|Leader of Katter's Australian Party|
5 June 2011 – 3 February 2020
|Preceded by||Party established|
|Succeeded by||Robbie Katter|
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
13 March 1993
|Preceded by||Rob Hulls|
|Minister for Mines and Energy|
25 September 1989 – 7 December 1989
|Preceded by||Martin Tenni|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Gilmore (Mines)|
Tony McGrady (Energy)
|Minister for Development and Community Services of Queensland|
7 November 1983 – 25 September 1989
|Preceded by||Thomas Gilmore|
|Succeeded by||Martin Tenni|
|Member of the Queensland Parliament|
7 December 1974 – 25 August 1992
|Preceded by||Bill Longeran|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
Robert Bellarmine Carl Katter
22 May 1945
Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia
|Political party||Katter's Australian (since 2011)|
|National (until 2001)|
|Relations||Carl Katter (half-brother)|
Alex Douglas (nephew)
See Katter family
|Parents||Bob Katter Sr.|
|Residence||Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia|
|Education||Mount Carmel College|
St. Columba Catholic College
|Alma mater||University of Queensland|
|Occupation||Union delegate|
(Australian Workers' Union)
|Branch/service||Australian Army Reserve|
|Years of service||1964–1972|
|Unit||49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment|
Robert Bellarmine Carl Katter (born 22 May 1945) is an Australian politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1993. He was previously active in Queensland state politics from 1974 to 1992. Katter was a member of the National Party until 2001, when he left to sit as an independent. He formed his own party, Katter's Australian Party, in 2011.
Katter was born in Cloncurry, Queensland. His father, Bob Katter Sr., was also a politician. Katter was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly at the 1974 state election, representing the seat of Flinders. He was elevated to cabinet in 1983, under Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and served as a government minister until the National Party's defeat at the 1989 state election.
Katter left state politics in 1992, and the following year was elected to federal parliament standing in the Division of Kennedy (his father's old seat). He resigned from the National Party in the lead-up to the 2001 federal election, and has since been re-elected four more times as an independent and twice for his own party. Katter is known for his social conservatism, and is frequently described as a "maverick" by the media. His son, Robbie Katter, is a state MP in Queensland, the third generation of the family to serve in parliament.
Early career and family background
Katter was born in Cloncurry, Queensland, the son of Robert Cummin Katter, the member for Kennedy from 1966 to 1990, and his wife, Mabel. His paternal grandparents went to Cloncurry in a stage coach around 1900. His paternal grandfather, a Lebanese migrant, owned clothing stores throughout north Queensland. His father, Bob Katter Sr., was an Australian politician who served in the House of Representatives from 1966 to 1990, representing the National Party (originally named the Country Party).
Growing up in Cloncurry, Katter's family owned a clothing shop and managed a local cinema. He was one of only six at his school who finished year 12.
Katter attended the University of Queensland, where he studied law, but later dropped out without graduating. While at university, Katter served as Vice President of the University Law Society, and was President of his University College. As a sergeant, finishing after seven years as Lieutenant, he served in the Citizens Military Forces.
During their 1964 Australian tour, The Beatles were pelted by eggs from some unknown assailants. Katter, then a university student, came forward more than 40 years later and claimed his involvement, saying that it was "an intellectual reaction against Beatlemania."
Katter's father was a member of the Australian Labor Party until 1957, when he left during the Labor split of that year. He later joined the Country Party, now the Liberal National Party. The younger Katter was a Country Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 1974 to 1992, representing Flinders in north Queensland. He was Minister for Northern Development and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs from 1983 to 1987, Minister for Northern Development, Community Services and Ethnic Affairs from 1987 to 1989, Minister for Community Services and Ethnic Affairs in 1989, Minister for Mines and Energy in 1989, and Minister for Northern and Regional Development for a brief time in 1989 until the Nationals were defeated in that year's election.
While in the Queensland Parliament, Katter junior was a strong supporter of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, though he remained in cabinet under Mike Ahern, but ulitimaly resigning from Cabinet along with Russell Cooper. He served on the backbench. Then appointed again to Cabinet in the traditional number two position of Mines & Energy. This was under the Bjelke-Petersen's factions restoration to power.
Katter did not run for re-election to state Parliament in 1992, he transferred to federal politics. He ran as the National candidate in his father's former seat of Kennedy, facing his father's successor, Labor's Rob Hulls. Despite name recognition, Katter trailed Hulls for most of the night. On the eighth count, a Liberal candidate's preferences flowed overwhelmingly to Katter, allowing him to defeat Hulls by 4,000 votes. He would not face another contest nearly that close for two decades.
Katter was re-elected with a large swing in 1996, and was re-elected almost as easily in 1998. However, when he transferred to federal politics, he found himself increasingly out of sympathy with the federal Liberal and National parties on economic and social issues. In 2001, he resigned from the National Party and easily retained his seat as an independent at the general elections of 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010, each time ending up with a percentage vote in the high sixties after preferences were distributed.
In the aftermath of the 2010 hung federal election, Katter offered a range of views on the way forward for government. Two other former National Party MPs, both independents from rural electorates, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott decided to support an ALP Government. Katter presented his 20 points document and asked the major parties to respond before deciding which party he would support. As a result he broke with Windsor and Oakeshott and supported the Abbott LNP for Government. On 7 September 2010, Katter announced his support for a Liberal/National Party coalition minority government.
On 5 June 2011, Katter launched a new political party, Katter's Australian Party, which he said would "unashamedly represent agriculture". He made headlines after singing to his party's candidates during a meeting on 17 October 2011, saying it was his "election jingle".
In the 2013 election, however, Katter faced his first serious contest since his initial run for Kennedy in 1993. He had gone into the election holding the seat with a majority of 18 percent, making it the second-safest seat in Australia. However, reportedly due to anger at his decision to back Kevin Rudd (ALP) for Prime Minister following Julia Gillard's (Prime Minister) live cattle export ban (Rudd, within weeks, reopened the live export market), Katter still suffered a primary-vote swing of over 17 points. His name heavily associated with Rudd. In the end, Katter was re-elected on Labor preferences, suffering a two-party swing of 16 points to the Liberal National party.
On 15 August 2017 Katter announced that the Turnbull Government could not take his support for granted in the wake of the 2017 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, which ensued over concerns that several MPs held dual citizenship and thus may be constitutionally ineligible to serve in Parliament. Katter added that if one of the affected MPs, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, lost his seat, the Coalition could not count on his support for confidence and supply.
In November 2018, Katter secured funds for three inland dam-irrigation schemes in North Queensland.
Katter is known as an unabashed social conservative. His views on economic matters echo 1950s Labor policy as he opposes privatisation and economic deregulation and strongly supporting traditional Country Party (collective) statutory marketing. The sobriquet 'Mad Katter' was coined by his opponents to describe his nationalistic developmentalism. He has a very sporadic attendance record in parliament, and by the end of 2019 had only attended 42% of votes on the floor of parliament, the lowest of any member of parliament.
In 1989, while Community Services Minister in the Queensland state government, Katter opposed installing condom vending machines in Aboriginal and Islander communities to reduce the spread of AIDS, describing the plan instead as an attempt at eugenics, or "racist genocide".
An opponent of the tougher gun control laws introduced in the wake of the 1996 massacre in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Katter was accused in 2001 of signing a petition promoted by the Citizens Electoral Council (CEC), an organisation that claims the Port Arthur massacre was a conspiracy. He has stated that he always and still believes there was no conspiracy.
Katter has championed the mandating of ethanol fuel content. He has pioneered protests against imported bananas, and constantly challenges the supermarket concentration of power with Coles and Woolworths.
In November 1989, Katter claimed there were almost no homosexuals in North Queensland. He promised to walk backwards from Bourke if they represented more than 0.001 percent of the population. Katter also said "mind you, if there are more, then I might take to walking backwards everywhere!" Katter voted against the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act, 1994 (Cth), which decriminalised homosexuality in Tasmania. He does not support same-sex marriage. His response to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey result went viral, as Katter found the issue of crocodiles killing people in North Queensland more pressing as the premise of the interview was that the plebiscite wasn't to be discussed. In December 2017, Katter was one of only four members of the House of Representatives to oppose the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 legalising same-sex marriage in Australia.
In 2017, Katter repeated a pledge used by the far-right organisation "Proud Boys", including that he was "a proud western chauvinist". When asked about the incident when it was publicised in 2019, Katter distanced himself from the group, saying "I don’t know who this group is or anything about it".
As of 2020, Katter described himself as belonging to the "hard left," citing his continuing membership of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
- Bob Katter, An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia (Millers Point, New South Wales: Murdoch Books Australia, 2012).
- "The Hon. (Bob) Robert Carl Katter". Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
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- ABC.net.au Archived 9 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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- Condom Decision "Racist Genocide Archived 22 December 2020 at the Wayback Machine", Strait Talking, Torres News (Thursday Island, QLD), Thu 24 Aug 1989.
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- "Katter throws crocs into climate debate". ABC News. Australia. 12 August 2009. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
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- Wright, Tony (24 August 2011). "No gays, Bob? Try closer to home". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Roberts, Greg (1 April 2000). "Katter-brained". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 42.
- "Gay marriage ridicule 'damages youths'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
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- "Bob Katter pledges allegiance to far-right group but dismisses it as 'larrikinism'". the Guardian. 9 June 2019. Archived from the original on 21 October 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "Bob Katter has pledged allegiance to the far-right group Proud Boys in a YouTube video". SBS News. Archived from the original on 4 November 2020. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- Interview with Bob Katter: "‘Everyone tells me I’m crazy, and I actually am’: Katter" Archived 24 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine, Sky News, Feb 16, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bob Katter.|
- Official biography, aph.gov.au
- Maiden Speech – Australian House of Representatives (6 May 1993), aph.gov.au
|Parliament of Queensland|
| Member for Flinders
| Minister for Northern Development and Aboriginal and Island Affairs
Title next held byAnne Warner
as Minister for Aboriginal and Islander Affairs
| Minister for Northern Development and Community Services
as Minister for Community Services
| Minister for Northern Development, Community Services and Ethnic Affairs
as Minister for Ethnic Affairs
as Minister for Northern Development
| Minister for Community Services and Ethnic Affairs
| Minister for Mines and Energy
as Minister for Mines
as Minister for Energy
| Minister for Northern and Regional Development
Keith De Lacy
as Minister for Regional Development
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Kennedy