A CUT-OUT of Katter's Australian Party founder Bob Katter was stolen by brazen thieves from the front of the party's electoral office in Mary St Gympie yesterday but the real man himself later took its place.
Mr Katter, the larger-than-life Federal MP, was in Gympie to lend his voice to Wide Bay Katter's Australian Party candidate Gordon Dale.
Also receiving support was vocal Gympie region dairy farmer Shane Paulger, who announced his candidacy for the KAP in the Queensland Senate.
KAP Gympie branch volunteers cheered loudly when Mr Katter arrived.
The KAP leader said politics could be a brutal game but the welcome "meant a lot".
"I'm here to make a few announcements," Mr Katter said with his trademark hat and direct tone.
"The people of Gympie have every right to be unhappy with their current representation.
"The Katter's Australian Party is here as an alternative to the two major party system."
Mr Katter responded to Wide Bay MP Warren Truss' Bruce Hwy funding commitment earlier this week.
"Politician promises made right before an election are not worth two bob," Mr Katter said.
"He had 12 years in government.
"He had his chance."
Hot on Mr Katter's agenda was the dairy industry and the issue of deregulation.
With milk dropping from 58 cents to 42 cents since the industry's deregulation, Mr Katter said farmers were suffering and the industry withering away.
"We need an arbitrated price for milk and we need Coles and Woolworths (to fall into line)," he said.
The cost of living also drew comment from Mr Katter yesterday and in particular, Mr Truss' comments over the last two sitting days of parliament.
"He (Truss) said $23/hour for Australian workers was hurting our industry's competitiveness when in America, for example, the cost is $8/hour," Mr Katter said.
"Does he think Gympie people should work for $350 a week?
"(Warren) would spend that much in two days on food and motels.
"They say WorkChoices is dead but is it with comments like this?"
Mr Katter said Gympie farmers and workers deserved better representation come the election.
As for the stolen cut-out of Bob Katter stolen from the Gympie KAP branch office, a witness recorded the number plate of the offenders and police were investigating the matter.
Costing $280, the cut-out theft was a blow to volunteers who raised the money.