"They’ve blown up the website": Palmer says interest is high
POLITICAL aspirant Clive Palmer says interest in his new party has been so great the group's website crashed over the weekend.
The billionaire miner announced on Friday he was reviving the United Australia Party and would himself stand in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.
He even went as far as declaring his goal was to replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard in The Lodge.
Mr Palmer said the party already had the requisite 500 members to register the party.
"I'd like to just issue a quick apology. I'd just like to apologise to all those people that have gone to unitedaustralia.org and tried to log on to join the party, because they've blown up the website. That's how we're going," Mr Palmer said on Meet The Press.
"We don't publish our party membership numbers, neither do the Labor Party or the Liberal Party. But ... we'll be applying to the AEC next week, and we've got a sufficient number of people to do that, and that's the most important thing."
Mr Palmer said the UAP would press ahead with fielding candidates in all 150 lower seats as well as the Senate.
In terms of policies, he revealed social issues like same-sex marriage would be open to conscience votes, although he would not be drawn on his views on the contentious issue.
"Because I'm the federal leader of the United Australia Party, I don't want to influence anybody on the issue, and comment on that. That's our policy, everyone has a free vote," he said.
Mr Palmer also confirmed the onshore processing of asylum seekers would be one of the party's "main policies".
A long-time critic of offshore processing, Mr Palmer said it made no sense to spend "$5 billion ... blockading Australia".
Mr Palmer also said the UAP executive would decide which way the party directed its preferences.
"The Liberal Party and the ALP have not made those decisions, nor have they published them. They normally make those decisions, all the major parties do, when the nominations have closed, and they can see who the candidates are, and we'll be much the same," he said.