Clive Palmer claims a stoush with the Tasmanian Liberal Party has reached a new low with its criticism of his spelling.
The Liberals have targeted the Palmer United Party (PUP) in their quest for majority government at the March 15 state election.
The latest barb came with the opposition pointing out a misspelling of Bass Strait – spelt “Straight” on PUP banners – as the mining magnate launched a fast ferry policy for Tasmania.
“That will change the Tasmanian economy – Clive Palmer can’t spell,” Mr Palmer told reporters in Hobart ahead of the PUP’s campaign launch on Sunday.
“What pettiness is all this bullshit about really?”
I’ve got over 200 cousins here living in abject poverty in this state.
Flying high in the polls, the Liberals are desperate to ensure 13 seats and majority government after ruling out a deal with any minor party.
Previous attacks from the opposition have linked PUP candidates to conspiracy theorists and characterised them as closet Greens.
Liberal upper house member Vanessa Goodwin has been almost daily releasing a “guide to PUP candidates” slamming the fledgling party.
“We’ve had full-page ads saying that I’m not yellow, I’m a green,” Mr Palmer said.
“Can you believe that I’m a Green?
The PUP pre-launch media conference was heavy on attacking politicians, and state leader Kevin Morgan raised eyebrows with his depiction of Premier Lara Giddings and the opposition’s Will Hodgman.
“Will Hodgman doesn’t know how to fix Tasmania’s problems,” Mr Morgan told reporters.
“That’s why we see him have photo opportunities instead of press conferences.
“Lara doesn’t know either.
“That’s why she lives with focus groups, pays more attention to her hair than the needs of the Tasmanian people.”
The reference to Ms Giddings’ hair was removed when Mr Morgan delivered the same speech to supporters.
Mr Palmer said party polling showed 20 per cent of Tasmanian could vote for the PUP.
He said policies to take the state back to policies “before the Franklin dam (was stopped)” were resonating with Tasmanians.
Cuts to payroll tax and stamp duty, forestry processing “hubs” and the development of a low-grade hemp industry were among the announcements at the launch, all to the tune of Little River Band’s song Help Is On Its Way.
Mr Palmer said his passion for the island state came from a family connection.
“I’ve got over 200 cousins here living in abject poverty in this state because of the policies of the current premier and I resent it,” Mr Palmer said.