Clive Palmer, the CEO of the Palmer United Party, is a part time politician who can barely bring himself to attend Parliament.
Since being elected Mr Palmer has missed ten sessions of Parliament or 40 percent of the 24 sessions making him the worst for attendance except for two government Ministers.
Those two ministers are the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Trade and Investment Minister whose jobs require them to do extensive overseas travel.
Mr Palmer only has to travel to and from his Coolum Resort home to Canberra in his private jet, yet he still can’t seem to manage that commitment to the voters of Fairfax who put their faith in him.
It is the job of a politician to represent the views of the people who elect them and Mr Palmer is failing to do this.
The relevance of this to Tasmania is the contempt that Mr Palmer holds for the voters of Fairfax by failing to represent them.
It casts real doubts about his commitment to Tasmania and throws into question promises he and his inexperienced neophyte candidates make.
For example Mr Palmer, despite promising jobs for Tasmania, actually exports them to the mainland and China.
He has promised fast ferries and all he and his candidates led by Kevin Morgan have delivered is a poster. (See attached).
From delivering an unfunded thought bubble on ferries a week ago Mr Morgan and Mr Palmer are now reduced to delivering a poster. It is pathetic.
Mr Palmer is treating his own voters with contempt and is trying to con Tasmanians that he has their interests at heart.
When people cast their vote on March 15 they should recall the way Mr Palmer and his candidates have tried to pull a swift con on them.
Clive Palmer’s handpicked candidate for Franklin, Debra Thurley, has confirmed that she is really yellow on the outside and green on the inside with her endorsement of an article which supports locking up the forests.
In her final column in The Examiner today Call Wahlquist wrote that an opinion piece suggesting the forests should not be reopened to industry.
She concluded: “But I won’t miss the forestry debate, because it is stupid. Tasmania can’t keep having do-overs until it gets the industry it wants. Sometimes it’s time to move on.”
Ms Thurley then tweeted:”an excellent sign off from @callapilla, mandatory reading. There’s no way u could vote 4 Libs.”
Yet in her TV candidate ads Ms Thurley specifically states:
“Labor and the Greens have locked away 51% of the state, destroying opportunity, creating uncertainty and turning away investment.”
Ms Thurley has clearly contradicted her own campaign ads and sided with the Greens.
She really is yellow on the outside and Green inside.
Clive Palmer has confirmed that “Coolum Central” is running the Tasmanian PUP election campaign with the admission that its television ads are being produced at his Brisbane based advertising agency.
Mr Palmer has told AAP that TV advertisements for his Tasmanian and Western Australian election campaign had been stolen from the agency he uses, Coroneo and Co, on Thursday morning.
The revelation confirms that Mr Palmer has no faith in the creative and production skills of Tasmanians.
Mr Palmer, despite repeatedly saying that “Tasmania needs jobs, jobs and more jobs……not in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland, but in Tasmania” is actually exporting those jobs to Queensland.
Not only is Mr Palmer exporting jobs to Queensland he is also exporting them to China with the production of his candidate’s campaign DVDs and its cover being printed by “Rose Duke Trade (Beijing) Co Ltd, 902 Tower B, 39 East Fourth Rong, Chaoyang District, Beijing.”
Mr Palmer doesn’t care about Tasmanian jobs as is evidenced by his own actions in exporting them to the mainland and China.
It reflects contempt for the creative talents of Tasmanians and a lack of faith in small businesses to produce his campaign propaganda whether it is in the printing trade, graphic design, and television, production, scripting and editing skills of Tasmanians.
It also demonstrates the absolute central control that Mr Palmer exercises of his candidates in what they say and do as shown by the almost identical candidate ads and scripts where Tasmanian candidates mirror each other in their ads while his South Australian candidates also parrot the same words.
Further evidence of “Coolum Central” running the PUPpet campaign is that their so-called state director is actually a FIFO employee of Mr Palmer’s who lives in Queensland.
Mr Palmer has made himself a central element of the PUPpet campaign in Tasmania, featuring in TV ads and radio ads reflecting a lack of faith in his inexperienced, neophyte politicians.
The difficulty is that Tasmanians might think that they will get Clive by voting for his PUPpets, but he will live in Queensland while his inexperienced PUPpets cause havoc in the Assembly if they were to be successful.
Tasmania cannot afford another fractured minority government made up of Labor, Greens and PUPpets.
The Palmer United Party is treating Tasmanians as gullible mugs by trying to pull a fiscal con on them.
Under the Charter of Budget Responsibility Act 2007 political parties had to lodge a Fiscal Statement with the Treasury outlining their strategy to manage the Budget by close of business yesterday.
The Act prescribes that a Party must outline its long term objectives within which budgets will be framed; fiscal measures against which fiscal policy will be set; fiscal targets for the budget year and following three years; and, how the fiscal objectives and strategic priorities relate to sound fiscal management.
The PUP failed to lodge any statement, nor has it explained publicly how it would manage to pay for its “thought bubbles.”
Even the Greens submitted a strategy to explain how they would mismanage the budget: but no, not for the PUPs this fiscal straight jacket.
If the PUP wanted to be treated as a serious Parliamentary player it would have submitted is Fiscal Strategy – if it has one.
To date the PUP has committed to:
- Cutting $650 million in GST payments from the budget.
- Abolishing payroll tax at a cost of $300 million.
- Cutting stamp duty for first home owners at a cost of $13 million.
- Removing land tax at a cost of $90 million.
- Restoring police numbers at a cost of $33 million.
- Spending $400 million on their fairy tale ferry service including massive unfunded fare subsidies so seats and cars cost just $50 each!
As well the PUP have uncosted commitments to better resource teachers and have more teacher aides, more financial support for PCYC and to reduce power costs.
But these commitments are being made on the sly via leaflets and the odd call to radio.
On their website their only so-called “policy” announcement is a one page press release saying the party was “committed” to a Bass Strait ferry service.
The PUP is trying to fly under the radar with their unfunded commitments.
They are acting more like side show hucksters selling a cure all potion that will fix the state’s economic problems.
It is either a demonstration of Palmernomics with its flim flam and voodoo economics or it’s a con.
Only one conclusion can be drawn about the PUP and neither bodes well for Tasmania if they were to gain any Parliamentary representation.
The PUP candidates are either so inexperienced that they don’t know how to manage a budget or they are trying to pull a fiscal con on Tasmanians with their “thought bubbles.”
Small businesses in Braddon, already reeling under cost pressures and a slow economy, should be slugged with higher power costs, according to PUP candidate, Scott Alexander.
Mr Alexander wrote on The Advocate’s Facebook page on September 10, 2013 that “I for one wouldn’t have minded if the carbon tax was only 3% or 4%.”
Any tax impost on small business should be rejected, yet Mr Alexander is firmly aligned with the Greens and Labor in supporting this tax slug.
With reports in The Advocate today revealing that the 940 small businesses debtors owed Aurora an average of $1918 anyone advocating the higher costs was no friend of small business.
Small business is a jobs generator and the carbon tax is crimping the ability of small businesses to grow and employ people.
As Burnie Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Peter Holmes, noted, one of the factors behind the increase in electricity debtors from 487 in 2011/12 to 940 in 2012/13 had been higher energy costs for small business.
But it is not just small business hurting under the impost, it is also consumers.
As The Advocate pointed out in its report the number of consumer debts after being relatively stable after the previous four years had skyrocketed from 5,438 in 2011/12 to 7,076 in 2012/13.
The fact is that Mr Alexander’s support for the carbon tax is hurting families; it is hurting small business and it is hurting those searching for a job.
Supporting PUP means damaging families and small businesses by putting them under even greater pressure.
* Scott Alexander supports a carbon tax. He has written a post on a story in The Advocate that “I for one wouldn’t mind if the carbon tax was only 3% or 4%.” He has also questioned whether or not Gina Rinehart is dredging the Barrier Reef.
Anybody waiting for the Palmer United Party’s “thought bubble” of an idea for a fast ferry and freight service across Bass Strait to be delivered by PUP will be severely disappointed.
On Friday, February 27, Kevin Morgan told the ABC’s 7.30 said their so-called policy was for a “low cost, fast, efficient operation on similar lines to the English Channel.” He has also said the trip would take in the vicinity of six hours.
Their plan is to have a network of ferries crisscrossing the Strait (or Straight) with services from Stanley and Bell Bay stopping at King Island and Flinders Island and a direct service from Bell Bay.
The problem is that the English Channel is only 38 kilometres across while Devonport to Melbourne is 392 kilometres – a ten-fold increase in distance, while Devonport to Hastings, another port mooted is 334 kilometres.
And there is a small thing called economy of scale that has to be taken into account.
Dover in the UK, situated on the Channel, remains the largest passenger port in Europe, with close to 13 million seaborne passengers passing through the port facilities in 2011.
Tasmania has a population of 500,000 and we have a tourist trade approaching one million per annum.
This is just idle pie in the sky thinking. The trip times don’t add up and the economies of scale don’t stack up. There is not a real business case that can stack up.
This is not a ferry service – it is a fairy tale.
In three punchy radio advertisements* the reality of the Palmer United Party is stripped bare for all Tasmanians to hear.
In spare language they spell out the reality of voting for the PUP and their team of inexperienced neophyte political gypsies.
“Just remember, if you vote for the Palmer Party you won’t be getting Clive Palmer.
He lives in Queensland.
You’ll be getting inexperienced candidates and who knows what they’ll do if they hold the balance of power.”
“If you don’t want Green policies, don’t vote for the Palmer Party.
Because if you do, you’ll be voting for Green policies like the forest lock up and stopping the pulp mill.
Palmer and the Greens – don’t risk it.”
“Imagine the chaos if the Palmer Party holds the balance of power.
Inexperienced candidates having the final say on your health, your hospitals and your schools.
The Palmer Party – If you don’t know them, don’t risk them.”
A vote for Clive Palmer’s PUPpets is a recipe for another minority government with all the instability, backbiting and fighting that comes with it.
Only a vote for the Liberal Party can guarantee a stable majority government that can deliver growth and jobs for Tasmanians.
*Listen to the ads here: https://soundcloud.com/tasmanian-liberals
Clive Palmer is definitely the PUPpet master: a deft ventriloquist and the man pulling the strings of his marionettes across the country.
In Tasmania, virtually all of the candidate ads are identical to one and other as has been previously pointed out.*
Now it seems Mr Palmer is scripting identical ads with his South Australian candidates for their March 15 poll.
In Tasmania Mr Palmer has his candidate, John Peers, lauding Mr Palmer as the saviour of Tasmania:
“Clive Palmer can save Tasmania. We need changes now. Labor and Liberals, all the same.”**
In South Australia Mr Palmer has his candidate, Kristian Rees, also mouthing his praise:
“Clive Palmer can save South Australia. We need changes now. Liberal and Labor, more of the same.”***
Not only has Mr Palmer named a Party after himself, but now he is scripting candidate ads where he has his candidates singing his praises.
It is a monstrous conceit.
Mr Palmer is not running in either the South Australian election or the Tasmanian election, if people vote for his PUPpets they won’t get Mr Palmer. He won’t be living in either SA or Tasmania, but in Queensland.
But what they could get are inexperienced people who don’t do a thing until it’s cleared by Clive in Queensland.
The choice is clear. A vote for minority government made up of Greens, Labor and PUP with all the instability that would bring or a vote for a stable, Liberal majority government.
Yesterday’s launch of the PUP campaign displayed another masterful exposition of Palmernomics by the master of the theory himself, Professor Clive Palmer.
Over the weekend Clive Palmer and his acolyte, Kevin Morgan, threw pixie dust in the eyes of Tasmanians and promised a suite of thought bubbles from ferries, a network of ports around the state, abolition of payroll tax, and abolition of stamp duty for first home owners.
But how was this largesse to be funded? The payroll tax abolition would cost the state $300 million annually, stamp duty a minimum of $13 million and then of course there is $650 million Professor Palmer wants stripped from the budget in GST payments - all up that is about $1 billon cut from the budget annually.
Well apparently Professor Palmer now says his plan to cut GST payments to the state was “bullshit.”
But how does that square with his own remarks to Lateline on the 27/2/2014 that “we can get some of that GST back that’s been ripped off the state for many years.” That can only be done by taking GST receipts from Tasmania.
Or his own media release of the previous day where he said:
“The state (Western Australia) provides vast amounts of GST revenue for the Australian economy and get so little back in return – this is intolerable for the people of Western Australia.
“The system as it stands provides no reward for effort. All states should be encouraged to strive by receiving the benefits of their enterprise.”
By Professor Palmer’s reasoning Tasmania would be stripped of its GST receipts to the tune of $650 million – no bones about it.
But yesterday the good Professor was bizarrely saying that after stripping $650 million out of the state’s budget that “The commonwealth has got to inject twice as much money into the state whether it’s GST, or whatever you call it.”
It is hard to see where the “bullshit” is here.
Is the Professor “bullshitting” the people of WA or the people of Tasmania over GST payments?
But it seems Palmernomics is bullshit by any name.
The simple fact is that Professor Palmer or Kevin Morgan can pay for their thought bubbles, but they are very liberal with the pixie dust they will throw around to con people into believing they can.
The Palmer United Party launch yesterday revealed the hollow shell of a political party that it is.
It centrepiece idea was ferry service, but it was not a real proposal. It was a thought bubble – more like a filler for a Christmas stocking – an IOU on your vote that will never be collected.
And you can see this by the bluster of Mr Palmer as he explained his Palmernomics – he was still going to strip the state of its $650 million in GST – but then said the commonwealth should put in twice as much money!
The launch also displayed the calibre of it candidates and Mr Palmer himself.
Lead candidate, Kevin Morgan, said of Lara Giddings that she “Pays more attention to her hair than the interests of Tasmanians.”
While Mr Palmer himself, who when it was pointed out that his PUP signs in Launceston misspelled Bass Strait as “straight” angrily lashed out saying “what pettiness is all this bullshit about.”
The “bullshit” is about attention to detail, about the speed in which the PUPs “idea” was pulled together. Attention to detail is critical in the analysis of legislation.
It is also worth looking at the line-up of some of the candidates that the PUP is fielding.
- An octogenarian.
- A septuagenarian.
- A foul mouth racist.
- A person who links anti-terror laws with Nazi Germany.
- A person whose case in the Supreme Court was called vexatious, frivolous, and which would waste court time.
- A self-described “retired gentleman”
And then there are the political gypsies who, those candidates looking for any political home, not least among them Kevin Morgan himself, who has been an ALP member, stood as an independent and has now found a niche as a PUP.
Or Debra Thurley, who is amongst a number of former Liberal members, some of who investigated standing for the party, who are now a PUPs.
The calibre of these candidates and their commitment to any cause except that which furthers their own interest would raises serious questions about their ability to act in Parliament.
Mr Palmer today said that PUPs would interact with Labor and the Greens and this raises the spectre of the state again being held to ransom by minority self-interest.
Because the PUP supports the TFA any legislation that was introduced to dismantle it would opposed threatening jobs and opportunity and investment.
Tasmania cannot afford to again be at loggerheads over the state’s future; it cannot be held to ransom by gypsy politicians pursing their own narrow self-interest.
Clive Palmer’s commitment to Tasmania and a Bass Strait ferry service is spelled out in his own campaign posters and it bodes ill for the state and jobs.
Launching his risible idea to an empty room for a ferry service Mr Palmer and his lead candidate, Kevin Morgan, spruiked their thought bubble with a sign “Bass Straight.”
It is a demonstration of their lack of attention to detail and substance which is reflected in their idea for another Bass Strait ferry service.
Their “idea” was not a serious proposal.
If it was real it would have a cost associated with it.
If it was real they could have said who was going to build this ferry.
If it was real they could have said when the service would start.
If it was real they could have said what ports it would service and its destination points.
Bass Strait freight and passenger services are critical to Tasmania and Tasmanians want solutions that can be delivered, not thought bubbles.
Bass Strait is not the English Channel. These ideas have been tried before, and failed, who can forget the Devil Cat?
It is one thing to fly across Bass Strait in your private jet and announce a thought bubble as a policy, but it is quite another to actually deliver a plan.
The reality is that Mr Palmer and Mr Morgan are trying to con Tasmanians with soothing, empty nostrums about the ferry service and also jobs.
Today Mr Palmer again talked about “job, jobs and more jobs” for Tasmanians while his own campaign propaganda is produced in China.
Mr Palmer’s jobs for Tasmania plan is to offshore them in China.
A lot of empty words, but no straight talking.
On Thursday night Clive Palmer made an adjournment speech to an almost empty chamber in Parliament where he talked of the need for jobs in Tasmania.
In his speech he said “Tasmania needs jobs, jobs and more jobs……not in Victoria, New South Wales or Queensland, but in Tasmania.”
Unfortunately Mr Palmer doesn’t put his money where his mouth is when it comes to jobs for Tasmania.
For example, Jacqui Lambie has her campaign posters printed in South Australia, not Tasmania, so no jobs for the State there.
But perhaps even more damning is the latest piece of propaganda being circulated by Mr Palmer’s lead PUP candidate, Kevin Morgan.
It is a glossy, yellow CD cover with a CD that features a long, turgid speech by Mr Palmer and repeats of some candidate ads.
But the clincher is where the CD cover is printed and no doubt also where the CD itself was produced:
“Printed by Rose Duke Trade (Beijing) Co Ltd, 902 Tower B, 39 East Fourth Rong, Chaoyong District, Beijing.”
That’s right, Mr Palmer is exporting jobs to China while talking about the need for jobs in Tasmania.
Interestingly there is also a promotional clip on the CD of Mr Palmer’s plan to build Titanic II, also being built in China.
The question this raises is, is this really political propaganda or a promotional vehicle for the Titanic and if so is the whole package tax deductible for Mr Palmer?
Mr Palmer’s faux concern for Tasmanian jobs is demonstrated by his export of jobs to the mainland and to China.
Clive Palmer confirmed on the ABC’s Lateline programme last night that he would strip GST payments from Tasmania in favour of Western Australia.
He told host Tony Jones that:
“And of course, if they (his WA senate candidates) are in the balance of power, we can get some of that GST back that’s been ripped off the state for many years.”
Mr Palmer is on the record as saying he opposes horizontal fiscal equalization. This would strip $650 million out of Tasmania.
The only way Western Australia can get back more GST is by ripping it out of Tasmania.
Yet PUP lead candidate, Kevin Morgan, wants more in GST payments from the commonwealth for Tasmania.
Mr Morgan told the ABC’s Leon Compton in February that “The best thing we can have coming into this state Leon, is GST….” to fix the State’s ailing economy.
That is some Catch 22. To fix the economy by taking GST payments from it on one hand while demanding more GST payments on the other.
And in a telling slip last night Mr Palmer also confirmed that his party’s carbon tax policy was in fact the policy of his privately owned company.
When quizzed about the carbon tax he 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.
And he is working to get those senators in WA elected by stripping GST payments from Tasmania.
Mr Palmer is treating Tasmanians with contempt by putting his own interests ahead of the state.
Mr Palmer’s PUP is not a political party it is a political business whose aim is to prop up Mr Palmer’s own interests.
The constant characteristic that is the mark of the Palmer United Party is its chaotic and quixotic nature from policy to its organisation.
The latest demonstration is its inability to even organise its own launch.
First it put out a flyer earlier in the week saying its “Campaign Launch” was going to be held on Saturday March 1 at 6.30pm at the Hobart Grand Chancellor with an RSVP of 26 February.
Then today at 6.00am Denison PUPpet, Barbara Etter, unilaterally tweeted:
“PUP campaign launch with Clive Palmer Sunday 2 March at midday at Hotel Grand Chancellor. Lunch and drinks $50 pp. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org”
To clear the confusion four hours later the PUP announced that in fact they would not be launching on Saturday March 1 at midday. But rather be holding a “Major Policy Dinner” at 6.30pm on March 1 at the Grand Chancellor in Launceston with an RSVP of tomorrow!
Then at midday another flyer appears on the PUP twitter stream announcing that the “Campaign Launch” would now be held at 12 noon – not 6.30pm - in Hobart at the Grand Chancellor on March 2.
This shambles is the hallmark of party bereft of organisation or management skills which is not surprising as their state director is a FIFO Coolum based employee of Mr Palmer’s whose main job is working on the Titanic.
And his interests are more aligned with the benefits of being a member of Qantas Frequent Flyers as his tweets of February 20 demonstrate “ @QantasAirways loving the new toasted sandwich maker at Sydney airport. Also the epicure wine dispenser…”
The Tasmanian PUPpets are controlled centrally by Clive Palmer from his Coolum lair with his employees doing his bidding.
It is Mr Palmer’s interest that are at the forefront of his political ambitions – to the extent that he is refusing to pay his $8.2 million carbon tax bill while waiting for the carbon tax to be voted out by his senators, including Jacqui Lambie.
Make no mistake the Tasmanian PUPpets are controlled lock stock and barrel by Mr Palmer.
They can’t even organise their own launch without interference by Mr Palmer’s personal FIFO “fixit” man.