NBN 'key issue' for independents backing Labor

Three of the four independents have given their support to Labor, citing the National Broadband Network as an important factor in their decision.

The decision gives Labor the slim majority the party needs to form a minority government, after two and a half weeks of political stalemate.

Rob Oakshott and Tony Windsor both lent their support to Julia Gillard's government in a joint announcement, while Bob Katter revealed his preference for the Coalition an hour earlier.

Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie announced his support for Labor last week.

Both Mr Oakshott and Mr Windsor said the National Broadband Network (NBN) was a key issue.

"You do it once you do it right and you do it with fibre," Mr Windsor said, while Mr Oakshott said "a big sticking point for us in regional areas is the broadband issue".

Climate change and health were also major drivers for their decision, the pair said.

The NBN was a major point of difference between the Coalition and Labor during the election, with Ms Gillard's government supporting the $43 billion fibre-to-the-home plan and Tony Abbot's party proposing a cheaper alternative based on existing infrastructure and wireless technologies.