Minority Liberal Party formally signs governing agreement

Tasmania’s minority Liberal premier has officially secured the support of independent MPs he needs to govern, but with certain conditions.

The Liberal Party, which has been in power since 2014, won 14 of the 35 seats in the House of Commons in the March 23 election, falling four seats short of a majority.

In early April, three first-term Jacqui Lambie Network MPs signed an agreement to support the Liberals through parliamentary confidence and supply votes.

The agreement signed by Premier Jeremy Rawcliffe and independent MPs Christy Johnston and David O’Byrne was unveiled on Wednesday.

Tasmanian Independent MHA David O'ByrneTasmanian Independent MHA David O'Byrne

Tasmanian Independent David O’Byrne attended state parliament last year. (Photo by Rob Blacks/AAP)

“This agreement provides confidence and supply for the upcoming parliament,” Mr Rockliffe said.

“I thank both members for their goodwill and constructive input, which will help ensure the stability and certainty Tasmanians desire and deserve.”

Mr O’Byrne, a former Labor leader, said he was obliged to work with Mr Rockliffe after his former party admitted it could not govern with just 10 seats.

In signing the agreement, Mr O’Byrne said he was prepared to provide confidence and supply commitments subject to certain processes and conditions.

He will support the Liberals in the face of motions of no confidence in Parliament unless corruption, gross incompetence, gross misconduct or policy and governance failures are involved.

Mr O’Byrne said he would consider government legislation on its merits and would hold regular meetings with the Prime Minister and ministers.

If Mr Rockliffe is not Prime Minister, the agreement is void.

Ms Johnston has agreed to offer confidence and supply on “merits” and will continue to consider each issue at face value.

She will give a vote of confidence if the government is “transparent and accountable”, if parliament has a high level of integrity and decisions are made in the best interests of Tasmanians.

“My consistent position since the election has been that the party entrusted with forming the government should be given the chance to govern,” Ms Johnston said.

“In addition, I have always said that I am prepared to provide confidence and supply based on performance so that the government can continue its work.”

Fisherman Craig Garland, the third independent member of parliament, said recently that Mr Rockliffe had not yet approached him and reached a formal agreement.

The election was called early after the Liberals were unable to resolve a minority party standoff with two crossbench MPs who did not return to parliament.

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