Katter has his eyes set on the seat of Cook
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.
Bob says his plan is to seize the balance of power in Queensland at the next state election.