Federal MP Bob Katter identified Australia’s supermarket duopoly, the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and imported foreign produce as the key issues facing Victorians when he visited Bendigo on Saturday.
Mr Katter was in town to speak at the Victorian conference of Katter’s Australian Party at the Bendigo RSL Club.
About 80 members from across the state attended the conference including a contingent from Bendigo, but Mr Katter said the party was not ready to announce a candidate for this seat.
“There have been names mentioned, but I can’t reveal anything at the moment,” he said.
“In the next six weeks a candidate will be named.
“The current federal representation in Bendigo is not worth two bob.”
Mr Katter has promised a KAP candidate in every seat at the next federal election.
“This is the fastest growing party in Australia,” he said.
The KAP’s main policies include a war on big supermarkets and a pledge to cut back Coles and Woolworths’ share of the market to 22 per cent each.
“Every single Australian business is under threat (from this duopoly) – butchers, bakers, pharmacists, service stations and farmers,” Mr Katter said.
“There’s no room for anybody else and farmers and manufacturers only have two people to sell to.”
Mr Katter said he would pay for his policies through the introduction of a 10 per cent customs duty on “everything coming into the country”.
“We will use that to adequately compensate mothers, to combat the financial penalty faced by women who choose to leave work and have children,” he said.
Mr Katter said the KAP would also fight to bring “freedom back”. “We want to let boys be boys and go hunting and fishing and all that,” he said.
“We believe in personal freedoms and property rights.”
This is partially what attracted Bendigo KAP member Tom Brough to the party.
“It’s really about encouraging individual freedoms and not focusing on highly regulated day to day life,” Mr Brough said.
“I think the party is a champion of sanity.”
The 26-year-old doctor said the KAP’s policies and values were “clear and unambiguous”.
“I think it has scope for meaningful change in a positive way,” he said. “It’s principle-based rather than on economic interests.”