Federal leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, said rational arguments rather than threats were required from Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie if she was serious about helping her party achieve the best outcomes for the ADF.
“I am amazed why Jacqui Lambie is being such a drama queen when the Palmer United Party unanimously supports the ADF and opposes the Government’s proposed pay structure,’’ Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer said he was concerned about issues being raised by Senator Lambie who at no time had raised the ADF pay issue in the party’s proper forum.
“Like all political parties, Palmer United makes policy in its party room where Senator Lambie has always been encouraged to bring any proposal forward to the group. She has never brought a proposal forward,’’ he said.
“It is inexplicable why she feels she doesn’t have her colleague’s support. Criticizing her party colleagues or me is against party procedures,’’ Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer said it was Palmer United Party policy to vote in a bloc unless on certain social issues where Senators were allowed a conscience vote.
“Myself, Senator Wang and Senator Lazarus have all issued statements supporting increased conditions to our ADF, we have no disagreement on this matter,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“We aren’t prepared to give a blanket threat to vote against the Liberal Government for the next five years. No such proposal has been considered in our party room.
“Senators’ wages are paid with tax payers’ funds and I would remind Jacqui Lambie that she was elected as a Palmer United Party candidate and should simply follow party procedure.
“Her individual vote is insignificant unless she joins as a team in our bloc and, on the issue of ADF improvements, this can be achieved.”
Mr Palmer said Senator Lambie seemed focused on her own quest for power rather than properly representing Tasmanians.
“It’s not what Jacqui Lambie thinks is important or Clive Palmer for that matter, it’s what we can do for the community that’s important,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“Threats to the Government will have the opposite effect as will any threats made to Palmer United Senators. The alternative is simply putting rational arguments to the party meeting.
“She is being advised by a chief of staff who has no experience in federal politics,’’ Mr Palmer said.