Clive Palmer has only cast one vote on legislation since winning a seat in the Lower House last year, as well as two votes on minor issues, according to The Australian.
Palmer, who has at times been too busy to attend parliament, is the leader of the Palmer United Party, which could hold the balance of power in the Upper House after securing a third Senate seat at the weekend.
The Australian’s report says there have been 102 votes or divisions in the 33 working days since the 44th parliament began sitting in mid-November last year. The legislation he did vote on was a repeal of the Labor’s minerals resource rent tax.
Palmer said he would become a full-time politician after he won his seat, but also said he didn’t want to “sit in a box” and do nothing, when he could be doing something useful for his Sunshine Coast electorate.
With its three Senate seats and a deal with the Motoring Enthusiast Party, the Coalition could be forced to negotiate with the PUP to pass legislation through the Upper House that is not supported by Labor and the Greens.
While his official stance on several issues remains unclear, we know he wants to make the carbon tax repeal retrospective, keep benefits for the children of war veterans at risk of being cut, carve out a bigger share of the GST for Western Australia and prevent legislation that allows a larger foreign stake in the national carrier Qantas.
Palmer has also been critical of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme.
There’s more here.
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