Katter's Australian Party

Katter's Australian Party
Leader Bob Katter (federal)
Robbie Katter (state; Queensland)
Founder Bob Katter
Founded 27 September 2011
Ideology Australian nationalism
Economic nationalism
Social conservatism[1]

Political position

Social: Right-wing

Economic: Left-wing
Colours      Dark red
House of Representatives
1 / 150
0 / 76
Queensland Parliament
2 / 89

Katter's Australian Party (KAP, AUS, also Australian) is a political party in Australia. It was formed by the Independent Federal Member of Parliament, Bob Katter, with a registration application lodged to the Australian Electoral Commission in 2011. Katter has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since that time, while his son Rob Katter is the leader in Queensland.[2] It is only in representation of both state and federal level in Queensland. The party's current main competition is the One Nation Party, both on a state and federal level.

Katter was re-elected under the party's label at the 2013 federal election, while the party also won two seats at the 2012 state election in Queensland, which it retained at the 2015 state election.


The party's policies closely mirror those of Katter, including support for industry (both agricultural and manufacturing) and opposition to privatisation and deregulation.

The party's first policies announced by Katter include:

Although Katter himself is known to be a staunch social conservative, the party (mostly) does not actively pursue socially conservative policies, focusing mainly on economic issues. Although social conservatism is usually associated with issues such as abortion, the party doesn't have a position on this (or most solely social policy issues) – as it is considered a matter of social conscience for individual party members.

Many of the party's economic stances echo 1950s Labor policy, reflecting the roots of Katter's father, Bob, Sr. in Labor.


Bob Katter, party leader 2011–present, pictured earlier in his parliamentary career.

On 17 August 2011 the party's application for registration was denied by the Australian Electoral Commission, on the grounds that the intended abbreviated party name ("The Australian Party") was too generic and likely to cause confusion.[7] On 27 September 2011, Katter's Australian Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission.[8] Although, unsuccessful in registering the "The Australian Party" abbreviated party name nationally, the party's simultaneous application to register in Queensland succeed with the abbreviated name despite a few public objections.[9] Under Queensland electoral law it is only the abbreviated party name which appears on the state election ballots. To avoid ballot-box party names varying, depending on Australian State, the KAP unsuccessfully appealed to the courts to have ballots reprinted so that the full party name and not the abbreviated party name would appear on ballots for the 2012 Queensland state election.[10]

Queensland state politics

The party fielded candidates at the 2012 Queensland state election.[2] Queensland Independent MP Rob Messenger had expressed interest in joining the party,[11] however following the merger with the Queensland Party, Messenger declared he would not join the new party as it intended to run against sitting independents at the election.[12]

On 9 August 2011, Katter's Australian Party announced plans to merge with state Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon's Queensland Party, with Katter's Australian Party as the surviving entity. As part of the deal, McLindon became the merged party's leader in Queensland.[13][14]

On 30 October 2011 McLindon was joined by Shane Knuth, the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) member for Dalrymple, who said the LNP had not been beneficial for rural and the LNP merger had been a Liberal takeover that had been "disastrous" for regional representation, with rural MPs having no say. Knuth also stated that stand-over tactics and secret LNP files on Labor MPs, that included information such as sexual behaviour, as having influenced his decision.[15]

In the 2012 Queensland state election, the party contested 76 of the 89 seats in the state legislature, with Knuth holding Dalrymple and Rob Katter winning Mount Isa. McLindon was defeated in Beaudesert. Katter claimed that the Electoral Commission's decision not to print his name on the ballot cost the party 8.5% of the vote.[16]

On 25 November 2012 the party was joined by Condamine LNP MP Ray Hopper, claiming that the LNP had been a takeover by the old Liberal Party at the expense of the National Party. Hopper claimed to have spoken to eight other government MPs who were considering defection.[17] On 29 November Hopper was elected as the party's Queensland state leader.[18]

In the 2015 Queensland state election, the party contested 11 of the 89 seats, with Knuth and Katter retaining their seats, but Hopper failed in a bid for the seat of Nanango. Due to the election's close-run result (44 Labor to 42 LNP with either needing 45), KAP was potentially in a situation to choose the government, and met with both parties and published a list of 28 demands.[19] However, as independent MP Peter Wellington elected to support Labor on confidence and supply, this did not proceed further.

2013 federal election

In the 2013 federal election, Katter's Australian Party received 1.04% of the nationwide vote in first preferences in the lower house, and 0.89% nationwide in the Senate.[20] Its best performing state was Queensland with 3.75% of the lower-house vote and 2.94% of the Senate vote.

Bob Katter retained his seat of Kennedy, despite a 16-point swing in favour of the Liberal Nationals.[21]

Other states

The Tasmanian Branch, led by Glenorchy Alderman Jenny Branch-Allen claims to have received many expressions of interest by potential candidates for the 2013 federal election.[22]

Ann Bressington, an independent (and formerly No Pokies) member of the South Australian Legislative Council, announced in October 2013 that she would sponsor registration for the party at the 2014 state election, although she did not join the party herself.[23]

In February 2014, the Country Alliance announced that it would merge with the Victorian Branch of Katter's Australian Party for the upcoming 2014 state election, following confirmation at an extraordinary general meeting of the party. The merged parties plan to contest the election as the "Australian Country Alliance".[24][25]

Parliamentary leaders


No. Leader Term Seat Notes
1 Bob Katter 2011–present Kennedy Party founder; Inaugural leader


No. Leader Term Seat Notes
* Aidan McLindon 2011–2012 Beaudesert Leader of the Queensland Party; merged with KAP in 2012
1 Robbie Katter 2012 Mount Isa Inaugural leader
2 Raymond Hopper 2012–2015 Condamine Failed in contesting Nanango in the 2015 state election
(1) Robbie Katter 2015–present Mount Isa

* McLindon was official reckoned as Leader of the Queensland Party until it merged with KAP in 2012, after which McLindon had lost his seat of Beaudesert

Australian Federal Electoral performance

House of Representatives

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2013 Bob Katter 134,226 1.04
1 / 150
Increase 1 Increase 6 Crossbench
2016 Bob Katter 72,879 0.54
1 / 150
Steady 1 Decrease 9 Crossbench


Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2013 Bob Katter 119,920 0.89
0 / 76
Increase Increase 10 Crossbench
2016 Bob Katter 53,123 0.38
0 / 76
Steady Decrease 20 Crossbench


See also


  1. 1 2 Whitford, Troy (2 November 2011), "Don't write off the Mad Katter's Tea Party", The Conversation, retrieved 24 March 2012
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Queensland MP Bob Katter registered Katter's Australian Party with the Australian Electoral Commission". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Core Values and Principles". Katter's Australian Party. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  4. Katter's Australian Party (March 2012). "Reconstructing Queensland Highlights Biofuels" (PDF). Australia. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  5. Advertisement Katter's Australian Party. Pine Rivers Press. 21 March 2012.
  6. Lion, Patrick (4 June 2011). "Bob Katter launches the Australian Party to take on the big boys". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  7. "Application for party registration refused – Katter's Australian Party". AEC. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  8. "Bob Katter's party registered with AEC". news.com.au. News Limited. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  9. "Objections to proposed registration of Katter' s Australian Party". ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  10. "Court rejects Katter party's ballot case". news.com.au. News Limited. 8 March 2012.
  11. Agius, Kym (6 June 2011). "Qld MP mulls move to Katter's party". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  12. Adcock, Frances; Hegarty, Laura (10 August 2011). "Messenger snubs merged Katter party". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  13. Binnie, Kerrin (10 August 2011). "Katter talks up party merger". ABC Online. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  14. Houghton, Des (11 August 2011). "Queensland Party may cease to exist as leader Aidan McLindon plans to join Bob Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  15. Jessica Marszalek (30 October 2011). "LNP MP defects to Katter's Australian Party". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  16. Kym Agius (4 June 2012). "Nominations open for Katter's federal bid". The Age. Melbourne.
  17. Madigan, Michael (25 November 2012). "LNP veteran Ray Hopper resigns to join Katter's Australian Party". Courier Mail. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  18. "Hopper endorsed as Katter Party state leader".
  19. "Queensland election 2015: Katter's Australian Party releases demands for minority government support". ABC Online. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  20. "First Preferences by Party". AEC. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  21. Horn, Allyson. "Big swing against Bob Katter in his seat of Kennedy". ABC. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
  22. Richards, Blair (25 November 2012). "The Gospel according to Bob". The Mercury. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  23. Harmsen, Nick. "SA independent Ann Bressington forms alliance with Bob Katter ahead of March state election". ABC. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  24. Cimara Pearce (2014). "Katter’s Australian Party set to merge with Country Alliance in bid for rural seats" – Weekly Times Now. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  25. "Weekly Times story on CA / Katter Vic merger" – Country Alliance. Published 10 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.

External links

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