Key independent Andrew Wilkie – who was promised the mandatory pre-commitment system by Labor in September last year to secure his support in Parliament – has also backed the idea of trialling the controversial new technology.
Mr Wilkie told The Sunday Age in November that the reform was not negotiable and that he would withdraw his support instantly if the Gillard government failed to honour its promise.
Well, that was then. Now we read …
INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie says he is willing to delay the start of his mandatory pre-commitment scheme in a move that would put off the controversial reform off until after the next election.
As his bargaining position crumbles, Mr Wilkie today revealed he was prepared to put off his 2014 start date – which was once non-negotiable – until 2016.
The move effectively allows the Gillard government to put off action on the controversial reform, averting a damaging campaign by the clubs sector ahead of the upcoming election.
This is the man who got Tasmania diddled on hospital funding. Thank god he doesn’t work in national security any more.
Update: Wilkie claims to have grown a pair.
A day after the Tasmanian independent gave the Prime Minister an extra two years to deliver his mandatory commitment scheme, Mr Wilkie declared he would hold the government to its original legislative timetable.
Mr Wilkie admitted his bargaining position had crumbled with the elevation of Peter Slipper as speaker, but insisted “the government has an agreement with me and it intends to honour it and I intend to makes sure it honours it”.
“I am still prepared to walk away,” he told ABC Hobart
Time will tell – I reckon he won’t.