Katter's Australian Party

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Katter's Australian Party
LeaderBob Katter (federal)
Robbie Katter (QLD)
FounderBob Katter
Founded27 September 2011
Split fromNational[1]
Right-wing populism[4]

Social conservatism[5]
Australian nationalism[7]
Economic nationalism[8]
Rural interests[4]
Political positionRight-wing[6][9][10][11]
Colours     Dark red
House of Representatives
1 / 150
Queensland Parliament
3 / 93

Katter's Australian Party (KAP) is a 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 in 2011. Katter has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since that time, while his son Robbie is the leader in Queensland.[12]

Bob Katter was re-elected under the party's label at the 2013 federal election, while the party also won two seats at the 2012 state election in Queensland, which it retained at the 2015 state election. It won three seats at the 2017 state election, with the election of an additional MP in Nick Dametto. In June 2018, Independent Senator Fraser Anning (formerly of One Nation) joined the party. He was expelled in October 2018.


Bob Katter, party leader 2011–present, pictured earlier in his parliamentary career.

On 17 August 2011 the party's application for registration was denied by the Australian Electoral Commission, on the grounds that the intended abbreviated party name ("The Australian Party") was too generic and likely to cause confusion.[13] On 27 September 2011, Katter's Australian Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission.[14] Although, unsuccessful in registering "The Australian Party" abbreviated party name nationally, the party's simultaneous application to register in Queensland succeed with the abbreviated name despite a few public objections.[15] Under Queensland electoral law it is only the abbreviated party name which appears on the state election ballots. To avoid ballot-box party names varying, depending on Australian State, the KAP 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.[16]


The party's policies closely mirror those of Katter, including support for industry (both agricultural and manufacturing) and opposition to privatisation and deregulation. The party's first policies announced by Katter include:

  • Opposition to the carbon tax and emission trading schemes.[17]
  • Support for alternative energy such as ethanol and solar energy.[12] This is to "Reduce carbon emissions well beyond any current carbon reducing initiatives planned by the State and Federal Government."[18]
  • Legislate to limit Woolworths and Coles duopoly to 22.5 per cent market share each.[12]
  • Marriage to remain as a union between a man and a woman.[17]
  • Halt any privatisation and renationalise privatised assets.[12] This is to prevent the situation of "...overseas companies owning basic services will need big profits for their shareholders. You would pay for the profits with price hikes to basic services"[19]
  • All government spending on goods to be on Australian products where possible.[12]
  • Ensure that any construction contracts undertaken using Australian government funds will use Australian steel.
  • Prevent the extraction of coal seam gas within three kilometres (2 mi) of an aquifer.
  • 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 mandate the use of ethanol in petrol; in order to curb Australia's carbon footprint and to support native grain and sugar industries.
  • Restore vital irrigation water to agriculture in the Murray Darling Basin.
  • No exploration or mining activity will be permitted on landholders' property without the landholder's consent.
  • Implement "orderly" marketing where industry structures undermine reasonable market power to producers[clarification needed] (as perceived currently in dairy, egg and sugar industries).
  • Significantly increase customs duty on products coming into Australia.[12]
  • Restore individual rights, such as "fishing freely and boiling a billy without a permit".[20]
  • Government must ensure that all workers, especially farmers, are able to collectively bargain for their own economic interests.[17]
  • Government must stop the use of 457 visas by big business as a means to replace or undermine Australian workers and Australian award pay and conditions.
  • Mandate premium shelf space on Australian supermarkets for Australian manufactured goods.
  • Promote the construction of new dams for irrigation and hydro electricity generation.
  • Deliver better road and rail infrastructure to facilitate regional investment.
  • Deliver more effective and efficient power transmission networks.
  • Establish a government-owned development bank to facilitate investment into productive industries.
  • Increase bio-security and quarantine laws, in order to maintain Australia's disease free status.
  • Prevent the sale of essential assets, public or private, including agricultural land and resource assets, to foreign companies and/or sovereign entities without caveats to protect the national interest.
  • Government must ensure and limit against corporate monopolisation.[17]
  • Essential services such as air travel, water, electricity, gas, health services, road networks, public transport and communications should be provided by government.[17]
  • Personal home ownership must be made easier by government implemented policies.[17]
  • 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.[17]
  • It is the responsibility of the government to encourage and protect whistle blowers as an important method of discovery of the real health and performance of the public sector; and implement regular, random, independent and external professional audits of the public service sector.

Although Katter himself is known to be a staunch social conservative, the party (mostly) does not actively pursue socially conservative policies, focusing mainly on economic issues. Although social conservatism is usually associated with issues such as abortion, the party does not have a position on this (or most solely social policy issues) – as it is considered a matter of social conscience for individual party members.

Many of the party's economic stances echo 1950s Labor policy, reflecting the roots of Katter's father, Bob, Sr. in Labor.

Federal politics[edit]

2013 federal election[edit]

In the 2013 federal election, Katter's Australian Party received 1.04% of the nationwide vote in first preferences in the lower house, and 0.89% nationwide in the Senate.[21] Its best performing state was Queensland with 3.75% of the lower-house vote and 2.94% of the Senate vote.

Katter retained his seat of Kennedy, despite a 16-point swing in favour of the Liberal Nationals.[22]

2016 federal election[edit]

In the 2016 federal election, Katter's Australian Party received 0.54% of the nationwide vote in first preferences in the lower house, and 0.38% nationwide in the Senate.[23][24] Bob Katter retained his seat of Kennedy, with a swing of 8.93% towards him.[25] The party's next-best finish was in the Division of Capricornia, where Laurel Carter polled 7.08 percent of the vote.[26]

On 7 July 2016, while counting for the election was still underway and the final result uncertain, Katter announced that he would provide confidence and supply to the Turnbull Government in the event that it was reduced to minority government.[27] It proved unnecessary, as the Coalition finished with a one-seat majority. In August 2017, during the parliamentary eligibility crisis, Katter announced that he could not guarantee confidence and supply if the government lost its majority.[28]

State politics[edit]


The party fielded candidates at the 2012 Queensland state election.[12] Queensland Independent MP Rob Messenger had expressed interest in joining the party,[29] 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.[30]

On 9 August 2011, Katter's Australian Party announced plans to merge with state Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon's Queensland Party, with Katter's Australian Party as the surviving entity. As part of the deal, McLindon became the merged party's leader in Queensland.[31][32]

On 30 October 2011 McLindon was joined by Shane Knuth, the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) member for Dalrymple. Knuth, who was from the National half of the merger, objected to what he saw as a reduced voice for regional MPs in the merged party, calling it a Liberal takeover. He was also displeased with a number of tactics adopted by the LNP's organisational wing, such as grilling potential candidates and maintaining files about Labor MPs containing compromising information.[33]

In the 2012 Queensland state election, the party contested 76 of the 89 seats in the state legislature. Robbie Katter won Mount Isa--which is virtually coextensive with the western portion of his father's federal seat--while Knuth retained Dalrymple. 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.[34]

On 25 November 2012 the party was joined by Condamine LNP MP Ray Hopper. Like Knuth, Hopper is from the National side of the merger. As Knuth had a year earlier, Hopper claimed that the LNP had been a takeover by the old Liberal Party at the expense of the National Party, and accused the LNP of deliberately purging National influence from the party. Hopper claimed to have spoken to eight other LNP backbenchers who were considering defection.[35] On 29 November Hopper was elected as the party's Queensland state leader.[36]

In the 2015 Queensland state election, the party contested 11 of the 89 seats, with Knuth and Katter retaining their seats, but Hopper failed in a bid for the seat of Nanango. Due to the election's close-run result (44 Labor to 42 LNP with either needing 45), KAP was potentially in a situation to choose the government, and met with both parties and published a list of 28 demands.[37] However, as independent MP Peter Wellington elected to support Labor on confidence and supply, this did not proceed further.

In the 2017 Queensland state election, Shane Knuth won Hill, Robbie Katter won Traeger and increased their seat numbers to 3 with Nick Dametto winning Hinchinbrook. They also became the 3rd largest party in the Queensland Parliament.

Other states[edit]

The Tasmanian Branch, led by Glenorchy Alderman Jenny Branch-Allen, claimed to have received many expressions of interest by potential candidates for the 2013 federal election.[38]

Ann Bressington, an independent (and formerly No Pokies) member of the South Australian Legislative Council, announced in October 2013 that she would sponsor registration for the party at the 2014 state election, although she did not join the party herself.[39]

In February 2014, the Country Alliance announced that it would merge with the Victorian Branch of Katter's Australian Party for the upcoming 2014 state election, following confirmation at an extraordinary general meeting of the party. The merged parties plan to contest the election as the "Australian Country Alliance".[40][41]


Katter's Australian Party has attracted large amounts of donations from gas, firearms, mining and taxi industries.

For the 2016–17 financial year, the ten largest disclosed donors to the party were: Nioa ($191,667), United Petroleum ($150,000), Eliza Nioa ($58,333), Sporting Shooters Association of Australia ($50,000), Glencore Australia ($20,000), Stephen Curley ($17,600), Taxi Owner & Driver Welfare Association ($16,145), Taxi Council of Queensland ($15,000), Firearms Dealers Association ($8,000) and Windlab ($6,000).[42][43]

Parliamentary leaders[edit]


No. Leader Term Seat Notes
1 Bob Katter 2011–present Kennedy Party founder; Inaugural leader


No. Leader Term Seat Notes
1 Aidan McLindon 2011–2012 Beaudesert Leader of the Queensland Party; merged with KAP in 2012. Inaugural KAP QLD leader.
2 Robbie Katter 2012 Mount Isa
3 Ray Hopper 2012–2015 Condamine Defeated in Nanango in the 2015 state election
(2) Robbie Katter 2015–present Mount Isa (2015–2017) Seat abolished in 2017 redistribution
Traeger (2017–present)

Electoral performance[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2013 Bob Katter 134,226 1.04
1 / 150
Increase 1 Increase 6th Crossbench
Bob Katter 72,879 0.54
1 / 150
Steady 1 Decrease 9th Crossbench


Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2013 Bob Katter 119,920 0.89
0 / 76
Increase Increase 10th Not in chamber
Bob Katter 53,123 0.38
0 / 76
Steady Decrease 20th Not in chamber

Queensland Legislative Assembly[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2012 Robbie Katter 282,098 11.53
2 / 89
Increase Increase 3rd Crossbench
2015 Ray Hopper 50,588 1.83
2 / 89
Steady Decrease 5th Crossbench
2017 Robbie Katter 62,613 2.32
3 / 93
Increase Steady 5th Crossbench

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b King, Tom (2015). The Advent of Two New Micro Parties: The Palmer United Party and Katter's Australia Party. Abbott's Gambit: The 2013 Australian Federal Election. ANU Press. p. 294.
  2. ^ a b Bruns, Axel; Highfield, Tim (2013). "Political Networks on Twitter: Tweeting the Queensland state election". Information, Communication & Society. 16 (5): 667–691. Bob Katter, the outspoken Federal Member for Kennedy, in Queensland's north-west, had launched his own party in 2011 to promote agricultural and conservative views; Katter's Australian Party (KAP) subsequently nominated candidates for 76 of the 89 state electorates.
  3. ^ "Australia senator urges drastic cut in student visas". Times of India. 17 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b Alexander, Damon (August 28, 2013). "The mice that may yet roar: who are the minor right-wing parties?". The Conversation.
  5. ^ a b Whitford, Troy (2 November 2011), "Don't write off the Mad Katter's Tea Party", The Conversation, retrieved 24 March 2012
  6. ^ a b Coghlan, Jo (2019). Rebranded Pauline Hanson: A Party of Policy or Protest?. The Rise of Right-Populism: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Australian Politics. Springer. p. 181.
  7. ^ "Aussie senator's 'final solution' speech backed by party leader as 'solid gold'". Times of Israel. 15 August 2018.
  8. ^ Gauja, Anika (2018). Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election. ANU Press. p. 323.
  9. ^ Crosby, Raphaella Kathryn (2019). Pauline Hanson, Personality, and Electoral Fortunes. The Rise of Right-Populism: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Australian Politics. Springer. p. 130.
  10. ^ "Australian senator's call for Muslim ban is an outlier opinion in the country". CNBC. 16 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Senator's 'White Australia' speech sparks uproar". Deutsche Welle. 15 August 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g 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.
  13. ^ "Application for party registration refused – Katter's Australian Party". AEC. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Bob Katter's party registered with AEC". news.com.au. News Limited. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  15. ^ "Objections to proposed registration of Katter' s Australian Party". ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  16. ^ "Court rejects Katter party's ballot case". news.com.au. News Limited. 8 March 2012.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Core Values and Principles". Katter's Australian Party. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  18. ^ Katter's Australian Party (March 2012). "Reconstructing Queensland Highlights Biofuels" (PDF). Australia. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  19. ^ Advertisement Katter's Australian Party. Pine Rivers Press. 21 March 2012.
  20. ^ Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Bob Katter launches the Australian Party to take on the big boys". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  21. ^ "First Preferences by Party". AEC. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  22. ^ Horn, Allyson. "Big swing against Bob Katter in his seat of Kennedy". ABC. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  23. ^ 26. "First preferences by party". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  24. ^ 26. "First preferences by Senate group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  25. ^ 26. "Kennedy, QLD". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  26. ^ 26. "Capricornia, QLD". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  27. ^ Katharine Murphy (7 July 2016). "Election 2016: Bob Katter promises to support Coalition in hung parliament". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Independent MP Bob Katter will no longer guarantee supply, confidence to government". Courier-Mail. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  29. ^ Agius, Kym (6 June 2011). "Qld MP mulls move to Katter's party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  30. ^ Adcock, Frances; Hegarty, Laura (10 August 2011). "Messenger snubs merged Katter party". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  31. ^ Binnie, Kerrin (10 August 2011). "Katter talks up party merger". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Jessica Marszalek (30 October 2011). "LNP MP defects to Katter's Australian Party". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  34. ^ Kym Agius (4 June 2012). "Nominations open for Katter's federal bid". The Age. Melbourne.
  35. ^ Madigan, Michael (25 November 2012). "LNP veteran Ray Hopper resigns to join Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  36. ^ "Hopper endorsed as Katter Party state leader".
  37. ^ "Queensland election 2015: Katter's Australian Party releases demands for minority government support". ABC Online. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  38. ^ Richards, Blair (25 November 2012). "The Gospel according to Bob". The Mercury. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  39. ^ Harmsen, Nick. "SA independent Ann Bressington forms alliance with Bob Katter ahead of March state election". ABC. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  40. ^ Cimara Pearce (2014). "Katter’s Australian Party set to merge with Country Alliance in bid for rural seats" – Weekly Times Now. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  41. ^ "Weekly Times story on CA / Katter Vic merger" Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. – Country Alliance. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  42. ^ https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map
  43. ^ https://periodicdisclosures.aec.gov.au/Returns/64/XRCQ2.pdf

External links[edit]