Clive Palmer’s companies have pumped funds into his United Australia Party as he tries to topple Queensland’s Labor government at the upcoming state election.
The companies – Minerology, Palmer Gold Coast and Waratah Coal – have donated more than $80,000 to the UAP in the last two-and-a-half weeks, according to data from the Electoral Commission of Queensland.
Yellow billboards with the message “Clive says give Labor the boot” have been popping up across the state ahead of the October 31 poll.
Mr Palmer wants to assemble a coalition to oust Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government, saying the state’s economy is on a knife-edge.
“She’s hopeless …terrible,” Mr Palmer told the Sunday Mail.
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“Never believe that things can’t get worse.”
The businessman spent millions on political advertising during the 2019 federal election, particularly to attack Labor in Queensland, and it’s believed that partly contributed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s victory.
He’s also trying to build a broader anti-Labor coalition, but the opposition Liberal National Party has ruled out working with minor parties.
The LNP denied a Guardian Australia report that the two parties had struck a preference deal, with a spokesman telling AAP on Monday they had made “no deals with anybody”.
He added the LNP had previously introduced a bill against compulsory preferential voting into state parliament.
A UAP spokesman also told AAP no preference deals had been done, at this stage.
Mr Palmer said Queensland was in a bad economic position and the situation would deteriorate when the federal government’s JobKeeper payments ended.
“There is no real hope for people,” Mr Palmer told the Sunday Mail.
“Ten thousand people alone have lost their jobs on the Gold Coast.”