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Clive Palmer in another stoush

Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer Chris Ison

SUNSHINE Coast resort owner Clive Palmer has given the State Government 28 days to explain why a competitor beat him to a major rail project.

The billionaire mining magnate is furious that his company Waratah Coal lost to GVK-Hancock in to build a rail corridor to link the Bowen and Galilee basins with the Abbot Point coal terminal.

His lawyers wrote to Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Jeff Seeney this week asking him to explain the decision.

Mr Palmer said that if the response he received was not valid or in the interests of Queenslanders he would seek a judicial review of the decision through the Supreme Court.

Mr Palmer says he has put $100 million into the project.

He has  suggested there could be a perception of a conflict of interest over the rail project decision.

David Moore, who served as a chief of staff to Mr Seeney when he was in opposition, had returned to his role as a lobbyist and GVK-Hancock was a client of Mr Moore's company, Mr Palmer said.

But Mr Seeney said the decision was entirely above board and was made after the government took Crown Law and other advice.

Mr Seeney said he would respond to Mr Palmer when he was ready, accusing the LNP's biggest donor of trying to use his party connections to win favour with the government.

Premier Campbell Newman and Mr Seeney have also accused Mr Palmer of trying to use improper influence to gain approval for his $2.5 billion tourism project at Yaroomba.

Mr Palmer bought the Hyatt Regency Coolum, dumped the Hyatt brand and renamed the resort the Palmer Coolum Resort.

He has proposed a massive development which would include him funding the $400 million expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport to make it an international facility.

But he is also seeking to build 1000 hotel rooms on dunes on the beach at Yaroomba - sparking protests from local residents and environmentalists.

Mr Palmer has promised to go to the people of the Sunshine Coast over his plans, distributing a brochure and gaining feedback before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the project.

Plans also include a water theme park, monorail, sky needle, aquarium, convention centre and casino.

Topics:  clive palmer jeff seeney state government sunshine coast


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