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Historic Decision: Independents To Support Labor in Victoria

11.20am – The 3 Independents in the Victorian Legislative Assembly have announced that they will support the formation of a minority Labor government. Details to follow.

Attention will now focus on whether the caretaker Premier, Jeff Kennett, will resign immediately, or whether he will insist on the opportunity to test his support in Parliament, perhaps as early as next week.

It is understood that the Opposition Leader, Steve Bracks, will seek an appointment with the Governor, Sir James Gobbo, this afternoon.

Beaten Kennett To See Governor On Tuesday

2.35pm – The Coalition party-room is to meet on Tuesday afternoon to consider its reaction to the decision by the Independents to support a minority Labor government.

Caretaker Premier, Jeff Kennett, has announced that he will call upon the Governor, Sir James Gobbo, to tender “advice” after the party-room meeting. Kennett says that Labor leader, Steve Bracks, has agreed to this timeline.

Contrary to earlier speculation, Parliament will meet as planned on November 3.

Text of Susan Davies Statement in Support of Labor

Susan Davies, Independent Member for Gippsland WestI remain an Independent. My main concern is with my own electorate. However we Independents have to make a choice on which party we will assist to form government.

I offer my support, to the limited extent outlined in the preamble to the Independent’s Charter Victoria 1999, to the Labor Party. Both Russell Savage and Craig Ingram have also made the same choice, which means the ALP has sufficient numbers to form government in Victoria.

The Labor Party, led by Steve Bracks, has without doubt shown the most consistent and open acceptance of the principles and practices outlined in the Charter, which aims to promote accountable government, improve the Parliament, and improve the situation in rural areas.

The decisive result in Frankston East on Saturday was significant. It was made clear to all concerned that this was going help us come to a decision. The 29,000 or so voters in Frankston East have shared some of the burden we three have felt over the last few weeks and I thank them for speaking so clearly.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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