Clive Palmer has lashed out at those who have criticised him while insisting he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks because he has $4 billion in the bank.
In a fiery interview, Mr Palmer has also urged Australians not to listen to public opinion polls and argued his United Australia Party could be running the country after the upcoming election.
“We know what the real figures are and we will be there on the 18th of May and there will be a new government in Australia,” he told Nine’s Today Show on Monday.
The mining magnate is running for the Senate in Queensland, while his United Australia Party has candidates for every lower house seat.
“Why do you think we’re standing in 151 seats across this nation? Because we intend to win.”
Polls have consistently shown Labor the most likely to be sitting on the Treasury benches after the election, with the latest giving Mr Palmer’s party just five per cent of the vote.
Mr Palmer claimed the Newspoll was inaccurate, saying it didn’t show 28 per cent of Australians were undecided about who to vote for.
In fact, the poll stated just four per cent of voters were “uncommitted”, although it excluded those from the primary vote tally.
Labor has been trying to discredit the “tosser” and “con man” after the Liberals struck a preference deal with Mr Palmer’s populist party.
Among Labor’s complaints is that Mr Palmer still hasn’t paid $7 million in workers’ entitlements after his Queensland Nickel refinery collapsed in 2016, while spending nearly $50 million on election advertising.
Taxpayers picked up a $70 million tab for his stranded workers, but they are still owed some entitlements.
Mr Palmer said on Monday the $7 million would be available to the refinery workers through a trust managed by a solicitor from Tuesday. Previously he said it would be paid after the election.
Labor’s Anthony Albanese has also cast doubt on Mr Palmer’s performance when last in federal parliament, as Member for Fairfax between 2013 and 2016.
“(He’s) a bloke who last time he was in parliament couldn’t be bothered voting on legislation most of the time and who fell asleep in Question Time,” he told Sky News on Monday.
Mr Palmer labelled the personal attacks “fake news”.
“Let’s face it, I’m a bad person. I’m a bad person,” he said sarcastically.
“Who cares about me? We care about this country, and the policies we need to get done.”
But the comments aren’t getting the billionaire down.
“My wealth is $4000 million. Do you think I give a stuff about you personally think or anyone else?.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports at least 19 United Australia Party candidates have submitted incomplete or inconsistent information to the Australian Electoral Commission.
A party spokesperson said all candidates were eligible and compliant under section 44 of the constitution, but did not explain why they had not completed the checklist.
Section 44 led to a number of parliamentarians being deemed ineligible to do their job in the previous parliament.