Palmer United Takes Federal Focus to Achieve Even More for Australians

Media release

The Palmer United Party announced that today it would no longer contest state elections in order to concentrate on achieving more for Australians at the federal level.

National director Peter Burke has confirmed that the Palmer United Party would contest all seats at the next federal election and move its focus away from state elections.

“The party executive has decided, in consultation with our many thousands of members, that the federal platform is where we can achieve more for Australians moving forward,’’ Mr Burke said.

The party’s federal leader and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, said the Palmer United Party had received great levels of response and interest for House of Representative positions at the next federal election.

“We are confident of fielding very strong candidates from a wide section of the community and all walks of life to continue achieving excellent outcomes for all Australians at federal level,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“We believe Federal parliament is where the Palmer United Party can make the most valuable contribution so that is where we will be focussing our attention in the future.

“Our significant achievements to date and ongoing activities show that the Palmer United Party can make a major positive difference to the lives of Australians and that a vote for any Palmer United Party federal candidate is a valuable investment in Australia’s future, not a wasted vote,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Since entering federal politics, the Palmer United Party and Clive Palmer have:

  • Ensured that a long promised $4.9 billion commitment to upgrade the Bruce Highway has become a reality;
  • Ensured that the Palmer United Party policy of lobbyists not holding executive positions within political parties was adopted by the Abbott government at their first cabinet meeting;
  • Ensured that the federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, rejected an American company’s takeover bid for the Australian company GrainCorp, by: speaking out on the issue, rallying federal parliament cross-bench support against the proposal, and in particular, introducing a Private Member’s Bill into parliament requiring the Treasurer to reject the bid;
  • Ensured the Sunshine Coast Hospital was not sold to a private operator;
  • Ensured the Sunshine Coast was declared a drought area by the Queensland Government in March 2014, following weeks of inaction despite record breaking conditions;
  • Become a member of two key House of Representatives Committees: the Standing Committee on Economics and the Infrastructure and Communications Committee;
  • Introduced a Private Member’s Bill into Parliament to establish the Australia Fund to assist communities and businesses in times of natural disasters and market failures
  • Opposed the inhumane treatment of, and economically costly policies towards, refugees and asylum seekers, which have been adopted by both the Government and Opposition;
  • Campaigned for reform of the Australian Electorate Commission and electoral procedures – criticisms which were vindicated by the AEC’s loss of 1,370 WA Senate votes (and the need for a new WA Senate Election, the very critical Keelty Report of the investigation into the loss of those ballot papers, and evidence of multiple voting by individuals in many electorates around Australia;
  • Opposed undemocratic surveillance and telephone tapping of Australian citizens and overseas Heads of State and their families by Government organisations – this campaign included his first Parliament Question to the Prime Minister on the issue
  • Campaigned for the immediate upgrade of Sunshine Coast infrastructure, including the Maroochydore Airport and the duplication of the railway line to Brisbane;
  • Negotiated an alliance between the PUP and Senator Ricky Muir from the Australia Motoring Enthusiasts’’ Party (AMEP) to support each other on relevant matters coming before the Senate;
  • Called for pension increases, particularly to former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families;
  • Sponsored an amendment to Government Legislation to fairly index DFRDB pensions for all recipients not just those 55 years of age and older;
  • Campaigned against the Newman Government’s ‘slash-and-burn’ economic strategies which are creating great misery, unemployment and lack of opportunity for many Queenslanders;
  • Campaigned against the Newman Government’s undemocratic laws, which strike at all citizen’s rights and their freedom of association;
  • Called for fairer a distribution of GST revenue to the States by the Federal Government;
  • Effectively campaigned in the Western Australian Senate re-election to ensure the election of a third Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator – Dio Wang, thus achieving the ‘balance of power’ in the Senate;
  • Championed the case for increased payments to single mothers and their children, who are facing poverty;
  • Welcomed, on 1 July 2014, the three new PUP Senators to the Australian Senate;
  • Opposed the Federal Government’s intention to cease payments to orphans of members of the Defence Forces killed in action through the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme, (a requirement of the Government’s proposed abolition of the Mining Tax);
  • Campaigned to keep Qantas Australian-owned and opposed the payment of any subsidies to the airline;
  • Campaigned against the introduction into Parliament by the Federal Government of anti-democratic criminal related legislation;
  • Been awarded the ‘Good Samaritan of the Year 2013’, by the national organisation “Good Samaritans” for his continuing contribution to the community;
  • Opposed the generous pay rises granted to Queensland politicians, describing them as an insult to the people their representatives are meant to be serving;
  • Spoken out against the Federal Government’s unfair 2014-15 Budget and highlighted the broken election promises within the Budget;
  • Exposed untruthful arguments regarding a debt or budget crisis in Australia;
  • Opposed a number of unfair and unnecessary Budget measures including; the $7 Medicare co-payment, increases to Higher Education costs, increasing the pension age, imposing a debt tax, reduced funding to the ABC, reducing welfare spending, and cutting public sector jobs;
  • Spoke with hundreds of Fairfax electorate constituents at Community Forums held at Palmer Coolum Resort over the weekend of 28-29 June;
  • Established a Palmer United Party Canberra Office;
  • Donated his Parliamentary salary to over 160 local Fairfax charities and community-based organisations;
  • Ensured the repeal of the carbon tax, but, through successful negotiations with the Government and amendments to the legislation, ensured that all savings to electricity and gas providers must be passed on to consumers and specifically itemised in future energy bills;
  • Opposed the Government’s attempt to repeal the rise in the income tax-free threshold from $18,200 to $19,400 (scheduled to commence from 1 July 2015);
  • Ensured new financial advisor reforms, but, through successful negotiations with the Government and amendments to the legislation, achieved unprecedented levels of consumer protection and advisor accountability;
  • Ensured the Climate Change Authority will not be abolished by the Government;
  • Ensured the Clean Energy Finance Corporation will not be abolished by the Government:
  • Ensured the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will not be abolished by the Government;
  • Ensured the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will not be abolished by the Government (at least before 2016);
  • Ensured Qantas will remain in Australian hands (majority shareholding) and not be subject to foreign control;
  • Ensured increases to fuel prices (through automatic two-yearly CPI indexation) will not take place;
  • Voted to ensure that the Commonwealth Government cannot provide financial incentives to Queensland and other State Governments to sell public assets (Asset Recycling Fund bill);
  • Voted to repeal the Mining Tax subject to the retention of the School Kids Bonus, Low Income Super Contributions, and the Income Support Bonus – Government is currently re-considering its position on these issues;
  • Voted to ensure that Australian jobs in the offshore oil and gas industry will not be lost to foreign workers (Offshore Resources Activity regulation);
  • Voted to ensure that cuts to university equity programs, research grants and training schemes (through the Higher Education Efficiency Dividend) will not take place;
  • Opposed the Government’s requirement for unemployed Australians to apply for 40 jobs a month;
  • Opposed Government moves to close down childcare facilities at Parliament House;
  • Drafted three members of the Northern Territory governing Country Liberal Party to leave the Government and sit in the NT Assembly as PUP members;
  • Offered condolences to all families who lost loved ones in the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 disaster and called on the Government to require all airlines to not fly over war zones or areas of armed conflict; and to provide passengers with a copy of the route to be taken by their flight, including the countries over which the aircraft is flying;
  • Spent less taxpayer entitlements than most of his Parliamentary peers;
  • Ensured the repeal of the mining tax, but, through successful negotiations with the Government and amendments to the legislation, ensured that all savings measures attached to the bill would not commence until 2017;
  • Ensured the Income Support Bonus remains until 31 December 2016;
  • Ensured the Schoolkids Bonus remains until 31 December 2016, but with a means test so that only families with an income of up to $100,000 per year would qualify;
  • Ensured the Low Income Super Contribution remains until 30 June 2017;
  • Ensured higher take home pay for employees by limiting the compulsory super rate increase to 10% from 1 July 2021 and by 0.5% per year from 1 July 2022 until 12% is reached;
  • Achieved Government support for a Palmer United Party Private Member’s Bill for a Parliamentary Joint Committee to investigate the establishment of an Australia Fund to assist Australians effected by natural disasters and adverse economic events;
  • Achieved Government support for a Joint Select Committee to enquire into any measures to further boost Australia’s trade and investment performance;
  • Successfully negotiated with the Government to deliver a package of climate change policies incorporating a Direct Action fund and a review by the Climate Change Authority of the need for/requirements of an Emissions Trading Scheme.
  • Ensured the climate change agreement specifically included:
  • Giving more power to the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC),
  • Extending the duration of contracts for carbon credit projects through the $2.5b Carbon Reduction Fund,
  • Prioritising initiatives for improving building and street lighting, energy efficiency for low income households, transport emissions reductions, and
  • Enhancing the role of and increase resources for the Climate Change Authority.
  • Been selected (in conjunction with the PUP Senators) in the Number Two position in the annual Australian Financial Review (AFR) ‘Power Index’, behind only the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.
  • Been awarded the GQ Magazine Award for Agenda Setter of the Year;
  • Achieved landmark changes to the Government’s refugee and asylum seekers’ policies;
  • Ensured the Government will stop transferring boat arrivals to July 2013 from Australia’s mainland and Christmas Island detention centres to Nauru or Manus Island for offshore processing;
  • Gained the Government’s guarantee to move all 1,550 detainees, including 32 unaccompanied minors and 436 children and their families, currently on Christmas Island to mainland Australia for processing;
  • Re-established Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs);
  • Created the new Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), which is available for up to 5 years to those found to be refugees, and:
  • allows them work and study rights,
  • requires them to live and work in designated regions to fill regional job vacancies,
  • allows them to apply for other on-shore visas such as family, skilled and student visas, after 3.5 years of not accessing welfare, and
  • would not be subject to a capping of numbers by the Minister.
  • Ensured that Australia’s refugee intake will increase by 7,500 places;
  • Ensured that asylum seekers currently in Australia on bridging visas gain the right to work until their claims to refugee status are processed;
  • Voted with the Government to ensure that companies can seek intervention by the Fair Work Commission before industrial action takes place if a strike will have a significant economic impact on the national economy;
  • Voted against Government proposals to de-regulate universities, thus ensuring that Government contributions to universities would not be reduced by 20 per cent forcing students to pay significantly higher fees;
  • Voted with the Government to ensure passage of the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (resolving the Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014, delivering the outcomes as outlined above;
  • Forced the Government to drop a Budget proposal to impose a $7 GP medical co-payment on all Australians;
  • Assisted a most-deserving family in Fairfax, who have been in the local community for seven years, to apply for Ministerial Intervention in order to stay in Australia;
  • Voted with the Government to introduce a more efficient and tax-effective research and development framework for Australian companies;
  • Ensured a second variation of the Medicare co-payment proposal was finally scrapped by the Government;
  • Re-iterated his call for urgent reform of Australian food labelling to safeguard consumers, keep profits at home and protect local jobs, following a serious Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries imported from China;
  • Re-affirmed PUP support for renewable energy and the full Renewal Energy Target (RET) in a media conference with former Liberal Party Leader, John Hewson, and the head of Small Business Australia, Peter Strong;
  • Exposed the inconsistencies in the Government ‘debt and deficit emergency’ argument and the Intergenerational Report, by highlighting the Government’s own “Why Australia Benchmark Report 2015”, which confirms that:
  • in the years 1992–2014, in developed economies, Australia has the world’s fastest growing GDP, with no years of recession over that period (unlike most of the rest of the world);
  • Australia’s debt level of 16.6% of GDP in 2015 was one of the lowest in the world – well below the 74.1% forecast average for Advanced Economies (the German debt level was over 300% more than Australia’s);
  • Australia’s productivity had gone from the 100% base in 1991 to over 150% in 2014, while at the same time real unit labour costs had declined by more than 10%;
  • Campaigned for Australia to become a foundation member of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank;
  • Voted with the Government and Opposition to support anti-terrorism and serious crime legislation in relation to retention of metadata (after requiring a series of changes and a specific warrant safeguard for journalists;
  • Supported a Senate Inquiry into the Nauru Detention Centre;
  • Ensured that Government cuts (of $25.5m over two years) to domestic violence legal centres, Indigenous and community legal services and legal aid commissions, announced in the last Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook), would not go ahead.