Over the past several weeks the Palmer United Party has been put under intense scrutiny and has come up wanting.
It is a party consisting of inexperienced neophyte political gypsies under a yellow banner with no cohesive platform or policies.
Under that banner there are fifty shades of yellow. They will promise anybody anything.
Want a fast ferry? Sure. No problems don’t worry about how it will be costed or how it will work.
Want straight roads with no curves? Sure. We’ll just build tunnels through mountains and don’t worry about the cost.
Want a cut to abolish payroll tax? Sure. We can do that. Can’t explain how, but we will. Don’t worry about that.
Want more doctors, nurses, police and teachers? Sure. Don’t know how to pay for them because we have cut state revenue by $1 billion. But don’t worry about that.
Wants some billions of dollars more from the Commonwealth? Sure. We’ll just redirect all of Australia’s $5 billion in foreign aid to Tasmania. No problems.
And on it goes.
Because the PUP is owned lock, stock and barrel by Clive Palmer and there is no platform the policies of the party are just whims.
The Party has been exposed as wanting on every count – it has a shade of yellow even through to Green for everyone.
You can read a compendium of releases demonstrating just how unfit the party is to elect even one candidate: http://www.tas.liberal.org.au/sites/default/files/VG%20Guide%20to%20PUP.pdf
On the final day of the campaign an advertising war has broken out between the Yellow and Green coalition allies.
In the Advocate the Greens have a half page advertisement with a headline:
PUP VOTERS BEWARE
And in a complimentary nod to the Guide to PUP, which has explained the folly of voting for the PUP, it then lists reasons why people shouldn’t vote for the Palmer United Party.
It highlights that PUP is owned and controlled by Queensland billionaire Clive Palmer; that he doesn’t care about Tasmanian jobs and that he has the final say on Tasmanian policies.
This is ironic because the Yellow PUPs have policies that mirror the Greens.
The PUPs, despite saying Labor and The Greens have locked up 51 percent of the state and have driven away investment and opportunity and destroyed jobs, actually agree with the Greens on two major issues in the election.
Both the Yellow PUPs and the Greens oppose the pulp mill.
Both the Yellow PUPs and the Greens support the job destroying TFA.
A vote for either Party is a vote against investment, jobs and opportunity. Both parties would vote against any legislation to open up the forest industry or that supports the pulp mill.
PUP – they really are yellow on the outside and Green inside.
Only a stable, Liberal majority government can deliver a plan for growth and jobs.
Clive Palmer appears to be skirting electoral laws with TV ads featuring his Coolum Resort that have PUP colours as overlays and mention his name.
With the electronic advertising blackout cutting in at midnight on March 12, Mr Palmer is attempting to send a subliminal message to vote PUP.
The Coolum ads feature bright yellow overlays – PUP colours – and Clive Palmer’s name, which given the prominence Mr Palmer has given himself in the campaign with his shouty yellow ads, only reinforces his campaign message.
That this is a deliberate ploy is obvious as the advertisements have only gone to air since the blackout commenced.
Mr Palmer is again showing contempt, if not for the letter of the law certainly for its application.
It is similar to the contempt Mr Palmer has shown the electoral commissioner after being embroiled in alleged breaches of the Tasmanian Electoral Act.
Instead of displaying leadership and accepting responsibility for the actions of his party Mr Palmer’s reaction has been to try and ridicule the law and mock the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner, Julian Type, saying to him “Give yourself an uppercut, mate, because I’m sending another letter.”
Mr Palmer has spent more than one million dollars of his own money trying to buy the Tasmanian election with an advertising campaign that features him prominently, despite the fact that he is not standing a candidate.
That perhaps is understandable from a man conceited enough to name a political party after himself.
Braddon PUP candidate, Kevin Deakin, has virtually conceded the poll with his declaration that he would be prepared to take Jacqui Lambie’s Senate position if she loses it after she allegedly authorised PUP ads which appear to be in clear breach of the Electoral Act.
Mr Deakin has thrown in the towel in the electorate where the PUP has its best prospect.
The concession shows that Mr Deakin has little confidence in PUP lead candidate Kevin Morgan’s ability to lead his candidates to a victory.
The admission follows a campaign of chaos.
From the outset when Clive Palmer had his risible policy forum and had signage boasting of his plan for Bass “Straight” the PUP has lurched from error to folly to resignation as Mr Deakin’s comments reveal.
At the PUP launch Mr Morgan was making sexist comments about Lara Giddings saying she was more interested in her hair than Tasmania.
Mr Palmer at the launch couldn’t recall the Premier’s name correctly, an error repeated throughout the campaign.
Then followed the advertising fiasco with alleged breaches of electoral law with Jacqui Lambie not even knowing she authorised advertisements.
This was followed by a letter from Clive Palmer where he didn’t know the correct spelling of his lead candidate’s name – for the record Mr Palmer it is “Kevin” not “Keven.”
And to top that the following day in a press ad Mr Palmer couldn’t correctly spell the surname of his candidate for Deputy Premier – for the record Mr Palmer it is Barbara “Etter” not “Etta.”
Not a wonder Mr Deakin has given up the ghost and is now campaigning to unseat Jacqui Lambie.
Elections often throw up some peculiar policy prescriptions from candidates, but PUP candidate Tim Parish as come up with a very interesting roads policy.
His prescription – all roads should be straight.
And not only should the roads be straight but removing corners would be his big priority.
When interviewed on for the series BassVotes Mr Parish said when asked whether roads were a major infrastructure issue replied:
“In our topography in Tasmania, it’s full of hills and whatever, roads, straight roads, removing corners is a big priority.”
Now that would be a costly policy, but it is no worse than the uncosted and unfunded “thought bubble” of an idea to have ferries crisscrossing Bass “Straight” as though it was the English Channel as proposed by Kevin Morgan.
But as Clive Palmer himself said in a release “What is important (in an election) is the promotion of the right ideas and policies” even if those ideas are crackpot and unachievable.
The latest thought bubble for straight roads demonstrates the naivety and inexperience of PUP candidates.
They will say and do anything to win a bit of coverage.
Hang the cost, hang the viability and practicality and hang any responsibility for promoting such nonsense.
The PUP policy approach is “if it sounds good say it.”
It is the mark of neophyte politicians.
Clive Palmer should immediately apologise for his robocalls to 000 emergency services which Jacqui Lambie has called ‘disgusting and inappropriate.”
Dialling ‘000’ for a reason other than an emergency situation can result in up to three years imprisonment.
Mr Palmer should immediately order the calls to cease. Tying up emergency services with robocalls is not acceptable by any standard.
The robocalls made by Mr Palmer’s PUP are not only tying up the emergency services they are also being made repeatedly – up to six times in one case – to individuals.
This amounts to harassment and should not be tolerated.
The calls, in some cases reported to the Liberal Party, are of Mr Palmer running a negative commentary on Mr Hodgman.
Ms Lambie said she will “check all of this out right away” but it is in the hands of Mr Palmer to halt the calls immediately.
Mr Palmer is running the state PUP campaign from “Coolum Central” where all of his party’s advertising is booked and in some cases now being authorised.
Ultimately there is only one person responsible for this and that is Mr Palmer himself.
He should apologise and order the calls to cease.
Mr Palmer cannot evade responsibility. He cannot pass off the blame to any outside organisation as he has done by blaming news organisations for running his ads which breached Tasmanian electoral laws.
The first order for a political party and its leader is to accept responsibility for their actions, something Mr Palmer seems chronically incapable of doing.
Media reports that Clive Palmer is spending $1 million of his own money to buy the Tasmanian election should ring alarm bells across the state.
Mr Palmer owns the PUP lock, stock and barrel and he is using his own money to finance the campaign of his PUPpets.
If any of his candidates were to be successful on March 15 they would not be representing the people who voted for them, but rather they would be representing Clive Palmer’s interests.
Their first allegiance would be to the person who bankrolled them – in effect they have signed an IOU to Clive Palmer.
Unlike other political parties and candidates who rely on donations from supporters to finance their campaigns the PUP is a fully funded private political business.
If a PUPpet was successful on March 15 they would not be judging legislation on its merits, but rather whether or not it met Mr Palmer’s needs.
This is already apparent in the control Mr Palmer exercises over his Senate candidates who will only repeal the carbon tax legislation if it is backdated to when the carbon tax was introduced.
Mr Palmer wants this so he doesn’t have to pay his $8 million carbon tax bill and associated penalties that have accumulated due to him ignoring the law.
Mr Palmer, the master puppeteer, is already pulling the strings of his senators-elect to suit his own business interests and he will do the same with his Tasmanian PUPpets.
Confirmation that neither the Liberal Party or Labor Party would continue to pour good money after bad into the Sirolli project is a slap in the face for PUP candidate, Kevin Morgan.
Kevin Morgan claims he was largely responsible for implementing the failed million dollar project when he was an adviser to Brenton Best.
The project spruiked by Mr Morgan, which saw his mentor Dr Enersto Sirolli pocketing $350,000 of the $1 million outlaid, has not created any substantive number of jobs.
Mr Morgan has boasted that “I believe I have as an adviser delivered within this government.”
The fact is that Mr Morgan did not deliver one sustainable job.
Mr Morgan has staked his reputation on the Sirolli program and it has failed.
The choice is clear either the Sirolli program doesn’t work or Mr Morgan failed in its implementation.
Now Mr Morgan is promoting the same tired clichés of his mentor that “entrepreneurship is not an individual game, it is a team sport” which haven’t delivered one job.
The people of Braddon should not be gulled by clichés – they don’t deliver the jobs as the failed Sirolli project, promoted by Mr Morgan, proves.
These fanciful plans of Mr Morgan and PUP have the same empty value of those Sirolli ideas pushed by Mr Morgan.
Clichés and nostrums don’t create jobs and empty words don’t count when you don’t have a job.
Tasmanians need more than a cliché driven recovery, but that is all Mr Morgan is proposing.
Clive Palmer and Kevin Morgan today confirmed they had abandoned the forestry industry and the jobs associated with it.
At a media conference in Launceston Mr Palmer told the throng that he didn’t support the pulp mill which is in accord with Kevin Morgan’s position.
Mr Morgan himself confirmed in a tweet that he supports the Tasmanian Forests Agreement.
The effect of both decisions would be to strand thousands of forest industry jobs, destroy investment and cripple essential economic growth in the north.
Further, both Mr Morgan and Mr Palmer have repudiated their own TV advertisements which rail about Labor and the Greens locking up 51 percent of the state from development.
Rather than supporting jobs Mr Palmer and Mr Morgan and their PUPpets would destroy them and leave those already jobless by the closure of the forest industry stranded among the ranks of the unemployed.
The PUP, if ever to be elected, would guarantee further Parliamentary chaos.
Their stance on the forest industry would see them voting against legislation to reopen a once vibrant sector of the Tasmanian economy.
If you are concerned about, jobs, growth and investment in the forest industries then only a stable, Liberal Party majority government can deliver it after March 15.
A vote for Labor, the Greens and now the PUP would be a vote for instability and chaos and a vote against jobs in the forest industry.
Today Mr Palmer, Mr Morgan and their fellow PUPpets proved that they really are yellow on the outside and Green on the inside.
It may be forgivable that Clive Palmer can’t spell Bass “Straight.” After all he only flies across it in his private jet.
But when Mr Palmer incorrectly spells the name of his candidate for Premier as “Keven” in his letters to voters you have to wonder just how much attention Mr Palmer pays to his candidates and what is going on in his own party.
And you have to wonder how much attention he pays to Tasmanian politics when he calls the Premier “Laura” not Lara as he does repeatedly.
And now he can’t even spell the name of his candidate for Deputy Premier.
In a press ad today he called her Barbara “Etta” not Etter.
These errors show just how inexperienced Mr Palmer and his PUPpet candidates are.
Maybe one mistake is acceptable, but a litany of them indicates a lack of attention to detail that is essential to be a Parliamentarian whose job it is to scrutinise legislation.
Mr Palmer is the embodiment of truth when he says “I am an interloper” in Tasmania, his actions and his candidate selection proves it.
Clive Palmer attempted to intimidate the Liberal Party in its campaign to expose the folly of voting for his PUPpet candidates in the state election and in doing so proved that he owns the party lock, stock and barrel.
On February 27, Mr Palmer had a minion write to the Liberal Party demanding that it cease using the terms “Palmer United” and “Palmer United Party” in any of its advertising as they were trade-marked and registered to Clive Palmer. (letter attached)
This is an extraordinary attack on freedom of speech and democracy.
No other party threatens legal action over the use of their names in advertising.
As part of the free exchange of ideas that are part and parcel of any election campaign parties must be named in advertising.
How could that debate be conducted if you are unable to mention a political party in an advertisement?
Mr Palmer is simply trying to close down debate about his party, his candidates and their impossible to deliver ideas.
Confirming the fact that the names are registered to Clive Palmer himself proves beyond doubt that PUP is not a political party, but rather a political business.
Earlier in the campaign it was pointed out that the constitutional structure of the PUP vested all authority in Mr Palmer.*
It was also pointed out that Mr Palmer would be a direct beneficiary of positions taken by his hand selected candidates.**
When quizzed on the ABC’s Lateline on 27/2/14 about the carbon tax Clive Palmer said: “Well, I’ve got my concerns. Our company – our party policy on carbon tax was that it should be abolished from the day that it was introduced…”
Mr Palmer has refused to pay his $8 million carbon tax bill including penalties and now he is aiming to win the balance of power in the Senate so that his senators will vote to backdate the abolition of the tax so Mr Palmer doesn’t have to pay it.
There is no doubt that Mr Palmer owns the PUP lock, stock and barrel to benefit his own interests.
It is fundamentally undemocratic. Mr Palmer owns it, controls it and funds it. He owns the trade marks to it.
Despite his claims that he supports freedom of speech and democratic processes the evidence is to the contrary.
“Western Australia is entitled to what they are earning. All Australian states should be as far as the GST goes.”
Clive Palmer. Sky Agenda. 11/3/14
In a rare moment of frankness Clive Palmer told the truth to Tasmanians about the $650 million dollars he plans to rip from the state’s depleted treasury to send to WA.
Western Australia’s $28 billion budget dwarfs Tasmania’s $4.7 billion budget yet Mr Palmer wants to repatriate Tasmania’s share to one of the biggest mainland economies.
Not only does WA’s budget dwarf Tasmania’s its Gross State Product at more than $252 billion it is greater than Tasmania’s $25 billion by a factor of ten.
Then there is the comparative GSP per capita. WA’s at about $102,000 is more than double Tasmania’s $47,000.
Not only does Mr Palmer and his PUPpet candidates want to rip out the GST from the budget he also wants to abolish payroll tax at a cost of $300 million annually creating a massive billion dollar hole in state revenues.
Mr Palmer is fond of pointing out that there are more than 20,000 people living off less than $23,000.
He and his PUPpet candidates have to explain to these people and the rest of Tasmania how they will fund schools, hospitals, police and emergency services after creating a billion dollar budget black hole.
Mr Palmer will no doubt claim that he just wants to make the economic pie bigger, but it doesn’t matter how big Mr Palmer’s pie is Tasmanian’s will still be commensurately worse off under his plan to rip GST payments from the state.
This is Palmernomics writ large. It is a con, a political rort that can only damage Tasmania’s economy and peoples’ standard or living.
On March 15 people are going to have a choice – between a Labor/Green/PUP minority government or a stable, Liberal majority government that can deliver a real economic plan to provide jobs and growth.
After 30 minutes of bluster, umbrage, histrionics and personal abuse at his press conference, Tasmanians are still no wiser on how Clive Palmer and Kevin Morgan would deliver on any of their thought bubbles.
Mr Palmer says Tasmania needs twice as much money delivered to it from the federal government, but still says he wants to strip $650 million in GST payments from the state.
Kevin Morgan says there needs to be more competition on Bass “Straight” but delivers absolutely no concrete detail on how or when this would actually happen.
Mr Palmer says he is not green, but the policies his lead candidate puts forward on forestry and the pulp mill that are supported by Mr Palmer prove he is.
Mr Palmer and his PUPpets find it easy to identify problems, but far more difficult to come up with costed and funded plans to address them.
Nostrums and clichés are no substitute for the hard yards of policy development and implementation.
However Mr Palmer made one absolute and uncontroverted statement when he said “I am an interloper” in Tasmania.
On that he is correct and it shows with his lack of understanding about the issues facing the state.
On March 15 people should be aware that they will not be voting for Showman Clive with his theatrics, but rather for a group of inexperienced candidates without any cohesive plans for the state.
A vote for any PUP candidate is a vote for instability and minority government.
Only a vote for the Liberal Party can deliver stable majority government that can implement a plan for growth and jobs.
Last week when Clive Palmer launched his PUPpets campaign for Tasmanian he told journalists that it was “bullshit” that he was going to take GST payments from Tasmania and repatriate them to Western Australia.
In a just released video* to promote his WA senate campaign Mr Palmer is now saying he wants the GST earned by Western Australians to be kept by Western Australians.
That would strip $650 million from Tasmania’s depleted Treasury coffers.
In the video Mr Palmer specifically states:
“Why should all the GST collected in Western Australia be sent back to the eastern states? Why shouldn’t Western Australians receive the benefit of their hard work?”
The question is who is Mr Palmer actually “bullshitting” now?
Is it Tasmanian voters or Western Australian voters?
Either way you slice or dice it Mr Palmer is lying to someone.
The Palmer United Party appears to have breached section 196 of the Electoral Act with an ad on page 9 of The Mercury this morning.
Effectively the section prevents the use of a photo of a candidate or a candidate’s name in an ad without that person’s approval.
The person authorising the ad, Jacqui Lambie, could face 12 months gaol, or up to $39,000 in fines or both, under the Act.
Sam McQuestin, the Liberal Party State Director, has written to the Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner, raising the issue. (See attached)
The apparent breach of the Act demonstrates just how inexperienced PUP candidates are.
It shows their lack of attention to detail which is crucial if you want to be a Parliamentarian.
It represents their same lack of attention to their campaign signs when they spelled Bass Strait incorrectly.
If they can’t get the basics of the Electoral Act right it raises real concerns about their ability to scrutinise legislation.
Mr Palmer may throw money at an election and try and buy it, but that doesn’t mean you can buy the right candidates.
The PUP candidates just haven’t got the experience necessary to represent people in Parliament.
Could you imagine the chaos they would bring: erratic, inexperienced and unskilled they would create a log jam that would set back the state’s return to growth, damaging jobs and opportunity along the way.
Only the Liberals can provide a stable, majority government.
Labor, the Greens and the PUPs will just cause chaos.
Read the letter below: