Key independent MP, Bob Katter, has released a letter with 20 key policy points, none of which are broadband or Internet-related.
Katter is one of three key independent MPs that will decide which of the two major sides becomes the next Australian Government. The letter comes a day after Tasmanian MP, Andrew Wilkie, announced his decision to back a Gillard Labor Government.
In an open letter sent to the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, and the media, Katter acknowledged his concerns came for a unique perspective of a “North Australian” MP.
“This is not a list of conditions, but does provide a guideline to priorities during the coming parliamentary term,” he said. “Positive indication that the incoming government would accommodate these interests would certainly assist in the current decision-making process.”
The wide-ranging set of topics include making up to 22 per cent of all Australian petrol ethanol, building all Indigenous housing using Indigenous Australians, increasing access to fishing and other outdoor sports and reducing the value of the Australian dollar.
Although using money from the Government’s Future Fund for infrastructure is mentioned once, the main target would be food and fuel-related industries along with ports, rail and farm buy-back schemes from foreigners.
Broadband was one of the few points of major differentiation and its absence from the list is a boost to Abbott's campaign. Katter had earlier complained that the Coalition's plan had too much 'private ownership' while many in the telco industry slammed it.
The three independents also demanded broadband-related ministers and shadow ministers give them briefings. NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, has also given all three MPs a detailed briefing about the National Broadband Network.
The complete lack of broadband mention reflects the priorities of local authorities in Katter’s electorate of Kennedy in Queensland’s north.
Voters in Kennedy have also expressed a strong desire for Katter to back a Coalition Government.