TRAEGER MP Robbie Katter has obtained his pilot licence saying that it was necessary to be able to properly do his job in his vast North-West Queensland electorate.
The Katter’s Australian Party state leader said he took the extraordinary step in a bid to stretch his taxpayer funded travel allowance further.
“I had to address the fact that my electorate spans almost 25 per cent of Queensland and the goal post keeps getting raised in rural and regional areas,” Mr Katter said.
“If you want to do a good job in representing people you've got to bring costs down and this brings costs down for the taxpayer in not paying a pilot.
“I thought it was necessary to do my job properly as the expectations are high that you get around to these towns, but also represent down in Brisbane, you get spread pretty thin.”
Mr Katter said it took four years to get his licence, which he paid for personally.
“It's just what's needed to do the job properly in these western areas, but does tell a story that the bar keeps getting raised for rural MPs.”
Mr Katter said it would eliminate travel time to get from his home in Mount Isa to his Charters Towers office 800km again, freeing him up to better meet the needs of constituents.
“It's hard to get around Burketown, Georgetown, Croydon, Normanton, Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond and Camooweal. There’s a lot of distance ... we're forced to do these sort of things now.”
Mr Katter said he was now looking to purchase his own personal aircraft.