

Julia Gillard will be a highly competent and popular prime minister. She is intelligent, articulate and will be empathetic to the needs of working class Australians. The opposition will find it hard to challenge her. She will also be well equipped to deal with foreign leaders on international issues. It's a great day for all Australians, not just women.

Rob, Canberra

Mr Rudd is an intelligent, hard-working and good man. But he was not a good leader, in that he was unable to master the art of the 15-second soundbite, so necessary to engage today's increasingly short-spanned electorate. But he significantly improved Australia-China relations, had the courage to cut back the vast profits mining companies make from Australia's natural resources to a more reasonable level, and represented his country with dignity and honour.

Julian Treadwell, Darwin

UNELECTED PRIME MINISTER

It's long overdue but won't mean a thing until she is elected by the people in October rather than installed.

Danny Condon, New South Wales

We are very proud to see Julia Gillard break the glass ceiling. She is very highly regarded in Australia, she is a straight talker and is perceived to be honest and have integrity. It is however, a great shame that to achieve the title "first woman prime minister" she did not have the opportunity to achieve this by winning a public election first.

Victoria Beale, Melbourne

Our first female prime minister is a giant leap forward for Australia, however we must remember that she is yet to be elected by the voters of Australia. Prime Minister Gillard has a massive task ahead in gaining the trust and votes of the public.

Lisa, New South Wales

FEMALE LEADER

I'm an Australian and am very pleased we finally have a female prime minister. As one of the first countries to allow women to vote we seem like one of the last to finally have a female leader. I'm glad this has changed. Julia Gillard is an impressive politician and I wish her well but also hope she will do all she claims. Australia is at great risk of becoming increasingly polarised in society and this needs to be addressed.

Sharna Quirke, UK

We needed to stop the rot, and Julia Gillard seems to have the steel. Gender probably doesn't matter.

Hilary Scarce, Brisbane

The fact that we now have a female prime minister holds little relevance for me. Gender makes no difference at all when it comes to leading a country forward. I hold the view that Kevin Rudd started off well, then recently lost his way completely. I hope and trust that Ms Gillard can change the direction of this country so that we can once again be a world leader.

Phil Adcock, Queensland

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