David Murray and Linda Silmalis, The Sunday Telegraph, 11 March 2012
Billionaire James Packer has donated $250,000 to maverick Queensland MP Bob Katter's Australian Party ahead of the Queensland election in two weeks.
The donation was made by one of Mr Packer's most senior company executives, Michael Uzunovski, on behalf of Treysta Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mr Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings, which has its headquarters in Sydney.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal Mr Uzunovski made the $250,000 donation to the Queensland division of Mr Katter's Australian Party on Thursday.
A spokesman for Mr Packer confirmed the billionaire had authorised the donation.
He said Mr Packer had great respect for Mr Katter, whom he viewed as a straight-shooting politician who fought for his electorate and for indigenous employment issues in northern Queensland.
Mr Katter's Australian Party now has three of the country's most powerful men on side, gaining support from Mr Packer, talkback king Alan Jones and advertising guru John Singleton.
The massive donation and an extra $50,000 from Mr Singleton gives the fledgling party a major financial shot in the arm as it prepares to field 76 candidates in the state's 89 seats in the March 24 poll.
"The Packers have always been our people," Mr Katter said in a statement. "There is no surprise to have this support for our patriotic line of defending Australia and Australian industry."