Meet Shane and his family

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About Shane

The Knuth family -  Left to right Shane, Anna, Naomi, Daniel, Heather, Joel

The Knuth family - Left to right Shane, Anna, Naomi, Daniel, Heather, Joel

Even though he has been an MP for more than 14 years, Shane didn’t follow a typical political career pathway to represent the seat of Hill.

Born in Tully in 1966 Shane lived in the nearby Cardstone Village, which was home to the Kareeya Hydro Power Station employees and is where his father was employed as an operator. The family then moved to Collinsville, Townsville and Charters Towers. Shane spent his early years playing sport, camping, fishing, shooting and developing a passion for the rural way of life.  

Shane played A Grade Rugby League Representative Football for North Queensland, and 97 1st Grade games for Redcliffe. His last game was for the Charters Towers A Grade Miners, defeating Townsville Brothers in the Grand Final in 1996.

Shane worked for  Queensland Rail from 1983 to 2004 in all different fields from fettler, flying gang, bridge and concrete gangs, plan operator and welder. He also enjoyed being a part of the Silver Spike Railway Team winning the State Titles three years in a row.

I’m forever grateful for that time, working with good mates who enjoyed the bush way of life as much as I did

His interest in politics was stirred when the State Government announced a ban on fishing in National Parks, including his favourite spot. Shane was one of the main instigators fighting with the communities - and they won the battle. Not long after the State Government led an all out assault on Queensland Rail employees, closing down railway stations, track gangs, and rail sightings throughout Queensland, smashing rural communities.

“When the stations closed,  jobs were taken out of the rural community ... No truck driver to pick up the goods from the train, no track or station workers, and their children no longer going to the local school. Then the school would close down along with the corner store, with no customers.

I couldn’t understand how the government could justify the massive damage they were causing us to save a few dollars off their bottom line . . . until it dawned on me that they didn’t know and they didn’t care

Shane had never considered getting involved but he knew he had to do something. He joined the Young Nationals and began to devour newspaper articles on politics.

School had been more about sport than education but I knew if I was going to make a difference I needed to brush up on my knowledge and communication skills

So began a journey toward Parliament with the support of his wife Heather and their four children Anna, Joel, Naomi and Daniel.

Not everybody understood why he believed he could become an MP. His railway mates thought he was crazy and ridiculed him.

In spite of opposition, there were those who believed in him and provided the advice he needed to learn the ropes of becoming a community representative.

Shane joined Toastmasters and became active in Teen Challenge; Future Farmers; Lions Club; Church and Disability Support Groups; Chamber of Commerce; Land Care; and Futures Group to find out what issues others in his electorate were facing.

In 2004 he secured the National Party nomination for the QLD State Election and won the seat of Charters Towers.

Since then Shane has passionately fought for the right of individuals to determine their own future. He has defended the rural way of life and secured millions of dollars in funding for infrastructure and services for the communities he represents.

Despite his seat being abolished twice, the electorates of Charters Towers, Dalrymple and now Hill have rewarded Shane’s commitment, hard work and convictions by returning him to parliament in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018.

He has served on a number of committees and held Shadow Cabinet positions but it is his passion for community that motivates him to represent the issues facing rural Queensland.

Parliament is a necessity of the job but if I could represent Hill without ever gong there I wouldn’t miss it

His determination to lift the standard of living in the bush, retain and increase services in rural QLD, see generational infrastructure built and have a role in shaping the conditions needed for prosperity in regional QLD keep Shane focused on representing the community of Hill.

Time line:

Born in Tully 1966
Family: Married to Heather with four beautiful children – Anna, Joel, Daniel and Naomi.
Employed by Qld Rail from 1983 to 2004—fettler; welder; plant operator; bridge, concrete and flying gangs
Sporting Achievements: Represented Queensland in under 15’s, under 18’s and under 21’s and Australia in under 19’s.
Played 13 A grade games for North Queensland and 97 first grade games for Redcliffe.
1996 Charters Towers Miners A Grade Premiers.
Runner up in Brisbane A Grade Grand Finals in 1987 (Redcliffe v Brothers).
Member of the Charters Towers Qld Rail silver spike rail race team that won the state titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Interests & Involvements:
Family, all sports, camping, fishing, shooting.
Church, disability support groups, Lions
Owner of small pastoral property.
Parliamentary History:
Elected Member for Charters Towers, February 2004.
Re-elected September 2006.

Elected Member for Dalrymple in 2009 and 2012.

Elected Member for Hill in 2017 to current.
Held Opposition portfolio for Communities & Disabilities and Opposition portfolio for Mines & Energy.
Travel Safe Committee; Economic Development Committee
385 speeches and 392 Questions on Notice over 10 years representing rural Queensland.
46 Petitions

Member on Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resource Committee 2015 - 2017.
Parliamentary Whip, Katter’s Australian Party: 29 Nov 2012 – 30 Jan 2015
Member, Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee: 18 May 2012 – 6 Jan 2015
Member, Economic Development Committee: 23 Apr 2009 – 16 Jun 2011
Assisting the Leader in North Queensland: 29 Oct 2007 – 5 Apr 2009
Member, Estimates Committee D: 2007 – 2007
Shadow Minister for Mines and Energy: 21 Sep 2006 – 29 Jan 2008
Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Northern Development: 28 Sep 2005 – 7 Nov 2005
Member, Estimates Committee F: 2005 – 2005
Shadow Minister for Communities and Disabilities: 8 Mar 2004 – 27 Sep 2005
Member, Select Committee on Travelsafe: 19 Aug 2004 – 15 Aug 2006
Member, Committee of the Legislative Assembly: 2 Jun 2015 – 18 Feb 2016
Prior to election to State Parliament, Railway Welder – Queensland Rail and Owner small Pastoral Property.
Community Involvement – Teen Challenge; Future Farmers; Lions Club; Church and Disability Support Groups; Toastmasters; Chamber of Commerce; Land Care; Futures Group; Charters Towers Rugby League; Thornborough College Past Students Association.

Shane passionately believes that there is a real need for a shift in focus away from the south-east corner to bring rural and regional Queensland back to its former glory.