CANBERRA, Australia -- Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party will form a minority government to rule Australia for a second three-year term, after two independent lawmakers joined her coalition Tuesday in the interest of stable government.

The decision by Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott gives Gillard's party control of 76 seats in the 150-seat House or Representatives and avoids the need for another round of polls, following inconclusive elections late last month.

It also means Gillard can continue with her plans to introduce a 30% tax on iron ore and coal miners' burgeoning profits and make Australia's biggest polluters pay for carbon gas emissions.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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