Australian leaders pledge three-year term

11:00 pm on 25 August 2010

Australia's Caretaker Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbot have given guarantees to run a full three-year term after talking with independent MPs who could help them form a minority government.

The election on Saturday has left Australia with a hung parliament and voting continues.

The meetings in Canberra on Wednesday lasted for an hour, during which time Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott presented a list of demands to Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott.

As part of their negotiations, the MPs want both sides to commit to serving a full three-year term.

They released a seven-point plan, including changes to the running of parliament and elections, and a request for briefings from departmental chiefs, ministers and shadow ministers, the AAP reports.

The MPs also want to see Treasury costings of Labor and Coalition election policies and the economic outlook.

Ms Gillard says she is seeking advice on whether she can legally release the Treasury figures.

Mr Abbott told reporters on Wednesday that he would only hand over the Coalition costings that were checked by a private accounting firm.

The independent MPs say they will return to Canberra next week to continue negotiations.

With vote counting continuing, both Labor and the Coalition have 71 confirmed seats late on Wednesday night.

Labor is ahead in one of the seats most in doubt - Brisbane - while Coalition candidates are ahead in the other two - Hasluck and Corangamite.