Bob Katter condemns Queensland pocket knife prosecution

Kennedy MP Bob Katter
Kennedy MP Bob Katter

Kennedy MP Bob Katter says Australian freedoms are vanishing after a 74-year-old man was prosecuted in Chinchilla for carrying a pocket knife.

Wayne McLennan told the Country Caller he has carried a pocketknife on his belt since he was 14, using it to cut bailing twine, castrate calves or for other bushie-based tasks.

He recorded a blood-alcohol reading that was marginally above the legal limit but his second breath test, back at the Chinchilla Police Station, was under the limit. However he was charged and issued a notice to appear in court over the pocket knife, which was inside its leather pouch and attached to his belt.

He was fined $100 by the Chinchilla Magistrates Court for carrying a knife in a public place without a reasonable excuse under the Weapons Act.

Mr Katter said it was nearly unbelievable to think a pocket knife was now punishable in court with a fine.

"Along with Mad Max, Crocodile Dundee is one of the greatest achievements of the Australian movie industry - an international box office hit," Mr Katter said.

"'That's not a knife, this is a knife,' is the famous line from the top scene in the movie. Poor old Mick Dundee would be rotting in a prison if the movie was made today."

Mr Katter said there were 1001 different uses for a penknife or a pocketknife.

"The pocketknife I've carried for most of my life has tweezers and a needle, and a non-stainless-steel blade so you can get it sharp enough to shave," he said.

"I sit here in my house looking at a rock knife or stone tool, which the First Australians used for 40,000 years in this country. A First Australian never went anywhere without his rock knife which has a handle made of dried gum, spinifex wax."

Mr Katter said our forebears would be ashamed to see the over-regulation and rules that are burdening modern Australian life.

"If you want to see the most iconic statue of an Australian, then you will go to the bronze surfer at Bondi Beach or you will go to see the stockman at the Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach where he is carrying his saddle," he said.

"The stockman carrying his saddle has a pocketknife on his belt. Everyone in the bush carries a pocketknife.

"My grandfather who owned a big clothing shop, never went anywhere without a pocketknife on his belt. He used it as a letter opener, and he used it to clean his nails. Every box of clothing or footwear that came into his very big store was opened with a pocketknife."

Mr Katter blamed "authoritarian fun destroyers."

"We are coming after you because we've had enough," he said.

This story Bob Katter condemns pocket knife prosecution first appeared on The North West Star.