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But, you know what, at the end of the year, the Government still gets the $70 billion. We haven't had to borrow anything, we still balance our budget, the numbers still add up. So this is what we can do in Australia. We've got to remember today, interest rates are only about 2.5 per cent. So your official interest rate, when they brought in provisional tax, it was closer to 20 per cent, so it was more important for the public servants and the guys at Treasury to protect their jobs to grab the money out of our businesses and to zap it so we can't compete. But you try starting a small business and looking at the number of bankruptcies in this country. The Australian Government is the number one petitioner of bankruptcies and liquidations in Australia; that makes sense doesn't it? In the United States they have a structure where Chapter 11 allows business to keep on going, people maintain their jobs and it can be bought by others. In Australia we just wind up our companies. And what happens to our people? They all end up going on Centrelink or they all end up having no hope for the future or for themselves. That doesn't make sense to me. So, I believe we need to have a lot of economic activity to stimulate our domestic economy. Today, I stood in Parliament House and I took the oath and I can truly say that I'll do all that I can to serve the Australian people and endeavour to make their lives better. Thanks very much. Applause QUESTIONS FROM THE ASSEMBLED MEDIA COMPERE: Thanks very much Clive Palmer, we have a large number of questions from our press gallery members. First question from Simon Cullen. SIMON CULLEN: Clive Palmer, Simon Cullen from the ABC, thank you for your speech. You spoke in there about how you'll hold the balance of power in the Senate. So, I'm just wondering how you will find, as leader of your party, dealing with the Government, particularly Tony Abbott? If you could just describe your relationship with him, are you on talking terms at the moment? Have you recovered since that infamous blue you had in that Melbourne restaurant last year? CLIVE PALMER: Well it wasn't in a Melbourne restaurant; it was in a private room. But, Tony never hit me, so it wasn't too hard to recover from that one. But, I haven't spoken to Tony since he was on his mobile to me after that, endeavouring we should be friends. But I take it as a very friendly act, the fact that he adopted our policy on lobbyists. I think at that time he may have had a different view and that was, I think, because his president and vice-president, you know, were lobbyists and he was only the Leader of the Opposition. By him being in Government gives him a lot more authority and ability to act, and he didn't waste time in acting. So, I think political courage in politics is a very rare commodity, and Tony Abbott showed great political courage by doing that. It's not something that you would have seen Kevin Rudd do, and I think all of us as Australians, whenever our political beliefs are, don't agree we should miss lobbyists with heads of our political parties and chief ministers. So I admire Tony for what he's done. But I haven't had personal discussions with Tony at any time since that time, but many members of the Cabinet, many members of the Liberal Party have been people that I've worked with for over 30 or 40 years, who I know as personal friends and I don't think I have any problem communicating with people. It's not about Tony Abbott, it's not about Clive Palmer. You know, I don't really matter in politics as a person. What really matters is what we stand for and the ideas and what we can do for the country. So, we've got to lift our game in the media and elsewhere in the debate of this nation and focus on what we want to deliver. COMPERE: Next question's from Jacqueline Maley. The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 223


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