Game on as minority Libs hold court with independents

Independents in balance-of-power positions in Tasmania's parliament will hold more talks with a Liberal minority requiring their support to govern. 

The Liberals under Premier Jeremy Rockliff won 14 of 35 lower-house seats at the state election on March 23, four short of the number required to govern in their own right. 

Labor, which has been in opposition since 2014, conceded defeat after securing just 10 seats. 

Three Jacqui Lambie Network MPs, elected to parliament for the first time, are expected to sign an agreement to provide supply and confidence to the Liberals within days. 

It means the Liberals require the support of one of three independents - Kristie Johnston, David O'Byrne or Craig Garland - to form government.

David O'Byrne
Former Labor leader David O’Byrne has been returned to parliament as an independent.

Mr O'Byrne, a former Labor leader, said he had spoken to Mr Rockliff about the circumstances under which he was prepared to provide supply and confidence. 

"At the minute Jeremy Rockliff is the only one putting his hand up to be premier and to form government," he told reporters on Tuesday. 

"Certainty on the floor of parliament is important for any government.

"But that doesn’t mean it is a blank cheque and that doesn't mean I’m going to roll over and have my tummy tickled." 

Mr O'Byrne, who had advocated for social housing and public transport, said he wanted to work in a constructive and positive way. 

Ms Johnston, re-elected for a second term, reiterated she wouldn't do deals with the Liberals and her vote wasn't "for sale". 

"I’ll be considering every issue (in parliament) on its merits, whether that is bills, motions or a motion of no confidence," she said. 

"I think Tasmanians expect a mature parliament which ... listens to the argument on both sides and then decides what is best for Tasmanians. 

"What I do want to see is a government that is accountable and acts with integrity, that is honest, open and transparent." 

Mr Garland, a fisherman who beat the Liberals to the last undecided seat in Braddon, has yet to sit down with Mr Rockliff. 

He has campaigned against salmon farming in waters off Tasmania's northwest coast and wants an independent corruption commission established and more affordable housing. 

"I'm looking forward to working with the Liberal government, they're holding government," he said in Devonport after the declaration of polls. 

"I'm hoping I can give them something constructive to do. 

"One of my good mates said, 'you're better off having me inside the tent and pissing out, than outside the tent, pissing in'." 

Jacqui Lambie Network MPs Andrew Jenner, Miriam Beswick and Rebekah Pentland have indicated they want greater political transparency but haven't provided details. 

Their discussions with the Liberals are ongoing.

The Liberals suffered a 12 per cent swing against them at the election, which was held about eight months after the party plunged into minority when two MPs quit. 

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