Katter defends driving on flooded roads

By , 25/04/2020 19:36

Federal MP Bob Katter admits he ignored warnings not to drive on Queensland’s flooded roads.Bob Katter insists he has a right to inspect whether flooded roads really need to be closed and anyone who tries to stop him is breaking the law.

The maverick federal MP on Friday said the spate of closures during the recent heavy rain was having a big impact on the north Queensland economy.

Mr Katter also defended his decision – during a previous rain event – to drive around a road-closed sign to help a Tully farmer who couldn’t get his $2 million worth of bananas to market.

“The electricity was gone, they were going bad and we needed to get them out quick,” he told reporters in Townsville.

“I drove up the road, there was nothing even remotely that it was in the water, but it was closed and they refused to open it.”

The Member for Kennedy said $750,000 worth of bananas were lost because of that decision, but there were 100 similar stories.

Mr Katter said there was legislation that enabled MPs to carry out their duties and if someone had stopped him, they would have been breaking the law.

“If I did something wrong, they did something wrong,” he said.

Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford said he was gobsmacked by Mr Katter’s comments and accused him of setting a dangerous example.

“I don’t know what Bob is on at the moment, but he should know better than that,” he told ABC Radio.

“Bob knows that roads are closed for safety reasons, nothing more than safety reasons.”

Mr Katter said while there were times when it was necessary for authorities to order closures, north Queenslanders “can handle minor flooding”.

“There are other (times) where the power … has gone right to their head,” he said.

Mr Katter’s admission came less than a week after state Katter party MP NIck Dametto copped a fine and three demerit points for driving through floodwaters in north Queensland.

Mr Dametto was booked on Sunday after he drove through 15cm of water on a closed road near Ingham while trying to meet up with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

He said he believed his four-wheel drive was the safest way to get where he was going, and he had “misinterpreted” permission he had to move in certain parts of his flooded electorate.

Comments are closed

Panorama Theme by Themocracy