Palmer funding kept PUP in the spotlight
DESPITE mass sackings less than three years ago, Palmer Coolum Resort still managed to donate more than $2.2 million to the Palmer United Party coffers in 2013-14.
That was one of the more surprising revelations after the Australian Electoral Commission released its 2013-14 annual financial disclosure returns on Sunday.
The inner workings of the party were made clearer, with Clive Palmer and his associated companies responsible for more than $25m of the $28m-plus worth of funding PUP received.
While Mr Palmer did not return the Daily's calls yesterday, PUP's Queensland state leader John Bjelke-Petersen said he suspected all politicians, as he was, were not privy to the amounts donated and where the money had been sourced from.
"Where the money comes from is all dealt with by the party directors," Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.
"We're not supposed to have that information."
The AEC disclosure reports documented the full extent to which the man who minted his own self-portrait emblazoned coin had propped up the party which has failed to win a seat this election. Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd donated more than $15m to PUP while Mineralogy Pty Ltd dumped over $8m into PUP accounts.
The embattled Palmer Coolum Resort, which had seen mass staff sackings since 2012, and in February last year was reportedly suffering losses of up to $500,000 per month, somehow managed to fork out more than $2.2m to aid the cause of Mr Palmer and his team.
University of the Sunshine Coast political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens said it was a rarity to see a party funded in such a manner. "It's very unusual to see that happen," Ms Stevens said.
"It's pretty much a phenomenon of the self-named party, although we're not seeing the Katter Party do this ... it's a Palmer thing.
"I don't think we'll be seeing it again in a hurry."
While PUP's deputy state leader Jeremy Davey said he had expected the party to pick up at least one seat in Queensland, Mr Bjelke-Petersen denied PUP had simply run a hate campaign against Campbell Newman.
"We had a grudge against the policies that they (LNP) had," Mr Bjelke-Petersen said. "It's a load of crap (that you have to sell assets)."
Ms Stevens was not convinced Clive Palmer's dispute with Campbell Newman had not played a role in PUP's campaign.
"He (Palmer) certainly was motivated by a dislike of Newman," she said.
- Palmer United Party political party disclosure return for 2013-14 showed total donations of $28,827,604 of which:
- Palmer Leisure Australia Pty Ltd donated $90,283
- Palmer Coolum Resort donated $2,285,849
- Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd donated $15,216,476
- Mineralogy Pty Ltd donated $8,238,691
- Clive Frederick Palmer donated $101,833