Katter: ’I’d shoot sharks in the surf if I was allowed to’
ENIGMATIC North Queensland politician Bob Katter reckons sharks should be shot off the Coast, HOTA is no good and Marina Mirage was better when it was run by conman Christopher Skase.
The Kat in the Hat has been coming to the Gold Coast every December since he was a baby, with 2020 set to be his 75th year heading to the Glitter Strip to holiday with his extended family.
And while he loves playing touch footy on the beach and going for a swim in the surf, the Kennedy MP believes it won't be long before the sharks will take over.
"As far as I'm concerned it is impossible to eradicate crocodiles, it's impossible to eradicate sharks, we can't do it," the Katter Party boss said.
"I think allowing people to protect themselves, if you've seen sharks out there near the beaches, then I'm quite sure, if we were allowed to do it, the boys would go out there with rifles and shoot them.
"What's the alternative to doing that? Catch the shark? Well there's probably between Kings Beach, up to Southport, there's probably 10,000 sharks there, what are we going to do? Catch the rogue shark?
"We agree to catch the rogue sharks? So what, we carry out interviews, we get the police to carry out the interviews and ask if they're the rogue or not? How bloody stupid saying, we'll just take the rogue ones.
"Then you've got to have the operation to see the human remains inside, I mean, how stupid."
He said regulations on commercial fishing were to blame for a perceived number of sharks swimming closer to beaches.
"We want our waterholes back, you've taken them off us and given them to the crocodiles.
"Soon we will be screaming to get our beaches back off the sharks, whose numbers are exploding because no-one is fishing anymore.
"The sharks will be saying to each other over on the American west coast and South America, 'hey mate, swim over to Australia, oooo there's food everywhere there and those white fellas are pretty good to eat as well', that will be the talk going on between the sharks."
Speaking in the midst of the Bulletin series Why I love the GC: Two minutes with a tourist, Mr Katter said for the 75 years he has been coming to the Coast the Marina Mirage had been the jewel of the city, when it was run by conman Skase, while taking aim at council's decision to build HOTA.
"There is something I deeply regret, one of the great glories of going to the Gold Coast, was Christopher Skase's beautiful Mirage Resort. We couldn't even think about staying there, but it was beautiful when Skase had it. One of the joys was to go to the resort, which has really moved down market, we never go there now.
"The other one was the old art gallery at the Mirage shopping centre. There was a beautiful artefact shop there. It was very, very up-market.
"In that first election when we had a lot of money the (Katter) party went very hard on the Gold Coast to win seats there. What we wanted on the Gold Coast was in that Mirage shopping centre. We wanted to put the biggest commercial art gallery in Australia. It would have cost about $30 million in today's money.
"All of that was to be spent on the paintings, nothing on the building."
He said the decision to build HOTA was "dumb".
"The city council did just the opposite. They did what every other dumb council does and went and spent millions on a building, which is in the middle of nowhere. It doesn't help local businesses.
"It has second-rate paintings, hardly a painting worth looking at I'm told.
"To be able to see great art would be a great tourist attraction. It would have paid for itself, it would have helped all of the businesses in that area.
"Instead the stupid Gold Coast Council went and put millions into a building in the middle of nowhere. They had no money left to buy any decent paintings.
"All of the rich people in Australia go to the Gold Coast and a lot of rich people from South East Asia come to the Gold Coast, but we are not catering to them."
The veteran MP also talked up former Gold Coast politician Russell Hinze.
"Russell Hinze, he was a bit of a naughty boy, but having said that, he was the best minister I've ever worked with in 50 years of parliament.
"He had a great love for people, but there's no doubt in my mind he'll be in heaven. Hinzey used to say it was all about this and he'd make out he had sand in one hand and he'd run it into the other hand. This would be in a cabinet meeting.
"Then he make out the waves with his hands and that's what it's about, the surf and the sand. The Gold Coast is all about that. It will be as good now, as it will be in a thousand years."
Mr Katter said his family had been coming to the Coast before he was born, with the touch footy games on the beach the highlight of the trip.
"Like a lot of old western families, we all come down there to the beach shacks to get away from the harsh land to the playground of the Gold Coast.
"The touch football games are pretty competitive, there's a couple of boys there that might play in the NRL if they stick with it.
"I'm still scoring tries and setting them up and I'll tell you I'm still one of the first to be picked for each game. They tell you, you're supposed to slow down at 75.
"There's about 51 of us, my brother and sister and their descendants and mine. We do things together, whether it's going around to someone's house for a barbecue, so we don't go out all that much strangely enough, because we are with each other.
"For people that love the surf like myself and people who like scuba diving, although that's bit beyond me these days, the Coast has it all."