Thursday, 2 September 2010

Moving Australia one step forward, toward Gillard

Tasmanian independent MP for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has decided to back Labor.

Of Wilkie's original 26 policy wish list, he secured commitments for poker machine reform and a massive $100 million in funding for his local Royal Hobart Hospital, whilst Abbott offered $1 billion to Tasmania to build a new hospital.
He also asked for a $20 million assistance package for Tasmanian forest contractors. [NB: read the full agreement here]

Wilkie famously described the justification for war in Afghanistan as "one of the great lies of the election campaign," however he remains concerned at much of Labor's agenda, including treatment of refugees.

"I will use my parliamentary term to champion appropriate reforms," Wilkie said today.

With the support of The Greens yesterday, it gives Gillard 74 seats, needing only two of the remaining independents to gain the 76 seats needed to form a minority government.

The Coalition now has a 11,000 lead on the two party preferred vote, that out of almost 11 million, around 50.004% to 49.996%. A divided nation alright.

It's looking more likely that the remaining three independents will do a deal with Gillard by early next week, which contrasts the relevant party support in their corresponding electorates.


Alison Alloway said...

Wilkie was indicating last night he would support Abbott. Probably the shortfall in Abbott's election budget costing caused a change of mind. Good to see he has achieved gambling reform, although I have some doubts as to its effectivness. Hopefully he will, with the Greens get a proper dialogue about Afghanistan going. I'm still predicting the three amigos will go with Abbott, but that it will be a rocky Parliament.

Thaddeus said...

Abbotts shortfall of $11 billion in costing of his election promises were the "non-core" promises. I wonder if one of those was the 20000 footie stadium for Cairns? I note Abbott offered Wilkie $1 billion to upgrade Hobarts hospital, but Wilkie prudently turned it down. He knew it was really a "non-core" promise! One smart dude Wilkie!