Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer blasts calls for inquiry on his poll spending

CLIVE Palmer, has dismissed South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon's call for a parliamentary inquiry into his party's election campaign spending as a "beat-up" and "grandstanding".

The newly-elected Sunshine Coast MP said Senator Xenophon was seeking to promote himself because he would soon be an irrelevant figure in the Senate with the Palmer United Party set to hold the balance of power from July 1, 2014.

"This is nothing more than grandstanding and a hopeless beat-up from Nick 'No Friends' Xenophon, who is becoming the lonely guy of federal politics and an inept irrelevance," the Member for Fairfax said in a statement on Thursday.

"The Palmer United Party spent far less on the election campaign than the major parties and probably about one fifth of what the Liberal Party spent and we were the only party to field candidates in every seat.

"Rupert Murdoch probably invested far more in editorial value supporting Prime Minister Tony Abbott during the election.

"By law, these election spending figures are irrelevant. The Australian Electoral Commission requires the Palmer United Party to lodge declarations on funding by October next year and these will be made public in 2015.

"I have been quite open about our spending on advertising during the campaign and was probably asked about it at almost every press conference.

"But it's not a matter of how much you spend it's about your ideas and policies and the Palmer United Party won the support of hundreds of thousands of Australians who have become tired of the two party duopoly.

"Everyone has the right to stand for parliament and to try to serve the community.

"It's just a shame people like Wayne Swan turned Australian politics into a class issue."

Did Clive Palmer buy his way into office as some suggest?

CLIVE Palmer's extraordinary spending on the election campaign looks set to come under scrutiny amid claims he bought his Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.

Media analysts estimated Mr Palmer spent more than $2 million on television advertising alone over the course of the campaign - one million of that in the last week.

Mr Palmer also sent a DVD to almost every household in his electorate which included his policies, his personal story, his Titanic II project and other videos.

He took out pages of newspaper advertisements, run local TV ads and had giant billboards on the Bruce Highway and outside his Palmer Coolum Resort.

Mr Palmer criss-crossed the country for weeks in his $70m private jet, attending campaign launches and media interviews in Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and other centres.

News Corp reported today that a parliamentary committee would inquire into how much of Mr Palmer's personal fortune went into Canberra bid.

The move comes amid concerns by some, including Independent Nick Xenophon and lobby group GetUp, that there should be a spending limit.

Mr Palmer told media during the campaign that he did not know exactly how much he spent as it was of no real consequence to him, given his huge wealth.

But he has conceded it was millions of dollars.

Mr Palmer said the spending was necessary to get the message of his new party, the Palmer United Party, out to Australia.

The mining magnate took just months to launch a party with 150 candidates across Australia.

His electoral fortunes have sent shockwaves across the major political parties, particularly the LNP.

Mr Palmer has made it clear his primary target is Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.

The Palmer United Party is expected to field candidates in the next Queensland election.

Senator Xenophon said he expected someone on the parliamentary committee would be asking questions about Mr Palmer.

"I think it's an issue. Like the Beatles say, money can't buy you love but Clive Palmer proves it can buy you a seat,'' Senator Xenophon told The Courier-Mail.

"I've got concerns (about the amount of money Mr Palmer spent). We need to have a national conversation about reasonable spending.''


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