28 April 2014
Clive Palmer threatens to sue the Queensland premier
Campbell Newman's claim Palmer tried to buy the government is 'defamatory and made for political purposes, says Palmer
'At no time have I ever offered the Newman government or any member of parliament any money or inducements.'
Clive Palmer says he will sue Campbell Newman over his claims the mining magnate tried to buy the Queensland government.
The federal MP says the premier's comments are defamatory. "At no time have I ever offered the Newman government or any member of parliament any money or inducements," he said. "At no time have I sought favours from the Newman government for anything. Campbell Newman's comments are defamatory and made for political purposes only."
At a media conference with Tony Abbott on Sunday, Newman accused Palmer of inducing three Northern Territory MPs to join his political party.
Newman said questions needed to be asked about what cash, jobs and financial support Palmer had offered the MPs to jump ship. "This is a man who tried to buy a government, my government," Newman said. "We said 'Go away'. We said 'We're not for sale'.
"I ask what inducements were offered to these three MPs? What promises, what inducements were offered to them to jump ship?"
Palmer said the comments were utterly false, and damaging to his integrity. "I will commence legal proceedings as soon as possible on these defamation matters, and there'll be no out-of-court settlements in these proceedings," he said.
Palmer said the Northern Territory Indigenous MPs Alison Anderson, Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwu had not been offered any inducements to join the Palmer United party. In fact, he said, they had initiated meetings with his party.
The three MPs quit the NT's ruling Country Liberal party early in April as a result of a rift between Anderson and the chief minister, Adam Giles, saying they wanted to create their own regional political party.
"These three members sought meetings with myself and our party and have since joined the Palmer United party with no inducements," Palmer said.
Comment have been sought from Newman.
Palmer's lawsuit would be the second defamation claim against the premier. The Hannay Lawyers principal Chris Hannay is seeking $500,000 in general damages from Newman and his attorney general, Jarrod Bleijie.
Hannay launched the case this year after the premier took a swipe at lawyers who represent outlaw bikies, saying they are part of the criminal gang machine. Hannay maintains the comments were clearly aimed at his law firm.