‘Flu-like symptoms force Palmer to cancel election policy speech

Businessman and political aspirant Clive Palmer has cancelled an address to the National Press Club due to illness.

Feb 22, 2022, updated Feb 22, 2022
Clive Palmer's coal project were vetoed while Whitehaven's was given the green light  (AAP Image/Darren England)

Clive Palmer's coal project were vetoed while Whitehaven's was given the green light (AAP Image/Darren England)

Palmer was due to deliver a nationally televised address on Tuesday but a spokesman said he was suffering “flu-like symptoms” and had received medical advice not to travel.

“It is hoped Mr Palmer’s address will be rescheduled for another time prior to the federal election,” the spokesman told AAP.

Palmer is the United Australia Party candidate for the Senate in Queensland, with his party seeking seats in the upper and lower house at the upcoming federal election.

Last election he spent more than $80 million on advertising, which is expected to be replicated in the lead up to the 2022 poll.

Yet current cabinet ministers seem unconcerned with Palmer’s suspected spending spree, saying an election win won’t be bought by billionaires.

Cabinet Minister David Littleproud says it’s unfortunate Australia has reached a stage of “chequebook politics”.

“We have billionaires wanting to run this country from the sidelines – whether it be Clive Palmer, (Simon) Holmes à Court, (Mike) Cannon-Brookes – spending billions of dollars trying to shape this country,” he told reporters on Monday.

“The only people that shape this country are the electors … it will always and should always be the domain of the Australian people in which to make that determination.”

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But Minister Littleproud says there is no need for reforms to political advertising rules because the current system ensures transparency and accountability.

“If an Australian wants to invest their money – so long as the Australian people know who’s cutting the cheque – I have no issue with that,” he said.

“I think that so long as the Australian people get to make the final determination, then that’s a good thing for our democracy.”

Palmer has previously committed to running UAP candidates in all 151 lower house seats and will himself run as a senate candidate for Queensland.

He is attempting to enter the upper house after a stint in the House of Representatives between 2013 and 2016.

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