Palmer plans to have candidates in every electorate by June
UPDATE 5.20pm: By June 7, silver-haired mining magnate and now aspiring prime minister Clive Palmer expects to have candidates under his United Australia Party standing in every electorate in Australia.
Mr Palmer himself is running for the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.
Bill Schoch - manager at Mr Palmer's own Coolum Palmer Resort - will take on former Howard Government minister Mal Brough and embattled independent Peter Slipper in the neighbouring seat of Fisher.
The latest part of his Sunshine Coast offensive came one day after Mr Palmer announced former state independent Rob Messenger would stand for the Bundaberg seat of Hinkler.
As he stood beside Mr Schoch on the podium, Mr Palmer discussed his desire to serve Australia as its next Prime Minister and the five policies he stood for.
This handful of principles covered lobbyists, refugees, the carbon tax, regional investment and refugees.
On all other matters, Mr Palmer said the UAP held identical policies to the Liberal-National Party.Mr Palmer also told the audience and media it was "very difficult being a billionaire".
"You're held up for ridicule and made fun of all the time."
Mr Palmer plans to reveal a further six candidates for the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales on Monday.From there, the UAP wagons roll into Brisbane to unveil more contenders.
Mr Palmer is confident he has enough interest in all 150 Australian electorates.
"We have been working on this for a year," he said.
"We've had plenty of time to vet people."
The newly-anointed Mr Schoch is understood to have been preparing to stand for Palmer's party since early last year.
Mr Palmer's UAP must be formally registered with the Australian Electoral Commission by May 13, requiring the backing of 500 members.
There is also an emerging skirmish between his party and the similarly-named Uniting Australia Party which submitted its registration before Mr Palmer's team.
Queensland's richest man is confident neither will be a significant issue.
WHAT HE WANTS
Clive Palmer's UAP has identical policies to the Liberal National Party, with the exception of five points.
- Opposes paid lobbyists in positions of power in political parties.
- Dumping carbon tax from when it was introduced.
- Develop "downstream processing" so Australian minerals can be refined here. A quarter of funds created by a region should be re-invested in that region.
- Allowing refugees to fly to Australia to be processed at airports.
- If found not to be refugees, they would be deported by aircraft.
EARLIER: Palmer Coolum Resort general manager Bill Schoch will contest the Sunshine Coast seat of Fisher as a United Australia Party candidate.
Party leader Clive Palmer, the billionaire contender for the seat of Fairfax, announced Mr Schoch as the endorsed candidate at a press conference this morning.
The announcement sets up a four-way battle for the traditionally safe LNP seat, between sitting member Peter Slipper, former Howard-government minister Mal Brough, Labor candidate Bill Gissane and Mr Schoch for the UAP.
In a press release, Mr Schocht referred to Mr Palmer as "an inspirational leader who could unite and and advance Australia with commonsense policies".
He further endorsed his party chief as an outstanding choice to be the country's next prime minister.
"Right now the nation as whole desperately needs someone with integrity and expertise that can lead us out of this economic crisis and create community wealth and jobs," he said.
Yesterday Mr Palmer said he had well over 500 members in his party, which was still to be registered with the Australia Electoral Commission.
But to the Coolum Resort owner, that was a minor detail.
"We will be standing under the UAP and we will be registered there is no doubt about that," he said.
"Whether we are registered or not is the big deal - it just means you put UAP next to the name of a candidate."
Mr Palmer also revealed yesterday that former state MP Rob Messenger would stand for a seat in Bundaberg.
Mr Messenger, the member for Burnett between 2004 and 2012, served as a LNP member before becoming an independent.
He was instrumental in helping Bundaberg Base Hospital nurse Toni Hoffman expose the Dr Jayant Patel saga.
The seat, Hinkler, is held by LNP MP Paul Neville, with a 10.4 % margin, but he will retire and LNP candidate Keith Pitt will run.