Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been accused of treachery by a women's rights group for the way he treated his predecessor, Julia Gillard. A full-page ad in four major Australian newspapers was published today praising former first female prime minister Gillard for her achievements while in office.
The Victorian Women's Trust ad also criticised the Australian Labor and Liberal parties for their actions over the past three years. According to the women's group statement, Kevin Rudd launched a "seek and destroy" mission against Julia Gillard while. The group also claimed Tony Abbott took advantage of Australians' prejudices.
Mary Crooks of Victoria Women's Trust says the last three years were poisonous which resulted in the loss of decency and civility. Crooks said the group wanted to let the public know that Gillard led a successful minority government.
She encouraged people to reflect on the things that they have learned and acknowledge the need to restore respect and civility in politics.
Veteran reporters were also accused of becoming willing pawns in an aggressive political campaign involving sexism. Crooks said the women's group was disappointed in mainstream media for failing to report without bias.
She said the media has been hostile over the last three years which encouraged many people to disrespect and heavily criticise Julia Gillard and the minority leadership. Donations were used to pay for the women's group advertisements.
Julia Gillard was tearful when she thanked her supporters and Labor party members for working with her. Kevin Rudd won the Labor leadership when Gillard lost to a caucus vote on June 26. The first female prime minister resigned from the party and chose to live the life of a private citizen.
Although her future remains uncharted, Gillard is financially secure. She is expected to get an annual pension worth $200,000, free air travel, car, office and staff.