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The Palmer United Party voted to ensure that the Commonwealth Government could not provide financial incentives to Queensland and other State Governments to sell public assets (Asset Recycling Fund Bill) and to ensure that Australian jobs in the offshore oil and gas industry would not be lost to foreign workers (Offshore Resources Activity Regulation Bill). By seeking to amend the legislation, the government was facilitating the employment of foreign workers in the offshore resources industry. The Palmer United party’s effective opposition to this policy ensured that Australian jobs in this sector would not be lost to lower paid foreign workers. Palmer United ensured new ideas and common sense solutions to a large range of policy issues were introduced into the Federal Parliament. Through the determination and hard work by Clive Palmer, the party achieved Government support for a Joint Select Committee to enquire into measures to further boost Australia’s trade and investment performance. The party’s continuing work also delivered higher take home pay for Australian employees by limiting the compulsory superannuation guarentee rate increase to 10% from 1 July 2021 and by 0.5% per year from 1 July 2022 until 12% was reached. The Palmer United Senators voted with the Government to ensure that companies can seek intervention by the Fair Work Commission before industrial action takes place if a strike will have a significant economic impact on the national economy and also to introduce a more efficient and tax-effective research and development framework for Australian companies. Clive Palmer also strenuously campaigned for Australia to become a foundation member of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank. He also became a member of two key House of Representatives Committees: the Standing Committee on Economics and the Infrastructure and Communications Committee. At the local level, after securing the largest swing of any Federal election, Clive Palmer worked to ensure that a long promised $4.9 billion commitment to upgrade the Bruce Highway became a reality. This allocation of funding was provided soon after his election and immediately following his discussions with relevant Federal Ministers. He also campaigned for the immediate upgrade of Sunshine Coast infrastructure, including the Maroochydore Airport and the duplication of the railway line to Brisbane. The Maroochydore Airport expansion has now had environmental approval and is very close to construction commencing. Mr Palmer can take substantial credit for this project, long neglected by successive State and Federal Governments, finally becoming a reality. Electoral Reform In a key speech at the National Press Club in February 2014, Clive Palmer delivered a famous address highlighting his concerns with the electoral process in Australia he identified a number of key issues for further investigation by the Joint Standing Committee on electoral matters. Clive also campaigned strongly for reform of the Australian Electorate Commission (AFC) and electoral procedures. His criticisms of the commission were downplayed at the time by his political opponents but were vindicated by the AEC’s loss of 1,370 Western Australian Senate votes (and the need for a second WA Senate Election), the very critical Keelty Report of the investigation into the loss of those ballot papers, and evidence of multiple voting by individuals in many electorates around Australia. The Palmer United Party also provided a lengthy submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which highlighted these and other issues including the need for electronic voting, photo identification of voters and the use of pens instead of pencils. Regrettably, illness prevented Mr Palmer from personally appearing before a committee hearing in Canberra to elaborate on many of these issues but he was ably represented at this hearing by his Chief of Staff. The party was successful in its campaign in the Western Australian Senate re-election with the election of a third Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator - Dio Wang, which delivered the ‘balance of power’ for the Palmer United Party in the Senate. The government required support of the Palmer United Party to ensure that any legislation opposed by the Labor and Greens opposition was passed. 64 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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