Truckie and politician ‘blindsided’ by party’s shock decision

Truckie, politician and transport industry advocate Clynton Hawks says he was completely blindsided by his party’s decision to drop him, just six months out from the Queensland election.

The 25-year-old was told he would be disendorsed by the Katter Australia Party (KAP) during a video call at 3pm yesterday afternoon (April 30).

“It was rough,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t have guessed it after five years of advocacy not only in the transport space, where we had a big win with AdBlue, but also with the cost of living.

“And it wasn’t even in a face-to-face meeting, which was pretty disrespectful and rude.”

The news came after KAP announced Clynton Hawks as its candidate for Thuringowa for the 2024 Queensland State Election just seven months ago.

“I don’t think it was a split-second decision,” Hawks said.

In announcing their decision, the party released a statement shortly after breaking the news to Hawks, at around 5pm.

KAP leader Robbie Katter said, “Clynton has been a long-term and active KAP member and we appreciate that. This decision has not come easily.

“The electorate of Thuringowa is a target seat for KAP in the upcoming state election, and we have every intention of making the necessary changes to aggressively win the support of the Thuringowa voters.”

However for Hawks, the decision was a “kick in the guts” – not only for him, but also for his family, as his partner previously worked for the party too. “So it’s not only me that’s been loyal to the party, it’s my family too.”

“My plan was to win the seat of Thuringowa, but now I don’t get the opportunity to do so under their party. I have great admiration for Bob – the stuff we did and have done for the transport industry and veterans.

“A fuel tax credit reinstatement is something we fought hard for and during the AdBlue shortage, we pressured the government to fund Gibson Island to make AdBlue. The $120 million we got for them to keep producing AdBlue was quite an achievement.

“This was my job, as well as driving a truck at the same time and juggling a young family – and it’s not like I wasn’t doing anything, I was out there campaigning every day.

“It’s very disappointing but the party has made a decision to do what they’ve done and I wish them all the best.

“I’ve also resigned fully from the party. I couldn’t stay after that decision. It’s quite a shame but it’s out of my control.”

For now, Hawks, whose family has a long history in transport on both his mother’s and his father’s side, is continuing in his role as a truck driver.

In fact, he was in the truck, as he took the call from Big Rigs. He is currently driving for Sizer & Cogill, carting grain and general freight throughout Queensland, from behind the wheel of a 4900 Western Star.

That’s while his 1976 Ford LTL (pictured above) sits in the workshop, getting rebuilt so it can hit the road once more.

As for his political career, Hawks doesn’t sound too keen on giving it up just yet. “I’m only 25 so there’s still a lot of time for me. I’ve spent five years with the Katter Australia Party, building my name and getting the support of locals. I’m not just going to throw it all away,” Hawks said.

“For now, I’m going to take a week and have a think about everything and work it all out.”

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