Katter’s Australian Party state leader Ray Hopper has switched seats to allow his son Ben to run in his old one at the next Queensland election.
Katter’s Australian Party’s Queensland leader Ray Hopper has moved to a new electorate ahead of the state election to make way for his son.
Ben Hopper will now contest the seat of Condamine, while his father will stand in the neighbouring electorate of Nanango against the Liberal National Party’s Deb Frecklington.
Premier Campbell Newman has described the move as “musical chairs”, while his deputy Jeff Seeney said Mr Hopper Sr was a joke.
“He’s jumped around from party to party, from issue to issue and he’s made himself completely irrelevant to Queensland politics,” Mr Seeney said.
Mr Hopper Sr said he and his son would be two of 10 KAP candidates who would fight for outback Queensland electorates that used to be Nationals territory, but had been abandoned.
He said it would be stupid for his party to go against the Palmer United Party in other seats, so it was pooling all its resources into the 10 regional seats, which would also include Dalrymple, Mount Isa and Gympie.
Mr Hopper said his son, a labourer, used to “hold his breath until his face turned blue” and would be just as determined in parliament.
“God help them if they had two Hoppers sitting up there,” he said.
Mr Hopper Jr said his dad, a former LNP MP, did the right thing by defecting from the party, particularly after it reneged on a promise not to push ahead with expansion of the Acland coal mine near Toowoomba.
“He had to do it,” he said.
“It comes down to a man’s integrity I suppose.”