|Leader of Katter's Australian Party|
5 June 2011 – 3 February 2020
|Preceded by||Party established|
|Succeeded by||Robbie Katter|
|Member of the Australian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
13 March 1993
|Preceded by||Rob Hulls|
|Minister for Mines and Energy|
25 September 1989 – 7 December 1989
|Preceded by||Martin Tenni|
|Succeeded by||Thomas Gilmore (Mines)|
Tony McGrady (Energy)
|Minister for Development and Community Services of Queensland|
7 November 1983 – 25 September 1989
|Preceded by||Thomas Gilmore|
|Succeeded by||Martin Tenni|
|Member of the Queensland Parliament|
7 December 1974 – 25 August 1992
|Preceded by||Bill Longeran|
|Succeeded by||Seat abolished|
Robert Carl Katter
22 May 1945
Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia
|Political party||Katter's Australian (since 2011)|
|National (until 2001)|
|Relations||Carl Katter (half-brother)|
Alex Douglas (nephew)
See Katter family
|Parents||Bob Katter Sr.|
|Residence||Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia|
|Education||Mount Carmel College|
St. Columba Catholic College
|Alma mater||University of Queensland|
|Occupation||Union delegate|
(Australian Workers' Union)
|Branch/service||Australian Army Reserve|
|Years of service||1964–1972|
|Unit||49th Battalion, Royal Queensland Regiment|
Robert Bellarmine Carl Katter (born 22 May 1945) is an Australian politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1993. He was previously active in Queensland state politics from 1974 to 1992. Katter was a member of the National Party until 2001, when he left to sit as an independent. He formed his own party, Katter's Australian Party, in 2011.
Katter was born in Cloncurry, Queensland. His father, Bob Katter Sr., was also a politician. Katter was elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly at the 1974 state election, representing the seat of Flinders. He was elevated to cabinet in 1983, under Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and served as a government minister until the National Party's defeat at the 1989 state election.
Katter left state politics in 1992, and the following year was elected to federal parliament standing in the Division of Kennedy (his father's old seat). He resigned from the National Party in the lead-up to the 2001 federal election, and has since been re-elected four more times as an independent and twice for his own party. Katter is known for his social conservatism, and is frequently described as a "maverick" by the media. His son, Robbie Katter, is a state MP in Queensland, the third generation of the family to serve in parliament.
Early career and family background
Katter was born in Cloncurry, Queensland, the son of Robert Cummin Katter, the member for Kennedy from 1966 to 1990, and his wife, Mabel. His paternal grandparents went to Cloncurry in a stage coach around 1900. His great grandfather (paternal), a Lebanese migrant, owned clothing stores throughout north Queensland.
His father, Bob Katter Sr., was an Australian politician who served in the House of Representatives from 1966 to 1990, representing the National Party (originally named the Country Party).
Katter attended the University of Queensland, where he studied law, but later dropped out without graduating. While at university, Katter served as Vice President of the University Law Society, and was President of his University College. As a sergeant, finishing after seven years as Lieutenant, he served in the Citizens Military Forces.
During their 1964 Australian tour, The Beatles were pelted by eggs from some unknown assailants. Katter, then a university student, came forward more than 40 years later and claimed his involvement, saying that it was "an intellectual reaction against Beatlemania."
Katter worked as a "labourer in the Mt. Isa Mines".
Katter's father was a member of the Australian Labor Party until 1957, when he left during the Labor split of that year. He later joined the Country Party, now the Liberal National Party. The younger Katter was a Country Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 1974 to 1992, representing Flinders in north Queensland. He was Minister for Northern Development and Aboriginal and Islander Affairs from 1983 to 1987, Minister for Northern Development, Community Services and Ethnic Affairs from 1987 to 1989, Minister for Community Services and Ethnic Affairs in 1989, Minister for Mines and Energy in 1989, and Minister for Northern and Regional Development for a brief time in 1989 until the Nationals were defeated in that year's election.
While in the Queensland Parliament, Katter junior was a strong supporter of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, though he remained in cabinet under Mike Ahern, but ulitimaly resigning from Cabinet along with Russell Cooper. He served on the backbench. Then appointed again to Cabinet in the traditional number two position of Mines & Energy. This was under the Bjelke-Petersen's factions restoration to power.
Katter did not run for re-election to state Parliament in 1992, he transferred to federal politics. He ran as the National candidate in his father's former seat of Kennedy, facing his father's successor, Labor's Rob Hulls. Despite name recognition, Katter trailed Hulls for most of the night. On the eighth count, a Liberal candidate's preferences flowed overwhelmingly to Katter, allowing him to defeat Hulls by 4,000 votes. He would not face another contest nearly that close for two decades.
Katter was re-elected with a large swing in 1996, and was re-elected almost as easily in 1998. However, when he transferred to federal politics, he found himself increasingly out of sympathy with the federal Liberal and National parties on economic and social issues. In 2001, he resigned from the National Party and easily retained his seat as an independent at the general elections of 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010, each time ending up with a percentage vote in the high sixties after preferences were distributed.
In the aftermath of the 2010 hung federal election, Katter offered a range of views on the way forward for government. Two other former National Party MPs, both independents from rural electorates, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott decided to support an ALP Government. Katter presented his 20 points document and asked the major parties to respond before deciding which party he would support. As a result he broke with Windsor and Oakeshott and supported the Abbott LNP for Government. On 7 September 2010, Katter announced his support for a Liberal/National Party coalition minority government.
On 5 June 2011, Katter launched a new political party, Katter's Australian Party, which he said would "unashamedly represent agriculture". He made headlines after singing to his party's candidates during a meeting on 17 October 2011, saying it was his "election jingle".
In the 2013 election, however, Katter faced his first serious contest since his initial run for Kennedy in 1993. He had gone into the election holding the seat with a majority of 18 percent, making it the second-safest seat in Australia. However, reportedly due to anger at his decision to back Kevin Rudd (ALP) for Prime Minister following Julia Gillard's (Prime Minister) live cattle export ban (Rudd, within weeks, reopened the live export market), Katter still suffered a primary-vote swing of over 17 points. His name heavily associated with Rudd. In the end, Katter was re-elected on Labor preferences, suffering a two-party swing of 16 points to the Liberal National party.
On 15 August 2017 Katter announced that the Turnbull Government could not take his support for granted in the wake of the 2017 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis, which ensued over concerns that several MPs held dual citizenship and thus may be constitutionally ineligible to serve in Parliament. Katter added that if one of the affected MPs, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, lost his seat, the Coalition could not count on his support for confidence and supply.
In November 2018, Katter secured funds for three inland dam-irrigation schemes in North Queensland.
Katter is known as an unabashed social conservative. His views on economic matters echo 1950s Labor policy as he opposes privatisation and economic deregulation and strongly supporting traditional Country Party (collective) statutory marketing. The sobriquet 'Mad Katter' was coined by his opponents to describe his nationalistic developmentalism. He has a very sporadic attendance record in parliament, and by the end of 2019 had only attended 42% of votes on the floor of parliament, the lowest of any member of parliament.
In 1989, while Community Services Minister in the Queensland state government, Katter opposed installing condom vending machines in Aboriginal and Islander communities to reduce the spread of AIDS, describing the plan instead as an attempt at eugenics, or "racist genocide".
An opponent of the tougher gun control laws introduced in the wake of the 1996 massacre in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Katter was accused in 2001 of signing a petition promoted by the Citizens Electoral Council (CEC), an organisation that claims the Port Arthur massacre was a conspiracy. He has always and still believes there was no conspiracy.
Katter has championed the mandating of ethanol fuel content. He has pioneered protests against imported bananas, and constantly challenges the supermarket concentration of power with Coles and Woolworths.
In November 1989, Katter claimed there were almost no homosexuals in North Queensland. He promised to walk backwards from Bourke if they represented more than 0.001 percent of the population. Katter also said "mind you, if there are more, then I might take to walking backwards everywhere!" Katter voted against the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Act, 1994 (Cth), which decriminalised homosexuality in Tasmania. He does not support same-sex marriage. His response to the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey result went viral, as Katter found the issue of crocodiles killing people in North Queensland more pressing as the premise of the interview was that the plebiscite wasn't to be discussed. In December 2017, Katter was one of only four members of the House of Representatives to oppose the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 legalising same-sex marriage in Australia.
As of 2020, Katter described himself as belonging to the "hard left," citing his continuing membership of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
- Bob Katter, An Incredible Race of People: A Passionate History of Australia (Millers Point, New South Wales: Murdoch Books Australia, 2012).
- "The Hon. (Bob) Robert Carl Katter". Archived from the original on 3 August 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- "Round About With Penelope", Sunday Mail, Brisbane, Sunday 27 May 1945, page 7.
- "Bob Katter Fact Check: never heard of Gays before 50?", QNews, January 2019.
- "The Hon Bob Katter MP, Member for Kennedy, Queensland". Australian Parliament House website. Parliament of Australia. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Townsend, Ian (30 June 2004). "I am the egg man: Katter". The World Today. Australia: ABC Radio. Archived from the original on 12 May 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- Katter, Bob, "Katter: almost a death a week on a construction site in Australia and you want to crucify the CFMEU?", Media Release, 31 Oct 2016.
- "Division of Bowman". Federal election, 1993. Adam Carr. 13 March 1993. Archived from the original on 26 August 2015.
- Adam, Carr. "1998 Qld House of Representatives Results". Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
- Adam, Carr. "2001 Qld House of Representatives Results". Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
- Adam, Carr. "2004 Qld House of Representatives Results". Archived from the original on 26 August 2015.
- Adam, Carr. "2007 Qld House of Representatives Results". Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
- Adam, Carr. "2010 Qld House of Representatives Results". Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
- Foley, Meraiah (25 August 2010). "Rural Lawmakers Hold Key in Australian Election". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Rodgers, Emma (3 September 2010). "'Potent' Katter's arm twisted by Rudd". Australia: ABC News. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
- Saulwick, Jacob; Davis, Mark. "Katter supports Abbott". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
- Marszalek, Jessica (5 June 2011). "Katter's party to 'unashamedly represent agriculture'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- "Katter puts the fun into party briefing". Herald Sun. Australian Associated Press. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- ABC.net.au Archived 9 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- "Katter in clear" Archived 2 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, northweststar.com.au. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- 26. "Kennedy, QLD". Australian Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- Bickers, Claire; Le Messurier, Danielle (15 August 2017). "Katter refuses to guarantee support". The Courier-Mail. News Corp Australia Network. Archived from the original on 21 August 2017.
- Chvastek, Nicole (25 August 2010). "The Mad Katter .. and the Frankston Eviction Debacle". ABC Radio. Australia. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Birmingham, John (24 August 2010). "The joys and pains of a well hung parliament". Brisbane Times. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Lewis, Steven; Ironside, Robyn (25 August 2010). "Mad Katter denies kill threat". The Advertiser. Australia. Archived from the original on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- Facebook; Twitter. "How does Bob Katter vote on issues that matter to you?". They Vote For You. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
- Condom Decision "Racist Genocide", Strait Talking, Torres News (Thursday Island, QLD), Thu 24 Aug 1989.
- "Katter accused of promoting Port Arthur massacre conspiracy theory". Australia: ABC News. 20 June 2001. Archived from the original on 19 July 2001. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- "Katter throws crocs into climate debate". Australia: ABC News. 12 August 2009. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Katter's Australian Party (25 August 2011). "Another milestone for clean energy corridor". Australia. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Harvey, Michael (23 August 2010). "Six men who could hold the key to Australia's government". Herald Sun. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Seccombe, Mike (4 March 1994). "Bottom Line For Katter". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 2. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- Wright, Tony (24 August 2011). "No gays, Bob? Try closer to home". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Roberts, Greg (1 April 2000). "Katter-brained". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 42.
- "Gay marriage ridicule 'damages youths'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- "Bob Katter's Rant About Same Sex Marriage And Crocodile Attacks Is Going Viral". Triple M. 20 November 2017. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- "House of Representatives Hansard THURSDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2017". Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- "Bob Katter calls for Trump-like travel ban". Chronicle. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
- "Bob Katter pledges allegiance to far-right group but dismisses it as 'larrikinism'". the Guardian. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "Bob Katter has pledged allegiance to the far-right group Proud Boys in a YouTube video". SBS News. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- Interview with Bob Katter: "‘Everyone tells me I’m crazy, and I actually am’: Katter", Sky News, Feb 16, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bob Katter.|
- Official biography, aph.gov.au
- Maiden Speech – Australian House of Representatives (6 May 1993), aph.gov.au
|Parliament of Queensland|
| Member for Flinders
| Minister for Northern Development and Aboriginal and Island Affairs
Title next held byAnne Warner
as Minister for Aboriginal and Islander Affairs
| Minister for Northern Development and Community Services
as Minister for Community Services
| Minister for Northern Development, Community Services and Ethnic Affairs
as Minister for Ethnic Affairs
as Minister for Northern Development
| Minister for Community Services and Ethnic Affairs
| Minister for Mines and Energy
as Minister for Mines
as Minister for Energy
| Minister for Northern and Regional Development
Keith De Lacy
as Minister for Regional Development
|Parliament of Australia|
| Member for Kennedy