Katter plans to win over Warwick
OUTSPOKEN independent MP Bob Katter may be gracing Warwickites with his presence in a few short weeks, beating state LNP leader Campbell Newman to the punch.
Mr Katter said he was working with his office on dates for a visit Warwick and Stanthorpe to drum up support for his Australian Party.
"It would be within three weeks," he said.
Mr Katter said he had a strong interest in visiting the Southern Downs (although he felt the name of the electorate was unfortunate) because of the range of issues affecting the area, including coal seam gas and apple imports.
Mr Katter said the party was looking for candidates to run in the safe LNP seat of the Southern Downs.
"We want people to come forward, we need the hard-yakka men on the ground," he said.
But Mr Katter said he was wary of people who just wanted to stand up in parliament.
"We need to make sure they won't betray us," he said.
"We have to go through the vetting process but we haven't had too many nut cases."
He said some people had already stepped forward from the area but wouldn't name them.
"I have three names, one I know and he would be very good," he said. "The other two I don't know but I have been told they would be good as well."
Attempts were made to contact a spokeswoman for Campbell Newman, to find out more about his impending visit on September 21, but those calls went unanswered.
Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg said supporting the Australian Party at the polls would split the vote, leaving Labor in power in Queensland.
"Queensland will end up with a multi-headed, mutant festering Labor, Greens and Independent government just like in Canberra at the moment, which no one actually wants," he said.
"Bob makes grandiose promises and grandiose comments," he said.But Mr Katter said recent state-based polls showed 23% support for the party in Queensland and that support would be higher if seats where the party had no chance of winning were taken out of the equation.
"Don't come to me and say we are splitting the vote. I hope we are shattering the vote," he said.
He said he would concede seats in areas such as the Gold Coast, where the party had no chance of winning because people there were more worried about where they were going to go out for dinner than rural issues.
Katter on the downs
- Will be here within three weeks.
- Wants all fresh food imports including apples, labelled as potentially hazardous.
- Wants to protect farming land from coal seam mining.
- Is looking for local candidates to run in the Southern Downs seat.