| GEO World|
| Australia PM says government lost way, pledges polls|
| Updated at: 0900 PST, Thursday, June 24, 2010|
CANBERRA: Australia's first woman Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Thursday she challenged for the leadership because a "good government was losing its way" and promised an election in the coming months.
Gillard, who deposed Kevin Rudd in a party ballot, pledged to revive dropped plans for a carbon trading scheme and urged the powerful mining industry to stop its campaign against a new resources tax -- both key to Rudd's downfall.
"I asked my colleagues to make a leadership change because I believe that a good government was losing its way and at risk at the next election," Gillard said. "I was not going to sit idly by. "It's with the greatest humility, resolve and enthusiasm that I sought the endorsement of my colleagues," she added before being formally sworn in.
"I have accepted that endorsement and I'm truly honoured to lead this country which I love. I'm utterly committed to the service of our people." Gillard said she bore a "fair share of responsibility for the Rudd government's record", admitting it "at times it went off track".