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As the heat still simmers about the proposed Levy that Julia Gillard would like to adopt to fund the rebuilding of infrastructure of flood ravaged states, I can see a real test for Ms Gillard. She was attacked last week and heavily criticized for the proposal. By all accounts, the public don’t like the Levy if you listen to the media. So will she stand by it? And if she does, is it because it is the best decision or is this an opportunity to assert her leadership standing?

Typically the opposition leader Tony Abbott condemned the Levy, which seems to be what opposition leaders do these days. When the opposing party suggests something they condemn it, or say they will do the opposite! Not a lot of substance to the arguments or the leaders. Interestingly, a Levy was something the Howard government imposed for unpredictable large expenses.

However, the true test for Julia Gillard will be if she remains committed to the Levy and her plans to rebuild while also bringing her promise to fruition of budget surplus in 2012-2013. This period of time is a real test of her leadership. Is her commitment to return to surplus still the right decision given the natural disasters of this year and the enormity of the financial impact?

May I be bold enough to suggest that the proposal wasn’t communicated in a way to get people’s buy in? Perhaps but this needs to be reflected upon as she needs to be doing a lot of influencing and convincing to get this Levy through parliament.

All in all, I think the argument that it’s a bad idea will die down, people will assess how much this really means to their back pocket and true to the Australian spirit realise it is for a good cause. Though we Australian’s don’t like to be told what to do!

Leadership lessons for Julia Gillard and it’s only January. I think she’s in for a challenging year! It will certainly make or break her!


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