Australia profile

Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by governor-general Sir Peter Cosgrove (appointed March 2014)

Prime Minister: Tony Abbott

Tony Abbot Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott's conservative Liberal-National coalition swept into office in elections in September 2013, ending six years of centre-left Labor Party rule.

Oxford-educated Mr Abbott ran a disciplined campaign against a government in disarray after years of power struggles between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, who ousted one another in turn as prime minister.

He was able to overcome his relatively low personal approval rating with policies aimed at reversing Labor's carbon emissions tax, curbing spending on foreign aid and cutting the numbers of asylum seekers.

One key policy of the British-born Roman Catholic, who considered training for the priesthood, is a generous parental leave scheme, but this sits awkwardly with his pledge to cut public spending.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Sailing rock in Death ValleyRock and roll

    Mystery of Death Valley's 'sliding rocks' solved - and more tales


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • President Barack Obama pauses during a press conference on 28 August.'No strategy'

    Obama's gaffe on Islamic State reveals political truth


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.