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Bob Katter goes Bananas.

Bob Katter and KAP candidate for Cook Tanika Parker at the Gilbert Banana Farm. Photo Credit - Brian Cassey

A few may say that Bob Katter went bananas years ago. The expected labour shortage on Australian farms prompted 75-year-old Mr Katter and KAP candidate Tankia Parker to offer their services to the Gilbert Banana Farm in Mareeba in the hope that their example would inspire young Australians to gain employment on Australian Farms.

“Some people say I’ve been going bananas for a while now,’’ Mr Katter said.

“Well, who could blame me?

“There are extraordinary pressures dealing with incompetent Governments they can’t even build a single dam.’’

Mr Katter said that if he is 75 and able to lift a bunch of bananas then young people shouldn’t have any problems.

“A bunch of bananas is 35 – 40 kilograms but you can adopt a bit of a technique to do it effectively,” he said.

“If I can do the hard yakka at 75 then what is the rest of Australia doing?”

According to Mr Katter, 25 per cent of backpackers in Australia are involved in fruit picking, directly or indirectly leading to a shortage of workers over the next 12 months

“We will go from 220,000 backpacker’s pre-Covid to 20,000 by June next year,’ he said

“It seems to me that it will be very difficult to pick the Australian fruit crop without backpackers.”

Tanika Parker KAP candidate for Cook said that lugging was bananas was hard but rewarding work.

“It was hard work but it was rewarding and I learned so much from the experience,” she said

“I am 100 per cent advocating for school leavers and university students to lend their hand to our primary producers through a gap year.

“I thought Bob was going to topple over with the first bunch that he carried, but he was adamant that he wouldn’t let go of it.

“You’re looking at 20 to 30kgs per bunch so it was incredible to see Bob giving it his all at 75-years-old.”



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