Abbott Sworn In as Australia’s PM, Scraps Carbon Tax

The government will "get straight down to business," says the new Prime Minister

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Stefan Postles / AP

Tony Abbott, left, with Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce, after being sworn in as Prime Minister on Sept. 18, 2013

Tony Abbott pledged to ditch Australia’s carbon tax and stop asylum-seeker boats after he was sworn in as the country’s new Prime Minister on Wednesday.

“Today is not just a ceremonial day, it’s an action day,” the 55-year-old said in a statement. “The Australian people expect us to get straight down to business, and that’s exactly what this government will do. We hope to be judged by what we have done, rather than by what we have said we would do.”

The Liberal Party leader was elected on Sept. 7 after beating incumbent Kevin Rudd at the polls. He campaigned to abolish taxes on corporate pollution and mining profits, introduced by the Labor government, that charged the country’s biggest polluters for their emissions.

Abbott also pledged to turn back asylum-seeker boats, which often make the perilous journey toward Australia’s shores with hundreds of passengers dying on the way. The contentious policy, which includes using the navy to tow vessels back to Indonesia, is due to come into effect on Wednesday.