Katter swings to Coalition

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Katter swings to Coalition

Announcement catches Australia off-guard.

Independent MP Bob Katter has sided with the Coalition in negotiations to form Government despite believing the Australian Labor Party had a better broadband policy.

In a surprise announcement, Katter said that he didn't think either major party "moved that much" on the policy positions they put forward in negotiations over the past fortnight.

Neither party met Katter's 20-point wishlist. Both parties had "acted with integrity" in negotiations but Katter said he had decided to align with the Coalition.

Katter played down the importance of broadband on his decision, despite positive comments last night on the ALP's National Broadband Network policy.

"I think there's a better broadband deal from the ALP," he said, although he conceded he was "not an expert" in the broadband field.

Katter said he had informed Labor of his decision earlier today.

"The pressure was on them in the room this morning," Katter said. "This morning I said it was my decision, fellas. I'm really sorry."

But he suggested later in the conference that if the other independents sided with Labor at a planned press conference at 3pm AEST, he would cooperate with a Labor Government.

"I have made a decision to go one way based on the 20 points," Katter said.

"If at 3pm the independents decide to go with Labor I would respect the integrity of their decision and respect the integrity of the Australian people's decision.

"I would most certainly see a moral responsibility to look at the issue of stability. I've always got along well with Julia [Gillard] and been lavish in my praise for Wayne Swan.

"I have no problem working with their government and have a moral responsibility to work with the government but don't get tied up in this."

Katter suggested his decision would likely have been different had Kevin Rudd - a fellow Queenslander - still been the leader of Federal Labor.

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