GRAZIERS in Bob Katter’s electorate have unleashed their fury at the Kennedy MP’s controversial decision to give preferences to his ‘old friend’ Kevin Rudd at the coming federal election.
Some across the North believe Mr Katter’s decision to side with Labor, the same party that suspended the live export trade to Indonesia, could ultimately threaten his political future at the September ballot.
Graziers at Georgetown this week said Mr Katter’s Labor alliance was proof the maverick MP had “lost the plot.”
John Bethel, Hounfels, Georgetown, lost more than 50 per cent of his market when the Indonesian suspension was announced in 2011.
He said Mr Katter’s personal animosity for the LNP was coming at the expense of his own constituents.
“A vote for Katter is now a vote for Labor,” Mr Bethel said.
“Katter’s decision to cosy up to Labor has lost him a lot of friends in the North.
"Bob knows the economic toll Labor’s policies have caused rural areas, so I can’t understand why he would get into bed with them.”
Mr Katter vehemently responded, saying he wanted to set the record straight.
"A vote for KAP (Katter's Australia Party) is a vote for KAP. To pretend it’s something different is ridiculous," he said.
"The lies are again coming thick and fast. The truth is, we are the only true alternative in Australian politics with a focus on building prosperity - and if that leads us to the Billy Billabong party then that’s where we will go."
Mr Katter said under the continued free market and high dollar policies of both the ALP and LNP, Australians will not manufacture a car, a kilo of steel or produce a litre of petrol domestically.
"All will have to be imported. No money; no jobs; no bright future for our kids."
Brian Hughes, Lanes Creek, Georgetown, has more than 75pc of his cattle on agistment due to experiencing less than four inches of rain this year, and nothing since February.
While he has previously voted for Katter, Mr Hughes said he would be voting for the LNP next month because of Katter’s support for Labor.
“Bob Katter has turned his back on us. He’s only interested in getting revenge on the LNP,” Mr Hughes said.
Georgetown has been among the hardest hit regions with floods, fires, drought, BJD outbreaks and the live export suspension all taking its toll on the Gulf over the past six years.
Estimates suggest almost $2 billion has been wiped from the North Queensland economy due to this spate of natural and man-made disasters.
LNP candidate for Kennedy Noeline Ikin said she had been initially motivated to contest the seat because she was motivated by the Coalition’s strong plan to develop Northern Australia.
“I really want to be involved in ensuring there is ongoing dialogue between policy bureaucrats in Canberra and graziers in Northern Australia to ensure there are practical and positive approaches to developing the North,” she said.
“Whether I win this election or not, I am going to be heavily involved in making the rest of Australia understand the huge economic potential of Northern Australia.”
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