Katter's Australian Party
|Katter's Australian Party|
|Founder||Bob Katter MP|
|House of Representatives|
Katter's Australian Party is a registered political party in Australia. It was formed by the independent Federal Member of Parliament Bob Katter with a registration application lodged to the Australian Electoral Commission on 3 June 2011. It won two seats at the March 2012 state election in Queensland.
The party's policies closely mirror those of Katter, including support for agricultural interests, opposition to privatisation and deregulation, and strong conservatism on social policy. The party's first policies announced by Katter include:
- Opposition to carbon taxes.
- Support for renewable energy such as ethanol.
- Legislate to limit Woolworths and Coles duopoly to 22.5 per cent market share each.
- Halt any privatisation and renationalise privatised assets.
- All government spending on goods to be on Australian products where possible.
- Every motor vehicle purchased under a government contract (arguably over 20% of Australia’s motor vehicles) will be Australian made.
- All clothing for Armed Forces, Police, Prisons to be manufactured in Australia.
- Maintain government support for Australia’s domestic ethanol industry and mandating the use of ethanol
- No exploration or mining activity will be permitted on landholder’s property without the landholder’s consent.
- Significantly increase customs duty on products coming into Australia.
- Resist changes to the Marriage Act to permit same-sex marriage.
- Restore individual rights, such as "fishing freely and boiling a billy without a permit".
- Government must ensure that all workers, especially farmers, are able to collectively bargain for their own economic interests.
- Government must ensure and limit against corporate monopolisation.
- Essential services such as air travel, water, electricity, gas, health services, road networks, public transport and communications should be provided by government.
- Personal home ownership must be made easier by government implemented policies.
- It is the duty of government to ensure bank lending creates real wealth in terms of improvements of the quality of life for the average Australian.
The party has drawn criticism from political opponents including Labor, the Liberal/National Coalition and the Greens for anti-gay statements made by its candidates and political advertisements. In an interview with the Hamilton Spectator, Tess Corbett, a KAP candidate for the seat of Wannon, compared gays and lesbians to paedophiles, and said people "should be able to discriminate" against them in some cases. She was later stood down as a candidate over the incident. Former national secretary and Queensland Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor supported her remarks, saying "I wouldn't let a gay person teach my children and I am not afraid to say it." He was also stood down as a candidate and his party membership suspended.
Former candidate in the 2012 Queensland State election and former worker in head office Terri Bell has claimed that the party's management committee is a "boys club".
On 17 August 2011 the party's application for registration was denied by the Australian Electoral Commission, on the grounds that the abbreviated party name ("The Australian Party") was too generic and likely to cause confusion. On 27 September 2011, Katter's Australian Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission. Although, unsuccessful in registering the "The Australian Party" abbreviated party name nationally, the party was successful in registering in Queensland with the party's abbreviation being "The Australian Party" despite some objections. According to Queensland electoral law it is the abbreviated party name which appears on the state election ballots. Katter's Australian Party subsequently unsuccessfully appealed to the courts to have ballots reprinted so that the full party name and not the abbreviated party name would appear on ballots for the 2012 Queensland state election.
Queensland state politics
The party fielded candidates at the 2012 Queensland state election. Queensland Independent MP Rob Messenger had expressed interest in joining the party, however following the merger with the Queensland Party, Messenger declared he would not join the new party as it intended to run against sitting independents at the election.
On 9 August 2011, Katter's Australian Party announced plans to merge with state Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon's Queensland Party, with Katter's party as the surviving entity. As part of the deal, McLindon became Queensland state leader of Katter's Australian Party.
On 30 October 2011 McLindon was joined by Shane Knuth, the LNP member for Dalrymple, who said the LNP had not been beneficial for rural and the LNP merger had been a Liberal takeover that had been "disastrous" for regional representation, with rural MPs having no say. Knuth also stated that stand-over tactics and secret LNP files on Labor MPs, that included information such as sexual behaviour, as having influenced his decision.
In the 2012 Queensland state election the party won two of the 76 seats it contested, with Knuth holding Dalrymple and Rob Katter winning Mount Isa, although McLindon was defeated in Beaudesert. Katter claimed that the Electoral Commission's decision not to print his name on the ballot cost the party 8.5% of the vote.
On 25 November 2012 the party was joined by Condamine LNP MP Ray Hopper, claiming that the LNP had been a takeover by the old Liberal Party at the expense of the National Party. Hopper claimed to have spoken to eight other government MPs who were considering defection. On 29 November Hopper was elected party leader.
|Rob Katter||2012||Mount Isa|
- Whitford, Troy (2 November 2011), "Don’t write off the Mad Katter’s Tea Party", The Conversation, retrieved 24 March 2012
- Melinda Howells (23 September 2011). Katter's Australian Party gets registration. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Queensland MP Bob Katter registered Katter's Australian Party with the Australian Electoral Commission". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Core Values and Principles". Katter's Australian Party. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Bob Katter launches the Australian Party to take on the big boys". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "Katter candidates fall over anti-gay remarks". ABC News. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- "Former female State Candidate says KAP is a 'Boys Club'". Sunshine Coast Daily. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Application for party registration refused - Katter's Australian Party". AEC. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Bob Katter's party registered with AEC". news.com.au (News Limited). 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- news.com.au (News Limited) http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/court-rejects-katter-partys-ballot-case/story-e6frfku0-1226293263936
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- Agius, Kym (6 June 2011). "Qld MP mulls move to Katter's party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Adcock, Frances; Hegarty, Laura (10 August 2011). "Messenger snubs merged Katter party". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Binnie, Kerrin (10 August 2011). "Katter talks up party merger". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Houghton, Des (11 August 2011). "Queensland Party may cease to exist as leader Aidan McLindon plans to join Bob Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Jessica Marszalek (30 October 2011). "LNP MP defects to Katter's Australian Party". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- Kym Agius (4 June 2012). "Nominations open for Katter’s federal bid". The Age.
- Madigan, Michael (25 November 2012). "LNP veteran Ray Hopper resigns to join Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Hopper endorsed as Katter Party state leader".
- Richards, Blair (25 November 2012). "The Gospel according to Bob". The Mercury. Retrieved 25 November 2012.