Greens sign deal to back Australian Labor to form minority gov't

09:30, September 01, 2010      

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New Australian Greens Member of Parliament Adam Bandt on Wednesday formally sided with Labor Party in the hopes of forming a minority government.

In what was a widely expected move, Bandt signed an agreement with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her Parliament House office on Wednesday morning. They were joined by Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Greens leader Bob Brown and his deputy Christine Milne.

In return for Bandt's support, Gillard has offered to set up a climate change committee, make investments in dental care as well as 20 million dollars (17.8 million U.S. dollars) to look at high- speed rail on the east coast.

There will also be a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan and restrictions placed on political donations.

According to ABC Network, the government had also agreed to move towards holding a referendum to change the constitution to recognize indigenous people and local government.

The climate change committee, operating at cabinet level, would move towards setting a price on carbon.

After signing the deal, Greens leader Bob Brown said the Greens, who also hold the balance of power in the Senate, were committed to stable, open and good governance.

"We take that responsibility with a great deal of gratitude to the people of Australia," Senator Brown told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"We will be discussing, if Julia Gillard is the next Prime Minister, a wide range of other issues in the months and years to come."

The deal with the Greens means Labor is now three seats short of the 76-seat majority it needs to form government.

The three incumbent crossbench Members of Parliament, and newly elected independent Member of Parliament Andrew Wilkie are yet to make up their mind who to support as negotiations continue this week.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张洪宇)

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