10 May 2024

Policing swapped for politics as KAP reveals Amos as Cook candidate

| Lyndon Keane
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After more than three decades in policing, Duane Amos says it is “now or never” to make a move into politics as he attempts to wrestle the 197,000-square kilometre Cook electorate from Labor for Katter’s Australian Party. Photo: Lyndon Keane.

His candidacy may have only just been announced, but Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) runner in the race for Cook has wasted no time in firing off a warning shot for Brisbane-centric politicians to “stop neglecting the north”.

Police officer Duane Amos was unveiled as KAP’s candidate on 10 May and, after spending more than a decade living and working on Cape York, said he believed his lived experience would provide a point of difference for voters on 26 October.

“I think I come with a very big toolbox to understand what actually happens in Cook on a day-to-day basis, and I’ve still got plenty of fuel in the tank there to be that person who’s on the ground in Cook consistently,” he told Cape York Weekly.

“It’s got nothing to do with anyone else, or any sitting member; I just think Cook’s not getting what they deserve, and it’s now or never for me to make sure I can make a difference in that area.”

Party leader Robbie Katter and federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter will officially announce Mr Amos as the party’s candidate at a media conference in Cairns later this morning.

Mr Amos replaces Bruce Logan as KAP’s Cook runner, after the Malanda farmer and former soldier withdrew from the political race in February citing personal reasons.

READ ALSO KAP races to find replacement for ‘outstanding candidate’ in Cook battle

During his policing career, Mr Amos has served across the electorate, including in Weipa, Kowanyama and Aurukun, and in 2020, was appointed to lead the State Government’s recovery response in Aurukun following community unrest.

Mr Amos said he believed developing a strong partnership between the government and Cape York councils would be critical to driving effective change in the lives of remote residents.

“We’ve got a vacuum of leadership across the Cape and a shifting dynamic, with over 100 [vacant] positions in local government, so there’s a whole lot of support we need to put in from a State Government level for that new leadership that’s come into those communities,” he said.

“If this was happening in the south-eastern quarter, this would have been on their radar every day of the week.” – Duane Amos, KAP candidate for Cook

“Local government’s our service delivery model; if we don’t get that right, how do we make an impact on the day-to-day lives of people?”

Robbie Katter praised Mr Amos’ resume and said he had the runs on the board as a tireless advocate for regional and remote communities.

“Duane is the type who just rolls up his sleeves and gets it done,” he said.

“Be it recovery from a natural disaster or hooking in and understanding just what needs doing in our First Australian communities, Mossy gets it done.

“The people of Cook are ready, and they deserve better; they deserve a real advocate for local issues, not the issues that Brisbane HQ determine are the flavour of the month.”

READ ALSO PDR sealing and Myall Creek bridge upgrade ‘must be done’ for good of Cape: One Nation candidate

When asked to identify what he saw as the biggest issues for Cape York and Torres Strait leading into election day, Mr Amos pinpointed the state of the Peninsula Developmental Road, and the detrimental impact it had on cost of living and economic growth.

“It’s disgusting how long it’s actually been ignored for,” he said of the road linking Cape York to the rest of the state.

“If this was happening in the south-eastern quarter, this would have been on their radar every day of the week; I just don’t think we’re getting that difficult conversation in Brisbane about what it takes for us to have a business in town [and] to put food on the table.

“The day-to-day costs come from that PDR; if we don’t get that right, it impacts the ability to open up the Cape.”

As his campaign got under way, Mr Amos said the distribution of the state’s royalty wealth needed to be investigated to ensure the regions providing the raw resources, like Cape York, received an adequate share to facilitate critical infrastructure development.

“Stop neglecting the north and start having a look at how much you take out of us in royalties,” he said.

“Where’s that coming back to us?”

Duane Amos (centre), pictured with party stalwart and federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and party leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter, will fly the flag for Katter’s Australian Party in Cook for the 2024 Queensland election. Photo Supplied.

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