Monday, August 23, 2010
Ye Ha I'm From the Banana Republic of Oz
Bob Katter is one of the small number of independents who will decide who will form government in Australia. He has some interesting agendas.
BOB KATTER, 65, INDEPENDENT, KENNEDY
Major issues: ethanol production, banning banana imports, smashing the Coles-Woolworths duopoly
DON'T be fooled by the befuddling turns of phrase - and occasional giggles - employed by this 65-year-old outback Queenslander.
Bob Katter's idiosyncratic manner belies a savvy political mindset nurtured in his days as a state minister under then premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, in the 1980s.
Mr Katter started political life as a National. He defected in 2001 to become an independent - having already made the switch from state politics in 1993 to the federal arena in the sprawling north Queensland electorate of Kennedy.
The former insurance agent's bitter falling out with the Nats reflected regional voter disenchantment with major parties, particularly in relation to competition policy and loss of jobs.
Positioned adroitly as a Right-wing regional maverick, Mr Katter has never been troubled electorally in Kennedy by splitting from the Nats.
His outspoken views on agricultural protectionism and social conservatism resonate sharply with a constituency still pining for the certainties of the Bjelke-Petersen era.
He once said he loved crocodiles but only dead ones.
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/features/federal-election/who-are-these/story-e6frfllr-1225908655267#ixzz0xOnLpEJs