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Former Australian PM to work for UN

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Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd

Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd

Australia's former prime minister Kevin Rudd

Australia's dumped prime minister has accepted a part-time UN job in a development that the opposition leader argues is a reason that the governing party should not be re-elected this month.

The United Nations announced that Kevin Rudd, who was replaced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in an internal Labour Party revolt in June, was appointed to a 21-member panel on global sustainability.

Ms Gillard promised Mr Rudd a senior ministry in her government if Labour wins a second three-year term in elections next week.

But opposition leader Tony Abbott said Mr Rudd's part-time job meant that Ms Gillard's Cabinet was in "complete flux", with two senior ministers quitting at the August 21 poll.

"Climate change is important and this is a way in which I can make a modest contribution to the future of acting globally and nationally on climate change," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Abbott said Mr Rudd's part-time UN job would interfere with his duties if Labour wins and he is given a ministry.

"Plainly he's going to be a part-time minister," Mr Abbott told reporters. "It's just not good enough. Australians deserve a full-time government."

Ms Gillard dismissed Mr Abbott's criticism.

PA


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