Supporters of Julia Gillard's chief intra-party rival are again pushing for a vote to oust the Australian prime minister this week.

Government lawmakers have refused to confirm or deny media reports that a petition was circulating among them Wednesday. The ruling Labor Party would meet to discuss a leadership ballot if 30 percent of their members sign that petition.

Supporters of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd are desperate to have a ballot before Parliament rises for the last time Thursday ahead of elections on Sept. 14.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott challenged Gillard to bring forward the election to Aug. 3 because of the leadership wrangling.

Gillard opened her job to a ballot in February to end leadership speculation, but Rudd refused to challenge.