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Greens leader leaning towards deal

The Greens party said it would not demand a Cabinet seat in exchange for helping either of Australia's main parties form a government following elections that failed to deliver a clear winner.

Senator Bob Brown, leader of the environment-focused minor party, said he would prefer to see the centre-left ruling Labour Party in power, calling his meeting with prime minister Julia Gillard "very constructive".

But he also said he was also open to meeting with Tony Abbott, leader of the conservative Liberal Party-led coalition opposition.

The Greens' sole politician in the House of Representatives and four independents hold the key to which major party will command a majority in the 150-member chamber, where governments are formed.

The Greens also increased their bargaining power with the major parties in the Senate, where their numbers surged from five to nine.

While he did not make it a condition of the Greens' support, Mr Brown urged both of the major parties' leaders to consider including members of others parties in their Cabinets.

"It would be a very good idea, it's open to them, but we are not going to be the ones who put that on the line as a condition for the future of government in this country," he said.

Ms Gillard later would not comment on the likelihood of a Greens politician joining her Cabinet.

"It's not my intention to negotiate through the media," she told reporters.

Corporate leaders are wary of increased Greens' influence on the next government because their policies to substantially cut Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, increase taxes on miners and restrict logging are regarded as bad for business.


From Belfast Telegraph