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Posts Tagged ‘Australian electoral commission’

Week 3 of Australia's "Hung Parliament"

Compiled by Andrew Middleton
An update on “The latest on Australia’s Hung Parliament,” August 31st

Abbott touted pub relief in Wilkie deal

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

TONY Abbott offered to consider compensation for clubs and pubs as part of his drive to win the support of independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

The compensation would have been for clubs and pubs dependent on poker-machine income for their survival. This was part of his promise to crack down on problem gambling .

But Mr Wilkie, who has agreed with the Gillard government to vote against a no-confidence motion if Labor forms minority government, instead accepted Julia Gillard’s offer to impose restrictions on poker machine use and losses.

The Opposition Leader essentially offered the same deal, based on the findings of the Productivity Commission, to limit poker machine losses, as the ALP.

And Mr Abbott also offered to look at an industry adjustment package to help clubs and pubs with potential job losses.

Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball has accused the Prime Minister of backflipping on a deal to consult the industry before making any changes to gambling regulations.

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Black rights top Bob Katter’s wish list

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter has accused successive governments of oppressing Aborigines, declaring that indigenous policy will affect his decision about whether to back Labor or the Coalition to form a government.

The north Queensland MP wants 100 per cent of the workers on indigenous housing projects to be Aborigines, and for Canberra to sink Queensland Premier Anna Bligh’s Wild Rivers legislation.

He says Aboriginal people should have full control over their own land.

Mr Katter is one of three independent MPs who will next week resolve the nation’s political deadlock by giving one of the major political parties his support to form a minority government after the August 21 election produced no winner.

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Parliament reform spat slows govt result

5 September 2010
From: MyWestnet

A decision on who forms government could be delayed with a squabble breaking out over parliamentary reform.

Labor and the coalition have previously indicated they would support changing parliament’s rules, but on Sunday the opposition declared some of the reforms could strengthen the hand of future governments.

“My role as manager of opposition business is to ensure that the parliament is not diminished and the executive’s power increased,” key coalition negotiator Christopher Pyne told AAP.

Rob Oakeshott wants both sides of politics to sign off on the reforms before he and fellow independents Tony Windsor and Bob Katter announce whether they’ll back Prime Minister Julia Gillard or Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Asked on Sunday whether the current squabbling could delay that announcement, Mr Pyne said: “What is important is the changes to the standing orders for the last 110 years be correct, not rushed”.

The coalition opposes proposed reforms to the speaker’s role and the guaranteeing of “pairing” for votes.

It supports other changes, including boosting the role of independents, elevating private members’ business, strengthening committees, establishing a parliamentary budget office and reforming Question Time.

A draft document outlining the proposed reforms was released by Mr Oakeshott on Saturday. Labor has supported all the measures.

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One may have to compromise: Windsor

6 September, 2010
From: NineMSN

One of the three rural independents may have to compromise and back their least favoured political party in the interests of stable government, Tony Windsor says.

Mr Windsor and his fellow independents Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott are still deciding whether to support a Labor or coalition minority government.

Labor is ahead in that race, holding 74 of the required 76 federal lower house seats – one more than the coalition.

Mr Windsor said if the trio couldn’t agree on whom to support, someone may have to compromise their views in order to avoid a 75-all outcome.

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Related: "Oakeshott prepared to compromise," September 6th

Tony Windsor supported radical action on climate change

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

TONY Windsor introduced a private member’s bill to radically cut Australia’s carbon emissions before the Garnaut report was even released.

The Member for New England proposed Australia’s carbon emissions be cut by at least 30 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – and by 80 per cent by 2050.

Mr Windsor’s decision to vote against the Rudd Government’s emissions trading scheme has been read in some quarters as a sign he will back Tony Abbott’s ‘direct action’ approach to climate change.

But as the trio of country independents continue to weigh up their options, Mr Windsor has hinted the ambitious targets in his private member’s bill may not reflect his personal beliefs.

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Also see: "Gillard faces Rudd-made climate trap," September 3rd

Coalition’s hopes for power sink

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE Coalition is increasingly pessimistic about its chances of winning the support of the three rural independents it needs to take power.

The trio is preparing to end two weeks of political limbo.

Hopes are rising in the government that Labor will be able to win the backing of at least two of the three independents, even as senior Coalition figures made a last-ditch bid for support.

Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, and senior Liberal senator Bill Heffernan lunched with north Queensland independent Bob Katter yesterday in Canberra to discuss his 20-point wishlist as well as water and development issues.

Mr Katter is expected to declare his decision today, but Tony Windsor said he might not make a decision until tomorrow while Rob Oakeshott said he may need until Wednesday.

Senior sources believe the decision could go either way, but pessimism has grown among some senior Coalition figures over the “disengagement” of the independents during key briefings last week with senior frontbenchers.


Coalition sources worry about the fact that issues such as its broadband policy to counter Labor’s NBN and Treasury’s costing of the Coalition’s election promises were only briefly canvassed in the meetings, leaving them concerned the independents were “going through the the motions . . . It would seem they have not nearly negotiated and discussed and exchanged documents and all those sorts of things with us, like they have with Labor,” one Coalition source told The Australian.

“That’s the reason for the pessimism.”

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Greens to rush same-sex bill

4 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE Greens will use their alliance with Labor to prosecute their push for same-sex marriage and liberalising the treatment of refugees by bringing forward their legislation and demanding it be debated, possibly with conscience votes, in the new parliament.

Greens leader Bob Brown confirmed his intentions yesterday as the Coalition warned that a returned Labor government controlled by the Greens would be the most radical in Australian political history.

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Related: "Gillard dumps citizen assembley as Labor, Greens strike alliance deal," September 1st
Also see: "Same Strategy, Different Socialists," August 28th

Final count still weeks away: AEC

6 September, 2010
From: The Australian

THE final count in the federal election can be expected within three weeks, the electoral commission has said.

At noon on Monday, 91.92 per cent of the House of Representatives vote had been counted, with the Senate count slightly behind on 87.3 per cent.

But so far only nine lower house seats have been officially declared out of 150.

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Decision likely for Tuesday, major parties prefer Government over re-election

6 September, 2010
From: ABC News

Independent MP Tony Windsor says a decision on which party will form government is unlikely to be made today.

Mr Windsor and his fellow independents Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott have spent the weekend mulling over which party to support, and will hold talks together in Canberra today.

Mr Windsor says they also plan to meet Labor leader Julia Gillard and Coalition leader Tony Abbott one more time before making a final decision.

“My guess is, on the basis of all that, we’ll make a determination probably tomorrow morning,” Mr Windsor said.

Although keen not to raise expectations, he has not totally ruled out a decision today.

“Anything could happen,” he said.

“I won’t be making a final call until I’ve really sat down with the other two and talked through it, because there is a possibility here that we end up with 75-all, in a mathematical sense.

“I’ve asked people from both sides of the parliament ‘Do you want another election?’ and they nearly run in fear when you suggest that to them.”

The independents are hopeful that the Coalition will today join Labor in signing onto a series of parliamentary reforms.

Mr Oakeshott says there will be a decision soon.

“Realistically, a couple more days at worst, and hopefully by within 24 hours at best,” he said.

The Greens holding the balance of power in the Senate from July next year is a serious point of consideration.

“The reality is, the Greens are in the House,” said Mr Oakeshott.

“That is a pragmatic reality we all have to get used to, like it or not.”

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Recent comedy skit on Australia’s “Hung Parliament” by Clarke & Dawes, as featured on The 7:30pm Report, September 2nd