Party time for Clive Palmer
CLIVE Palmer is selling tickets to an "exclusive" lunch in Cairns this week to anybody with $49 and an internet connection.
The former federal MP and Queensland businessman is resurrecting his old party amid conflicting accounts as to whether he will run for politics himself.
Regardless, the United Australia Party is pushing ahead with its campaign in Cairns and will open an office sandwiched between a bicycle shop and a watch repairer on Sheridan St.
Mr Palmer will give residents a taste of his political masterplan at a lunch at the Cairns Aquarium's Aqualuna restaurant tomorrow.
A media release dubbed the luncheon as an "exclusive" event despite tickets being available online for $49-a-pop.
Mr Palmer said the tide was turning with residents becoming aware they were being ignored by the major parties.
"We need jobs and investment in North Queensland now," he said.
The outspoken and controversial figure has raided One Nation's pantry for his North Queensland team.
Sue Bertuch, Allan Evans and Jen Sackley, who ran for One Nation in last year's state election for Mulgrave, Townsville and Cook respectively, have jumped ship to the UAP.
Mr Palmer is yet to reveal his party's candidates but has coaxed a sitting member of parliament to join his team - another One Nation defector, Senator Brian Burston.
Away from the impending election, Mr Palmer yesterday announced his company Waratah Coal would build a $1.54 billion coal-fired power station in the Galilee Basin west of Mackay.
"I am putting my money where my mouth is by announcing this new station so we can power Queensland and help bring down energy costs which continue to escalate," he said in a statement.
More than 150 third-party creditors left out of pocket by the collapse of Mr Palmer's Yabulu refinery are still waiting to get the money they are owed.