Former Cowboy, Rod Jensen, saddles up for the people of Leichhardt

Mar 23, 2022

Former Cowboy, Rod Jensen, saddles up for the people of Leichhardt

Mar 23, 2022

FORMER North Queensland Cowboy, Rod Jensen, is running for Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) in the seat of Leichhardt at the upcoming Federal Election and will campaign strongly on economic development, improving Far North Qld’s health and aged care systems, overhauling the vocational education for young people, and Indigenous adoption laws and regulations.  

Born on the Atherton Tablelands, Rod grew up in Ravenshoe. Jensen then got himself to Cairns where he was educated at Saint Augustine’s and was given a shot at playing competitive rugby league.  

His career took him to Canberra where he played for the Canberra Raiders, and then back to North Queensland where he played in the North Queensland Cowboys heartbreaking 2005 Grand Final loss against the West Tigers.   

Post rugby league, Jensen has worked as a teacher and mentor to young people throughout Far North Queensland, he is an active member in the Army Reserve, and has been heavily involved in rugby league coaching and administration, and he is married with three young boys.  

Jensen’s journey has taught him the importance of education and opportunity and that’s why he wants to see reform in vocational education.  

“Certificates and trade skills should transcend the classroom to real world industry. Schools and Registered Training Organisations should be held accountable for business practices that see training for training purposes,” Jensen said. 

Jensen has seen firsthand the hurt FNQ businesses and small communities have suffered during COVID, natural disasters and effects of international trade and sanctions, and Far North Qld had been deprived of a loud voice in Canberra for too long. 

“Every time there is an escalation in conflict, or a major weather event, and most recently with COVID, the first people who get hurt are those of us in Far North Queensland,” he said. 

“Fuel prices are out of control, there’s no food on the shelves, the roads are cut off and there’s no way the services are getting to the people, especially in remote areas. 

“I feel there’s no conversation between Far North Queensland and Canberra.  I find our people aren’t being heard on infrastructure, economic development, health and services.   

“I’m the guy, just like everybody else, sitting on the couch saying, ‘What are they doing, why are they not listening to us?’  

“But I don’t want to be the person sitting on the couch any longer.  I want to be person that’s stepping forward, and takes the voice of the people, the working and aspirational class people, to government.”    

KAP Leader, Robbie Katter, said the party is very happy to invest in a bloke that is home grown and in his own words “is interested in understanding community” rather than interested in politics. 

“Too many people entering politics today are lured to the perceived status that comes with becoming a high-profile figure when what we really need are people focussed on improving their environment,” he said. 

“Modern Australian politics has a vast oversupply of careerists and desperately needs people who are for change. Rod is an articulate person driven by desire to make a difference not to be popular.  This places him in a unique opportunity with the KAP to deliver some change in direction for the Far North.” 

Kennedy MP, Bob Katter, said Rod Jensen is a dream candidate because he has been working to better young people in Cairns, and is using his leadership qualities that he developed through St Augstine’s, the Army, and his decade long rugby league career. 

“It’s an extraordinary story how Rod got his way from Ravenshoe to St Augstine’s with get up and go,” Mr Katter said. 

“Cairns needs better representation. When the southern suburbs Cairns came into my electorate from Leichhardt, I inherited a goat track. Now, we have a $2B divided highway all the way to Gordonvale. That is the power of a minor party MP who will stand up and fight and doesn’t have to toe the party line. 

“Cairns is predicted to be short of water in 2026 and we need a new highway to the Tablelands, because the current route through Kuranda several times a week. What is the current representation from the major parties doing? Nothing.”