The federal leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, has dismissed a proposal by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to relocate Australia’s naval base at Garden Island, Sydney, to principally being based in Brisbane as a stunt.
“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt by Mr Rudd to buy back the support of the voters of Griffith,” Mr Palmer said.
“This represents a huge turn around by the government which has said previously it would be too costly to move the navy northwards.
“Rudd is becoming very unpopular in his own seat and is resorting to buying their votes through fanciful promises.
“He can make all the promises in the world – perhaps towing icebergs to Brisbane, but it won’t matter as he won’t be PM after the election.”
Palmer said the May defence white paper said it would not proceed with such a move due to the huge cost and challenges involved.
“$6 billion has been estimated to be the cost of this fruitless manoeuvre,” Mr Palmer said.
“Strangely, there’s been no comment from Mr Abbott on this and Mr Rudd seems more concerned with his hair than in developing sensible policy.”