“The ones that get here, allow them to be processed” … Clive Palmer on asylum seekers.The billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer was the star turn at yesterday’s Liberal Party federal council meeting. But the Queenslander lost his bid to ban party office holders from working as paid lobbyists, journalists or fund-raisers – widely seen as a move on party officers Alexander Downer, a former minister, and the former senator Santo Santoro. (A vote was hastily brought on without Mr Palmer being present.)
Still, the Palmer show went on, including this curious quote about his fellow mining billionaire Gina Rinehart: ”There was a time I couldn’t get on page 3 of The Courier-Mail because I wasn’t a pork chop.”
“Here, tick this box and everything will be fine. And hallelujah this looks like a Stalinist opportunity, really, where everyone gets up and hails the party leaders.”
On asylum seekers
The federal government’s position on not issuing visas to asylum seekers fleeing Indonesia fuelled the people smuggling trade.
“We can say ‘you can buy a ticket if you believe you’re a refugee and you can come to Australia in normal transport at one tenth the cost’. The ones that get here, allow them to be processed; the ones that are not legitimate, send them back on the next flight.”
On his weight
“I have been criticised for being too fat. I hope you notice that I’ve slimmed down.”
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