Independent rejects offer of ministerial post

2:40 pm on 11 September 2010

One of the Australian independent MPs who aligned with Labor to keep Prime Minister Julia Gillard in power has turned down her offer of a ministerial portfolio.

Ms Gillard had invited Rob Oakeshott to be Regional Affairs Minister in the new administration she is putting together.

But he says there would have been political problems for the regional package he negotiated as part of the deal to swing his support, if he was also the minister responsible for it.

There are some in Parliament who may want to bring the package down, Mr Oakeshott says, so it would be simpler to have someone else in charge of the portfolio.

Labor has only been able to retain power with the support of Mr Oakeshott, two other independents and the lone Green MP.