BEING Bob Katter has just become a whole lot more important.

Craig Kelly's resignation from the Liberal Party has damaged the Coalition's majority in government.

The controversial backbencher made the announcement at a joint party room meeting on Tuesday morning, bringing the government's majority to a single vote.

Mr Katter's vote is now more important than ever in this term of government.

The long-serving politician has already laid his demands on the table in exchange for his support for Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But he says the support is from the Prime Minister, not the Liberal party.

Mr Katter will use his new power to ensure CopperString 2.0 and Hells Gate Dam go ahead as they should.

"My first move was defence … I wanted to secure those projects," the Kennedy MP said.

"If CopperString doesn't go, you can close down the North West Minerals Province, you can close down half of Townsville because sadly most of the jobs from out there are fly-ins from Townsville and also the copper refinery.

"We have got this power and we will most certainly be considering some other issues."

Mr Katter said affordable living was "worrying" him.

Bob Katter before Question Time in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Bob Katter before Question Time in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

"We're paying $3000 or electricity, $3-4000 for electricity, when we should be paying … $2000," he said.

"A third of the population are on the pension, or disability pension, that sort of money is used for them.

"How young families are making ends meet … of course, they are not.

"We will be looking at affordable living for people and the third issue, which I don't think I will get any joy out of, is our wages have been cut in half in the mines in North Queensland.

"We were on close to $200,000, now we're on close to $100,000, and at the same time coal has doubled in price."

Mr Katter added the party was "shifting" priorities slightly.

The MP said while he had nothing to do with Mr Kelly's resignation, the pair had always been good friends.

"We will be talking to Craig," Mr Katter said.

Mr Kelly had indicated he will continue to support the government in terms of supply.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government was still stable, despite Mr Kelly's resignation.

 

caitlan.charles@news.com.au

Originally published as Katter holds balance of power


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