Wednesday, 10 August 2011

'Cut snake' Bob Katter eats up another party in merger aimed at taking on Labor and LNP

Queensland federal MP Bob Katter, who in June announced the formation of his new Australian Party, has merged with Aidan McLindon's Queensland Party.

 Picture: Jack Tran Source: The Australian

BOB Katter's Australian Party has swallowed the Queensland Party in a merger the maverick federal MP says will win them seats at the next state poll.

Mr Katter and former Queensland Party leader Aidan McLindon formally announced the marriage today, saying it made sense for them to team up against Labor and the Liberal National Party (LNP).

It also makes registering Mr Katter's party easier, with Mr McLindon already sitting as an MP in Queensland's parliament.

“Clearly there's a lack of logic in saying that two of us with exactly the same policies are out there punching away at each other,” Mr Katter told reporters in Brisbane.

“Surely we should be punching away at the two parties in there that have the identical policies.”

Mr McLindon said some in his party were disappointed in the merger and he realised some described Mr Katter as “a cut snake”.

“Cut snakes last for 39 minutes,” Mr McLindon said.

“This good man's lasted for 39 years so he must be doing something right.

“He speaks from the heart and he gets it right nearly all of the time.”

He said it was “time to stop listening to Bob Katter with your eyes and it's time to start listening with your ears”.

The pair said Mr Katter's experience and Mr McLindon's youth presented a “formidable combination”.

And they will not just concentrate on regional areas, promising to campaign the length and breath of Queensland, wherever good candidates could be found.

“We will be winning seats in Brisbane,” Mr Katter said.

“I can tell you that right now.”

Among issues the new party will target will be: the monopoly of the big supermarkets; opposing the federal carbon tax; introducing mandated ethanol in petrol; re-regulating sugar; opposing coal seam gas; and having indigenous housing built with indigenous workers.

The men would now approach independents to ask if they wanted to join the newly merged outfit.

The pair said they'd make major announcements every three weeks and would announce some surprise candidates in the next fortnight.

Griffith University's Dr Paul Williams predicts the best result the new party could expect at the next election, due by March 2012, would be to avoid splitting the third-party vote.

“The momentum is really with the LNP,” he said.

“The Katter/McLindon outfit's best bet in order to make big inroads quickly is to poach sitting members or candidates ... of both parties, particularly the LNP, and maybe one or two independents.

“Early talk of winning 20 seats at the next state election is simply not going

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