Incoming prime minister Anthony Albanese says Labor is ready to govern after emerging victorious in the federal election, promising Australia now has an opportunity to end “the climate wars”.
- The LNP has lost 20 seats, with several high-profile MPs set to leave parliament
- Independents have won 11 seats, with the Greens on track to win four
- Counting will resume on Sunday, with 14 seats still in doubt, making it unclear whether Labor will govern in majority
Labor will form government, having secured at least 72 seats in the House of Representatives, although it remains unclear whether the party will reach 76 seats and govern in majority, or have to rely on support from the crossbench.
The LNP has lost 20 seats, with high-profile MPs Josh Frydenberg, Tim Wilson, Ken Wyatt and Ben Morton all set to leave parliament.
The LNP has so far held on to 50 seats.
Independents, including several of the high-profile “teal” candidates, have won 11 seats.
The Greens are on track to win up to four seats, after receiving a significant increase in their primary vote in areas around Brisbane which have been subject to flooding.
Counting will resume on Sunday, with 14 seats still in doubt.
Mr Albanese spoke briefly with reporters just after midnight.
“We’ll be a good government, we’re ready, we’re ready to govern,” Mr Albanese said.
Asked about climate change, Mr Albanese said the issue should no longer be controversial in Australia.
Mr Albanese said Labor’s victory was good for multicultural Australia.
“I think it’s good … someone with a non-Anglo Celtic surname is the leader in the House of Representatives and that someone with a surname like Wong is the leader of the government in the Senate,” he said.
Mr Albanese is expected to be sworn in on Monday morning, to ensure he can represent Australia at the Quad international leaders meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Climate could be key if Labor needs the crossbench
Independent candidate Monique Ryan, who appears likely to win the Victorian seat of Kooyong from Liberal Josh Frydenberg, has told the ABC that Labor’s current policy on emissions reductions of 43 per cent by 2030 was “manifestly inadequate”.
She said the party would need to commit to a larger reduction, such as proposed by independent Zali Steggall’s climate change bill, in order to win her support on confidence and supply in a hung parliament.
“That’s what I would be working towards, an absolute minimum of a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, [and] hoping for more than that,” Dr Ryan said.
“I think we need to put in place a legislative framework to ensure that no future government can wriggle out of that action on climate change.
Incoming finance minister Katy Gallagher said Labor would implement the climate policies it took to the election.
“Australians want an end to the climate wars and we can do that as a Labor government, we promised that before the election campaign,” she said.
“We’ll implement the plan we took to the election, but it’s absolutely clear Australians want to end the climate wars and they want to see real action on climate change, climate policy and all the economic opportunities that will come from having a mature and honest approach to these challenges.”
Senator Gallagher wouldn’t say if the new government could be pushed for more ambitious reduction targets if they can’t form a majority.
“I don’t think so, Australians expect their government to do what they said they would do in the campaign,” she said.
“Of course there’s a bit of counting to go, a few seats are too close to call but we’re hoping to form majority government.”
Labor confident in negotiation skills
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles said his party would not do deals with the crossbench to form government, and was optimistic they could secure a majority.
Mr Marles said negotiations to get legislation through would be needed in the Senate regardless of the outcome in the House of Representatives.
“We’re really confident that the agenda we’ve laid out we can get through the Parliament, but Anthony is a person who is enormously skilled at bringing people together,” Mr Marles said.
“We’re not going to do the kind of divisive legislation that we’ve seen from Scott Morrison over the last decade, which has been aimed at wedging his opponent but dividing the country. Anthony wants to bring the country together again.
“That will be reflected in the way in which we approach the parliament, and we’re confident we can get the agenda through the parliament.”
Mr Marles said Labor would take the climate policy it released last year to parliament.
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