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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Letter from Clive Palmer Sunday, 8 May 2016 I do not support the development of professional politicians. I believe that Parliament should be a forum where citizens serve and bring the benefit of their life experiences, whatever they are, to the important issues of the day for the benefit of the Nation. I will now set down matters I raised in my final speech in the House of Representatives. As I leave the house, I am the longest serving Federal Leader in the 44th Parliament of any political Party which in itself evinces the temporary nature of service in Parliament. Now, at the end of the 44th Parliament, it is time to reflect on what our party has contributed to the national debate and what our achievements have been. Unfortunately, politics relies on attacks on individuals and not on sound policy discussion. Rather than endlessly attacking individuals in Parliament, debate in Parliament should focus on the agenda for the nation. Personal integrity is an important quality that needs to be at the very heart of public service. Any person seeking public office must realise that it is not about him or her but about service for the greater good. All members must repress their own personal interests for the benefit of the nation and the citizens of Australia who elect them and put Australia's interests before their own. Campbell Newman, as Premier of Queensland, in one day, sacked 15,000 people from their jobs and was seeking to destroy our democratic institutions including the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP). I remember a mid-level health department manager in her late thirties. She was single and decided to have a baby. Her baby was born prematurely and she was in post-natal depression when she received her termination notice at the hospital. I provided $250,000 to Mission Australia to help people in situations like her. Premier Newman attacked me for doing so and said I was disloyal to the LNP. Many senior public servants experienced great personal and financial hardship. Newman could have reduced the size of the Public Service if he had stopped recruitment and allowed reduction by natural attrition over a year to kick in for a much lower cost. Newman was determined however to inflict as much pain and hardship on citizens and their families as he could. To me that was not acceptable. Newman was seeking to destroy the LNP and the National Party element of it in a final act of revenge on the party. I had no choice but to act against him. I was at the time a Life member of the LNP and had joined the National Party over 40 years ago. I was the youngest Life Member of the National Party ever, being made a Life Member of the Party at the age of 38. I was the former official Spokesman of the Party at the 1986 election and was active when the National Party gained power in its own right in 1983. I had been a member of the Central Council of the National Party for over 15 years and I had to do what I did regardless of the consequences and oppose Newman at every opportunity and regardless of the personal cost to me or my life. I could not stand by and allow Newman to destroy Queensland and its institutions. I had made a lifelong commitment to Queensland and the conservative side of politics. When it was clear to me that Newman had no regard for the rights of individual citizens and families, I had to act. The truth is that Newman sought to destroy the LNP and the community and create his own cult. I had to first make him less popular than the party he led and the first opportunity to do that was the 2013 Federal election. On the 5th July 2013, the Palmer United Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission as a political party to contest the 2013 Federal Election. The party had been formed to contest the election and to hold the Government xvi The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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