Independents to end Australia's election deadlock Tuesday afternoon

09:22, September 07, 2010      

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A trio of independent MPs, (From L to R) Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Robert Oakeshott, who will decide the shape of Australia's minority government, meet in the Parliament House in Canberra August 24, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

A decision on which of the two major parties will be able to form a minority Australian federal government is likely to be announced at a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday (AEST), local media said.

The three country independent Members of Parliament (MPs) - Tony Windsor, Bob Katter and Rob Oakeshott - who will make the decision have started arriving at Parliament House in Canberra for consideration of "final documents" from both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

"Then the three of us will get together and talk it through," Windsor told Australian Associated Press on Tuesday, adding the trio was hoping they could make public their decision early on Tuesday afternoon.

Labor needs only the support of two of the three independents to form a minority government, while the coalition needs all three.

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce is not confident about the coalition's chances of winning over the independents.

"You get a sense that the momentum is slipping away from us," Senator Joyce told ABC Radio on Tuesday morning.

But his opposition frontbench colleague Andrew Robb is still hopeful the independents will back the coalition, describing private negotiations as genial and constructive.

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