INDEPENDENT MP Bob Katter and his famous hat visited Gatton yesterday and judging by the handshakes and well wishes from the community, the electorate may be looking for change.
At a time when both state and federal politicians return dismal numbers in opinion polls, it appears Mr Katter has struck a chord with people across all divides with polls indicating a rise in support for his new Australian Party and Mr Katter taking on the LNP and Labor Party on what he sees as policy dictated to members by the party machine.
"Current LNP members have no policies. Members are told what their policy will be in due course," Mr Katter said.
"If the Liberal party get elected they will have exactly the same policy as the Labor Party."
Mr Katter said he was in the region to speak to communities about concerns in their own electorate with coal seam gas and food security of concern to farming communities in particular.
He has identified the importing of apples from New Zealand as an indicator of how government has lost its way in "not listening to Australian people and what needs to be done".
"Within four to five years Australia will be a net importer of food," he said.
"If you add up who did the most damage to the agricultural industry, it's the LNP."
Mr Katter also addressed the sell off of assets which, he said, has resulted in thousands of jobs being exported.
"In the last two weeks Walkabout (swimwear) and Qantas International are going off-shore with thousands of jobs exported," he said.
"As a result of government policy on the Australian dollar, tourism is almost dead with Cairns and the Gold Coast ghost towns."
In reply to Mr Katter's concerns, LNP Member for Lockyer Ian Rickuss pointed out he had campaigned with Mr Katter when they were both LNP members and both men still maintain a close friendship with Lorna Gunn, however he was at odds with Mr Katter's statements.
"Bob smells the political wind and always makes sure it's at his back," Mr Rickuss said.
"Bob has pretended to be a non-politician for almost 40 years but has been a professional politician in a hereditary seat and received all the benefits that come with being a hard working politician."
The famous Katter hat and the man himself stir a reaction wherever it appears it would seem.
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