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Katter aims to field candidates in every federal seat

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Katter’s Australian Party will run a candidate in every seat at the federal election but Kennedy will not be up for grabs after Bob Katter ruled out a senate run.

LNP defector and KAP state leader Ray Hopper has remained tight-lipped on a potential run for the Senate in the federal election, refusing to dispel rumours that he will give up his state seat to move to federal politics.

But the bid for federal parliament has been dismissed by Queensland’s LNP government, which descirbed the KAP as a ‘‘minor fringe party’’.

Mr Hopper and Mr Katter fronted media on Tuesday morning, with KAP national director Aidan McLindon, to outline their federal ambitions, which include running a candidate in every electorate at the federal election.

‘‘Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely,’’ Mr Katter said when asked if he planned to run in his western Queensland lower house seat of Kennedy.


He brushed off concerns 150 KAP candidates may not materialise seeing as the party made a similar promise for Queensland’s 89 seats in the lead up to the 2012 state election and only ended up running in 76.

He blamed the "stupidity" of former Premier Anna Bligh for the shortage of candidates, saying she called the election three months before the KAP anticipated she would and they ran out of time.

KAP is also going to run for the Senate in every state, except in South Australia because of the party's close relationship with independent Nick Xenophon.

‘‘We don’t agree with Nick on everything but (on) the really important issues we’ve fought side by side and we stick with our friends,’’ Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter said he had considered a Senate tilt but had decided to re-run in his lower house seat of Kennedy in Queensland.

‘‘Before I did speculate about it but we decided I will be running for Kennedy, not the Senate,’’ he said.

Mr McLindon said KAP had decided to run in every seat in Australia so they were ‘‘not pulling any punches’’ and were giving Australians a ‘‘real alternative’’

‘‘This upcoming election will be the most exciting election since federation,’’ he said.

‘‘I can tell you now if there’s one party that’s going to put on a good show and provide a credible alternative, it’s the KAP.

‘‘This will be a showdown and we make no apologies for the collateral damage - we’ll eat into the ALP and LNP base.’’

Mr Katter was hesitant to name the federal seats he believed KAP could win.

But he eventually singled out an electorate, which covers Townsville in northern Queensland, as one most likely to fall to his party.

Mr Hopper was not clear on his intentions.

He did not rule out a run for the Senate, instead saying he was the state leader of the KAP in the Queensland parliament.

‘‘A lot of people have asked me to run in the Senate and we’ll be working it out in the next four to six weeks,’’ he said.

Queensland Acting Premier Jeff Seeney dismissed KAP as a ‘‘minor fringe party’’ just an hour after the announcement was made.

Mr Seeney said the people in rural and regional Queensland were ‘‘more sensible than some media commentators give them credit for’’.

‘‘As we run up to the federal election I don’t think we can lose sight of the debacle that voting for independents and small parties has caused in Canberra,’’ Mr Seeney said.

He rejected suggestions that KAP was a threat to conservative politics in rural Queensland.

‘‘It is always overhyped, always talked-up as it was during the last state election,’’ Mr Seeney said.

Mr Seeney said Queenslanders had learnt their lesson about voting for new minor parties during the rise and fall of One Nation in the 1990s.

- with Tony Moore

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