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international community. Our most important trading partners and our main allies must know that they can count on Australia. Our defence forces need to rearm and redeploy the best technology to meet Australia’s defence needs. Our army, navy and air force personnel are Australians and valuable members of society. We cannot take their service to the nation and disregard them as Labor and the Liberals have done for the last 20 years. Palmer United will introduce retrospectively the linking of all service pensions to the male total Average earnings. Palmer United will expand all gold card benefits to peacekeepers. Gold card benefits will be automatically delivered to the spouses of all veterans for the term of their life. Palmer United has, and will have in government, a sole Minister responsible for veterans’ affairs. We need to revitalise our industries and their structure. Not by subsidies but by proper restructuring with government leadership. If we take the car industry, for example, Gillard told us that Australia couldn’t compete because China had 220,000 units of production but Ford only had production runs of 40,000 units, Holden 90,000 and Toyota 90,000 units. So on the face of it the car industry was dead but Labor would continue to pour cash into a failing industry. Money is not the solution, nor substitution for leadership. If the prime minister shows the leadership required to bring the three manufacturers together to establish a super car manufacturing plant that could produce 220,000 units and compete internationally, then Australia may have a sustainable industry without ongoing never-ending government handout. Japan has become the world’s third largest economy by processing Australian resources. Wages in Japan are higher, the cost of energy is more expensive and Japan suffers from the tyranny of distance. Yet Australia sells its mineral ores at $40 – $200 a ton and Japan sells final products at up to $20,000 a ton or more. To create jobs, generate more government revenue, along with a stronger balance of payments, the Australian government needs to encourage the use of the mineral resource wealth of Western Australia and Queensland to support downstream manufacturing in states and territories that don’t have those resources, such as New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. This will create jobs, increase our exports and provide greater revenue and a rising, rather than declining, standard of living for all Australians. Higher export revenue means better education and health services for our people. Regional Australia is the forgotten Australia by all political parties, as are Tasmania and the Northern Territory. We need to support regional Australia by reintroducing a zonal taxation system. This will provide an incentive to decentralise Australia and maximise the delivery of services to regional Australia. It will provide the incentive regional areas need to ensure that regional hospitals have doctors, and that regional industries develop for the benefit of their communities and all of Australia. We have to end the discrimination against rural industries and give them the means to compete internationally. The Australian Government needs to support Australian industries and ensure that all of its policies are for Australia first. We must encourage Australians to buy Australian produce, and the labelling and packaging regime needs to be changed so that Australians know clearly what products are Australian. If the product contained in any package or container is not at least 95 per cent Australian product then it will not have a green and gold classification and labelled Australian. Anything less should have a red label and be marked as foreign. The Palmer United believes 25 per cent of the wealth generated from regions in Australia must be returned to that region so that the wealth can be reinvested in the region that generated such wealth. The Palmer United Party believes that lobbyists should be excluded from holding official positions in political parties. Lobbyist firms often employ former ministers from both political parties and big business can get policy changes by paying money to such firms to represent their views. This represents a serious conflict of interest and undermines the value of individual member’s voting rights and the democracy that Australians have fought for. Lobbying mixed with political parties undermines Australians’ right to vote. A Palmer United team will legislate to restrict the role of lobbyists in directing political parties. The Palmer United Party will scrap the carbon tax, not from when we are elected but from when the tax was introduced. 218 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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