The Power Index reports that Bob Katter who now leads his own Australian Party, has been absent from parliament nearly 50% of all votes.
Darren DJ Hunt is running for Katter's mob in Cairns, along with Brendan Fitzgerald for Barron River.
Katter's new paradigm appears to be 'wagging parliament'...
- "Every vote in a hung parliament counts", so the mantra goes – yet Bob Katter has been absent for almost half of all parliamentary votes since the last election.
The maverick Queensland independent has been absent for 78 divisions, or 45% of all votes, in the hung parliament, according to a paper by the Parliamentary Library.
By contrast, Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie did not miss any votes. Rob Oakeshott missed seven, Tony Windsor 15 and WA National Tony Crook nine.
Bob Katter's acting chief of staff, Jen Eliot, told The Power Index this morning that she believed most of the votes were on procedural matters. "We don't play parliamentary games," Eliot said. "We don't involve ourselves in any of that rubbish with sessional and standing orders."
However according to analysis by consultancy firm Hawker Britton, 45% of the votes that Katter missed were on "substantive" issues such as the passage of legislation and creation of parliamentary committees.
Katter's staffers are still sifting through the data and will soon release a more detailed response. The Parliamentary Library study also reveals that, despite backing Tony Abbott to form government, Katter has voted with the ALP 49 times and the opposition 45 times over the past year.
Katter, MP for the far-north Queensland electorate of Kennedy, voted against the government's carbon tax package today, but supported a separate bill that sets up a $300 million compensation package.