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Hands up if you're confused

Australian Party leader Bob Katter appears to have written his candidate’s name, Gordon Dale, on his hand but claims it actually says Gordon Dole.
Australian Party leader Bob Katter appears to have written his candidate’s name, Gordon Dale, on his hand but claims it actually says Gordon Dole. Megan Pope

FEDERAL MP Bob Katter showed his fast-paced itinerary may be taking a toll on his memory after he was spotted with candidate Gordon Dale's name scrawled across his left hand while spruiking Australian Party policies in Maryborough yesterday.

Mr Dale told the Chronicle he could not think why Mr Katter would have his name written on his hand, but then said the party leader used his hands to note down meetings and speech topics when he planned his own itinerary.

A short time later, Mr Dale called back and said Mr Katter told him the hand actually read 'Gordon dole', referring to a man he had met in Maryborough who was battling unemployment.

Mr Katter was on a tour of the city yesterday to meet business owners and receive "the Katter cut" at Barber Al's in Kent St.

It was the third time since August that the founder of Katter's Australian Party has visited the region to sell his policies on manufacturing and ethanol production.

Mr Katter is so convinced Mr Dale will sweep into power on March 24 that he has wished sitting Independent MP Chris Foley a happy retirement.

He said he believed the party would be two to one odds at betting stations to win the Maryborough seat by next week but refused to predict the party's chances in Hervey Bay.

"I really don't like to speculate about it," Mr Katter said.

His appearance on the Fraser Coast came after an announcement that construction, mining and energy union CFMEU, which represents many Fraser Coast Council workers and Downer EDi employees, had made a $50,000 donation to the Australian Party.

CFMEU Wide Bay official Laurie Genrich said yesterday the union would support the Australian Party because Mr Katter shared their values on foreign mine workers and worker rights.

"Bob is on the same wavelength as us," he said.

"If we have to support Bob in a financial way for his campaign, we see a return on that."

The union backed a meeting yesterday at which Mr Katter promised to cancel contracts with a Chinese company for Queensland's electric trains and award the contracts exclusively to Downer EDi's Maryborough facility, where the trains are manufactured at present.

Mr Katter predicted the Australian Party policy to build all trains and sugar mills in Maryborough would create more than 1000 new jobs in the city. "I want this to be the industrial heartland of Queensland as it once was," he said. He also said about six unions had pledged support.

 

Australian Party policies

  • $200 million over the next seven years to make sugar mills capable of producing electricity.
  • Mandate ethanol fuel to stabilise the sugar industry and reduce carbon emissions.
  • All new Australian trains and sugar mills to be built in Queensland.

Topics:  australian party, bob katter, gordon dale, maryborough, queensland election 2012


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