QUEENSLAND LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan has demanded Bob Katter’s resignation over an ill-timed election campaign advertisement depicting gun violence against the ALP and LNP.
The satirical advert features the veteran independent Kennedy MP Mr Katter and two men wearing t-shirts representing the major parties who are implied to have been shot, for erecting a sign saying “Australia for Sale”.
The scene ends with Mr Katter blowing smoke from a pistol and smiling, with the bodies of the two characters lying on the ground, and the caption “Australia ‘Not’ for Sale”.
In real life, the actors playing the LNP and ALP “faceless men” in the MP’s controversial commercial are from the Betoota Advocate; a satirical online news source that regularly publishes topical tongue in cheek articles with a focus on regional issues.
One published this week titled “Australia Enjoys Another Peaceful Day Under Oppressive Gun Control Regime” ran on the back of the mass shooting by a lone gunman in the US that killed 49 people and injured 53 others.
As the advertisement sparked widespread reaction on social media, Senator O’Sullivan called on Mr Katter to immediately withdraw from the federal election contest due to the “violent political advertisement where he depicts himself murdering his unarmed political opponents”.
He said the timing of the advert, in the shadow of the terrible events in Orlando, demonstrated Mr Katter’s “absence” of moral judgement with his actions being “an embarrassment to the people he represents”.
“Bob Katter tries to portray himself as some gun-toting tough guy but shooting unarmed people is the very definition of a coward,” he said.
“I served 15 years as a detective – I can spot a coward a mile away.
“There are many responsible gun owners across the Kennedy electorate who will be angered by Bob Katter’s disgraceful depiction of gun ownership.
“In the shadow of the events in Orlando, this is the most atrocious and bizarre political ad that I have ever seen.”
Senator O’Sullivan said in Mr Katter’s rush to promote himself as a lone cowboy he failed to consider that his advertisement could incite others to believe murder and violence was an acceptable way to resolve disputes.
He said many people had been concerned about Mr Katter “for a long, long time” and the message portrayed in the video was “an atrocious promotion of violence against any person who doesn’t agree with your views”.
“Whilst I rarely find myself in agreement with the Australia Labor Party, I am prepared to say that I have never seen any evidence of the Australian Labor Party or my own ‘advocating the sale of Australia’,” he said.
“There is a growing concern among community leaders that Bob Katter is unfit to hold the office of a member of the Federal Parliament.
“The people of Kennedy cannot accommodate Bob Katter’s idiocy for another three years - it’s time for him to do the right thing and stand down.”
Mr Katter’s office has been contacted for a response to Senator O’Sullivan’s media release.
On his Facebook page, the advert had gained close to 25,000 views in about five hours with mixed reaction.
Some saw the humorous side of the underlying policy message while others accused it of being distasteful.
“I don't know whether to laugh or cry,” one post said.
Another said, “this bloke needs to be prime minister”.