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Two independents tip Australia Labor's way

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Two independents tip Australia Labor's way


Australia’s Labor prime minister Julia Gillard will remain in office after finally winning the backing of two independent MPs to give her a wafer-thin majority in parliament.

After the election in August that lost Labor its majority the country was left with no party in overall control.

Having already won support from two other crossbenchers, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott’s backing has tipped the balance Gillard’s way.

“With today’s agreement with independent members of parliament, with Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor, and with the previous agreements reached with the Greens and of course with Mr Wilkie Labor is prepared to govern,” the prime minister said.

After the election there was little to choose between Labor and the conservatives led by Tony Abbot, and that led to weeks of wooing the cross bench potential kingmakers.

It is the first time Australia has had a minority government since World War Two.

But the uncertainty is still not over. Big foreign investments in Australia’s immense mining industry have been put on hold until the new administration has finalised details of its proposed mining tax.

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