Ley vows to fight on
Wednesday, 8th September, 2010
The Federal Member for Farrer said she was disappointed about the formation of an independent-backed Labor government.
The final House of Representatives count was 76-74 to the ALP, making Julia Gillard the first female prime minister ever elected.
Despite the decision, which comes as the Coalition leads the two-party preferred vote count at 50.01 per cent to Labor's 49.99 per cent, Sussan Ley, who foreshadowed the outcome on Monday, said she wanted to work with the government on issues effecting the city and the region.
"(I'm) very, very disappointed obviously, however I'm determined to work with whatever ministers are sworn in ... to progress the issues that are important to Broken Hill and the far west and continue to be an effective local representative."
After 17 days of waiting for the outcome of the federal election, the three rural independents finally showed their political hands yesterday, with north Queensland's Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, breaking ranks from the trio early in the day to support the Coalition.
New England MP Tony Windsor then gave his support to the ALP, making it impossible for the Coalition to form government. A tense wait followed while the MP for the northern NSW seat of Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, outlined his reasons for taking the direction he did before announcing support for a Julia Gillard-led government.
Ms Ley said she was not surprised that Mr Katter had sided with the Coalition.
"I could never see how Bob Katter could have gone with Gillard (because of) the issues he's really passionate about (like the) live cattle export which his electorate relies upon."
One of the reasons messrs Windsor and Oakeshott gave for supporting a Gillard government was that it appeared more stable, given it was less likely to go back to the polls. Ms Ley said that was a bad idea.
"I think that was not a good decision to make because they (the independents) said the Coalition would win. That's what they admitted in the press conference. They are basing (their decision) on a positive not a negative."