Australia’s new leader set to win over big business

SYDNEY, Nov 25, 2007 (AFP) – By revamping itself behind a fiscal conservative, Australia’s Labor Party has overcome big business fears that its election victory could set back the country’s economic boom, analysts say. Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout said Labor leader Kevin Rudd brought energy, a sense of social justice and an understanding of Australia’s position in the world to his new role as prime minister.

“These qualities will serve him well as he seeks to establish new directions for Australia,” the head of the key business lobby group told reporters.

Business Council of Australia head Greig Gailey said Sunday, a day after Rudd swept John Howard from power after 11 years, that he had few concerns about the future government despite Rudd’s pledge to revoke his conservative predecessor’s disputed labour laws.

“There’s an awful lot of alignment between where the business council is coming from and where that government we believe will come from,” Gailey told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The labour laws, introduced by Howard and supported by business, were a key election issue and contributed to the swing away from the government because of the perception they