22 May

CLIVE PALMER ON ABC TV’s Q&A

Clive Palmer was a guest panellist on the ABC’s popular Q&A program recently, bringing ideas, insight and wit to the panel.

He was joined on the panel by Christian Porter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; Nakkiah Lui, Playwright; Jason Clare, Shadow Communications Minister; and Jennifer Hewett, Political journalist.

The panel discussed Joe Hockey’s future, age pension changes, childcare package, Clive and the LNP, Struggle Street, services and job creation, as well as the UN climate change hoax.

15 May

Clive Palmer’s response to the 2015 Federal Budget

Clive Palmer’s response to the 2015 Federal Budget

At a special function in Canberra this week, Clive Palmer delivered his response to the Abbott Government’s second budget. His speech picks apart the budget, just as he did last year when he dismantled the debt myth peddled by the government, forcing them to admit eventually that the economy was in much better shape than they suggested. Below is a transcript of Clive Palmer’s speech on Budget 2015.


Men and women of Australia,

We meet today in a country known for its strength, among people known for their resilience, and we find our nation in need of both, strength and resilience.

The main issue facing Australia today is not just balancing our budget, but what Australians can do to regain Australia’s status as a lucky country.

The Liberal and Labor parties are devoid of ideas. Governments may rise and fall, prime ministers may come and go, but ideas go on forever. Australians want to know – Australians need to know – how their life can be better; how their life can be improved for their families. Not in 30 years’ time, but in our time, now.

Domestic demand is at an all-time low; interest rates are at an all-time low. Not because the economy is doing well, because there is no economic demand. Because our economy is spiraling down and shrinking and our people hold their savings in fear.

People are suffering in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, in the Hunter in New South Wales and Elizabeth in South Australia, Perth, all through Tasmania and the territories. Australians have lost hope in the future. We have to re-establish confidence and lead the nation, not tomorrow, but now.

Australia needs a revolution in the way we think, the way we boost the wealth of the economy not for ourselves, but for all our citizens. We have to re-establish confidence. Not tomorrow, but today. I will examine some of the things we have been able to achieve in parliament.

I will then set the truth free and tell you what the real state of our country is and how our performance compares with the world.

Government finances are different from the state of our economy; the truth will set you free.

Then I will outline what we could become and what we could achieve for everyone in this country.

We are all on ‘Struggle Street’ together and it’s our country and our responsibility to do all we can to make better the lives of all our citizens.

Palmer United’s achievements in 2014/15
• Stopped the GP co-payment
• Stopped changes to universities
• Stopped 10 billion dollar cuts to social security
• Freed over 436 children and families from detention
• Freed 1,500 people in total from Christmas Island
• Resolved over 30,000 cases in detention
• Introduced the (SHEV) Safe Haven Enterprise Visa
• Saved the low income super for over 2 million Australians
• Kept the school kids bonus
• Kept low income support
• Reduced electricity prices by 10 % Australia wide
• Made 15 changes to Direct Action in Senate Amendments
• Passed Direct Action
• Saved the Climate Change Authority
• Saved the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
• Saved ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Authority)
• Saved RET Renewable Energy Target
• Fixed pensions for all veterans and ex-servicemen and women over 55
• Stopped Campbell Newman
• Set up 3 parliamentary inquiries into: –
– Trade Investment and Growth
– Australia Fund
– Qld government
• Abolished carbon Tax
• Abolished mining tax
• Introduced the Bill on the Foreign Death Penalty
• Protected maritime workers jobs
• Proved that Government and community debt was not a problem for Australia
• Cabinet adopted our policy to ban lobbyists from party positions
• Stopped GrainCorp Bill and introduced Private Members Bill
• Electoral reform – pens instead of pencils
• Kept Qantas Australian owned
• Stopped changes to income tax-free threshold
• Stopped financial incentive to sell public assets
• Saved Australian jobs in offshore gas industry
• Stopped slashing of university research grants

Australia 2015

Economic Resilience – real GDP growth.

Over two decades of uninterrupted annual economic growth, the Australian economy remained resilient; sustained by sound macro-economic policies, strong institutions and continued demand for hard and soft commodities from Asia.

Australia is the only developed economy to have recorded no annual recessions during the past 23 years, placing it alongside high-growth economies such as China and India.

General government net debt – 2015

Australian Government debt is one of the world’s lowest.

In its October 2014 fiscal monitor, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the Australian government’s net debt would be 16.6% of GDP in 2015, well below the 74.1% forecast for advanced economies.

Actually, it’s only 14% of GDP, less than the 40% under Bob Menzies Government.

The low public sector debt reinforces Australia’s healthy financial position and sound economic credentials, and underpins its strong ratings.

Economic statistics – IMF net debt data. Global significance of Australia’s investment fund assets pool.

The world’s largest pool of funds under management – set for growth. Australia’s pool of Funds Under Management is the third largest in the world and the largest in the Asian region, according to the investment company institute’s worldwide mutual fund assets and flows data.

The global significance of Australia’s Funds Under Management and the maturity of its funds industry underscores its potential to further develop as a regional funds management centre.

Australia’s labour productivity and costs – 1991–2014.

Growth in productivity is outpacing labour costs. Australia has enjoyed a sustained period of labour productivity growth exceeding growth in real wages.

Over Australia’s 23 years of consecutive economic growth, labour productivity has recorded a compound annual growth rate of 1.8% per annum, while real unit labour costs have fallen by 0.5% each year. Australia has experienced particularly strong labour productivity growth over the past two years, with growth of 1.9% in 2012–13 and 2.6% in 2013–14. During this same period, real unit labour costs have broadly remained stable, indicating that the effective cost of labour has remained in line with productivity improvements.

Entry rates into tertiary education – 2012

Australia is a global leader for tertiary education entry rates. Australia has one of the highest entry rates into tertiary type-a education in the world at 102 per cent, including international students. This is well above the OECD average (58%), the USA (71%) and the UK (68%). Australia’s tertiary education entry rate is also much higher than Asian countries such as South Korea (69%), Japan (52%) and China (18%).

The high rates of tertiary education underpin Australians position as the number one developed country in terms of real GDP growth.

Foreign-born population

Australia is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the OECD. The availability of multilingual, culturally diverse and highly skilled personnel means Australia offers access to a workforce well equipped with the cultural understanding and language capabilities to service international businesses in their own languages.

Index of economic freedom world ranking 2014

Australia’s policies create an environment of economic freedom.

Australia ranks third in the 2014 index of economic freedom, a position held for the past six years.

The survey states that ‘openness to global trade and investment is firmly institutionalized, supported by a relatively efficient entrepreneurial framework and a well-functioning independent judiciary.

Australia has a strong tradition of reliable property rights protection, and the legal system is transparent and evenly applied’. It also states that Australia continues to benefit significantly from its transparent and efficient business environment, and open-market policies.

Size of key stock markets in Asia 2014

Australia has the second largest stock market in the Asian region. Australia is also home to the largest liquid stock market in the Asian region outside Japan.

It is the eighth largest in the world with total capital exceeding US $1.12 trillion in September 2014. Australia’s market capitalization of free-floating shares is greater than China’s US $1.06 trillion, double Hong Kong’s US $528 billion and around four times the market capital of Singapore’s at US $261 billion.

Australia’s projected superannuation Assets 2012–2033

Long-term pension pool growth supports future investment opportunities.

Australia’s $1.6 trillion superannuation system is the fourth largest in the world and is a major driver behind Australia’s globally significant funds management industry.

This pool of assets is expected to grow to $7.6 trillion or 180% of GDP over the next two decades. We don’t need to tamper with the pension. Australians provide for their long-term retirement on their own efforts.

To get Australia moving we need to stimulate demand.

Reducing company tax by 1.5% does not stimulate the economy. You have to make a profit before you pay tax. Because of low demand and limited money supply the problem is that small businesses are losing profitability. You have to create demand by increasing the money supply. People have to have money to buy goods and services for companies to make a profit and therefore pay tax.

Projected company tax receipts for 2015 will exceed 70 billion dollars. Instead of companies paying tax quarterly in advance based on an estimate, we need to let them pay it yearly. If we keep 70 billion dollars in enterprise’s hands for 12 months, we’ll boost this economy; we know that they can spend it better than government. Australians will create real demand and massive job growth and by doing so wipe off our deficits and make our economy stronger. If individual taxpayers spend 70 billion dollars during the year, even only once, the government gets 10% GST and gets more revenue based on more activity and more wealth creation.

That way we can have better hospitals, better schools and better service from our government. Why should companies pay their tax based on an estimate quarterly in advance on profits they may never make?

Why should the government keep that money in an account, why shouldn’t it be out there circulating in the economy, creating jobs for you, your family and enterprises, why shouldn’t we do that?…and as I said every time that 70 billion dollars is spent, the government gets an extra 7 billion dollars GST. And you know what? At the end of the year they still get the $70 billion as well. If the money just circulates four times before it’s paid to government. The government gets an extra $28 billion plus more group and company tax and pays less for unemployment benefits.

More hospitals, more schools, a rising living standard. Give Australia leadership; increasing our economy and revenue means we can make changes to make Australia’s life better. At current interest rate of 2%, that change will cost approximately $850 million a year in interest, but generate over $30 billion dollars for the nation without any long-term borrowing.

This increase in demand and activity will boost jobs, investment, and small business profits. It will stimulate the economy and create more jobs.

Spending money makes the world go around, creates wealth and makes the pie bigger for all of us to share.

The first $10,000 paid on a home loan each year should be tax deductible. Australians need the dream for every Australian of home ownership and it will make our houses affordable again and for our young people to have a goal to strive for and boost our employment. This will boost the construction industry, increase our home ownership and boost construction activity to satisfy demand, which in turn will increase revenue for the government. By growing demand and government revenue, we can reduce personal income tax by 15% for all Australians.

This will mean the average Australian tax payer will have $2500 extra in their pocket every year. An extra $50 a week. This increase in demand and activity will boost jobs, investment, and small business profits.

It will stimulate the economy and create more jobs. As that extra $2500 circulates in our economy, I estimate that if even ten times the government will get the same amount of revenue as they did from the tax cuts. But money will do what it does best by circulating, creating jobs, looking for the future and giving our citizens hope.

We know our citizens can spend money better than government. Creating more demand, jobs and government revenue every time it’s spent the government will get 10% GST.

For too long Australians have lacked incentive and confidence and felt they cannot help themselves.

We want to change that. We can ignite Australia if we work together.

Australians need incentive. Without incentive, there’s no growth in our economy. Our economy continues to decline, the revenue shrinks, and the government wants to close our schools, privatise our hospitals and turn people away. The lack of incentive for workers is a problem we face in Australia today. Industry must provide incentives for all who serve it.

Australian workers don’t have a second job because of the high rate of taxation. We need to give them an incentive.

Our pensioners are paid one of the lowest pensions in the OECD and their living standard is close to the poverty line. We can change all that if we stimulate our economy we can increase the old age pension by 20% or $150 per fortnight. This step will in itself stimulate demand and create jobs.

President Obama did it in the United States. Europe is stimulating its economy now.

We cannot tolerate Australians dying in the corridors of our hospitals. The cost of health care in the United States is 17% of GDP, still 60,000,000 Americans are not covered. In Australia, government spends around 9%.

We cannot desert the sick and the dying. Medical staff are overworked and hospitals inadequate.

Our medical staff is at breaking point. Australia needs an additional 80 billion dollars in funding for health in the next three years. In the days of Prime Minister Menzies our debts were around 40% of GDP which would still be only 60% of OECD average. We must do whatever needs to be done to fix health once and for all.

The Australian government is the main practitioner of bankruptcy and company liquidations across Australia as companies close, employees lose their jobs, the government loses group tax and people transfer from gainful employment to Centrelink, company taxes are destroyed and taxes to compensate continue to climb. Services spiral down in education and health have to be cut to protect the revenue. Let’s protect the Australian people and jobs.

Let’s protect what the country stands for.

If government stops driving business to the wall, this wouldn’t happen.

Australia needs to restructure the system, to keep the system going to keep people employed productively; to transfer people from gainful employment to unemployment just guarantees misery for all Australians. We need to have a Chapter 11 like they have in the US, when companies fail the business continues so that people and families keep their job.

As government services continue to break down and Australia heads towards a catastrophe, we think we’re helpless and we can’t do anything about it. But Australians can.

We need to provide more funding to education in this country. A free nation can rise no higher than a standard of excellence set in its schools and colleges.

Ignorance, illiteracy, unskilled workers, and school dropouts, these are the failures of an educational system in the past, that breed failures in our social and economic system, such as delinquency, unemployment, chronic dependency, a waste of human resources, a loss of productive power and purchasing, and an increase of tax supported benefits. The loss of only one year’s income due to unemployment is more than the total cost of 12 years education through a high school. Failure to improve our education performance is not only poor social policy it is poor economic policy.

At the start of the last century, only 10% of our adults had a high school education or a university education.

Today, such an education has become a requirement for an increasing number of jobs.

Palmer United will inject an extra $20 billion into the education system in our first three years of government.
It’s time to invest in ourselves.

If we don’t have confidence in ourselves, who will have confidence in us? We must educate our children, our most valuable resource.

We must make it possible for those with talent to go to university but only if those who are educated can find a job. That’s why our ability to compete internationally to expand our exports is so important.

We need to support regional Australia by introducing the zonal taxation system.

This will provide incentive to decentralize Australia and maximize the delivery of services to regional Australia. It will provide incentive in regional areas need to ensure that regional hospitals have a doctor, that regional industries develop for the benefit of their communities and for all Australians.

The Australian Government needs to support Australian industries and ensure that all of its policies put Australia first.

We must encourage Australians to buy Australian produce and the labelling and packaging regime needs to be changed so that Australians clearly know what produce is Australian.

Japan has become the world’s third largest economy by processing Australian resources. You know, the cost of energy is more expensive in Japan and Japan suffers from the tyranny of distance. Wages are also higher, yet Australia sells its mineral resources from $40 to $100 a tonne to the Japanese, they process it in Japan and sell it for $20,000 a tonne. They create exports in Japan, while Australians in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and even Western Australia go without a job or any hope for themselves.

The Australian government needs to take the leadership on this issue and provide that Australian resources are processed in Australia for the benefit of Australians.

Australia must ensure that minerals from WA and QLD are then processed in NSW, VIC, TAS and SA. We need a real manufacturing industry in areas where we have the economic advantage rather than exporting jobs to China and Japan.

95% of all Australians agree on the same thing, what’s good for them and their community, but Labor and Liberal spend a 100% of the time arguing about those things, creating disagreements and disunity in our country.

Causing division when Australian needs unity.

Causing disruption in our industries when we need a joint effort.

As a great man once said, in the final analysis, we are all mortal, we all live on this one small planet, we all breathe the same air and we all want a good future for our children.

When the ANZACs went overseas, they didn’t go as members of the Liberal party or members of the Labor party, but they went as Australians. We need to put the idea of a class war behind us and unite the nation.

This nation has the strength and potential to live out its heritage and to fulfil the dreams of the ANZACs, to return Australia to be a lucky country, we need to reunite the country to do what’s best for all Australians.

Thank you.

15 May

Glenn Lazarus Poor on Teamwork: Clive Palmer

Media release

Clive Palmer has criticised Glenn Lazarus’s decision to establish his own political party, saying the Palmer United Party defector had no idea about teamwork.

“Glenn Lazarus does not know what it is like to be on a proper team,’’ said the Federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax.

“He deserted the Palmer United Party, betraying all those who voted for our party and our many members who worked so hard to get their representative elected in Queensland,’’ he said.

Mr Palmer said he and Western Australian Senator Dio Wang were part of a team with Glenn Lazarus and were still together.

“Glenn Lazarus will be solitary figure who plays solitaire in his office all day long,’’ Mr Palmer said.

Mr Palmer said the Glenn Lazarus Team was being set up for the sole purpose of securing an income for his wife, Tess Lazarus.
“Team Lazarus will follow a tradition of sports related failures in politics like Mel Meninga and The Australian Sports Party in WA, which got less than 1% of the vote,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“What I and many Australians find most disappointing is a politician saying one thing before an election and then doing something entirely different once elected.

“Glenn Lazarus received only 6000 votes at the last election while the Palmer United Party received in excess of 250,000. He then deserts the team and the constituents who voted for it when it got too hot on the field.

“He chose self-interests and now chooses to have his own party using public funding,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“Too many politicians have their snout in the trough.”

Mr Palmer said Mr Lazarus was still to repay the $6 million that Palmer United spent on him being elected.

“Glenn Lazarus knows what was in the Party’s constitution and his obligations to the Party. He has showed himself to be unreliable and speaking with a forked tongue.

“The Australian public should be warned that Team Lazarus won’t help Australians but is designed to help the Lazarus family only,” Mr Palmer said.

ENDS

13 May

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.

ENDS

21 Apr

Lazarus Offside With Claims Against Palmer United Party

Media release

National director of the Palmer United Party Peter Burke said claims made by Glenn Lazarus in Fairfax media over the weekend were untrue and designed to damage the party.

“At no time did the Palmer United Party consider a proposal for its senators to join the Liberal Party, or any other party,’’ Mr Burke said.

The Palmer United Party is governed by a constitution and does not have the authority to do so. The party would never desert the Australians who voted for it or its party members.

Never has the Palmer United Party had discussions with the Liberal Party about a merger.

If there were any truth in what Senator Lazarus is saying, why would he wait three months to raise these allegations?

His comments are highly defamatory to the Palmer United Party and our leader and have been designed to cause damage.

“We will be undertaking defamation proceedings against Senator Lazarus over this matter,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said the future of the Palmer United Party is very bright. It has called for nominations for all House of Representative and Senate seats at the next federal election and received hundreds of nominations.

“The reason Senator Lazarus makes these accusations is because his wife Tess was sacked by the party.”

“There is no doubting the timing of Senator Lazarus’s defection from the party which came after Tess’ sacking as a result of her not doing her job.”

Mr Burke said Tess Lazarus was dismissed for spending her time writing speeches and questions for her husband instead of working on agreed party duties.

“After repeated efforts to have her engage in the correct party duties were ignored, the party had no alternative but to dismiss her,’’ Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said the Palmer United Party received more than 250,000 votes above the line at the last Federal Senate election and only 6770 votes went below the line to Glenn Lazarus, showing that voters clearly had put the party before any individual.

Senator Lazarus remains bitter but he is the one who betrayed all those who voted for the Palmer United Party and the party’s members who worked so hard to have their representative elected in Queensland.

Australians are sick of politicians telling them one thing before an election and then behaving differently once elected.

Our constitution requires any party representative who resigns from the party to refund money spent on their campaign, which so far, Senator Lazarus has failed to do.

We have written to Senator Lazarus demanding reimbursement of funds spent on his campaign but he seems to be obfuscating responsibility.

“His actions have been defamatory. I would expect more from a great Australian sportsman. I think the way he is acting puts him offside with the rugby league community,’’ Mr Burke said.

ENDS

18 Feb

Senate Inquiry into Queensland Government: Third public hearing to be held in Toowoomba on Thursday

Media Release

Palmer United Senator for Queensland and Leader of Palmer United in the Senate, Glenn Lazarus, today released information regarding the third of several public hearings to be held in 2015 for the Senate Inquiry into aspects of the Queensland Government Administration. Senator Lazarus is the Chairman of the Senate Inquiry and the spokesperson for the Inquiry Committee. Continue reading