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Clive Palmer takes parting shot as he retires from politics

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Clive Palmer has taken a shot at his critics, and the media, as he announced he would not recontest his parliamentary seat at the upcoming election.

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The billionaire businessman told parliament today he would not run again in his Queensland seat of Fairfax.

It comes just days ahead of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s expected visit to the Governor-General seeking a July 2 election.

Palmer won the Sunshine Coast seat by 53 votes in 2013, bringing with him three Palmer United Party senators – two of whom have since quit his group.

“We need to have courage to let go and move on,” he said.

“I believe I have the courage today to leave the House of Representatives, satisfied with what Palmer United Party has done and knowing it would have been a different Australia if we hadn’t stopped the 2014 budget and the Newman Government in Queensland,” he said.

Parliament should not be a forum for “professional politicians”, but rather people devoted to public service, he said.

“Unfortunately politics relies on attacks on individuals and not on sound policy discussion,” Mr Palmer said.

“I’ve been continually personally attacked over the last three years by a centrally controlled media … which is a danger for democracy.”

The main attacks had related to his private businesses.

Mr Palmer’s term in parliament has been dogged by controversy surrounding the collapse of Queensland Nickel, a company he acquired from BHP Billiton.

During the speech, coalition MP Ewen Jones – who represents the Queensland Nickel-based city of Townsville – heckled Mr Palmer and held up a sign which read: “Where is QNI workers’ money, Clive?”

Mr Palmer said he had personally offered millions of dollars to keep the refinery open, but the offer had been rejected.

The Palmer United Party would contest the Senate in every state, he said.

However, he did not say whether he would be one of its candidates.

He said he would make an announcement regarding PUP’s West Australian Senate team, which is likely to include Senator Dio Wang.

AAP

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