Factbox: Penpix of Australia’s independent & Green MPs

MELBOURNE (BestGrowthStock) – Australia’s election may result in a hung parliament, leaving the balance of power with up to four independent MPs and one from the Green Party.


A stetson-wearing maverick from outback Queensland state, whose electorate covers half a million square kilometers, Katter wants to rebuild tariffs to protect farmers from subsidized overseas competition. Katter, an outspoken former conservative lawmaker, is hostile to government regulation and red tape, and would like to see a 10 percent duty on everything coming into Australia. He is unpredictable, but is the least likely to side with Labor. He has voted with the government five times and with the conservatives on eight occasions.


Tony Windsor is a pragmatic farmer and former state lawmaker who has represented the rural electorate of New England since 2001. Like Katter, he aims to represent rural and regional communities. But Windsor is also more cautious than Katter. He is not afraid of parliamentary deadlocks, but has promised to support the party with the most seats and votes in the new parliament. He is an advocate of better health services, education and telecommunications for Australia’s far-flung regions, including high-speed broadband. Windsor has voted 19 times with the government and 16 times with the opposition.


Another former state conservative lawmaker who dumped his party, the popular Oakeshott has represented a coastal seat north of Sydney since winning a 2008 by-election. Oakshott’s is a sea change seat, with farming being replaced by tourism and retiree services. He is wary of development, is a friend of Windsor’s and, like him, is a supporter of better rural and regional services. He describes himself as economically conservative and socially progressive. Like Windsor and Katter, he is seen as independently minded by his supporters. Oakshott has voted with Labor on 28 occasions and nine times with the conservatives.


Wilkie is a former government intelligence analyst who quit his job before the Iraq war in 2003, and then went public with his concerns about the reasons for the war. He has written a book about the incident, titled Axis of Deceit, which details his fight with the then conservative government of John Howard. Wilkie, 48, has unsuccessfully run for national parliament twice before for the Green Party. Before he became an intelligence analyst, Wilkie served in the armed forces and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. Likely to support Labor ahead of conservatives.


Former barrister Adam Bandt became the Green Party’s only lower house MP, winning the seat of Melbourne from the ruling Labor Party. Bandt has said he will side with Labor in the event of a hung parliament. The Greens support Labor’s plan to build a national broadband network and favor a tougher mining tax than the one Labor is proposing. Bandt has campaigned hard on improving Melbourne’s public transport system.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor, James Grubel and Amy Pyett; Editing by Mark Bendeich)

Factbox: Penpix of Australia’s independent & Green MPs