Aus PM says no to new election

2010-08-31 09:30

Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard pledged on Tuesday to work towards a minority government and rejected a quick return to the polls after national elections failed to produce a clear winner.

Gillard, in her first major speech since the August 21 election weekend, outlined a "new political landscape" shaped by the first hung parliament since 1940.

"Some say this situation is all too difficult and we should just return to the polls. I disagree," she said. "The Australian people have voted for this parliament and our job is to make it work."

As final vote-counting continues, neither Gillard's left-leaning Labour party nor the conservative coalition led by Tony Abbott are able to reach the 76 seats needed for a majority, with both relying on the support of six cross-benchers.

"Australia's new political landscape requires a government that can find new ways to develop policy and establish consensus around the major issues that come before the next parliament," Gillard said.

"If the new government doesn't find new ways to establish consensus and parliamentary support then we will have gridlock and we will quickly look more like Washington than Westminster."