Corruption allegations against Clive Palmer have been referred to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission by the deputy premier over allegedly dodgy approaches by the mining magnate to buy political support.
Jeff Seeney alleges that shortly after the LNP’s landslide victory in 2012 Mr Palmer sought special treatment for his western Queensland mining investments.
“Clive Palmer wanted specialist treatment on the basis that he had been a supporter of our government, he wanted to bypass the proper processes and we weren’t prepared to do that,” the deputy premier told the ABC’s 7.30 Queensland program.
Mr Seeney has denied reading a bill concerning activity in the Galilee Basin, allegedly drafted by Mr Palmer who has significant interests in the area.
“I didn’t read it of course because I rejected his approach immediately, but he explained to me that this was a draft bill that would give him the exclusive right to build a port and a railway and have control of the Galilee Basin,” Mr Seeney told the ABC.
“He believed he should have that in exchange for the support that he’d given in the past in getting elected.
“I rejected that completely and so I didn’t even read it, I pushed it back across the table and told him that that wasn’t the way we would be doing business, we would do business through the proper processes.”
Neither the CMC nor the police were told at the time but Premier Campbell Newman was, Mr Seeney said.
During his interview on the ABC Mr Seeney said, “I think I should have reported it at that stage.”
“But at the time it was a case of just rejecting that sort of approach and saying this is the way we are going to do it,” Mr Seeney said.
The once strong relationship between the conservative party and the Palmer United Party leader has soured drastically, with Mr Seeney previously calling Mr Palmer a crook under the cover of parliamentary privilege.
The deputy premier reckons the colourful businessman bought Liberal National Party defectors Alex Douglas and Carl Judge in 2012.
“He couldn’t buy this government, he couldn’t buy us, so he bought the member for Gaven and he bought the member for Yeerongpilly and started his own party,” Mr Seeney told parliament on Friday.
Mr Newman and Mr Palmer are also set to square of in court, with Mr Newman launching a legal defence against Queensland’s most prominent miner, who is suing him for defamation.
The premier in April damaged Mr Palmer’s reputation by claiming at an media conference he was “a guy who tried to buy … my government,” he says.
Mr Newman’s lawyers say the comment was in the public interest and will allege Mr Douglas and Mr Judge received “substantial gifts” from Mr Palmer and his companies to switch allegiances to the Palmer United Party.