Negotiation to form minority gov't continues in Australia

18:23, August 27, 2010      

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The three independent Members of Parliament likely to decide which of the two major parties forms a minority Australian government, on Friday have been given the permission to view Treasury briefings about the budget impact of Labor and coalition election policies.

According to Australian Associated Press (AAP), with no side having a majority in the lower house of parliament, the situation has become more complicated than usual.

In a sign of their new status, independent Members of Parliament Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott will get to see the dossiers prepared for both sides.

"I am pleased to report that (Coalition Leader Tony) Abbott has generally agreed that the independents should be able to get the material that they seek," Prime Minister Gillard told reporters in Canberra on Friday. "I welcome Abbott's general agreement to that. "

The independents - Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott - on Wednesday asked for a Treasury briefing on the cost of all Labor and coalition policies over the next term as a pre-requisite for talks about forming a minority government.

The coalition had initially refused to obey the Charter of Budget Honesty on the basis that Treasury had leaked information about their broadband policy.

But in a deal reached with Gillard, Abbott on Friday agreed to allow Treasury to analyze the coalition's plans on the proviso that only the independents, and not the government, get access.

"Briefings of the independents by Treasury can now go ahead without the risk of political interference and that was a very, very real risk," Abbott told reporters in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Gillard has agreed to provide Abbott more detailed briefings and figures on the national broadband network and the minerals resources rent tax. Once Treasury had reached the end of that process, every Australian should have access to both parties' campaign promises Treasury information.


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(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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