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will think more about talented, dedicated journalists when they make their appeals for a proper working wage to support their families; that all publishers be more appreciative of the contribution they make. In that regard, I would recommend to Rupert Murdoch that he increases the wages of Hedley Thomas! Laughter Lest he seeks an alternative career and wants to write a book. Though some would say he's not a foreign correspondent, the things he's been writing about me lately are certainly foreign to me. In 2013, about eight weeks before the federal election, the Palmer United Party was registered by the Australian Electoral Commission. Its aim at that time was to stand 150 candidates to contest all seats in the House of Representatives, and to stand Senate teams in all States and Territories of the Commonwealth. All members of the press in all States of the Commonwealth said it couldn't be done. What's more, the Palmer United Party wouldn't win any seats in the Federal Parliament. They were wrong; and that's the reality of it. Unfortunately in 2013, some people find it difficult to be wrong, and more difficult to admit they were once wrong. As a wise man once said, an error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. So, rather than examine what the facts and the reasons for what's happening to the nation, many focus on individuals, on personalities, demeaning comments about those who have merely offered themselves for public service and have been elected by the people of Australia. Australians have the right to be right, and they have the right to be wrong, and that's what we call democracy in this country. At the last election, the Palmer United Party won 5.5 per cent of the voting population in Australia, it became Australia's fourth largest political party in votes, and in membership it's much higher than that. Tony Abbott only became the Prime Minister of this country because the Coalition received the preferences of the Palmer United Party. And, we found in the first decision of the Cabinet one of our policies for the election was implemented when Tony Abbott moved to ban lobbyists from holding official positions in political parties. If we achieve nothing else, we achieved one of our main goals, and that was a great contribution to the honesty and integrity of this country. The Palmer United Party outpolled the National Party who only received four per cent of the vote, yet it has the Deputy Prime Minister. The Palmer United Party elected one member of the House of Representatives, me, and three other senators, only to have the AEC lose the ballot boxes in Western Australia, and to deny Dio Wang his election. Palmer United Party, together with the Motorists, holds the balance of power in the Senate after next year. And after the next Western Australian election, our polling is showing we'll win two senators in Western Australia. And I know, if you recall what you thought when I was here with Bob Katter two months ago, you might start to consider that as a real possibility, such is the disgust with the people of Western Australia at the performance of the AEC and having to go back to the polls again. In the seat of Fairfax in Queensland, Palmer United received the largest swing of any party in the nation's history, 50.3 per cent. That had never been done before and people said that we couldn't do it as a party. Today the party has thousands of members throughout the Commonwealth and has experienced seven million hits on our website since it was established near eight weeks before the last federal election. Our polling today, which we've completed in all states of the Commonwealth, shows that we have over ten per cent support, and that's recent. And if we consider the recent Murdoch Newspoll that showed their ‘others’ category being at 12.4 per cent, yet they still won't list our name for some reason. We found out in polling why this was, because it was nearly twice what we received at the election and many people said that they didn't think we'd be elected, that they didn't think we'd have Members of Parliament, that they didn't want to waste their vote; so they didn't vote for us. They know that's different now, because they know I'm in the House of Representatives and there were five seats in the House of Representatives that we would have won if we had 1,000 or so more votes. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 221


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