Gillard stands by embattled PM
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has dismissed calls for Kevin Rudd to be replaced as Prime Minister if Labor is to have a chance of winning the next election.
Former Queensland treasurer Keith de Lacy, now chairman of mining company Macarthur Coal, says Mr Rudd has become an "item of ridicule" over the super profits tax.
In an opinion piece for The Australian newspaper, Mr de Lacy wrote that he regrets there is no alternative but to change the leader for someone who cares about Australia and the electability of the Labor Party.
He said Labor runs the risk of being out of power for a generation if there is no change in leadership and direction within the party.
But speaking in Brisbane today, Ms Gillard said she is not vying to take over the top job.
"I don't agree with the view that's been expressed by Mr de Lacy," she said.
"I've read the newspapers, and the thing that matters is not what's in the pages of the daily newspapers but focussing on making a difference to working families."
She says people are entitled to their opinions, but it is absurd to suggest she would challenge for the leadership.
"I read the newspapers, then put the newspapers aside and I get on with the job," she saide.
Ms Gillard has also laughed off comments made by Mr Rudd's brother, also published in The Australian today.
Greg Rudd says it is hard to say whether the Prime Minister has made Australia a better place because of the smoky haze of self-lit spot fires of distraction.