Clive Palmer looks set to win a seat in Federal Parliament, but he will not be giving up any of his business interests.
In an interview with the AFR, Palmer said he could manage any conflict of interest by removing himself from discussions.
“Of course I won’t be. I’m not going to be doing that and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to. The whole concept is totally wrong,” he told the newspaper.
“What I would expect is the same restrictions and controls on members of Cabinet as applies to company directors. If an issue comes up you leave the room.”
Incoming MPs traditionally step back from their private sector interests, though Palmer’s stance does not come as a a surprise.
He has investments in coal, iron ore and nickel mines, as well as tourism and infrastructure ventures. He will need to declare his businesses on his pecuniary interests statement.
While the former property developer turned mining magnate only registered his Palmer United Party two months ago, several colourful outbursts during the campaign kept his name in the headlines.
Before Australia went to the polls, in a heated interview on Channel Nine he said he was going to sue Rupert Murdoch, and accused the media mogul’s ex-wife Wendi Deng of spying for China.
Palmer, who is building a new version of the Titanic and whose Coolum resort contains a collection of life-size robotic dinosaurs, has not won his Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax yet.
With more than 76% of the votes counted, Palmer had won about 28% of the primary vote yesterday, though preferences are expected to get him over the line against Liberal National Party candidate candidate Ted O’Brien, who had 40.92%.
He has said if he does not win he will take the Australian Electoral Commission to Court, accusing it of bias in a recount which he claims he was not told of.
“They didn’t let us know but they started counting again on Sunday, and they didn’t let our scrutineers go in there at all or tell us about it,” he told The ABC.
“We’ve just sent our people down there now but he [LNP candidate Ted O’Brien] has got no chance of winning.
“But if he does win we will have to challenge it in the court of disputed return.”
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