Federal MP Bob Katter is calling on candidates to stand for his party, Bob Katter's Australia Party, in the NSW seat of Farrer.By Ruth Clayton
Queensland politician Bob Katter says he wants to give residents in the Farrer electorate greater choice.
Last month, Mr Katter announced he planned to call for candidates to stand for his party, Bob Katter’s Australia Party, against sitting Member for Farrer Sussan Ley at next year’s federal election.
Mr Katter said it was important to have representation in the electorate because his party would help preserve water within the electorate’s communities.
‘‘We are a national body and our policies are national and are not (exclusive to) any geographic region, but we say the ALP spends the money, the Liberals gather the money and we make the money,’’ Mr Katter said.
‘‘We’re the people that build railway lines and dams and the complete worst thing that could ever happen, as far as we’re concerned, would be something like the (water) cutback on the Murray-Darling.’’
Mr Katter said 20 per cent of water availability had already been removed from Murray-Darling Basin communities as part of the Water Act of 2007.
‘‘If you remove the 20 per cent (from) any community, you’re going to run into shocking problems,’’ Mr Katter said.
‘‘If someone takes 20 per cent of the economy away from you and then you vote for them in the next election
He said the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would represent a further 15 per cent water cut for the communities.
Mr Katter said another issue to be addressed was creating a competitive market for farmers to sell their produce.
‘‘Our party’s number one policy (relates to) Woolworths and Coles,’’ Mr Katter said.
‘‘Every farmer knows he has only two (supermarkets) to sell to and he has no hope.’’
Mr Katter said to promote a competitive market, his party wanted to reintroduce arbitrated prices for milk, sugar and eggs, and to establish a policy so no one supermarket could buy more than 22 per cent of a product on the market.
Mr Katter has not yet named a candidate for the Farrer electorate but said he had met a number of people who would be suitable.
‘‘Firstly, we would desperately like people that are tenaciously committed to the cause,’’ he said.
Mr Katter hoped to have a candidate for every seat but acknowledged this would be difficult.
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