Thursday, March 23, 2023

Most independents rule out striking deal with major parties to form government

“If any agreement is required, it will be the one that is in the best interests of my community,” said Priestly, who is not associated with the teal movement.

He said water policy was a non-negotiable issue for him, describing Labor’s current policy as “unacceptable”.

Zoe Daniel Is Running As An Independent In Goldstein.
Zoe Daniel is running as an independent in Goldstein.Credit:Simon Schluter

This masthead asked 12 independents to list their policy priorities, including any non-negotiable demands that would determine their support in the event of a hung parliament, and whether they would seek a formal agreement in exchange for their support.

Among those approached for comment were incumbents Sharkie, Steggall, Kennedy MP Bob Katter, Indi MP Helen Haines, and Clark MP Andrew Wilkie.

Almost all nominated climate change and a federal integrity watchdog among their key issues.

In addition to Ryan, the views of other teal independent candidates challenging Liberal MPs were sought, including Goldstein candidate Zoe Daniel, North Sydney candidate Kylea Tink, and Wentworth candidate Allegra Spender. Unlike Ryan, they each said they would not seek a formal deal.

Wilkie, who backed Julia Gillard to form minority government in 2010 but later withdrew support after she reneged on their agreement for pokies reform, said he would take a different approach this time.

“I will not do any formal deals to allow either one to form government and instead decide every issue on its merits,” the Tasmanian MP said.

Haines, who put legislation before the last session of parliament to establish a federal integrity commission that would be able to investigate past conduct, take public referrals, and hold public hearings, said legislating the body “as possible would be a commitment I would require in return for my support”.

“But it would not be my only consideration,” she added. “I would never sell my ability to vote on every piece of legislation as it comes before the house.”

Spender, who is fighting to snatch the Sydney seat of Wentworth off Liberal MP Dave Sharma, said she “won’t be pursuing a coalition with anyone”.

“I am prepared to negotiate with either side based on the outcome of the election,” she said.

Daniel, who is challenging Goldstein MP Tim Wilson, said she was prepared to negotiate with both leaders in a hung parliament scenario.

“The men who would be the prime minister know exactly what my priorities are. It would be up to them to work out what they would be prepared to offer,” Daniel said.

Katter presented a long list of issues including a $100-a-week increase to the age pension, income tax splitting for families, “a missile fortress wall around Australia — we should have 200,000 missiles”, and energy and fuel security.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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