Vote counting continues in Australia's neck-and-neck election

Author
Newstalk ZB staff ,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 July 2016, 5:55a.m.
Incumbent Malcolm Turnbull and Labor Party leader Bill Shorten are racing a tight race to the Prime Minister position (Getty Images).

UPDATED 8.15am The head of one of Australia's biggest accounting firms says Australia's uncertain election result isn't looking good for business.

LISTEN ABOVE: CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley talks to Andrew Dickens about the vote counting

Vote counting will continue this morning, to try and find a winner in the neck-and-neck political battle.

The Labor Party's still ahead, but only just - with 71 seats to the Liberal Coalition's 67.

Australia correspondent Donna Demaio told Andrew Dickens they'll hear from leaders on both sides today, who're battling to convince Australians they can form a government.

"Counting will resume today after all those absentee and postal votes, which weren't counted in the last couple of days, will start being counted. 2.5 million people actually cast their vote early."

CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley told Andrew Dickens they're moving into a period that looks like it will be a complex one for Australia.

"As much as the polls said that things would be close, to think that we're now moving into part of the week and we still don't know who the government's going to be. There really is a significant question mark."

Ms Demaio said: "Labor picked up quite a number of seats unexpectedly in areas such as western Sydney and Tasmania, so for now it does look like it's going to be a hung parliament."

John Key said he has been in touch with Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, to talk over how minority Governments have worked here.

"We've very effectively worked minority governments. The previous government was a nine year government under minority so you've just got to get on and do it."

MORE: The Soap Box: Key's advice to buddy Turnbull

Ms Demaio said the shadow treasurer, Labor's Chris Bowen, just last night tried to rule out a coalition with the Greens - which the Greens found quite amusing.

"Sitting next to him, the Green senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who had quite a righteous giggle when he said there'll be no deal made with the Greens, so it's still all up in the air quite frankly."

Channel Nine finance editor Ross Greenwood told Mike Hosking the deadlock between the parties is very worrying for business.

He said those in the minor parties hold very protectionist views, things like implementing huge subsidies for Australian farmers and minimising trade.

"Having the submarine built in South Australia to create jobs was dead against the car industry closing and leaving Australia. The government should have subsidised the car industry so the jobs were kept and created in Australia."

Mr Greenwood said Australia's got an open economy with trade deals that need to be upheld from a business sense.

"If you get those protectioners holding the balance of power, and maybe tipping the balance back towards some form of protectionism, then really a lot of investors and business people are going to be very worried about that."

 

It is expected there will be more tough times for Kiwis across the ditch if Mr Turnbull keeps the top job.

Kiwi rights advocate David Faulkner said that prospect doesn't give much hope for better treatment for New Zealanders living indefinitely in Australia.

He said other than a band-aid offer of a new visa pathway, Mr Turnbull appears to have no intention of making significant legislative change to end the residency tussle for Kiwis.

"It's highly unlikely that any real changes will be made at all in the next term of government. I guess a lot of Kiwis will just keep their fingers crossed that Labor might get in the next time around."

David Faulkner said Labor is slightly more inclined to do away with the concept of Kiwis being treated as mere temporary residents.

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