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Bob Katter woos rural vote

CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Katter’s Australian Party leader Bob Katter listens to concerns of Central Highlands farmers Paul Murphy and Mick Shaw, who put the hard word on the maverick politician. Photo: Tara Miko EME200312katter44
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Katter’s Australian Party leader Bob Katter listens to concerns of Central Highlands farmers Paul Murphy and Mick Shaw, who put the hard word on the maverick politician. Photo: Tara Miko EME200312katter44

BOB Katter believes Bimblebox Nature Reserve will be gone next week if Queenslanders don't vote to protect it.

The maverick MP yesterday gave local farmer Paul Murphy a solid pre-commitment that, should his party buck all polling trends and win the State election on Saturday, the controversial reserve would be spared a mining fate.

"Without knowing the full details of it, it would seem to me there is a very strong case there to preserve it," Mr Katter said in Emerald yesterday.

After dismissing the unavailability of a simple meat pie at the new Central Highlands Marketplace as "typical bloody Woolworths", Mr Katter launched into a pointed monologue about what the KAP would do to preserve the identity of Gregory.

"I think the most burning issue in this area is the Galilee Basin," he said.

Mr Katter accused the LNP of pandering to major party donor Clive Palmer whose interests lie in China First.

He said Galilee Basin jobs would be solely taken up by foreign workers.

"There is not the slightest doubt that this is going to happen," he said.

Mr Katter said his party was committed to capping foreign land ownership at a maximum 49% to ensure Australians owned the majority of available arable land.

"Outside of Uruguay, I can't think of any other nation on earth that would allow this to happen," he said.

"Nor do I know any nation on earth that would allow Woolworths and Coles to have 92% of the food market in the country."

Regarding the LNP's attitude towards campaigning in Gregory, Mr Katter said it showed "supreme arrogance".

"Their (the LNP) whole campaign has been, 'we're going to win, we're going to have all the power so you better be nice to us'," Mr Katter said.

"It's supreme arrogance."

Politicking aside, Mick Shaw met with Mr Katter to get one question answered - would the KAP give landholders the right to refuse mining companies entry to their land?

"Twice I walked away from my political career to try and deliver to landholders the permit to enter," Mr Katter answered.

"We will be restoring your right to lock the gate. It was never an absolute right (but) all I can say is when we had the permit to enter, we never had any fights.

"The minute it was removed, it had been warfare between landholders and mining companies."

Mr Katter said the party was advocating for voters to fill all the boxes on the ballot on Saturday, and said he would not give either the ALP or LNP vote preference.


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