.Abbott fires $1 billion blank
That's the headline spread across the top of THE AGE today as the fun and games, and the stumbles and gains, continue between the Independents and their suitors. Read about this twist of fortune here
"JULIA Gillard is just two seats away from being able to form a government after Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie rejected a $1 billion offer from Tony Abbott for a new hospital in Hobart and agreed to throw his support behind Labor.
Mr Wilkie accepted Ms Gillard's more modest pitch of up to $340 million to upgrade the existing hospital, saying this was a ''much more ethical way to go than simply grabbing a billion for Tasmania''.
The Hobart-based MP, in a strident rejection of Mr Abbott's hospital lure, said:
''It was almost intoxicating to look at a piece of paper that offered me one billion dollars."
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