All the signs that Trump was steaming to victory were there, if you’d been paying attention.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged Victorian premier-elect Daniel Andrews to break his promise to scrap the East West Link.
Mr Andrews has started his first week as the leader of a newly elected Labor Government after a convincing win at the weekend.
Labor is on track to win at least 47 seats in the election, enough to have a majority in the 88-seat Parliament, and Mr Andrews will be sworn in later this week when vote counting is finalised.
Mr Andrews said Mr Abbott tried to convince him to go ahead with the project.
“He invited me to break my commitment on East West and I indicated to him that I would not be doing that,” Mr Andrews said.
“We then talked about the many other infrastructure projects that we’ve laid out the opportunities to partner with him on his commitment to the Australian community that he would be an infrastructure PM.
“We’ve agreed to meet face to face.”
Mr Abbott said the Federal Government was still “absolutely committed to East West Link” and he hoped Mr Andrews would have a “change of heart” on the project.
“He is sticking by what he said during the election but obviously he is now in the process of getting his feet under the desk, consulting with public servants,” Mr Abbott said.
“No doubt he will be talking to the Government’s lawyers about the contracts that have been signed so let’s wait and see what happens.”
Mr Andrews said he had sought advice about releasing documents about the toll road project and said he planned to have a discussion with the consortium building the project soon.
Daniel Andrews to do list:
- Release East West Link contracts and business case
- Introduce the Back To Work Act to Parliament
- Increase funding to TAFE in the current financial year
- Set up royal commission into family violence
- End pay dispute with paramedics
- Seek resignations of Ambulance Victoria board and reappoint a new board
- Conduct an audit of hospital beds, headed by former AMA Victorian president Doug Travis
“I have a clear mandate, our team has a clear mandate to end the secrecy on this project and I will deliver in full on the commitment I’ve made,” he said.
Mr Andrews met with state department heads on Sunday and spoke with his New South Wales counterpart Mike Baird about medical cannabis and defence jobs.
Mr Andrews said Parliament would be back to work before Christmas, beginning with the Back to Work Act.
“Pay-roll tax credits for all employers who take on a young person, take on a retrenched worker, take on a long term unemployed Victorian,” he said.
“There are then a raft of other things in that package, things like the premier’s job and investment panel, the regional jobs fund, Start Up Victoria, which is all about the translation of research into the important commercial opportunities that our state desperately needs.”
Mr Andrews said he would also get to work establishing a royal commission on family violence.
“This is going to happen, because more the same policy will mean more the same tragedy, I am convince of that, the data tells you that and I have met with too many people who have lived with the pain of family violence to be in any doubt about that,” he said.
Micro parties could make negotiations difficult: Antony Green
The make-up of the Upper House is likely to be challenging for the new Labor Government.
There could be as many as 11 cross-benchers, made up of the Greens and various other minor parties.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said it was going to be difficult for the new government.
“At this stage there are five Greens elected and six other parties, a collection of the Shooters Party, the DLP and the Sex Party, denying each side of politics a clear run at the Upper House,” he said.
“Labor could end up with as few as 13 seats.
“You could get an unwieldy number of cross-benchers to pass legislation or the Government will have to deal with the Opposition, so it’s going to be a very difficult life for whoever leads the Labor Party in the Upper House.”
Liberals to find new leader, Nationals ponder future
The defeated Denis Napthine said he fully intended to serve a full term in Parliament, after announcing he would step down as leader of the Coalition following the party’s loss.
Dr Napthine has represented the seats of Portland, and later South-West Coast, for a combined total of more than 25 years.
He was one of a few Liberal MPs to increase the margin in their seat.
“They’ve voted for me, they fully expect that I will continue to serve as the Member for South-West Coast, and that’s what I’ll do,” he said.
Former planning minister Matthew Guy and the former treasurer Michael O’Brien were considered the front runners for the Liberal leadership, with a ballot expected to be held in the coming days.
Peter Ryan, who was the leader of the Nationals, announced today that he was stepping down.
Earlier, he said the Nationals would hold talks with the Liberal Party over the future of the Coalition and whether it would continue
The Nationals face the possibility of losing party status if they do not win 11 seats.
Mr Ryan said the immediate concerns were Monday’s pre-poll counting for the seats of Shepparton and Morwell.
Vote counting continues in a number of seats
Sue Lang from the Victorian Electoral Commission said it would continue to sort through pre-poll, absent and provisional votes on Monday.
She said it was still too early to call some seats, with close counts for the two-candidate preferred vote.
“There are still eight seats that have a very slim margin in the two candidate preferred area,” she said.
“There’s 49 to 50 per cent range, and those districts include Bentleigh, Frankston, Morwell, Shepparton, Richmond, Prahran, Ripon and possibly Melbourne.”