What Does A Minority Government Mean For Sydney?

Three seats undecided

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While the final votes are still being counted, it is likely that Labor will not have enough seats to make up a majority in the state government. 

A government needs 47 seats to form a majority in the Lower House, while three seats remain in doubt, including Holsworthy, Terrigal and Goulburn.  

So what is a minority government, and what does it mean to us? How does the government roll with a minority? Will this slow down the political process or strengthen our system? 

In today’s episode of THIS ARVO IN SYDNEY, host Sacha Barbour Gatt spoke with Dr Joe McGirr, MP for Wagga Wagga, about the definition of a minority government and what changes it will bring to the political process in Australia. 

Barbour Gatt said a minority government would be formed when it lacked the seats needed for an outright majority. It had to rely on a “confidence and supply agreement” from other parties and independents to push its measures through.  

Dr McGirr and two other independent MPs, including Sydey’s Alex Greenwich and Lake Macquarie’s Greg Piper, have already agreed to provide Labor with supply and confidence to govern. 


“Governments that have to work closely with the Parliament are better governments. And I also think a government that’s got to work for its legislation is a government less likely to be arrogant,” Dr McGirr said. 

“They have clearly won the election. I think there is a sense that they have a mandate. And I do think that the crossbench will recognise that and appreciate that,” he added. 

Dr McGirr said that people had this misconception of other parties and independents using confidence and supply as a “bargaining chip” to push through their own policies. 

“That’s not how it works. First of all, there’s a large cross pitch. So no single crossbenchers got to have the so-called power, but that’s actually not how it operated. You need a government that can run our services, a stable government.”

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Caitlin Duan

31 March 2023

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Caitlin Duan

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