Cracks appear to be forming in the Palmer United Party, with Senator Jacqui Lambie saying she no longer cares what leader Clive Palmer thinks, telling him to stop “backflipping” and “sitting on the fence”.
In an interview with the Nine Network, the outspoken Tasmanian politician said she would be voting down all Abbott government legislation “in protest” until defence personnel were given a bigger pay rise.
The Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal signed off on a below-inflation pay deal this week, with a 1.5 per cent increase for defence’s 57,000 full-time uniformed personnel and 20,000 reservists and the loss of some leave days and allowances.
“It’s getting to the point where I just don’t care what Clive Palmer’s position is on this at the moment – but if he had a conscience he’d stand right beside me and our troops and our veterans,” Ms Lambie said.
“It’s getting to the point I just don’t care what Clive Palmer’s position is on this at the moment – but if he had a conscience he’d stand right beside me and our troops and our veterans,” Ms Lambie said.
“Clive Palmer can no longer sit on the fence, he’s either standing by me or he’s standing near the Liberal National Party but I’m not going to stand around and watch Clive Palmer back flipping.”
“That’s my own silent protest. I’ll be voting against that at every opportunity.”
Ms Lambie was previously a member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and has made the treatment of veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder a cornerstone of her political career.
This is not the first time Mr Palmer and his senator have disagreed on an issue, with the PUP leader distancing himself from Ms Lambie’s comments last month that the burqa be outlawed.