Oppn calls off plans for no-confidence motion

AAP

The federal opposition has called off plans to lodge a no-confidence motion against the government, criticising independent MPs for failing to support the move.

Opposition manager of business Christopher Pyne said if there was no support for a no-confidence motion the coalition would not waste parliament's time debating the issue.

Mr Pyne met with a stinging response last week after writing to cross benchers in an attempt to gauge support for a motion against the Gillard government, which could have brought forward the federal election from September 14 to August 3.

"I made it clear to them ... that if we had an equivocal response from them we would take that to assume they were supportive of the government remaining in office and supportive of Julia Gillard," he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

"Tony Windsor and Robert Oakeshott have indicated that they are in lock step with Julia Gillard."

Mr Pyne said he would not pursue the matter while parliament faced a mountain of work.

"There are 103 bills still to be debated in this parliament in the next three weeks," he said.

"So we won't be proceeding with the no-confidence motion unless we get an indication from the cross benchers that there's some prospect for its success."

Asked if parliament needed an additional time to deal with a stockpile of matters, Mr Pyne said the government had got itself in a "pretty pickle" by scheduling such a low number of sitting weeks.

"I assume that (Leader of the House) Anthony Albanese will want the parliament to sit for an extra week to deal with the backlog, but it would take at least a week," he said.

Despite the failed no-confidence motion, independent Queensland MP Bob Katter said he still planned to meet with government and coalition leaders to discuss the issues on which the proposal was based.

Mr Katter supports coalition plans to repeal the carbon tax, which he said was "the first of five reasons" for a no-confidence motion, outlined in Mr Pyne's letter.

Mr Katter acknowledged that if the no-confidence motion was to reach parliament, it would mean a shift in the polling day of only a few weeks.

"But we note also that six weeks can be a long time for people surviving on a week-to-week basis," he said.