Campaign Launch – Coolum 25 August 2013 – Opening Speech – Clive Palmer

Clive F Palmer, Federal Leader, Palmer United Party

Men and women of Australia,

We meet today in a country known for its strength, among people known for their resilience. And we find our nation in need of both strength and resilience.

The main issue facing Australians today is not what individual becomes Prime Minister, but what Australians can do to regain Australia’s status as a lucky country.

This election has been devoid of ideas.  Neither Abbott nor Rudd has offered any hope for Australia. Abbott wants to cut Government expenditure and shrink the economy to the size of a pea.  Rudd wants to join Abbott, and they both want to tax us to oblivion. They are both boring and neither Rudd nor Abbott will debate the critical issues facing Australia. Abbott and Rudd are too scared to tell the truth about the Australian economy. So they talk in clichés because they haven’t a solution. Abbott doesn’t know. That’s why he has photo opportunities instead of press conferences. Rudd doesn’t know. That’s why he lives with focus groups and pays more attention to his hair than the needs of the Australian people. They offer no hope for the future. They are devoid of ideas. Governments may rise and fall, Prime Ministers my come and go, but ideas go on forever.

Australians want to know, and Australians need to know how their life can get better, not in four years’ time but now, in our time. Australia must stimulate its economy.

We have foreign and domestic demand. Foreign demand has evaporated because of the destruction of confidence under Labor and because of the excuses of Abbott and Rudd to increase our taxes.  Domestic demand is at an all-time low. Interest rates are at 2.5 per cent not because of our economic demand but because our economy is spiraling down and shrinking and people are holding onto their savings in fear.  People are suffering in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, in the Hunter region in New South Wales, at Elizabeth in South Australia, right throughout the States of Queensland and Western Australia, and all through Tasmania. Australians have lost hope in the future! We have to reestablish confidence and lead the nation not tomorrow but now.

The past is gone. We are talking about a revolution. A revolution in the way we think, in the way we boost our wealth and economy for all our citizens. We have to, we have to reestablish confidence and lead the nation not tomorrow but now.

The past is gone. The future confronts us.

Turbo Charge the Economy

The Treasury Paper in August 2013 projected company tax receipts for the year 2014 would exceed $70 billion. Instead of companies paying tax quarterly based on an estimate we need to let them pay it yearly on actual results. By keeping $70 billion dollars in enterprises‘ hands Palmer United will create real demand, massive job growth, end unemployment, turbo charge our economy, and by doing so wipe off deficits and make our economy stronger. This is because we know businesses can spend that $70 billion better than the Government.

If $70 billion is spent by individual taxpayers during the year the Government gets 10 per cent GST. I estimate that, based on the increased economic activity, the Government gets an extra $7 billion every time it’s spent. The Government will receive the $70 billion at the end of each year anyway. This will mean more hospitals, schools and a rise in the standard of living. We can use our money better than the Government.

Give Australia Leadership. Increased economy and revenue means we can make immediate changes to make the life of Australians better. At the current interest rate of 2.5 per cent that change will cost an extra $875 million a year (approximate estimate), but would generate billions each year for the Nation.

Tax System

From July 1, 2014, Palmer United will reduce the personal income tax the average Australian taxpayer pays by 15 per cent. This will mean the average taxpayer will have around $2,500 more in their pocket to spend each year. The increased demand and activity will boost jobs and investment and boost small business profits. It will stimulate the economy and create more jobs. The $2,500 will circulate in the economy and the Government will get 10 per cent of each transaction from GST, and that money will increase the revenue and provide more support for our hospitals, schools and Universities. I estimate that if that $2,500 circulates 10 times in the year, which it most certainly will, the Government will get the same revenue. We can spend our money better than the Government.

That’s why Palmer United will abolish the Fringe Benefits Tax to release over $4 billion into the economy. Fringe Benefits Tax is a negative tax. It stops Australians doing things, stifles demand and growth and kills employment. We have to remove Fringe Benefits Tax and get the economy moving. We don’t want to penalize people for spending money. Spending money makes the world go round, creates wealth, jobs, and makes the pie bigger for all of us to share.

If we make the first $10,000 paid on a home loan tax deductible each year Palmer United will boost the construction industry and increase home ownership security. We will make the first $10,000 paid on a home loan tax deductible each year and restore to Australians and revamp the Australian dream for each Australian to own their own home.

For too long Australians have lacked incentive and confidence and felt that they cannot help themselves. We want to change that. We find that Australians limit what they do because of the burden of taxation. Incentives have been lost and with no activity and growth, the economy declines and the revenue shrinks and schools and hospital close.

Palmer United will reduce the taxation rate on a person’s second job, which results in higher earnings over the weekly average earning by 50 per cent, giving all Australians the incentive and providing Government with increased revenue which would not be paid if a person didn’t have a second job.

Business happens because of networks. Australia needs to encourage business leaders and Australians to interact to come up with ideas, to make the most of commercial opportunities. We want to maximize the interaction in business because it creates jobs and opportunity for the economy and we are all investors in that activity and we want to encourage it. That’s why we allow a tax deduction for entertainment by businesses.

Our senior citizens are paid less than newly arrived asylum seekers. We must change this as soon as possible. As a first step, Palmer United will increase the old age pension by 20 per cent. This will amount to an estimated $150 extra a fortnight.

Health Care

We cannot tolerate Australians dying in the corridors of our hospitals. Health care is declining every year in Australia and we cannot desert the sick or the dying. Our hospital staffs are overworked and the capital infrastructure is not up to the projected increased demand.

Palmer United will provide $80 billion additional funding for Health across Australia and will make such funding available directly to hospitals. Palmer United will remove the increases to the Medicare levy Gillard made, and Abbott agreed to, once Palmer United is elected.

Palmer United will provide a leave allowance for all women expecting a baby. It will be a flat rate based on yearly average earnings of $50,000 a year and will be paid for a six month period.

Abbot seeks to put different values on Australian babies and women. There has never been in Australia’s history a more discriminatory policy than Abbott’s policy on paid parental leave. Under Abbott’s policy, for example, a Liberal lawyer on $150,000 annual income would get paid at that rate, while a working woman on approximately $30,000 a year would get paid at the latter rate. We need social mobility in Australia, not measures by Government that seek to entrench the class war forever.

As Robert Kennedy once said: “An injustice to one man anywhere is an injustice to all men everywhere”.

Australia has the highest rate of infant mortality in the world among our Indigenous population. Australian children are dying faster than children in Africa, Asia and South America. No society, at any time in history of man places a higher value than the value of a child’s life. But Labor and the Liberals are happy to do nothing while Australian children die. They say that they care but they don’t. If they did care about you, if they did care about your mother and father, they would do something to stop Australian children dying.

If Palmer United wins this election, or if we form part of a Government, it will be our first priority to stop Australian children from dying.


Australia’s debt increases by $3,000,000,000 each week. That’s $30 billion in the last 10 weeks.

The Australian government is the main petitioner of bankruptcy and company liquidations. As a result of business closures employees lose their jobs. The Government then loses group tax, company tax and, in many cases, exports and GST, as a result services in education and health have to be cut to protect the revenue. If the Government stopped driving business to the wall this wouldn’t happen. We will restructure the system to keep business going and to keep people employed productively. To transfer people from gainful employment to unemployment just guarantees misery for families and the elderly in our community as Government services break down and Australia heads towards a catastrophe.


We need to provide more funding for education in Australia. A free nation can rise no higher than the standard of excellence set in the schools and colleges. Ignorance and illiteracy, unskilled workers and school drop-outs are failures of our education system in the past and bred failures in our social and economic systems, delinquency, unemployment and chronic dependency. This is a waste of human resources, a loss of productive power and purchasing power and an increase in tax supported benefits. The loss of only one year’s income due to unemployment is more than the total cost of 12 years of education through high school. Failure to improve education performance is not only poor social policy, it is poor economics. At the start of the last century only 10 per cent of our adults had a high school or a university education. Today such education has become a requirement for an increasing number of jobs.

Palmer United will inject an extra $20 billion into the Education System in our first three years in Government. It’s time to invest in ourselves because if we don’t have confidence in ourselves who will have confidence in us? We must educate our children as our most valuable resource. We must make it possible for those with talent to go to university, but only if those who are educated can find a job after graduating from university. That’s why our ability to compete internationally and to expand our exports is so important. Our Universities must be given incentives to compete internationally. They were once one of Australia’s key exports. And they can be again.

National Security

The security of our Nation is of paramount importance. Our armed forces’ prime responsibility must be to protect Australia and to be a reliable ally. We need a stable world to expand our exports and to be a reliable member of the international community. Our most important trading partners and our main allies must know that they can count on Australia. Our Defence Forces need to rearm and redeploy the best technology to meet Australia’s defence needs.

Australian Veterans

Our Army, Navy and Air Force personnel are Australians and valuable members of society. We cannot take their service to the nation and disregard them as Labor and the Liberals have done for the last 20 years.

Palmer United will introduce retrospectively the linking of all service pensions to the male total Average earnings. Palmer United will expand all Gold Card benefits to peacekeepers. Gold Card Benefits will be automatically delivered to the spouses of all veterans for the term of their life. Palmer United has, and will have in Government, a sole Minister responsible for veterans’ affairs.

Manufacturing Industry

We need to revitalize our industries and their structure. Not by subsidies but by proper restructuring with Government leadership. If we take the car industry, for example, Gillard told us that Australia couldn’t compete because China had 220,000 units of production but Ford only had production runs of 40,000 units and Holden 90,000, and Toyota 90,000 units. So on the face of it the car industry was dead but Labor would continue to pour cash into a failing industry. Money is not the solution, nor substitution for Leadership. If the Prime Minister shows the leadership required to bring the three manufacturers together to establish a super car manufacturing plant that could produce 220,000 units and compete internationally, then Australia may have a sustainable industry without ongoing never-ending Government handout.

Japan has become the world’s third largest economy by processing Australian resources. Wages in Japan are higher, the cost of energy is more expensive, and Japan suffers from the tyranny of distance. Yet Australia sells its mineral ores at $40 – $200 a ton and Japan sells final products at up to $20,000 a ton or more. To create jobs, generate more Government revenue, along with a stronger balance of payments, the Australian Government needs to encourage the use of the mineral resource wealth of Western Australia and Queensland to support downstream manufacturing in States and Territories that don’t have those resources, such as New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. This will create jobs, increase our exports and provide greater revenue and a rising, rather than declining, standard of living for all Australians. Higher export revenue means better education and health services for our people.

Regional Australia

Regional Australia is the forgotten Australia by all political parties, as are Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

We need to support Regional Australia by reintroducing a zonal taxation system. This will provide an incentive to decentralize Australia and maximize the delivery of services to Regional Australia. It will provide the incentive regional areas need to ensure that regional hospitals have doctors, and that regional industries develop for the benefit of their communities and all of Australia.

We have to end the discrimination against rural industries and give them the means to compete internationally. The Australian Government needs to support Australian industries and ensure that all of its policies are for Australia first.

We must encourage Australians to buy Australian produce, and the labeling and packaging regime needs to be changed so that Australians know clearly what products are Australian. If the product contained in any package or container is not at least 95 per cent Australian product then it will not have a Green and Gold classification and labeled Australian. Anything less should have a Red label and be marked as foreign.

The Palmer United believes 25 per cent of the wealth generated from regions in Australia must be returned to that region so that the wealth can be reinvested in the region that generated such wealth.

Lobbyists and Political Parties

The Palmer United Party believes that lobbyists should be excluded from holding official positions in Political Parties.

Lobbyist firms often employ former Ministers from both political parties and big business can get policy changes by paying money to such firms to represent their views. This represents a serious conflict of interest and undermines the value of individual member’s voting rights and the Democracy that Australians have fought for.

Lobbying mixed with political parties undermines Australians’ right to vote. A Palmer United team will legislate to restrict the role of lobbyists in directing political parties.

Carbon Tax

The Palmer United Party will scrap the Carbon Tax, not from when we are elected but from when the tax was introduced. Electricity prices are too high. Australian families are under increasing pressure. Australians will get refunds under the Palmer United Government. In Government we will set up a national commission to investigate the Carbon issue and listen to the voice of the Australian people.


We spend billions of dollars each year trying to deal with the illegal entry of people into Australia. Our Navy is deployed at a great cost and does not now do what it should do, namely defend Australia. People are attracted to this country by many financial and other benefits that the Government offers. Families of new arrivals are separated and kept in camps at the taxpayers’ expense and many people lose their lives, while people smugglers make a fortune.

While all this is going on the Australian People continue to suffer. We need to change things. It is the Australian Government that creates the market for people smugglers to prosper. If a person seeking entry into Australia was allowed to board a plane for $800 to fly to one of our airports, such as Sydney or Brisbane, they wouldn’t need to pay the People Smugglers up to $20,000 for illegal entry to Australia. Any person would require their valid passport to board the flight, so on arrival in Australia at the immigration hall we would know who they are and where they came from. At the airport we could have the facilities to deal with them. Each person or family could be given a fair hearing at the airport facilities when they arrive to determine if they have a lawful right of entry into Australia. If they don’t, they could be returned to where they came from on the next available flight. This would abolish the detention camps, restore our Navy to its traditional role, save the lives of children and families, keep families together and recognize the legitimate rights of those that have a lawful reason for entering Australia. This policy would also reduce the risk of breach in our quarantine laws and protect our agricultural industries.

Only the Palmer United Party can stop the boats by taking away the financial incentive that started them coming to Australia in the first place.

The billions of dollars saved by this policy can be spent productively to create a change for the people who deserve it – the people of Australia.

In Conclusion

The top six Ministers in the Rudd Labor Government have 181 years of work experience between them, but only 13 years in the private sector. If you take off the time they spent as lobbyists, lawyers and union officials, they only had two years’ experience between them. Two years’ experience to run a $1.5 trillion economy!

95 per cent of Australians agree on all issues. Labor and the Liberals spend 100 per cent of their time arguing about the 5 per cent of things that Australians disagree on, causing divisions when Australia needs unity, causing disruption to our industries, when we need a joint effort.

As a great man once said: “In the final analysis, we all are mortal, we all live on this one small planet, we all breathe the same air and we all want a good future for our children.”

When the ANZACs went overseas they didn’t go overseas as members of the Liberal Party or as members of the Labor Party. They went as Australians. We need to put the idea of a class war behind us and unite the nation!

My family has a strong commitment to Australia. My great uncle was killed in the World War I, five of my family served in World War II at Kokoda and Tobruk, and thereafter my nephew Squadron Leader Martin Brewster of the Australian Air Force served with the International Force for East Timor (“INTERFET”) and is standing for the electorate of Herbert in this election. All these people have done more than I could ever do for our Nation.

To raise the issues facing our great country, to stand with our Party members at this important time in our Nation’s history is a great honour.

If you’re happy with all that’s been done now is enough, is sufficient, for you and your family – you should vote again for Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd. But if you believe, as I do, that this Nation has the strength and potential to live out its heritage and fulfill the dreams of the ANZACs, to return Australia to being the Lucky Country it should be, you must give the Palmer United Party your support.

And we will lead this Nation together!

And Australia will prevail!