United Australia Party (UAP) leader Clive Palmer’s bid to re-enter politics has been dealt a blow by One Nation. Picture: AAP
United Australia Party (UAP) leader Clive Palmer’s bid to re-enter politics has been dealt a blow by One Nation. Picture: AAP

One Nation cripples Palmer’s politics tilt

TONY Abbott has hit out at an "absolutely shameless" Clive Palmer for spending millions on an election campaign while refusing to pay workers dudded when his Queensland Nickel refinery collapsed.

The former prime minister unleashed this morning, saying it was "just outrageous" for the billionaire businessman to be spending millions of dollars on month on his bid to be re-elected.

It comes as Mr Palmer's chances of claiming a seat in Parliament were dealt a crippling blow by Pauline Hanson today with One Nation vowing to preference the United Australia Party last at the election.

"I know that commercial freedom means that people within reason have got to be allowed to advertise but all of the money, I mean literally millions a month, are being spent at the moment by Clive Palmer," Mr Abbott told 2GB this morning.

"That's money that really belongs to the creditors of his bankrupt Nickel refinery, particularly the taxpayers and the workers.

"The workers who got dudded and the taxpayers who had to fund their redundancy payments.

"It's just outrageous. He's absolutely shameless this bloke."

 

Meanwhile Clive Palmer's battle with Pauline Hanson is heating up ahead of the federal election with both parties vowing to preference each other last.

It comes after One Nation accused the billionaire's United Australia Party of poaching its potential candidates for key seats.

Senator Hanson has told The Australian her party "could not in all good conscience consider preferencing Clive Palmer until he pays all of his former workers' entitlements", referring to the collapse of Mr Palmer's Queensland Nickel refinery north of Townsville which is said to owe $300 million.

Pauline Hanson says One Nation will preference Clive Palmer’s party last, crippling his bid to re-enter politics. Picture Kym Smith
Pauline Hanson says One Nation will preference Clive Palmer’s party last, crippling his bid to re-enter politics. Picture Kym Smith

The move could kill off any chance Mr Palmer has of making a political comeback in the federal seat of Herbert - the most marginal seat in the country and held by Labor's Cathy O'Toole by just 37 votes.

Mr Palmer hit back at One Nation's move, telling The Australian: "We'll be putting Pauline Hanson last."

United Australia Party (UAP) leader Clive Palmer hit back by vowing to preference One Nation last. Picture: AAP
United Australia Party (UAP) leader Clive Palmer hit back by vowing to preference One Nation last. Picture: AAP

The businessman and former politician told the publication he had already rejected an approach by One Nation for UAP preferences, which One Nation denied.

Mr Palmer has spent millions in political advertising already, including sending political text messages to voters across the country last week.

The texts attracted more than 3000 complaints.

One of the texts ironically promised to end political parties sending voters unsolicited text messages.

Read more at The Australian