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Friday, 03 September 2010 13:14

Broadband not on Katter's wish-list

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Rural independent MP Bob Katter has made public his 'wish-list' of issues he wants addressed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard or Opposition leader Tony Abbott before he is prepared to offer his support to either in forming a minority government - and it doesn't include broadband.


Mr Katter says he is prepared to be flexible in any negotiations Government and the opposition, and that the 20-point wish-list is just a starting point for discussion.

The list includes a call for the removal of tax on bio-fuels like ethanol, no mining tax, no carbon tax and no emissions trading scheme.

But for all the talk of the importance of broadband to regional Australia and various merits of Government's National Broadband Network and the Coalition's alternative scheme, Mr Katter has not put broadband as one of his top 20 issues for his electorate.

Mr Katter, the independent member for the Queensland seat of Kennedy, told SkyNews this afternoon he had still not made any decision about which side he planned to support.

After meetings this week with department heads, Ministers, and shadow ministers, Mr Katter and two other rural independents - Rob Oakeshott from the NSW seat of Lyne and Tony Windsor from New England - say they are the "sharp end" of the decision-making process.

It is understood they will seek to seal commitments from both sides tomorrow on parliamentary reform, particularly around question time procedures and the treatment of Private Members Bills, and would like make decisions about who to support over the weekend.

They are likely to announce who they will support individually very early next week.

With Julia Gillard having won the support of Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie and the Greens' MP Adam Bandt, the Government now has 74 seats lined up compared to the Coalition's 73.

Either side needs 76 seats to form government.

 


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