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interests you have to put up which I do and I have never had any conflict and I have never gone for any approval from the Australian Government for anything, so I haven’t found that too difficult. SR: Does there come a time when you just don’t have enough time when you just don’t have enough hours in the day? You seem to have a lot of things. Can you do everything that you really need to do and not end up letting either your electorate down or letting your businesses down? CP: Well, I get up about, well I go to bed about 8:30 and get up about 2am. From 2-7am when I was more active in the business, people would be texting me things and I could make decisions, yes or no, and text back. I might do five hundred texts between 2 and 7 in the morning. Why I’m been as successful to the extent as I have been is that I can make quick decisions and a lot of people can’t. They have to analyse things frightened that they can’t do that but that’s not one of my traits. I can normally deal with the days decision making from 2-7 in the morning and I am free to serve the country. SR: What about your own electorate? So you’re a first time politician in an electorate you are in a party that is not in government or opposition. What is that you have actually been able to do for your own electorate? CP: Well we have done a lot of things for Australia which has had benefits for them and all the things we have done has been a reflection on what they have said to us such as the carbon tax, kept the Climate Change Authority, we’ve kept the RET, we’ve kept ARENA all those things wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t there. We’ve got through to Direct Action with the Government, we’ve moved 15 amendments on that to make it a better package than they had previously. We’ve kept the school kids bonus, we’ve kept low income super, we’ve eliminated the mining tax, and we’ve eliminated the carbon tax. All of those things are unusual for such a small party to play a key role in doing those things. We’ve resolved the refugee case load of thirty thousand people; we’ve got 1500 people off Christmas Island we have brought in Safe Haven Enterprise Visas for people that can go to parts of Australia and get a job and work that didn’t exist. We’ve improved the Australian government’s bottom line by about 5 billion dollars in doing that and so all of that has a benefit for our electorate. But of course, in June we had Fairfax day at our resort in my electorate and I know that one of the other parties had another function the day before us, a sausage sizzle and they got 56 people. We got 42 thousand of our 80 thousand voters turn up at my resort for Fairfax Day where we had political forums and we had interface with each other and some of the things surprised me because we had up to 600 to 800 people interested in being political aware. To me it is not important if I get re-elected or not, it is important that we do the best we can for the community so to stimulate the debate I thing is a good thing and right across the country where I go, people see that we’re stimulating a debate and ideas. You can’t always be right about things and there is no shame about be wrong about some things. You know people are too sensitive, they have to win the situation. What we want to do is stimulate debate and get the right answers, not concentrate on the problems but concentrate on solutions. SR: And do you think you will run again? CP: Well if the people of Fairfax want me to run again, I will run again. We will see how things develop over the next 2 years but you know we formed our party 8 weeks before the last federal election and I got a 50.3% vote in Fairfax which anyone would say was unusual. I don’t think people expected us to win a seat in the House of Representatives on our first outing and we held 3 senate seats across Australia (QLD, TAS and WA). Nationally we got 5.6% of the vote. The National party only got 4%. We’ve got over ten thousand members across Australia so we have made an impact and we have had the balance of power in the Senate. That’s a lot to do in our first year as a Party and we have only really been in the Senate for six months. SR: So if we can talk briefly about the Party, I am interested in where you see the Party fitting in the Australian sort of poetical context of history. We have had the Australian Democrats and the DLP, we’ve had a lot of parties that have almost been there they have started to make a mark and they have tended to still get drifted away. Do you see your party as a long term party? If so where, does it fit in the political spectrum? What is your ambition for it? 244 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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