Kat­ter has his eyes set on the seat of Cook

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - POL­I­TICS Scott Tibballs To com­ment on this story: gazette.edi­to­rial@news.com.au face­book.com/PDMGazette TXT the ed­i­tor: 0404841362

BOB Kat­ter is keen on Cook and is con­fi­dent that his party’s suc­cess in the past, along with the re­cent fail­ures of One Na­tion, bode well for Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party.

Mr Kat­ter said that, in the lead-up to the next Queens­land elec­tion, KAP was be­ing swamped with wor­thy can­di­dates.

“We had to chase peo­ple up last time (in 2015), now they’re com­ing to us,” he said, adding that the party was cur­rently vet­ting six “very ex­cel­lent peo­ple” in Cook.

He said that the party’s lack­lus­tre re­sult in 2015 was be­cause of a lack of time and money, but this time the KAP would be well pre­pared.

Cook, which takes in all of Cape York down to Port Dou­glas and Ma­reeba, will be a chal­lenge for the party to seize. In 2012 KAP earned over 22 per cent of the pri­mary vote, fall­ing to 12.5 per cent in 2015.

“We were not in a po­si­tion in the last elec­tion to make a se­ri­ous charge,” Mr Kat­ter said.

“That will not be the case this time. This time we are go­ing to be bru­tal — any­one that backs the ALP or LNP, they have sold out the north.”

The KAP’s tac­tic ap­pears to be leapfrog­ging a ma­jor party to win on pref­er­ences — if they can’t do it out­right. The tar­get is the LNP, which he sin­gled out for its years in Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and what he said were un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sions on a royal com­mis­sion into bank­ing, sugar ar­bi­tra­tion and the back­packer tax.

“I wouldn’t like to have to ex­plain those things.”

The state LNP had lit­tle to show ei­ther. Mr Kat­ter said their swift re­moval from all seats in the Far North in 2015 was proof how strong their sup­port base was.

Mr Kat­ter’s fed­eral elec­torate of Kennedy over­laps with Cook at Ma­reeba, where Mr Kat­ter’s low­est two-party-pre­ferred re­sult against his LNP ri­val (in the last fed­eral elec­tion) was 57-42 in Mr Kat­ter’s favour — a re­sult that makes him con­fi­dent.

“On the ba­sis of my vote in Ma­reeba, we should be guar­an­teed a good re­sult. That leaves our can­di­date to work very hard in Port Dou­glas.”

Mr Kat­ter didn’t ap­pear phased by One Na­tion or their re­cent fail­ures in Western Aus­tralia, say­ing they had sim­ply proven that smaller par­ties could not ex­ist to rub­ber­stamp ma­jor ones.

“It seems that a vote for them is a vote for the Lib­eral Party.”

Mr Kat­ter said his plan was to seize the bal­ance of power in Queens­land and de­mand “home rule” for the north — mean­ing fewer de­ci­sions af­fect­ing the north be­ing made in Bris­bane.

“Only get gov­ern­ment if you give us home rule in the north. If you don’t agree to that then you’re a traitor to the north ... leave and go back to where you came from.”

Mr Kat­ter said his party was hop­ing to an­nounce up to 25 can­di­dates in the next few weeks.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD-CHISHOLM

Bob says his plan is to seize the bal­ance of power in Queens­land at the next state elec­tion.

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