Labor wins majority government, cabinet to be sworn in


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will lead a Labor majority government after securing the necessary 76 seats and will unveil his cabinet today, as the new Nationals leader rules out backing legislation for an emissions reduction target.

Labor is on track to win 77 seats, having met the majority government’s target of 76 on Monday night.

Incumbent Labor MP Fiona Phillips remains ahead in the NSW seat of Gilmore, some 142 votes ahead of Liberal candidate Andrew Constance.

The preference stream saw Phillips leading the race despite 36% of the primary vote to Constance’s 42%, although the latter closed the two-party preferred gap somewhat via mail-in votes.

Meanwhile, incumbent Liberal MP Michael Sukkar has a 619-vote lead over Labor candidate Matt Gregg in the Victorian Deakin seat, the other electorate officially still in doubt.

If Gilmore and Deakin did not change hands, Labor would have 77 seats, the coalition would have 58 and the Greens would have four, with the remaining 12 split among various independents.

It comes as Albanese is set to announce his cabinet and said the 47th federal parliament will open on July 26.

Albanese addressed the Labor caucus on Tuesday, outlining his program for the rest of the year and promising to leave a legacy and work with the coalition opposition and crossbenchers.

Labor will introduce a bill for a federal anti-corruption commission by the end of the year, review wasteful spending and present a budget in October.

Albanese says the party won government by showing unity, discipline and a sense of purpose.

“We had a good story to tell,” he told his colleagues.

“We weren’t intimidated by anyone, we weren’t distracted, we stayed the course and the discipline we showed was magnificent. Planning is the first step, faith is the second, and solidarity is the third.

“Those are the three things I want to define this caucus, this parliament.”

Albanese will then fly to Indonesia on Sunday for a three-day diplomatic visit.

Meanwhile, Liberal deputy leader and former environment minister Sussan Ley said it was simplistic to say that climate change policy was the main factor behind the Morrison government’s election defeat on May 21.

“I heard messages (from constituents) about climate, absolutely, but we had a strong set of policies that committed the world to decarbonization that…will make a difference to the global climate,” he said. she told Sky News.

And new Nationals leader David Littleproud has said the party will not support legislation on an emissions reduction target.

“Australians are a lot smarter than we give them credit for, they don’t need politicians telling them what to do,” he said on Tuesday.

“They do it on their own and what we have to do is put the environment and the infrastructure around them to make it happen.”

Moderate MPs, including Trent Zimmerman who lost his North Sydney seat to independent Kylea Tink, have called for tougher emissions reduction targets.

Along with the Labor parliamentary majority, Zimmerman urged the opposition to accept the government’s 43% emissions reduction target by 2030.

“The first easy step the opposition could take is to acknowledge that the Labor government has a mandate…and indicate that they will accept the verdict of the voters on this,” he said.

But Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie said she “sees no scenario” in which the party would accept Labor policy.

Queensland LNP MP Warren Entsch said he would like to see Australia’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 accelerated.

“We already had a pathway to get to net zero by 2050. I expected we could do it much sooner,” he said.

“I would like it to speed up, but I want to see a clear path.”

But while he strongly supports renewables, Entsch stopped short of endorsing Labor’s more ambitious target without seeing a clear plan.

“I’ll look at the details,” he said.

“At the end of the day, I’m not going to send us into bankruptcy or turn off the heaters.”

-with AAP

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