“Murray says people are looking for a viable alternative to the major parties.”Republished with permission from No Fibs
Recently endorsed Katter Australia Party (KAP) candidate for Griffith Luke Murray, says he doesn’t lay any claim to being a politician.
Clearly, he is still in the early stages of preparing for the coming campaign. He assures me it’s coming, but at this stage he has no profile on the KAP website (a photo has now been provided), nor does he have a Facebook site (that too is on the way) and he does not use Twitter. He says he is wary of social media and wants to protect his family’s privacy. Murray’s campaign team is just himself and his wife. “The amount of resources at the disposal of the Rudd public relations machine is something that as an everyday Aussie I can’t compete with.”
Murray is an aircraft engineer and member of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) and has worked in the aviation industry for many years. The Australian reported in May that the ALAEA was considering fielding candidates in key airport seats at the federal election. This has apparently now come to fruition. Murray told me that a number of his colleagues were also candidates for the KAP. He says that Bob Katter and Senator Nick Xenophon are the only politicians who have stood up for the aviation industry, and that the major parties have let the industry down.
Calls for a second runway at Brisbane Airport, airport noise, and flight delays have long been issues in Brisbane and the Griffith electorate.
ALAEA federal executive Steve Purvinas told The Australian in May: “As a small union, we are often overlooked by the major parties and we have learnt over the years that the smiles and handshakes in their offices mean nothing.”
It is not surprising then that the ALAEA has chosen to field candidate with the KAP. In April, Katter announced plans to create a new national workers’ union, and unions such as the ALAEA say they feel no allegiance to the Labor Party.
Murray told me that he was picking up a sense that distrust of the two major parties is common, and people were telling him they were “no longer fooled by hype and huge advertising campaigns”. People want “real substance, and believe neither of the major parties is offering genuine representation in their electorate”. This, he says, is where the KAP is able to differentiate itself from the mainstream parties.
His motivation he says lies in wanting to make “the best decisions for the good of the country – the whole country – not just the top couple of per cent of income earners, or a few of the larger trade unions, or some corporation that provides a gift or two”. Murray says this election should be about “ensuring that we are able to feed, clothe, and defend ourselves in the future, not about the popularity of a few individuals”.
Like Greens candidate Geoff Ebbs, Luke Murray is no fan of Campbell Newman and thinks the state premier will definitely be a factor is the coming election. “Many of the people that I have been speaking to, feel that arguably one of the worst things to happen to Queensland in the last decade was the election of Campbell Newman as premier.”
He cites the recent controversial pay rise for state politicians, saying it was “a debacle” and “public perception appears to be that these guys are just solely intent on lining their own pockets at the expense of Australian families.”
Murray says the Newman government is also about, “the wholesale sell-off of Australian-owned assets and the loss of countless frontline jobs in essential services which are already under enormous pressure”.
Out shopping recently, Murray says he was “saddened and angered “ that the majority of items on the shelves came from overseas. He says the KAP intends to create a level playing field for all Australian producers. “We plan to implement policies designed to protect Australian manufacturing.”
He also says that the best way ensure a strong Australian economy is to ensure job security for Australians. “I am talking about full-time jobs, not the current trend towards part-time and casual jobs being created to make the jobless figures look more flattering to the government.” Keeping jobs in Australia is a key theme for the ALAEA, who have been fighting their own battle with Australian airlines.
Murray says people are looking for a viable alternative to the major parties. “I am seeing more support every day. It’s really quite overwhelming. Many people were disgusted by the performance of the ‘faceless men’ after the last election. Their decision to remove their leader simply because they didn’t like him, and then reinstate him to take advantage of his ‘popularity’ when it looked like they may lose their own seats, is what I consider to be one of the lowest acts in Australian politics, and totally un-Australian. A vote for either of the major parties is, I believe, a vote condoning this sort of behaviour. “
Murray claims KAP membership is definitely growing in South Brisbane.”Our members comprise a cross-section of Australia including people from all age demographics and walks of life; including tradesmen, management, small business owners, young professionals, and retirees.” He says these people are disillusioned with the current state of Australian politics and are looking to force a change for the good of the nation.
I asked him about the coming debates between Brisbane candidates being staged at the Power House on 22 August. Murray responded that he had no wish to take part in “something which I consider to be just another example of political grandstanding, often used by the incumbent candidate to deflect attention from their poor performance during their time in government”.
The appeal of KAP candidates, he says, is that they can provide representation for people in parliament by elected members “who will vote, consistent with their conscience, in the interests of their electorate, not their party”.
Update: Luke Murray is now on Facebook