The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says his proposed Australia Fund private member’s bill announced last week had prompted the Abbott government’s action on drought relief.
On Thursday, Mr Palmer unveiled his proposal for a private member’s bill to keep Australia strong and to retain jobs.
The bill was co-sponsored by Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, and federal leader of Katter’s Australia Party and Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter.
The bill is to investigate measures which can be taken to provide support for Australia’s rural and manufacturing industries and to provide immediate assistance in the fastest possible time to Australians in need following natural disasters such as drought, bushfires and floods.
“The only reason the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss are now doing something about drought relief is because of the initiative shown by myself and other cross benchers,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“This government has been in power for five months and it is only now that they have woken up to the problems in rural Australia.
“We announced our plan last week, and on the weekend we see the PM trying to play catch-up by making a whirlwind trip to the bush with all kinds of promises.
“The people in rural Australia have every right to feel like second class citizens under this Government. So much for the Nationals looking out for them, the party has let its constituents down badly.’’