Katter's Australian Party
Katter's Australian Party (KAP) is a political party in Australia. It was formed by the independent and former Nationals Member of Parliament for Kennedy Bob Katter, with a registration application lodged to the Australian Electoral Commission in 2011. Katter has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since that time while his son Robbie is the leader in Queensland.
Bob Katter was re-elected under the party's label at the 2013 federal election while the party also won two seats at the 2012 state election in Queensland which it retained at the 2015 state election. It won three seats at the 2017 state election, with the election of Nick Dametto as an additional Member of Parliament.
The party's application for registration was denied by the Australian Electoral Commission on 17 August 2011, on the grounds that the intended party name ("The Australian Party") was too generic and likely to cause confusion. On 27 September 2011, Katter's Australian Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission. Although the party was unsuccessful in registering the shorter party name "The Australian Party" nationally, its simultaneous application to register in Queensland with the abbreviated name succeeded, despite a few public objections.
Under Queensland electoral law the party appears on the state election ballots only under its abbreviated name. To avoid ballot-box party names varying across Australian states, the KAP unsuccessfully appealed to the courts to have ballots reprinted so that the full party name and not the abbreviated one would appear on ballots for the 2012 Queensland state election.
The party's policies closely mirror those of Katter, including support for industry (both agricultural and manufacturing) and opposition to privatisation and deregulation. The party's first policies announced by Katter include:
- Opposition to the carbon tax and emission trading schemes.
- Support for alternative energy such as ethanol and solar energy. This is to "Reduce carbon emissions well beyond any current carbon reducing initiatives planned by the State and Federal Government."
- Legislate to limit Woolworths and Coles duopoly to 22.5 per cent market share each.
- Marriage to remain as a union between a man and a woman.
- Halt any privatisation and renationalise privatised assets. "Overseas companies owning basic services will need big profits for their shareholders. You would pay for the profits with price hikes to basic services."
- All government spending on goods to be on Australian products where possible.
- Ensure that any construction contracts undertaken using Australian government funds will use Australian steel.
- Prevent the extraction of coal seam gas within three kilometres (2 mi) of an aquifer.
- Every motor vehicle purchased under a government contract (arguably over 20% of Australia's motor vehicles) to be Australian-made.
- All clothing for armed forces, police and prisons to be manufactured in Australia.
- Maintain government support for Australia's domestic ethanol industry and mandate the use of ethanol in petrol; in order to curb Australia's carbon footprint and to support native grain and sugar industries.
- Restore vital irrigation water to agriculture in the Murray Darling Basin.
- No exploration or mining activity will be permitted on landholders' property without the landholder's consent.
- Implement "orderly" marketing where industry structures undermine reasonable market power to producers[clarification needed] (as perceived currently in dairy, egg and sugar industries).
- Significantly increase customs duty on products coming into Australia.
- Restore individual rights, such as "fishing freely and boiling a billy without a permit".
- Government must ensure that all workers, especially farmers, are able to collectively bargain for their own economic interests.
- Government must stop the use of 457 visas by big business as a means to replace or undermine Australian workers and Australian award pay and conditions.
- Mandate premium shelf space on Australian supermarkets for Australian manufactured goods.
- Promote the construction of new dams for irrigation and hydro electricity generation.
- Deliver better road and rail infrastructure to facilitate regional investment.
- Deliver more effective and efficient power transmission networks.
- Establish a government-owned development bank to facilitate investment into productive industries.
- Increase bio-security and quarantine laws, in order to maintain Australia's disease free status.
- Prevent the sale of essential assets, public or private, including agricultural land and resource assets, to foreign companies and/or sovereign entities without caveats to protect the national interest.
- Government must ensure and limit against corporate monopolisation.
- Essential services such as air travel, water, electricity, gas, health services, road networks, public transport and communications should be provided by government.
- Personal home ownership must be made easier by government implemented policies.
- It is the duty of government to ensure bank lending creates real wealth in terms of improvements of the quality of life for the average Australian.
- It is the responsibility of the government to encourage and protect whistle blowers as an important method of discovery of the real health and performance of the public sector; and implement regular, random, independent and external professional audits of the public service sector.
Although Katter himself is known to be a staunch social conservative, the party mostly does not actively pursue socially conservative policies, focusing mainly on economic issues. Although social conservatism is usually associated with issues such as abortion, the party does not have a position on this or most solely social policy issues as it is considered a matter of social conscience for individual party members.
2013 federal election
In the 2013 federal election, Katter's Australian Party received 1.04% of the nationwide vote in first preferences in the lower house, and 0.89% nationwide in the Senate. Its best performing state was Queensland with 3.75% of the lower-house vote and 2.94% of the Senate vote.
2016 federal election
In the 2016 federal election, Katter's Australian Party received 0.54% of the nationwide vote in first preferences in the lower house, and 0.38% nationwide in the Senate. Bob Katter retained his seat of Kennedy, with a swing of 8.93% towards him. The party's next-best finish was in the Division of Capricornia, where Laurel Carter polled 7.08 percent of the vote.
On 7 July 2016, while counting for the election was still underway and the final result uncertain, Katter announced that he would provide confidence and supply to the Turnbull Government in the event that it was reduced to minority government. It proved unnecessary, as the Coalition finished with a one-seat majority. In August 2017, during the parliamentary eligibility crisis, Katter announced that he could not guarantee confidence and supply if the government lost its majority.
The party fielded candidates at the 2012 Queensland state election. Queensland Independent MP Rob Messenger had expressed interest in joining the party, however following the merger with the Queensland Party, Messenger declared he would not join the new party as it intended to run against sitting independents at the election.
On 9 August 2011, Katter's Australian Party announced plans to merge with state Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon's Queensland Party, with Katter's Australian Party as the surviving entity. As part of the deal, McLindon became the merged party's leader in Queensland.
On 30 October 2011, McLindon was joined by Shane Knuth, the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) member for Dalrymple. Knuth, who was from the National half of the merger, objected to what he saw as a reduced voice for regional MPs in the merged party, calling it a Liberal takeover. He was also displeased with a number of tactics adopted by the LNP's organisational wing, such as grilling potential candidates and maintaining files about Labor MPs containing compromising information.
In the 2012 Queensland state election, the party contested 76 of the 89 seats in the state legislature. Robbie Katter won Mount Isa—which is virtually coextensive with the western portion of his father's federal seat—while Knuth retained Dalrymple. McLindon was defeated in Beaudesert. Katter claimed that the Electoral Commission's decision not to print his name on the ballot cost the party 8.5% of the vote.
On 25 November 2012, the party was joined by Condamine LNP MP Ray Hopper. Like Knuth, Hopper is from the National side of the merger. As Knuth had a year earlier, Hopper claimed that the LNP had been a takeover by the old Liberal Party at the expense of the National Party, and accused the LNP of deliberately purging National influence from the party. Hopper claimed to have spoken to eight other LNP backbenchers who were considering defection. On 29 November Hopper was elected as the party's Queensland state leader.
In the 2015 Queensland state election, the party contested 11 of the 89 seats, with Knuth and Katter retaining their seats, but Hopper failed in a bid for the seat of Nanango. Due to the election's close-run result (44 Labor to 42 LNP with either needing 45), KAP was potentially in a situation to choose the government, and met with both parties and published a list of 28 demands. However, as independent MP Peter Wellington elected to support Labor on confidence and supply, this did not proceed further.
In the 2017 Queensland state election, Shane Knuth won Hill, Robbie Katter won Traeger and increased their seat numbers to 3 with Nick Dametto winning Hinchinbrook. They also became the 3rd largest party in the Queensland Parliament.
Ann Bressington, an independent (and formerly No Pokies) member of the South Australian Legislative Council, announced in October 2013 that she would sponsor registration for the party at the 2014 state election, although she did not join the party herself.
In February 2014, the Country Alliance announced that it would merge with the Victorian Branch of Katter's Australian Party for the upcoming 2014 state election, following confirmation at an extraordinary general meeting of the party. The merged parties plan to contest the election as the "Australian Country Alliance".
Katter's Australian Party has received donations from gas, firearms, mining and taxi industries.
For the 2016–2017 financial year, the ten largest disclosed donors to the party were: NIOA (firearms manufacturer) ($191,667), United Petroleum ($150,000), Eliza Nioa ($58,333), Sporting Shooters Association of Australia ($50,000), Glencore Australia ($20,000), Stephen Curley ($17,600), Taxi Owner & Driver Welfare Association ($16,145), Taxi Council of Queensland ($15,000), Firearms Dealers Association ($8,000) and Windlab ($6,000).
A 2019 report revealed that Katter's Australian Party has taken more than $808,760 from pro-gun groups during the 2011-2018 period. The party received the most disclosed pro-gun donations of all Australian political parties.
|No.||Leader||Electoral division||Start||End||Time in office||Election(s)|
|1||Bob Katter||Kennedy||5 June 2011||Incumbent||8 years, 229 days||2013, 2016, 2019|
|1||Robbie Katter||Traeger||24 March 2012||Incumbent|
|2||Shane Knuth||Hill||31 October 2011||Incumbent|
|3||Nick Dametto||Hinchinbrook||25 November 2017||Incumbent|
|House of Representatives|
|Election year||No. of
1 / 150
1 / 150
|Election year||No. of
2 / 89
2 / 89
|Crossbench, shared balance of power|
3 / 93
- King, Tom (2015). The Advent of Two New Micro Parties: The Palmer United Party and Katter's Australia Party. Abbott's Gambit: The 2013 Australian Federal Election. ANU Press. p. 294.
- Bruns, Axel; Highfield, Tim (2013). "Political Networks on Twitter: Tweeting the Queensland state election". Information, Communication & Society. 16 (5): 667–691. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2013.782328.
Bob Katter, the outspoken Federal Member for Kennedy, in Queensland's north-west, had launched his own party in 2011 to promote agricultural and conservative views; Katter's Australian Party (KAP) subsequently nominated candidates for 76 of the 89 state electorates.
- "Australia senator urges drastic cut in student visas". Times of India. 17 August 2018.
- Alexander, Damon (28 August 2013). "The mice that may yet roar: who are the minor right-wing parties?". The Conversation.
- Whitford, Troy (2 November 2011), "Don't write off the Mad Katter's Tea Party", The Conversation, retrieved 24 March 2012
- Coghlan, Jo (2019). Rebranded Pauline Hanson: A Party of Policy or Protest?. The Rise of Right-Populism: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Australian Politics. Springer. p. 181.
- "Aussie senator's 'final solution' speech backed by party leader as 'solid gold'". Times of Israel. 15 August 2018.
- Gauja, Anika (2018). Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election. ANU Press. p. 323.
- Canberra, By Michelle Grattan, University of (14 March 2013). "Bob Katter: the man with friends in odd places". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Crosby, Raphaella Kathryn (2019). Pauline Hanson, Personality, and Electoral Fortunes. The Rise of Right-Populism: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Australian Politics. Springer. p. 130.
- "Australian senator's call for Muslim ban is an outlier opinion in the country". CNBC. 16 August 2018.
- "Senator's 'White Australia' speech sparks uproar". Deutsche Welle. 15 August 2018.
- Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Queensland MP Bob Katter registered Katter's Australian Party with the Australian Electoral Commission". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Karp, Paul (25 October 2018). "Australian senator who called for 'final solution' to immigration expelled from party". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
- "Application for party registration refused – Katter's Australian Party". AEC. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
- "Bob Katter's party registered with AEC". news.com.au. News Limited. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Objections to proposed registration of Katter's Australian Party". ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- "Court rejects Katter party's ballot case". news.com.au. News Limited. 8 March 2012.
- "Core Values and Principles". Katter's Australian Party. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- Katter's Australian Party (March 2012). "Reconstructing Queensland Highlights Biofuels" (PDF). Australia. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Advertisement Katter's Australian Party. Pine Rivers Press. 21 March 2012.
- Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Bob Katter launches the Australian Party to take on the big boys". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
- "First Preferences by Party". AEC. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Horn, Allyson (7 September 2013). "Big swing against Bob Katter in his seat of Kennedy". ABC. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- 26. "First preferences by party". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- 26. "First preferences by Senate group". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- 26. "Kennedy, QLD". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- 26. "Capricornia, QLD". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
- Katharine Murphy (7 July 2016). "Election 2016: Bob Katter promises to support Coalition in hung parliament". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- "Independent MP Bob Katter will no longer guarantee supply, confidence to government". Courier-Mail. 15 August 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
- Agius, Kym (6 June 2011). "Qld MP mulls move to Katter's party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- Adcock, Frances; Hegarty, Laura (10 August 2011). "Messenger snubs merged Katter party". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Binnie, Kerrin (10 August 2011). "Katter talks up party merger". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Houghton, Des (11 August 2011). "Queensland Party may cease to exist as leader Aidan McLindon plans to join Bob Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Jessica Marszalek (30 October 2011). "LNP MP defects to Katter's Australian Party". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- Kym Agius (4 June 2012). "Nominations open for Katter's federal bid". The Age. Melbourne.
- Madigan, Michael (25 November 2012). "LNP veteran Ray Hopper resigns to join Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- "Hopper endorsed as Katter Party state leader".
- "Queensland election 2015: Katter's Australian Party releases demands for minority government support". ABC Online. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Richards, Blair (25 November 2012). "The Gospel according to Bob". The Mercury. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
- Harmsen, Nick. "SA independent Ann Bressington forms alliance with Bob Katter ahead of March state election". ABC. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Cimara Pearce (2014). "Katter’s Australian Party set to merge with Country Alliance in bid for rural seats" – Weekly Times Now. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Weekly Times story on CA / Katter Vic merger" Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine – Country Alliance. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- "Electronic Disclosure System".
- Knowles, Lorna (27 March 2019). "Gun lobby's 'concerted and secretive' bid to undermine Australian laws". ABC News. Retrieved 15 July 2019.