February 23, 2018 11:20:40
Businessman Clive Palmer has announced he wants to return to federal politics, with plans to run candidates in every seat at the next election.
The Palmer United Party (PUP) was disbanded last year after losing its last sitting member in the 2016 federal election.
Mr Palmer said the PUP will contest every seat in the House of Representatives and the Senate in every state.
Liquidators are still pursuing Mr Palmer, after his company Queensland Nickel (QN) collapsed, owing more than $300 million in debts and resulting in 800 job losses.
The businessman is fighting an application by liquidators in Brisbane’s Supreme Court to freeze $200 million of his personal assets, which is part of a multi-million-dollar claim against him for allegedly acting as a shadow director for QN and breaching his duties.
Mr Palmer’s nephew and former Queensland Nickel director Clive Mensink has two outstanding arrest warrants.
Mr Mensink left Australia in June 2016 and is wanted for questioning by liquidators in the Federal Court over Townsville refinery’s collapse.
Meanwhile, a ruling in the Western Australian Supreme Court in November found his company Mineralogy was owed substantial unpaid royalties from the Sino Iron project in the Pilbara region.
Court documents showed Mineralogy had now been paid $350 million from the court battle.
Mr Palmer said the Federal Government had unfairly targeted him and his associates in the court case involving QN.
“The full weight of the Federal Government has been improperly mobilised against me and my employees — it’s time to join the resistance,” Mr Palmer said.
“When I left Parliament, we had thousands of members in every state and they’ve expressed concerns about the way things are going in Canberra — the country doesn’t have stability anymore and people are not being represented.
“The whole focus of the press and the media, everyone, on the Barnaby Joyce affair and affairs like that indicate we’re on the wrong track.”
Mr Palmer would not say whether he would contest his former Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.
“I haven’t thought about that, the party hasn’t called for any nominations — it’s not so much about me — it’s about the politics and what we can do for the country,” he said.
“I’ve retired from politics generally and I still think that’s the case.
“Doesn’t mean I still don’t want to serve the country … you can serve the country in a lot of ways by not being in parliament, but we’ll have good candidates and people will have the opportunity to vote for a better alternative.”
Mr Palmer said he believed the party would submit a registration application to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in the next three months.
“Since I left parliament, I have experienced the frustration and helplessness that all Australians experience with the major political parties,” Mr Palmer said.
“It’s time for Australia to reset its agenda for economic growth and prosperity.”
February 23, 2018 11:15:34