Clive Palmer: Bet you a million, I will be elected
SUNSHINE Coast resort owner and mining magnate Clive Palmer has offered journalists a million dollar wager that he will be the next Member for Fairfax after September 7.
"I will bet you a million dollars now I will be the Member for Fairfax after the next election,'' Mr Palmer said during a Google Hangout hosted by Fairfax Media.
"If you have a million dollars put it on the table,'' the billionaire challenged.
The host of the debate said he clearly did not have a million to wager.
Mr Palmer then suggested Fairfax Media should cough up for the challenge.
"Ask Fairfax for it,'' he said.
The Fairfax host said his bank manager would allow a $100 personal wager.
Mr Palmer spent much of the discussion attacking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, saying they were boring, devoid of ideas, had no business experience, and were more interested in their 'hair' and physique, respectively.
He also launched another attack on the Murdoch media, saying it was controlled by foreign interests and had backed Tony Abbott.
Mr Palmer also took at swipe at Mr Abbott's paid parental leave scheme, saying it would benefit the wives of Liberal Party lawyers on $150,000 a year who stood to gain $75,000 a year while real working women would get much less.
He said the Palmer United Party had been ignored by the mainstream media, despite launching more candidates than either the Labor or Liberal parties.
The party, which will host its national launch on Sunday at the Palmer Coolum Resort, has 150 candidates.
Mr Palmer said his first priority if elected would be to combat the horrendous infant mortality rate among Aboriginal children, which he said was worse than that in third world countries.
He said it was appalling that Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott failed to address the issue.
"If they don't care about children dying in this country, they don't care about your children,'' he said.
Mr Palmer expressed optimism he could become Prime Minister despite opinion polls showing Mr Abbott was on track to win the election.
The PUP leader said the polls were 'corrupted' and rigged by News Corp, under the direction of Rupert Murdoch.
He cited online polls, which are far less reliable, for showing he had support to win Fairfax and Fisher on the Sunshine Coast, while attacking a Sunshine Coast Daily phone poll which put Ted O'Brien as the clear front-runner in his seat.
Mr Palmer claimed his supporters had been 'hung up on' when contacted by the Daily during its phone poll.
But he was happy to cite other Daily online polls which gave him '82%' support for what he was doing with the Palmer Coolum Resort with the addition of dinosaurs and antique cars.
Mr Palmer said he would serve the full term in Fairfax, if elected, even if he did not become Prime Minister.
When asked if he was still confident of being PM on September 8, he said: "I can't see any reason why I won't be.''
Mr Palmer said he could not say how much he was throwing at his election campaign but said it was not significant in terms of his $1.4 billion turnover.
"My wife looks after all of the money,'' he said.
But he defended his lack of women in the executive ranks of his companies, saying there were some women who did not want a corporate career, but wanted to raise a family, like his own wife.
"I think women hold up half the sky. Tony Abbott may have a problem with women but I don't.''
Mr Palmer said Australia needed a real alternative to the two party system.
"There is a need in this society to stimulate debate. You know how boring Kevin Rudd (and) Tony Abbott is.''
"People across this nation have had a gutful.
"They are going to rise up on polling day, you wait and see.''