Kennedy Electorate candidates vying to overthrow Bob Katter

Kennedy’s seat covers 567,377 square kilometres, just under a third of Queensland and an area two and a half times the size of Victoria.

It includes Normanton, Burketown and the Gulf Country, Mount Isa and the pastoral districts extending east along the Flinders Highway to Charters Towers, and a strip of the coast just north of Townsville to Ingham, Innisfail and the southern suburbs of Cairns.

Kennedy’s division.(Provided)

The electorate also includes the Atherton Tablelands and Cape York south of the Mitchell River.

Kennedy is Queensland’s second-largest electorate after Maranoa and the country’s seventh-largest.

Actual status

Kennedy was detained by Bob Katter Jnr of Katter’s Australian Party. for the last nine elections. He currently holds a 13% majority. Kennedy is currently considered a safe seat for Mr. Katter.

2022 candidates in order of ballot papers

Candidate Name

To party

KATER Bob

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP)

MACDONALD Bryce

Liberal National Party (LNP)

SAKLEY Jen

Independent

COX Jennifer

Green vegetables

BRANDONJason

Australian Labor Party

CAMPION Stone

United Australia Party

No candidate

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party

Bob Katter | Katter’s Australian Party (KAP)

Bob Katter
Katter’s Australian Party candidate and incumbent Kennedy MP Bob Katter.(Provided: Bob Katter)

Background

Bob Katter grew up in Cloncurry, North West Queensland and worked in his family’s clothing businesses as a young man before taking jobs as a laborer and mine worker.

Her father was Member Kennedy from 1966 to 1990.

Mr Katter won the state seat from Flinders in 1974 which he held until 1992 before winning the federal seat from Kennedy. It split from the National Party in 2001 and remained independent before forming Katter’s Australian Party in 2011.

Main campaign issues: cost of living, job creation, housing, water

“One of the biggest challenges here is affordable living,” Katter said.

“I think airfare is a big part of that. We really need reasonably priced airfares. And I think we need to get unions involved in that.

“Restoring our jobs is also an issue. But to get people out of here, we need places to house them.

“Major water development is underway in North Queensland and this will help boost population growth. But these projects should not be aimed at fattening the pockets of ‘cotton kings’ and foreign landowners.

“We need a land ballot system where irrigation blocks have to be allocated to the local owner-operator, owner-occupied farmers. If you live in one of these towns, you will have a chance to own the one of the blocks and you will live on the block.”

Brice Macdonald | Liberal National Party (LNP)

A man wears a blue checkered shirt smiles at the camera with a green paddock and cows in the background
LNL candidate for Kennedy, Bryce Macdonald.(Provided: Bryce Macdonald)

Background

Bryce Macdonald was born and raised in the sugar and banana growing town of Tully. He worked on farms and as a driver in the interstate trucking industry before starting an agricultural and transportation business with his brother.

He was Councilor and Deputy Mayor of Cassowary Coast Regional Council and a member of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Services Advisory Committee.

Main campaign issues: roads, water, housing, digital connectivity

“It’s clear that Kennedy is not getting his fair share of funding back from the federal government,” Macdonald said.

“We’re providing so many resources to the rest of the state and the country, but we’re not getting our fair share back.”

“We need someone in Canberra to push for more funding for our patch and recognize the great work that local governments are doing. It’s about working with all levels of government as a team and then d to be in Canberra and to work with the National Liberal Party which is the biggest driver of the economy.”

Jen Sackley | Independent

Independent candidate for Kennedy, Jen Sackley.(Provided: Jen Sackley)

Background

Born in Cairns, independent candidate for Kennedy Jen Sackley said much of her upbringing took place at Mount Isa. She lives in Cloncurry. A former nurse, Ms Sackley was previously North Queensland Secretary of the United Australia Party. She ran for the seat of Hinchinbrook in the last state elections and for mayor of Cairns in the 2020 municipal elections.

Top Campaign Issues: Mental Health, Political Integrity, Advocacy, Elder Care

I was involved in setting up the Selectability mental health program and in that process I saw how we let services shrink,” Ms Sackley said.

“We also need to look at the integrity of our political leaders. The whole idea that we don’t have a governing body around integrity at the federal level that has real teeth, that’s not acceptable.”

“We absolutely need more investment in defence. I come from a family of veterans and I wonder how we let our defense drop to such a low level.”

“We need to look at health, aged care, pensions – all of this together. What are we doing to our seniors?”

Jennifer Cox | The Greens

Jennifer Cox
Greens candidate for Kennedy, Jennifer Cox(Provided: Jennifer Cox)

Background

Raised in the Atherton Tablelands, Jennifer Cox worked for several major marketing companies in Sydney and Brisbane before returning to her hometown to raise a family. She runs her own home-based web design and marketing business.

Main campaign issues: corporate political donations, free education, housing

“I think the main issue for me that controls a lot of other issues that we face today is corporate political donations to parties,” Ms Cox said.

“It means the Australian people have less and less say in the running of the country and the political system and degrades democracy.”

“We have to deal with the housing crisis more than anything and the Greens want to build a million houses.

“We want to make TAFE and college free to address any skills shortages, especially for doctors.”

Jason Brandon | Australian Labor Party (ALP)

Jason Brandon
Australian Labor Party candidate for Kennedy, Jason Brandon.(Provided: Jason Brandon)

Background

Jason Brandon works in the mining and resources sector as an occupational health and safety professional. It also conducts risk assessments across all of Mount Isa Mines’ mining, processing and smelting assets. He previously worked as an aircraft sheetmetal mechanic at Qantas for 13 years. He moved to the northwest in 2019.

Main campaign issues: health, housing, childcare, electricity

“We are trying to facilitate the sending of doctors to the regions,” Mr. Brandon said.

“And we’re also funding 50 Medicare urgent care clinics to help people get through the system faster.”

“We have a plan for cheaper daycare that makes it cheaper and more accessible for 96% of Australian families.”

“We also plan to upgrade the electricity grid to make it more efficient and sustainable with the goal of reducing electricity bills by $275 per year by 2025.”

“We plan to build 30,000 new social and affordable houses, including 10,000 for frontline workers like police and ambulances and stuff like that. We will also implement a national housing and homelessness plan to help people buy homes and help rough sleepers get a roof over their heads.”

Pierre Campion | United Australia Party (UAP)

Pierre Campion
UAP candidate for Kennedy, Peter Campion.(Provided by: Peter Campion)

Background

Peter Campion, a retired firefighter and longtime resident of North Queensland, is also the father of Vikki Campion, partner of Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

The 59-year-old has served as a firefighter, fire commander and fire investigator and also worked as a fraud investigator for the Department of Social Security. He stood as an independent for the seat of Hill State in the 2020 election. He currently resides on an acreage in Tolga in the Tablelands region.

Main campaign issues: cost of living, national debt reduction through higher export tariffs, banking regulations

“What is going to affect Australians more and more is the rising cost of living,” Mr Campion said.

“We can approach this in a two-pronged approach.”

“First, we will wipe out our national debt by placing a 15% export license on Australian iron ore. This means it has no impact on our cost of living.”

“The second part is that we need to limit the ability of banks to force people out of their homes with rising interest rates.”

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