Clive Palmer has made formal requests to the federal government to have his party designated a Parliamentary Party and allocated staffing numbers in line with the Greens.
In a letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the federal Palmer United Party leader and Member for Fairfax has requested that in the interests of fair democracy he designate the Palmer United Party a Parliamentary Party.
“As you know, the Palmer United Party in the Australian Parliament and its voting block consist of one Member of the House of Representatives and four Members of the Senate,’’ Mr Palmer said in the letter.
“The party is the fourth largest Australian political party based on the number of primary votes it received at the 2013 federal election. The party’s vote exceeded the vote of the National Party with Palmer United polling 5.6% of the national vote compared with 4% for the Nationals.
“In the election held in April for the Senate in Western Australia, the Party received 12.34% (a swing of 7.3%) of the vote, four times greater than the Nationals, and around 2.5 times the vote the party received at the 2013 election.
“It is clear millions of Australians support the party and it should be recognized as a Parliamentary Party in the interests of a fair democracy. The party is a registered political party with the Australian Electoral Commission. The party holds the balance of power in the Senate and consequently a significant position in the Australian political landscape.”
In a separate letter to Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne, Mr Palmer has requested the same government staffing levels allocated to the Greens due to their role in the balance of power.
As the Palmer United Party would hold the balance of power in the Senate from July 1, Mr Palmer said it was necessary for the party to have adequate staffing and resources to ensure smooth operation of Government.
He said the Greens presently had staff of approximately 13 allocated to the leader in addition to electoral staff.
“I believe it is necessary for the Palmer United Party, the party holding the balance of power in the Senate, to have the same,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“This will ensure the smooth operation of Government and help us to identify any issues that can be resolved earlier rather than later.
“The Palmer United Party has not been granted additional staff like other parties receive for their leader.
“Unless we are adequately staffed we will not be in a position to properly review and understand the Bills before the Senate and therefore will not be in a position to vote.”