43rd Parliament: A Retrospective
Welcome to a look back at one of our nation's most historic political periods - the 43rd 'Hung' Parliament of Australia - in which the role and representation of our diverse and sprawling North Queensland electorate of Kennedy has featured prominently.
In the past three years under this so-called 'new political paradigm', we have witnessed a subtle but significant shift in the direction of philosophic thought regarding policies crucial to the survival of both our region and others throughout Australia.
In September 2010 during negotiations on the formation of a minority government, we put forward our '20 points' of policy for the survival of our homeland - which not only laid the foundations for our strategic policy direction for the forthcoming three years and beyond; but also laid bare an alternative approach to the all-but identical mindset of the modern-day 'political duopoly' which runs this country.
The LNP Coalition’s response ticked more of our 20 points. On this basis, the Member for Kennedy threw support behind the LNP Coalition forming Government.
Whilst the team we backed failed to prevail on the day, the following three years have seen an adjustment in the strategies of both sides that has significant potential impacts for Australians. For instance, we have seen acknowledgement of the link between artificially-inflated interest rates and the $AUD with the relentless destruction of our once-proud food production and manufacturing industries.
And lately we are hearing a groundswell of political lament about a supermarket oligopoly and the destruction of our farmers' and communities' viability.
We’re also hearing a resurgence of major parties promises to "develop our under-utilised north" – ideas which have been championed by true visionaries such as the late Member of Parliament Ernie Bridge AM for decades, only to fall on deaf ears.
Meanwhile, we’ve strengthened our collective voice in demanding a fair go on the global trading playing field, as we watch a flood of cheap foreign imports swamp our food producers and manufacturers. And Australians across the nation have brought to surface a long-overdue debate that has been in the making under successive governments for almost 20 years - that is the value of Australian jobs, wages and industries versus the costs of importing foreign labour/wages and product.
We invite the reader, in the following pages, to take a look back at some of the major legislative debates and initiatives during the 43rd Parliament of Australia. Whilst this historic 'Hung Parliament' will be remembered by many for myriad reasons, we look to the future with optimism for the 44th Parliament to deliver a change for the better for the place we proudly call home.
Hon Bob Katter MP,
KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy