Pro-gun lobby group shoots $100K into Katter’s coffers
A pro-gun lobby group with ties to one of Australia's largest privately-owned arms supplier has emerged as a North Queensland political party's largest donor ahead of the election campaign.
The Townsville Bulletin can reveal the Katter's Australian Party (KAP) received a $100,000 donation from the Firearm Dealers Association of Queensland this month, according to electoral disclosure data.
The association's president is Robert Nioa, according to his LinkedIn profile, son-in-law of Kennedy MP Bob Katter.
Mr Nioa is also the managing director of NIOA, one of the nation's largest providers of arms and ammunition, a supplier to the Australian Defence Force and Victoria Police.
The donation was the single largest made to a Queensland state political party so far this year, tied with the Greens who also received $100,000 in June from benefactor Duncan Turpie.
Since January, Mr Katter's daughter, Eliza Nioa, has made six donations of $8333.33 totalling just under $50,000. She is the most frequently listed donor for the KAP.
The KAP has advocated for relaxed restrictions on gun ownership in Queensland, though party president Shane Paulger said they had long been on the side of shooters' rights.
"KAP's affiliation with the Firearm Dealers Association is based on longstanding lifestyle protection and policy alignment," he said.
"This is not a new position, Bob Katter has been fighting for the rights of recreational shooters for over 40 years.
"Eliza Nioa is Bob's daughter. Any questions about company structure would need to be addressed to Nioa.
"Government policy needs to focus on cracking down on illegal firearms, not targeting legally complying, licenced, recreational shooters."
This week $20,000 was gifted to the KAP by the Charters Towers Partnership, a business name held by Mike Carney Motors and Charters Towers Motors and businesses associated with Chris Carney, Ian Weigh and Robert West, along with $3000 from Genex Power Limited.
In August last year the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia donated $30,000 to the party.
The KAP has received a total of $179,000 in donations this year, while the LNP has received $1,813,427 and Labor $904,860.
Originally published as Pro-gun lobby group shoots $100K into Katter's coffers