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Tony Abbott Becomes Australia's New Prime Minister

미국 버지니아 주에 위치한 월롭스 비행기지에서 '오비탈 사이언스' 사의 안타레스 로켓 발사 준비를 하고 있다. 안타레스 로켓에 탑재된 시그너스 우주선에는 국제우주정거장에 전달할 5천 파운드 분량의 보급품이 실려있다.
Conservative lawmaker Tony Abbott has been sworn in as Australia's new prime minister, bringing an end to six years of Labor Party-led governments.

Abbott, who won September 7 elections over ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, took the oath of office in a ceremony Wednesday at the Government House in Canberra.

The 55-year-old head of the Liberal-National Coalition said in a statement that his first day in office is "not just ceremonial, it's an action day" and promised to "get straight down to business."

He said the first item on his agenda is repealing a carbon tax that punishes Australia's biggest polluters. Abbott, who has questioned the human impact on global climate change, prefers to instead pay companies to increase their energy efficiency.

The prime minister also said Australia's navy would immediately begin turning back boats of asylum seekers under a controversial new plan aimed at slowing the stream of immigrants arriving there.

The new policy includes a proposal to buy up fishing boats in Indonesia, which is where most of the boats originate, in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of people smugglers. It would also pay Indonesians for intelligence on those organizing the trips.

Some opposition lawmakers say the plan could damage Australia's relationship with Indonesia, where officials have expressed concern at the policy.

Australia's government has been under domestic pressure to stop the influx of asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Hundreds of people have drowned in recent years trying to make the dangerous journey to Australian territory.