A CALL for long-term Kennedy MP Bob Katter to attend a forum in Cloncurry to explain himself is one of the signs that the northern electorate is taking a long hard look at its maverick MP and is bound to make it one of the more interesting seats to watch on Saturday night.
Cloncurry Mayor Andrew Daniels issued an open invitation in the North West Star newspaper for a debate on the future of the region, directed particularly at the sitting member.
“I wanted to see if Bob would turn up and tell us what he’s going to do,” he said.
“He’s publicly said it’s his responsibility now to look after Australia, not just North Queensland. That would be a disaster for us. He’s never here now as it is – we are losing our voice for North Queensland.”
The federal electorate named after explorer Edmund Kennedy is one of the largest in Australia, covering nearly 569,000sq km.
It runs from the Gulf of Carpentaria and Mareeba in the
north to Boulia in the south and east to the Pacific Ocean, taking in Ingham and Innisfail.
Beef and fishing operations sit alongside mining, dairy, sugar and tourism as some of the industries looking for attention from federal politicians, and a total of eight candidates have nominated to be the representative to give them that attention.
It was news that Mr Katter, who heads up Katter’s Australian Party and is fielding candidates nationally and in the Senate, had undertaken strategic preference deals with the ALP in some Queensland seats, which has caused the most debate in the region.
Mr Daniels was scathing of the news of the preference exchange between the two parties in the key marginal rural seats of Flynn, Dawson, Capricornia and Herbert. “Any man who preferences Labor has got to have a screw loose. It’s crazy that he’s even done it for one electorate.
“They’ve crippled the beef industry. I’d like to know what
good they’ve done for the last five years for the country.”
- George Brazier (Palmer United Party)
- Chester Gordon Tuxford (Independent)
- Jenny Stirling (Greens)
- Bob Katter (Katter's Australian Party)
- Pam Hecht (Rise Up Australia)
- Dan Vogler (Family First)
- Noeline Ikin (Liberal National)
- Andrew Turnour (Labor)