Bob Katter to take Matt Canavan to court over election preference claims
Bob Katter to take Matt Canavan to court over election preference claims

EXCLUSIVE: Katter threatens to sue politician

An alleged "malevolent lie" about preferences could spark a defamation case between two North Queensland politicians.

Kennedy MP Bob Katter has declared he will take on Matt Canavan in court after the senator repeatedly claimed Katter's Australian Party had preferenced Labor first.

Mr Katter says anyone who repeats the comment "will join the senator in the courtroom".

Mr Canavan will be issued with a cease and desist letter with the option to apologise publicly in the coming days.

The party has been in an ongoing battle with Mr Canavan's office for months, warning him not to repeat the comment, even sending him past election material.

In an example provided to the Townsville Bulletin, the senator told Sky News on October 13: "Bob needs to answer the people of regional Queensland as to why he has preferenced a Labor government over the years which has stripped away property rights from farmers, imposed massive new regulations on the sugar industry … and a Labor government has taken away peoples gun rights as well," Mr Canavan said.

Traeger MP Robbie Katter with his dad and Kennedy MP Bob Katter. The Katters Australian Party met on Castle Hill to discuss state election issues. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Traeger MP Robbie Katter with his dad and Kennedy MP Bob Katter. The Katters Australian Party met on Castle Hill to discuss state election issues. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

"This is just political posturing from Bob Katter that we see every election."

However, it was an LNP federal government under John Howard that pressured the states to fall into line and require gun owners to have 'just terms' and initiated a gun buy back scheme.

Mr Katter claimed that while politicians "undoubtedly" lie, there were elements to Mr Canavan's behaviour that made it a "malevolent lie".

"For an elected official to continue lying when he knows he is lying should be regarded as the highest of impropriety," Mr Katter said.

"The High Court of Australia in Theophanous v Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, went so far as to state that it is implicit in our Constitution, the right to know and the right to know the truth.

Nationals Senator Matt Canavan. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

"This has been most damaging to our small, northern and western based party. The ALP's notorious and continuous opposition to coal, cane farming, and cattle, make the ALP a pariah in northern and western Queensland. And the Senator and his ilk, their lies are most damaging to our party."

KAP's how to vote cards from previous elections, and the current state election, preference the Liberals over Labor on one side, and Labor over the Liberals on the other side.

Mr Katter said the party knew an LNP government had deregulated and destroyed rural industries and disarmed Australians. "But we let the voters decide, poor as the choices might be," he said.

 

Originally published as EXCLUSIVE: Katter threatens to sue politician



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