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provided by the Parliamentary Library in Canberra, the total amount of money paid each year in LISC in the forward estimates was $797 million per year. This directly benefited a total of 3,702,050 of the lowest paid workers in Australia. Palmer United stood firm as the government tried to make every person under the age of thirty, who received unemployment benefits, wait six months before receiving those benefits. What would this have done to those most in need? Not only did Clive Palmer stand up for these people, he ensured that the Government’s absurd requirement for unemployed Australians to apply for 40 jobs a month to receive their benefits was scrapped. Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party Senate team forced the Government to drop a budget policy to impose a $7 per unit GP co-payment on all Australians. The party was also successful in ensuring that a second variation of the Medicare co-payment proposal was also scrapped by the Government. Regrettably, a Palmer United Party proposal to the government to means test any proposed co-payment was rejected. A key policy of the Palmer United Party was to increase Australian pensions, particularly for former Australian Defence Force personnel and their families. The government positively responded to this approach by introducing legislation which included a more fairly indexed pension for Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefit (DFRDB) recipients over the age of 55. The Palmer United Party wanted to amend this bill to include all DFRDR citizens, not just those aged 55 or older. Regrettably, this amendment was not accepted, but the improved legislation was passed. Palmer United opposed the Government’s attempt to repeal the rise in the income tax-free threshold from $18,200 to $19,400 (scheduled to commence from 1 July 2015) and opposed Government moves to close down childcare facilities at Parliament House. Palmer United also ensured that Government cuts (of $25.5 million over two years) to domestic violence legal centres, Indigenous and community legal services and legal aid commissions, announced in the 2014 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook), would not go ahead. These were milestone outcomes in Australia’s political history. The Environment & Climate Change Palmer United was instrumental in helping to ensure the Australian environment is protected and that vital agencies which assist with the development of clean energy and oversee emissions around the country survived. Whilst the Abbott led coalition government was hell bent on abolishing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Climate Change Authority and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Palmer United Party stood firm and ensured these agencies remained. Regrettably, despite strong opposition from Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party, the governments original Renewable Energy Target (RET) was reduced as a result of a backroom deal with the Labor opposition. Notwithstanding this, as part of the overall agreement between the Palmer United Party and the Minister for the Environment, the Government directed the Climate Change Authority to investigate the viability and potential of an Emissions Trading Scheme and its possible introduction in Australia. These crucial negotiations also enabled a further billion-dollar investment into renewable energy under the Turnbull led coalition to take place. Palmer United successfully negotiated with the Government to deliver a package of climate change policies incorporating a Direct Action Fund and a review by the Climate Change Authority of the need for, and requirements of, an Emissions Trading Scheme. The party was also successful in assisting the Government to repeal the carbon tax. Abolition of the carbon tax The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 61


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