Rudd, who will be the next PM, promises to immediately withdraw all Australian troops from Iraq (so much for the coalition of the willing) and to sign-on to the Kyoto protocols for reducing green-house gasses. Rudd is also an Australian republican, and though not a top-priority issue, the country's relationship with the British crown could change.
I know a little bit about Australian politics, as my second-cousin Frank Crean was a vice PM and a Labor Party leader for years - as his son Simon is now. To be honest, though family, Crean senior was perceived to be a bit stodgy - a remnant of the days when Labor was run by the dock workers and had a much more English-style feel. Rudd has transformed the party with new faces, celebrity candidates and more effective appeals to the average, working bloke. Simon Crean has been a shadow minister for a number of years and will likely now get the trade and development portfolio.
Bush and his minions made no bones about their high-regard for Howard. If Tony Blair was Bush's Poodle, then Howard was his pit bull terrier. Australians, in my experience, have a special love for Yanks and are inclined to go the extra mile as our loyal friends. That apparently has its limits and has - at least for a time - come to an end.