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Labor wins majority government, cabinet to be sworn in

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will lead a majority Labor government after securing the necessary 76 seats and will reveal his cabinet today, as the new Nationals leader rules out supporting legislation for an emissions reduction target.

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Labor is on track to win 77 seats, after reaching the majority government target of 76 on Monday evening.

Incumbent Labor MP Fiona Phillips remains narrowly ahead in the NSW seat of Gilmore, some 142 votes clear of Liberal candidate Andrew Constance.

Preference flow has seen Phillips lead the race despite 36 per cent of the primary vote compared with Constance’s 42 per cent, although the latter is somewhat closing the two-party preferred gap via postal votes.

Meanwhile, incumbent Liberal MP Michael Sukkar is 619 votes clear of Labor candidate Matt Gregg in the Victorian seat Deakin, the other electorate that still officially remains in doubt.

Should Gilmore and Deakin not change hands, Labor would have 77 seats, the coalition would have 58 and the Greens would have four, with the remaining 12 shared between various independents.

It comes as Albanese is set to announce his cabinet and said the 47th federal parliament will open on July 26.

Albanese addressed the Labor caucus on Tuesday, outlining his agenda for the rest of the year and promising to leave a legacy and work with the coalition opposition and crossbenchers.

Labor will introduce a bill by the end of the year for a federal anti-corruption commission, review wasteful spending and hand down a budget in October.

Albanese says the party won government by showing unity, discipline and a sense of purpose.

“We had a good story to tell,” he told colleagues.

“We weren’t intimidated by anyone, we didn’t get distracted, we stayed on course and the discipline we showed was magnificent. Planning is the first step, faith is the second and solidarity is the third.

“They are the three things that I want to define this caucus, this parliament.”

Albanese will then fly to Indonesia on Sunday for a three-day diplomatic visit.

Meanwhile, Liberal deputy leader and former environment minister Sussan Ley said it was simplistic to say climate change policy was the main factor in the Morrison Government’s May 21 election defeat.

“I did hear messages (from voters) about climate, absolutely, but we had a strong set of policies which engaged the world in decarbonising which … will make a difference to the global climate,” she told Sky News.

And new Nationals leader David Littleproud said the party would not support legislating an emissions-reductions target.

“Australians are far more sensible than what we give them credit for, they don’t need politicians telling them what to do,” he said on Tuesday.

“They’re doing it by themselves and what we need to do is put the environment and infrastructure around them to achieve it.”

Moderate MPs, including Trent Zimmerman who lost his North Sydney seat to independent Kylea Tink, have called for stronger emissions-reductions targets.

With Labor’s parliamentary majority, Zimmerman urged the opposition to accept the government’s 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 target.

“The easy early step the opposition could take is to recognise that the Labor government does have a mandate … and to indicate that it will accept the verdict of voters on that,” he said.

But Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie says she “couldn’t see any scenario” where the party would agree to Labor’s policy.

Queensland LNP MP Warren Entsch said he would like to see Australia’s target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 accelerated.

“We already had a pathway as to where we were going to achieve net zero by 2050. I was expecting that we could do it a lot sooner,” he said.

“I’d like to see it accelerated but I want to see a clear pathway.”

But while he strongly supports renewable energy, Entsch stopped short of endorsing Labor’s more ambitious target without seeing a clear plan.

“I’m going to look at the details,” he said.

“At the end of the day, I’m not going to send us bankrupt or turn off the heaters.”

-with AAP

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