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Katter in Coalition camp

By online political correspondent Emma Rodgers

Updated September 7, 2010 14:38:00

Independent MP Bob Katter declares his support for the Coalition.

Mr Katter said his decision would have no bearing on fellow independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. (ABC News: Jeremy Thompson)

Key independent MP Bob Katter has announced he will back the Coalition in a minority government.

The Queensland MP's decision to throw his support behind Opposition Leader Tony Abbott means the Coalition is on equal footing with Labor on 74 seats.

Revealing his decision ahead of the other two independents, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, Mr Katter said he decided to go with the Coalition because it agreed to eight points on his list of demands.

"I am confirming that I am giving a result of the 20-point plan and what was decided by the parties ... that I will be backing the Coalition," he said.

Mr Katter said Labor's sacking of Kevin Rudd as prime minister in June had made him extremely angry and was a factor in his decision.

But he also paid tribute to some of Labor's work under Mr Rudd and Julia Gillard and said he could work with Labor if need be.

Mr Katter, however, said he could not back Ms Gillard after he could not secure agreement over issues relevant to his north Queensland electorate such as Indigenous land ownership and employment, the Wild Rivers legislation and the use of ethanol.

Mr Katter also opposes Labor's mining tax and emissions trading scheme.

The Coalition has agreed to a 10 per cent national mandate on ethanol.

But both major parties are still two seats short of the majority needed to form government.

All eyes are now on Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor, who are expected to reveal their intentions at 3:00pm (AEST).

Mr Katter says he does not know which way the two will go.

"Their position is more complex and they were still discussing it, but I thought that there was some impropriety in me staying in the room," he said.

The country trio had said they would consider voting in a bloc to ensure one side of politics had a clear majority if it became apparent the numbers would fall at 75 seats for each side.

Tags: government-and-politics, federal-government, federal-elections, australia, qld

First posted September 7, 2010 13:38:00

State of the Parties

76 seats required for victory

93.0% counted.
Updated Thu Sep 9 08:52AM
Party % Vote Swing Won Predict
Labor 38.0 -5.4 72
Coalition 43.7 +1.5 73
Greens 11.7 +4.0 1
Others 6.6 -0.1 4

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Election Live

76 needed to form government

93.0% counted.
Updated Thu Sep 9 08:52AM
Party % Vote Swing Won Predict
Labor 38.0 -5.4 72
Coalition 43.7 +1.5 73
Greens 11.7 +4.0 1
Others 6.6 -0.1 4
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