But don’t panic — true to Australia’s penchant for over-the-air pranksters in the wake of the Kate Middleton radio hoax — Gillard’s dire warnings are just a spoof.
She agreed to make the short video to promote a radio station’s breakfast show as part of their ‘end of the world’ celebrations following predictions that we will all die on December 21, according to interpretations of the Mayan calendar.
With a straight face, Gillard stares into the camera and addresses viewers as ‘My dear remaining fellow Australians. The end of the world is coming. It wasn’t Y2K, it wasn’t even the carbon price.”
Then came the terrifying details. “Whether the final blow comes from flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell beasts, if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end.”
However, her tongue-in-cheek support of the Mayan belief that doom is upon us later this month has been met with mixed reactions from Australians.
Some thought she had been wasting taxpayers’ money, while others saw the funny side.
“Go Jules!” said one man in an online comment. “You went up a giant notch for this…And personally, I hope it’s zombies.”
Another writer commented: “Just think of all the men that will be spared the X-mas eve shopping rush.”
A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office seemed aghast when a newspaper asked for an official comment about Gillard’s video clip.
“What Australian doesn’t mind a laugh from time to time?” he asked “Anyway, the world’s going to end tomorrow, so shouldn’t you be writing about that?”
The ‘tomorrow’ reference is based on science writer Dr Karl Kruszeinicki’s theory that the world will end two weeks earlier than the Mayan prediction.