SYDNEY, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Australians should know who will be governing the country by this time next week, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Thursday.
Labor took a firmer hold onto power when Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie announced he would support a Labor government in light of its promises to tackle problem gambling, parliamentary reform and to boost hospitals.
Labor now has 74 members on its side, after Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt signed up on Wednesday.
To form government, the Labor party will need at least two of the three rural independents who are yet to make up their minds.
Addressing the Sydney Institute on Thursday, Treasurer Wayne Swan was asked if Australians would know by this time next week who would lead the country.
"Yes, I hope so," he said.
Asked if he was confident, Swan replied: "We have to leave it in the hands of the Independents. We await their decision."
Swan denied the Australian public had failed to back Labor at the federal election or had rejected its platform that the country weathered the global financial crisis well compared with other developed countries.
He said voters were won over with the government's strong economic record.