30 June 5 People Who Could Be Australia’s Political Kingmakers By: YIS | Category:

1. Bob Katter

With his trademark white Stetson-style hat, the controversial Bob Katter has been here before as a potential kingmaker in the 2010 hung parliament along with two other former conservatives-turned-independent. While the other two backed Labor, he ultimately said he couldn’t bring himself to cast adrift the center-right. An anti-establishment maverick, Mr. Katter wants more money for infrastructure, including a huge dam project, curbs on migration and a halt to foreign farm purchases. He tends to vote with conservatives.

2. Cathy McGowan

Cathy McGowan is a former conservative staff member turned independent. She tends to support the center-right on economic issues, but is less predictable on social policies. She wants more money for mobile phone networks in remote areas, better regional infrastructure and stronger climate-change laws. She has ruled out guaranteeing support for whoever forms government, but is more likely to back a conservative administration under Mr. Turnbull.

3. Rebekha Sharkie

Rebekha Sharkie enters parliament for the first time with the centrist NXT Party headed by South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon. Like her mentor–now a pivotal player in both houses of Parliament with a clutch of Senate seats–she wants more money injected into struggling steelmaker Arrium and more support for the automotive industry, which is due to close down next year. She also wants a crackdown on gambling. Her voting will be issue by issue, but if the conservatives manage to gather the most seats in the lower house, she will likely offer support for Mr. Turnbull.
Andrew Wilkie

Andrew Wilkie is a former intelligence analyst who has clashed with the conservatives over their backing for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is unlikely to support company tax cuts promised by Mr. Turnbull and is highly critical of a swathe of conservative policies including a trimmed-back national super-broadband, the abolition of climate laws and deregulation of university fees. He is more likely to back Labor into government, but his compass will be based around what is best for his small and relatively disadvantaged island state of Tasmania.

5. Adam Bandt

Adam Bandt is the sole Greens lawmaker in the lower house and has ruled out any deal with conservatives. Mr. Bandt wants to increase immigration and ban business donations to both major parties. He also wants stronger climate laws, repeal of mandatory detention laws for asylum seekers and a stronger health and welfare system. He is the most hostile to Mr. Turnbull’s conservative brand, but the leftist Greens are open to a deal backing Labor.