Media release

Clive Palmer: If only we had the ‘Australia Fund’ now

AUSTRALIAN farmers would have had the drought assistance they needed promptly and efficiently if the proposed ‘Australia Fund’ had been set up in 2014, says United Australia Party Federal Leader Clive Palmer.

As the Member for Fairfax Mr Palmer introduced a private member’s bill to federal parliament seeking to establish an ‘Australia Fund’ to support the country’s rural and manufacturing industries with immediate assistance following natural disasters like drought, bushfires and floods.

The fund’s scope would have covered items such as emergency drought, flood and bushfire relief, loans or as guarantor for loans, capitalising or waiving interest and loan purchasing.

Mr Palmer said the political response to the current drought was slow and unprincipled in equal measure.

“Today’s politicians see the current drought as a selfie opportunity with farmers to project themselves as ‘champions of the bush’ and create the false impression that they’re actually doing something.

“This is heinous, opportunistic slacktivism of the worst kind and an insult to the brave men and women of the land who endure these natural disasters at great personal cost.

“For this particular drought the Australia Fund would have stepped in with immediate assistance.

“When I introduced the private member’s bill no political party supported it and instead chose to make fun of me. If only we had the Australia Fund now – our farmers would have received the support they needed when they needed it.

“It’s about time we looked after our people properly. The United Australia Party wants to try again to introduce the Australia Fund because we know the next natural disaster is only around the corner.

“Our party has policies that allow everyday Australians to support each other. We want to help our fellow citizens when they need it most because it’s in the national interest and the right thing to do,” Mr Palmer said.