Gillard to continue in office after deal with independents

Gillard to continue in office after deal with independents

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labour Party will form a minority government to rule Australia after two independent politicians backed her coalition.

The decision announced today by Tony Windsor and Robb Oakeshott gives Ms Gillard’s party control of 76 seats in the 150-seat House or Representatives.

The August 21 elections failed to deliver a clear winner.

The conservative opposition controls 74 seats.

Today's decision also means Ms Gillard can continue with her plans to introduce a 30% tax on iron ore and coal miners' burgeoning profits and make Australia's biggest polluters pay for carbon gas emissions.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s coalition won 73 seats and another independent, Bob Katter, announced earlier today that he preferred Mr Abbott as prime minister, partly because he opposed the mining and carbon tax plans.

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