News National Palmer and Turnbull dine out
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Palmer and Turnbull dine out

The government may be attempting to sway independents over banana-splits.
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Liberal Party frontbenchers have begun meeting with members of the Senate in an attempt to pass their hard-line budget through Parliament.

Billionaire Clive Palmer was spotted at a Chinese restaurant on Wednesday night with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Head of Treasury Mark Pinkinson.

Mr Palmer admits that Mr Turnbull invited him to dinner, but denies that there was any budget negotiation, according to a Sky News report.

Mr Palmer says his focus was on his caramelised banana split with coconut ice cream.

“That was the highlight of the evening for me, it was the focus of the night,” he told Sky News. “I’m a great connoisseur of food as you probably realise.”

“Otherwise we just talked about our children, about the fried rice. There was some discussion about the duck, a little bit about the chicken – that was about all,’ the Palmer United Party leader said.

Mr Turnbull told News Corp that the budget has been on the agenda during the dinner but refused to give any further details.

The government has been busy trying to secure the vote of independents in the Senate to pass their controversial budget.

Mr Palmer’s Palmer United Party holds the balance-of-power role in the Senate.

Tony Abbott met with several other independent politicians throughout the week, including Bob Day, the South Australian senator-elect from Family First.

Novice politician Ricky Muir from the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has refused to play ball with the government, declining a one-on-one meeting with Tony Abbott.

The 32-year-old father of five said that he didn’t have the time to meet the Prime Minister.

”He has to work for a living. He has a mortgage, he has to feed his family. He just can’t take time off at the whim of the Prime Minister,” said Keith Littler, the founder of the Motoring Enthusiast Party in a report by The Age.

On July 1, Mr Muir will swap his $500 a week timber sawmill job for the $190,000 salary of a senator.