Katter says “No” to the LNP and aims to go national with his new Australian Party
Tony Abbott said he thought the Liberal National Party would be “only too happy” to have North Queensland MP Bob Katter as a member, but Mr Katter has rejected the idea.
“I think Tony is doing an infinitely better job than his predecessors. He is making a lot of right decisions and we applaud that and we are very enthusiastic. But if Tony is going to say that his party offers us a mechanism for survival, I’m sorry, you don’t come even remotely close to that,” Katter said on Channel Ten’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
“I said in those two weeks after the election all I’m after is a paradigm of survival. Our Christmases all came at once, we had that great power, the three Amigos, and I couldn’t get agreement from my colleagues on anything at all so I was left with no alternative but the pathway I’m going down.”
Former Queensland premier Rob Borbidge was reported to have described the new party as “as One Nation with a hat”.
“Well, I hope so. They got 15 per cent of the vote and 11 per cent,” Katter told Meet the Press.
Mr Borbidge said that Bob Katter’s new party had the potential to destroy the LNP’s chance of winning the next state election, like One Nation did in 1998.
“I’m going to lose a lot of sleep over the LNP being smashed,” Katter said. “Guess who destroyed the sugar industry in this state? Guess who destroyed the sugar industry within two years of their de-regulation of the sugar industry and the removal of the tariffs? Within two years we had a farmer in the sugar belt committing suicide every two weeks. I should worry about the LNP? Why didn’t they worry about us?
“They closed down the fishing industry, the tobacco industry. They have all but closed down the dairy industry. That is for North Queensland. I am sure that if I went to anywhere in NSW – the manufacturing industry, 3,000 jobs, shipbuilding – gone from here in Brisbane. One thousand jobs from my own electorate. NQEA closed down. I mean, they destroyed all of this and then think there is no price to be paid for that.
“I’m not interested in getting even with them. What I’m interested in is delivering to the people of Australia a chance of survival. If you’ve got no manufacturing and no agriculture and no tourism and no mining, only quarrying – what the hell have you got?” he said.
Katter’s Australian Party is working to establish a network of branches throughout Australia, starting in Queensland.