BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has called on LNP backbenchers to revolt against the Queensland Premier, his deputy and the Treasurer claiming they are dishonest and are planning to introduce ‘‘disturbing’’ legislation.
As the open warfare continues between Mr Palmer and the party he was life member of until he was suspended last week, the businessman has pledged to continue his financial support of the LNP while calling for the dismissal of Premier Campbell Newman, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
‘‘Dishonest people occupy executive positions in the state and something needs to be done to remove them,’’ he said in a brief press conference at the Brisbane headquarters of his mining companies.
‘‘I know that the majority of members of the backbench of the LNP are honest people, many of them are religious people who have a sense of morality in doing the right thing.
‘‘I’m sure they’ll take the appropriate steps over the next two weeks to resolve this issue for the benefit of all Queenslanders.’’
Mr Palmer claimed the LNP had endorsed all sitting members in the government party room this week and criticised the move, saying it was decision for all LNP members, not just those in government.
‘‘As a life member of the LNP I take exception to these things because they undermine the very fabric of political parties in this state,’’ he said.
‘‘They undermine the checks and balances the Fitzgerald Inquiry brought about.’’
The mining magnate said the LNP MPs had also voted to change funding rules so electoral chairmen would be able to collect party donations directly instead of the money going through the party first.
‘‘I take it as a move from a particular lobbyist to take control of the state for his business activities,’’ he said.
‘‘You’ll have to join the dots but I’m sure they will be announced pretty soon.’’
Mr Palmer would not put a figure on how much money he was planning to donate to the party, saying it would be ‘‘as much as it takes to ensure the survival of the LNP as an organisation’’.
‘‘I’m not particularly concerned as my position as a member or not a member of the party, I’m concerned about its financial viability to ensure that illicit funds shouldn’t be flowing about in exchange for approvals or anything else,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s a number of disturbing acts and bills that are being prepared by the government that threaten the liberty and good government of all Queenslanders.’
Despite calling in lawyers last week to fight his membership suspension, Mr Palmer said he had not begun preparing his defence for the party meeting on November 23 and did not think any action was going to be taken against him.
‘‘I’ve just got faith,’’ he said.
‘‘Faith is something you can’t define, something you can’t see, I’ve got faith everything will be OK.
‘‘I’ve got faith in everyone, in the LNP organisation.’’
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said former LNP leader Lawrence Springborg may be the only one who could keep the party together.
“It’s always interesting when Clive does a press conference, but once again the LNP [are] just ripping themselves apart,” she said.
Ahead of the news conference, he had handed out a four line statement to journalists to "reaffirm" his commitment to the party.
‘‘Despite the activities of Campbell Newman, Jeff Seeney and Tim Nicholls, the LNP and its policies remain the best hope for Queensland,’’ Mr Palmer said.
‘‘We shouldn't blame the organisation for the sins of these three individuals who have acted dishonestly and against the interests of all Queenslanders.’’
Mr Palmer said he still supported the party both morally and financially as it "struggles to free itself" from Mr Newman, Mr Nicholls and Mr Seeney.