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Updated at 10:01 pm on 27 September 2010
Australia's federal Opposition has had a setback, with National Party MP Tony Crook deciding to sit as an independent.
The National Party is in coalition with the Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott.
When Mr Crook was running for Parliament he indicated he would not sit in the Coalition party room, but National leader Warren Truss was under the impression he would attend National meetings.
Mr Truss says Mr Crook's decision is a blow, though he is still hopeful, he says, of convincing him to change his mind.
Mr Crook, who represents the Western Australian seat of O'Connor, campaigned on a commitment to try to implement Western Australia's royalties-for-regions scheme at a national level.
During the election campaign, he said Western Australians believed they were being ripped off.
"The notion of this mining tax is set to take anywhere between $7 and $8 billion out of Western Australia alone," he said, "and so far they've offered us back $250 million a year. Now, if that's not a poke in the eye, I don't know what it is."
The Western Australian Nationals are allied to the federal Nationals but are not required to vote along party lines.
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