MP Robbie Katter hits out at Premier’s hypocrisy – is she afraid of another jab?
The Queensland Labor Government has denied the Queensland Parliament an opportunity to debate the double standards it is presiding over which give MPs freedom of choice around COVID-19 vaccines while allowing jab mandates to be enforced in other workplaces.
To date, the State’s 15,000-strong police workforce and 90,000 Queensland Health employees have been subject to vaccine mandates that have required workers to either comply or be forced out of a job.
The Education Minister Grace Grace has not yet publicly ruled out requiring vaccinations for Queensland teachers and early childhood educators, and mandates are already in place across the private sector. This includes in the aviation and transport industries.
Today Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter attempted to move a motion in the Queensland Parliament, calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to intervene in workforce vaccine mandates unless it requires all State politicians be vaccinated.
Citing the hypocrisy of the current double standards, KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the motion was designed to test whether “what’s good enough for the goose was good enough for the gander” in Queensland.
Unfortunately it was voted down by the Labor Party meaning the debate could not even go ahead.
Mr Katter said all levels of government had pushed the boundaries on individual choice, personal freedom and civic liberties over the last 18 months in the name of the pandemic.
He said while the KAP’s position was to encourage all Queenslanders to have a conversation with their doctor about getting the COVID-19, and other, vaccines, the Party was staunchly opposed to vaccine mandates.
The text of the KAP’s motion was:
That this House agrees
- That all Queenslanders should be encouraged to get vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccinations;
- That workplace vaccination mandates contravene fundamental rights of healthcare choice and access to employment free from discrimination and coercion because of healthcare choices;
- That breaching these rights through a vaccination mandate cannot be imposed by any business, government entity or authority without consent of the Queensland Parliament; and
- A breach of these rights may only be implemented when all Members of the Queensland Parliament are required to be fully vaccinated.
Mr Katter said it had been a disappointing day for democracy in the state of Queensland.
The Queensland Labor Government’s deficient response to North Queensland’s relentless youth crime crisis is being predicated on misleading facts and data about the severity of the situation, Katter’s Australian Party MPs have warned.
KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said since 2015 the cherry-picking of data had been Labor’s go-to response to any criticism levelled on the issue, demonstrating the huge disconnect between the Government and the communities affected.
As recently as last month Labor MPs were in Cairns spruiking a reduction in local youth crime of 13 per cent in the 12-month period to November, 2020.
In a Ministerial statement, Barron River MP Craig Crawford said the reduction was the result of Labor’s 24/7 co-responder teams, which had been rolled out in Cairns in May, 2020.
“What’s great about this $5.2 million initiative, though, is that it’s not only Cairns that’s benefited but other areas, including Townsville, Brisbane, Rockhampton and Logan and I understand it will be expanded to even more areas this year,” Mr Crawford said at the time. 
“It’s also just one part of the Palaszczuk Government’s five-point plan announced last year to tackle hardcore repeat offenders, and follows a record investment of more than half a billion dollars in youth justice reform.”
Minister for Youth Justice Leanne Linard also claimed, when queried by Mr Katter, that there was “evidence (Labor’s) reforms and investment are working”. 
“Between 2018 and 2019, there was a 13 per cent reduction in the number of youth offenders – down from 5,868 in 2018 to 5,099 in 2019 (769 fewer youth offenders),” the Minister wrote in her reply to the Traeger MP’s Question on Notice.
“Between 2019 and 2020, there was a further 16 per cent reduction in the number of youth offenders – down from 5,099 in 2019 to 4,304 in 2020 (795 fewer youth offenders).
Mr Katter said the 2019-20 year was a write-off with regards to analysing normal social data due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent state-wide lockdowns.
However Minister Linard said concerns raised about COVID-19’s impact on the data were irrelevant as “COVID-19 lockdowns occurred in only a portion of the 2019-20 reporting period”.
Even the Australian Bureau of Statistics, when detailing statistics from 2019-20 that showed youth crime rates across Australia were at their lowest recorded levels, warned that the data was compromised by COVID-19. 
Mr Katter said the news that Labor was “solving” youth crime in North Queensland was a surprise to him, and the majority of people in the region.
He said Labor was essentially playing “silly-buggers” with the facts, and that it was offensive the Government thought people wouldn’t catch on.
“Another day, and another statistic gets rolled out by our Labor MPs up here in the North or by the Ministers on George Street in Brisbane”, he said.
“I feel like the whole of North Queensland is getting ‘gaslighted’ by Labor – we tell them there’s a serious issue and we need help, and they tell us we’re wrong and find some obscure set of data to show us why.
“It’s outrageous, and we are all sick of the propaganda.”
According to official Offence Data (related to 10-17 year old child offenders), as published by the Queensland Police Service in their annual Statistical Reviews (2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17) and by the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office in their Crime Report, Queensland (2017-18 and 2018-19), the realities of the youth crime crisis in Queensland are as follows:
- 2015-16: 45,329 total charges were laid against child offenders (10-17 years old)
- 2016-17: 49,741 total charges were laid against child offenders (10-17 years old)
- 2017-18: 51,050 total charges were laid against child offenders (10-17 years old)
- 2018-19: 48,786 total charges were laid against child offenders (10-17 years old).
- No data has been made publicly available for 2019-20.
Further concerning figures, from the same data sources previously referred, show there have been the following youth-related offence increases in Queensland:
- Unlawful use of a motor vehicle offences have risen by about 59.9%, when comparing the 2,133 offences reported in 2014-15 to the 3,411 reported in 2018-19
- Unlawful entry offences have risen by about 27%, when comparing the 5,056 offences reported in 2014-15 to the 6,424 reported in 2018-19
- Other theft offences have risen by about 23.4%, when comparing the 8,581 offences reported in 2014-15 to the 10,588 reported in 2018-19.
Mr Katter said North Queensland had been left uninspired by Labor’s Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021, and that he feared crime would continue to erode quality of life for all communities without drastic action.
Community safety is being compromised as political elites and ideologues continue their war on licensed firearm owners, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has told the Queensland Parliament.
Mr Katter said he and his fellow KAP colleague’s offices had received an unprecedented number of complaints and pleas for assistance from the public following changes made the definition of “Fit and Proper Person” in December.
The new criteria, spawn out of the Queensland Audit Office’s review into the regulation of firearms in the state, now places greater scrutiny on an applicant’s traffic history, health status and ability to successfully participate in bureaucratic processes.
This includes broad and ambiguous questioning that can result in a rejected license if an applicant makes a mistake or accidentally omits personal information.
Mr Katter said while the Weapon’s Licencing Branch was part of the Queensland Police Service, it was the Labor State Government who had to take responsibility for the system.
He said their political obsession with punishing those with a genuine need for a gun was risking community safety.
“I would challenge anyone to name a group that is more discriminated against than licensed firearm owners, and these laws are not doing anything,” he said.
“After looking at the evidence, the only thing being achieved by all this effort from the Government is people like me and farmers are writing more letters regarding the constraints around us.
“We are not the problem; it is the illegal gun owners that the Government should be focusing on.”
Mr Katter said the decision-makers, including politicians and uniformed police from the Weapon’s Licencing Branch, were too far removed from the day-to-day reality of most licensed gun-users.
“These decisions are being made from an office from Brisbane but they have very real consequences for the people on the ground – there are people who need to use these things as tools,” he said.
“In most cases those deciding on applications do not even have a weapon’s licence, so outside of being a uniformed police officer they do not have any real-life experience with how this all operates in practice.
“The focus should always be on community safety, but this needs to be in terms of the evidence of where firearms are genuinely needed”.
The Traeger MP said the goal posts for weapon’s licence applicants were constantly being changed and were now essentially limitless.
“It used to be that five years was the limit where a person applying had to reveal anything on their record; now it is indefinite,” he said.
“A traffic offence from 20 years ago is now relevant and is counting against people.
“For those people who were getting their firearms licence, it is now either held up or they are just not getting it – all this thanks to a 20-year-old traffic offence that never counted before.
“It’s mischievous because the authorities already have all of that information, but they force people applying into admitting it.
“If they forget or make a mistake, they can be forced into a corner that results in the immediate rejection of their application through no genuine fault of their own.”
Mr Katter said while the current situation for licensed weapon-holders was dire, he’d had some preliminary and positive discussions with the State Government.
He said from these talks, there’d been an indication the Government was prepared to take action to restore some common sense to the system.
by Jim O’Toole, Townsville Bureau
A DEEPLY flawed and mishandled audit of the Queensland Police Service Weapons Licensing Branch is the direct cause of this week’s data breach, according to the state’s leading pro-shooting organisation.
More than 1000 gun owners accidentally had their e-mail addresses shared visibly when a police officer sending a mass e-mail to shooters in the Moreton police district forgot to put the details in the “BCC” field.
The incident made national headlines amidst concerns the security of thousands of firearms had been compromised by the error.
Shooters Union Australia President Graham Park said the incident was a direct result of a recent audit of the Weapons Licensing branch by the Queensland Audit Office, which was regarded as deeply flawed by the shooting community.
“This audit report, and in particular its recommendations, totally ignored the real issues facing the state’s Weapons Licensing Branch and firearms regulation framework, ignored the input of shooting organisations and firearms dealers, and instead blamed licensed, law-abiding shooters for police internal issues,” he said.
“It’s clear that in the wake of the audit, front-line and operational police are taking heat from management and political sources and being pushed to appear as if they are coming down on gun owners.
“That’s created a situation where, among other things, police feel compelled to e-mail more than a thousand licensed gun owners to remind them of firearm security matters, as part of an effort to appear proactive and ‘doing something’ about managing firearms in the state.
“As we’ve seen, it only took an unintentional and easily made, but potentially devastating, error to compromise the data and security of a thousand gun owners – all in the name of politically motivated busywork.”
Mr Park said Shooters Union had conducted its own investigation and the information available clearly showed the mishandled audit had sparked this incident.
“There is no doubt in our minds this data breach is directly related to the Audit,” he said.
“Everything we know about how the Weapons Licensing software works indicates it was only a matter of time before an event like this happened, and this flawed Audit has been the primer that’s set it off.”
Cairns News has a few basic policies and one is for all firearms to be dropped from the register. The register has proven to be highly inaccurate and is of no use in fighting crime because 99 per cent of licensed gun owners do not commit crimes. Katters Australian Party too has a similar sensible policy. Remove the registration of firearms and 300 police officers could actually do some policing in the Far North starting at Townsville where runaway crime has ruined many lives.
The Labor Party has no answers and for Labor candidates north of Rockhampton to be re-elected suggests to us Dominion and China indeed had a hand in the Queensland election result.
After all the Labor Party sent the Queensland Electoral roll to China three months before the election.
The Katter’s Australian Party and One Nation have announced they will place each other as the number two position on their how to vote cards in an alliance to reflect the major party neglect of Queensland.
KAP leader Robbie Katter said the Liberal and Labor major party dominance had clearly failed regional Queenslanders and that the time was now for much needed change.
“For far two long the major parties have continued to sell off our assets, pushed green ideology and failed to invest in regional job creating mega-infrastructure projects,” Mr Katter said.
“Queensland can’t afford another four years of major party dominance, we know it doesn’t work, enough is enough, times up.”
Mr Katter said the KAP would put the Greens last in all seats.
“The LNP are preferencing the Greens which highlights how out of touch they have become.
“If there is a result of the LNP deal that ends up with a Greens controlled government this looks like no dams, no coal and more crime.
“We can’t risk the Greens grabbing a seat, it’s a major threat to the future of North Queensland.”
Mr Katter said the only way the majors can learn their lesson is that if people don’t give them their vote.
“Both the LNP and Labor are Brisbane based parties and the evidence of this is beyond clear,” he said.
“Up here in the north the LNP they say they are pro coal, yet down in Brisbane they tell everyone they are anti-coal, the truth is they are preferencing the Greens and they can’t have a bet each way.
“Ultimately our preferences are up to the voter, the how to vote card is just a guide.”
Mr Katter said other Westminster democracies who had more than a duopoly party dominance had a better governance of their citizens.
“Stronger minor parties means politicians have to actually fight for your vote in order to make a difference.”
Weipa miner Metro Mining today made a shock announcement it was shutting down its flagship Cape York Bauxite Hill operation which came hard on the heels of the Liberal National Party joining with Labor to shut down cheap coal fired power for Queensland.
Metro said it would shelve its Skardon River project 100 klm north of Weipa until April next year due to its inability to renew contracts with China amid a slumped world alumina market.
The closure will see 50 Cape York Aborigines and Islanders lose their plant operation jobs which will significantly impact local communities. The mine employs another 160 fly-in employees,
Yesterday saw the LNP vote with Labor and Greens to curb Queensland coal mining and to drop support for coal-fired power.
Katters Australian Party leader Robbie Katter put forward a motion to provide Queenslanders with the cheapest electricity possible by ceasing costly renewable power mandates, subsidies and investment programs available to inefficient wind and solar generation to ensure coal and renewables competed on a level playing field.
The LNP is supporting Labor to achieve its renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, a move Mr Katter says will kill power dependent industries in the state.
Mr Katter said the LNP Opposition’s stance on coal was akin to former Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten.
“They tell us in North Queensland they support coal, but when it came time to nail their colours to the mast in Parliament, they squibbed it,” he said.
“They are giving preferences to the Greens in Brisbane-based seats at the upcoming election so it hardly surprises me that they have voted this way. But they can be sure the people of regional and North Queensland will remember that the LNP betrayed them when they walk into the polling booth on October 31.”
Mr Katter said coal played an important part in the economy and now and into the future, providing $3.8 billion in wages, $4.4 billion in royalties last year, accounting for 0.1 per cent of Queensland’s land mass, $52.5 billion gross regional product in 2918-19, 15 per cent of the total GDP over the whole of Queensland, and 11 per cent of employment.
“Regional Queenslanders feel like the Government has been their enemy for so many years. Go out there and try and start a coal mine or water project from scratch—it is not very easy.”
Member for Hill Shane Knuth said electricity prices continued to go up because there were zero coal-fired power plants in North Queensland.
“Collinsville was the last coal-fired power station in North Queensland, and it had five coal-powered steam turbines with a combined generation capacity of 190 megawatts of electricity,” he said.
“However, a solar power farm which was built on adjacent land in 2018 now generates only 42 megawatts of electricity. The Collinsville power station had families who lived, worked and sent their kids to school in Collinsville and the generator saved hundreds of millions of dollars in lost transmission and kept electricity prices down.”
Member for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto said the KAP wasn’t against renewables, but wanted the State Government to put a stop to solar and wind subsidies that made regional power prices soar.
“Wind, solar and hydro projects are getting all the benefit from the subsidies for renewable energies, yet we have a project sitting in the middle of the Hinchinbrook electorate ready to go—the NQBE (the North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation)—which has no government backing,” he said.
“They have been offered a little bit of money to go towards the development of the project—about $1 million was ear-tagged—but there is not a cent to go towards making sure that this project has longevity and the legs to get up.
“NQBE offers dispatchable power and supports the sugar cane industry but can’t get a cent. That’s because the Government’s renewable subsidies are driven by ideology and not economics.”
Economic oblivion is on the horizon for Queensland with the LNP appearing to have joined Labor in their ideological journey on energy policy, State KAP Leader and Traeger Robbie Katter has warned.
Mr Katter said in an unanticipated, but perhaps unsurprising, development the Queensland LNP had gone all in on the ideological energy debate.
He said it was clear in their submission made to the Federal Senate Enquiry into the “prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia”, that the Queensland LNP party were more interested in ideology than looking at all options, both short and long-term, for delivering the cheapest and most reliable energy for Queensland households and businesses.
The Traeger MP said although the LNP was entitled to whatever opinion it wanted, it appeared the party was now “playing it safe” on energy and was prepared to go all in on renewables.
“I’m disappointed, but not really surprised, that the LNP are taking such a narrow view on energy,” Mr Katter said.
“I think the most important thing for delivering good energy policy is being willing to look at, and accept, any option that delivers the cheapest and most reliable power.
“It looks as though the LNP have lost their mettle and caved into the irrational ideological fear that now drives our energy debate.”
Mr Katter said the energy system was complex and having an uncompromising position on particular sources of generation was a waste of time and money.
“The electricity system is incredibly complex and it is stupid to think that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ renewable or coal position will bring down electricity prices,” he said.
“We need to look at all options for dealing with the short and long-term problems in the electricity system and nothing should be off the table.
“In some circumstances thermal generation is going to be the best option and in other circumstances renewables are going to be the best option, and if there is long term opportunity to use nuclear then that shouldn’t be off the table.
“The KAP is only focussed on ensuring prices are as low as possible and we will back any solution that delivers that outcome.
“For the North, that’s building CopperString to unlock the cheap renewable resources around Hughenden and connect the existing gas-fired generation in Mount Isa to the east coast grid.
“In central and south west Queensland the solution may be to commit to extending the life of existing coal-fired power stations, which will send the right market signals and give energy-intensive businesses the confidence to make longterm investments.”
Mr Katter said the KAP’s policy on energy was simply to ensure prices were as low as possible which included the removal of the regulatory asset pricing model approach that artificially inflates customer costs.
This will effectively take power bills back towards cost, removing the large tax that the government takes out of each bill.
Hon Bob Katter MP
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy
will respond via Facebook video to the release of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry report, as the first politician who called for a Commission back in May 2015.
3:30pm (Qld time)
TODAY (Monday, 4 February 2019)
Staff will upload live video to Bob Katter’s Facebook page re his response to the report’s release and findings.
Please note, Mr Katter is unable to travel from his home in Charters Towers today due to extensive flooding in Townsville and throughout the Kennedy Electorate and the closure of the Townsville airport (hence the Facebook video).
Timeline of the Banking Royal Commission and how it originated:
- End 2012 – Rural Debt Summit – Bob pressures the then Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan after a question in Parliament to act on spiralling rural debt. Bob pushes to form the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group.
- 7 May 2013 – Bob organises rural crisis meeting in Richmond, Central Queensland. Bob forms Gulf Cattleman’s Association to steer the meeting and actions going forward. Federal Member Barnaby Joyce as Shadow Agriculture Minister and (then) Chief of Staff, Matt Canavan attend. Former Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) also attends. Focus on the crisis meeting is on debt, drought and live cattle exports. After the meeting is called, but prior to being held, on 27 April 2013 Swan and Ludwig announce concessional loans (in Queensland, administered by QRAA) – package worth $420m Australia- wide.
- 30 June/1 July 2013 – Indonesian Ambassador tours the Gulf with Bob. The next day, the Indonesian Ambassador flies to Jakarta to brief the President ahead of Prime Minister Rudd’s visit. Live cattle quota numbers are restored following Rudd’s visit.
- 28 Feb 2014 – Bob and Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group Chair meet with Australian Banking Association (CEO and bank executive members) in Sydney regarding rural debt and the Private Members Bill for a Rural Reconstruction Board.
- 5 December 2014 – Winton ‘Last Stand’ meeting called by Robbie Katter (Queensland State Member for Traeger and Bob’s son) where Federal Member Barnaby Joyce attends as now Minster for Agriculture and Water Resources. Radio and TV commentator Alan Jones is a special guest. From this, David Pascoe compiles a Facebook story about Charlie Phillott and the ANZ Bank , which goes viral. Following this meeting, Minister Joyce gives another $100 million in concessional loans and the ANZ puts a moratorium on foreclosing on any new drought-affected farmers for a year. Bob says he will name and shame banks behaving badly in the media and Parliament.
- May 2015 – After battling ANZ and other bank cases, Bob calls for a Royal Commission into the banks.
- 12 July 2015 – 60 Minutes airs story on Charlie Phillott and ANZ Bank.
- 30 August 2015 – Mike Smith’s (CEO of ANZ) apology to Charlie Phillott airs on 60 Minutes.
- 19 October 2015 – Queensland State Member for Traegar Robbie Katter is appointed Chairman of the Queensland Government’s Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce. The final report, released in in April 2016, made 14 recommendations including establishing a Rural and Industries Development Bank, a Farm Debt Reconstruction Authority, and a commercial Multi-Peril Insurance (income protection) product for all primary industries.
- 26 May 2016 – Queensland State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter introduces the Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance) Amendment Bill.
- 10 October 2016 – Bob introduces Banking Commission of Inquiry Bill 2016, as per election promise.
Federal Member of Parliament George Christensen comes out publicly saying he will support a bill by Bob.
- 27 March 2017 – New Bill introduced by Bob which has input from other MPs – People of Australia’s Commission of Inquiry (Banking and Financial Services) Bill 2017.
- November 2017 – Then Prime Minister Turnbull announces he will call a Royal Commission after the big banks give him the go-ahead.
- 25 June 2018 – Bob moves the Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill – legislation for Glass- Steagall separation of commercial banks from all other financial activities.
- 27 June 2018 – Bob attends the Banking Royal Commission public hearings and asks a question of the Commissioner Kenneth Hayne QC. Mr Katter interrupts proceedings to ask the Commissioner whether the banks’ failures will be properly fixed. The Commissioner concedes that public hearings into agribusiness lending will have to be extended.
- 4 October 2018 – Bob directly asks then Treasurer and now Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Parliament if he could assure the House that the Royal Commission would include the “carrion” – the receivers – and address the issue of a Reconstruction Bank. The Banking Royal Commission a priority in the 45th Parliament for Bob Katter.
The decision by Member for Cook Cynthia Lui to move her electorate from Mareeba to Cairns is the latest slap in the face from Labor to rural, regional and remote Queenslanders, State KAP Leader Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said while there were great challenges faced by MPs who represent large electorates, he was astounded that the Member for Cook had backed down from a pre-election promise and opted to move her office to Cairns.
Cairns is not in the Cook electorate.
The Traeger MP said Ms Lui’s relocation decision flew in the face of fighting against service centralisation and giving smaller communities a genuine voice in the Queensland Parliament.
He said he was not surprised by reports that Mareeba locals were up in arms about the move.
“In the interest of taking a stand against centralisation, I would like to call on the Member for Cook to reverse this decision,” Mr Katter said.
“Regional Members of Parliament like myself and Ms Lui need to send a clear message to smaller communities that they matter and that their voices will be heard,” he said.
“Relocating from Mareeba is one thing, but moving to Cairns which is not even in the Cook electorate sends a terrible message to the people of the North.”
Mr Katter said the State Labor Party had a shocking track record of removing services from the bush and ignoring the views and voices of rural communities.
“It is my experience that as an MP in these types of electorates, you need make a point of going to the people you represent and not waiting for them to come to you,” he said.
“I clock up tens of thousands of kilometres every year and spend many days and nights away from home because I get out of my office and am on the road or in the air trying to get to people.
“The KAP is fighting to keep services in the bush, meanwhile the Palaszczuk Government, with their own representatives, are taking services away – even a humble electorate office is not immune.
“This is astounding.”
October 27, 2017 – Leader of the state KAP party and Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter has released his policy regarding the formation of new North Queensland State.
“If the KAP holds the balance of power at the next election we will immediately take the first step toward the establishment of North Queensland as a separate state.
“The first step will be the establishment of a committee of independent experts with knowledge of the legal, economic and social factors to be considered and addressed to facilitate the establishment of the state of North Queensland.
“The independent committee will develop a ‘roadmap’, that will define the steps required to establish the state of North Queensland,’’ Robbie said.
Mr Katter said a logical starting point of a border when splitting Queensland in two, would be the Tropic of Capricorn.
“If this border was adopted it would place Rockhampton in the state of North Queensland.
“Crucially our indigenous population would also have to be closely consulted,’’ Robbie said.
“Robbie says the Australian constitution is well prepared for the creation of a new state.
“A new State can always be created by an Act of the Commonwealth Parliament. The constitution has provisions included so this can take place. It’s not as if this has never been considered before.
A new state can only be created if the State in which it is to be created holds a successful referendum of the voters of that State.
“However, there has not been a new state created in Australia since 1859 – during the same time the United States of America created almost 20.’’
Under our unicameral system of Parliament, Queenslanders have been dominated by major parties which focus on winning votes in the South-East of Queensland. Meanwhile, they take the wealth that’s generated in regional areas and funnel it down to their South-East Queensland seats.
“North and Western Queensland are economic powerhouses. Real Gross Regional Product in Mackay was more than twice that of the state average while the North West was three times the average.
“About 60 per cent of Queensland’s export industries are above the Tropic of Capricorn and contain only 20% of the population.
“Given the decline of the north and the regions under multiple ALP and LNP Governments we believe the time is right to once again seriously consider the creation of separate North Queensland State.
“It would result in an immediate financial return back to those who created the wealth in Queensland,’’ Robbie said.
North Queenslander Bill Bates is currently touring Queensland in an effort get people to sign his own personal petition to create a second Queensland state.
Generally, petitions which attract 10,000 signatures will be debated in parliament.
October, 2017 – The LNP tonight backed Jackie Trad’s stricter Queensland gun control laws, with both parties displaying their willingness to work together to successfully attack the rights of law-abiding firearm owners.
The major party duopoly voted down a KAP Disallowance motion, ensuring more irrational changes will be made to the National Firearms Agreement (NFA).
KAP members Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth commended LNP Member for Gympie, Tony Perrett for crossing the floor to vote for KAP’s disallowance motion and for putting his constituents before his party.
After a debate characterised by mudslinging and misdirection the LNP sided with the Government to vote down the KAP motion moved by Robbie Katter resulting in Queensland now having gun laws which go far beyond those put in place by John Howard.
When debating the motion, Robbie urged all members of the house to look past the fear and emotion of the issue to ensure our laws are based on evidence and fairness.
“The changes to the NFA have absolutely no empirical or practical justification.
“Unfortunately these laws only punish people who do the right thing while doing nothing to address community safety,’’ Robbie said.
Member of Dalrymple Shane Knuth said if the State Government was serious about community safety it would look at measures which crackdown on gun crime, including a permanent amnesty, real time licence verification and better mail and customs screening to stop illegal weapons entering the country.
“The aim of the KAP disallowance motion was to remove the additional regulations imposed by Labor, resulting in tougher gun control laws,’’ Mr Knuth said.
“The LNP had the chance to block these tougher gun controls but chose to support Labor, even though they had been telling constituents they would champion law-abiding gun owners.’’
The LNP attempted to shift the blame to the State Government and the KAP for their decision to support the irrational NFA changes, however it was clear to all observers this was a weak attempt to move the focus away from their attack on law-abiding gun owners and the division within their own party.
“We will always support measures that make the community safer however, good policy needs to be based on evidence and not emotion,’’ Mr Knuth said.
Leader of the Opposition, Tim Nicholls quoted support for John Howard’s gun laws as the rationale. However, the new regulations significantly strengthen John Howard’s laws and they have been made without sufficient consultation with shooters.
The major aspects of the regulations which strengthen John Howard’s laws include:
– A reclassification of lever action shotguns to Category D, which is the same category as AK-47s and AR-15s, while pump action shotguns with the same capacity are classified in Category C.
– Serious questions around changes to the definition of lawful modification which could have the effect of making any type of weapon that has been modified by a licence shooter illegal. This has potential to make hundreds of thousands weapons illegal.
– If weapons are now deemed illegal they need to be handed back. With no compensation scheme in place this is perhaps the biggest injustice in the new laws.
Robbie Katter talks about a number of changes that could be brought in to improve community safety.
“There are a number of things that could be done to improve community safety including a permanent amnesty, a real time licence verification system, better screening of packages coming in from overseas and redirecting resources from persecution of law abiding shooters to fighting gun crime.
“According to a report by the auditor general, Customs only screens 25% of consignments, whereas previously all international mail coming into Australia was scanned. That equates to just 46 million scans, resulting in 67,123 prohibited items being seized. On those calculations, a further 201,369 prohibited items were let into the country,” Robbie said.