Campbell Newman
Campbell Newman

Newman resists temptation to sink boot into Clive

THE State Government appears to have gone soft on Clive Palmer, failing to condemn the outspoken Federal MP over his controversial comments on China.

Even Premier Campbell Newman, who has previously slammed the Palmer United Party leader, turned down the chance to attack him over his comments on ABC's Q&A on Monday night.

It was there the mining magnate created a firestorm by labelling the Chinese Government "communists", "bastards" and "mongrels".

RELATED: HAVE YOUR SAY: Is Clive Palmer good for our reputation?

Clive Palmer acting like a buffoon with China tirade

Given several opportunities to speak about Mr Palmer's comments, Mr Newman ignored the questions completely during a press conference in Birtinya yesterday morning, instead spruiking his job creation campaign.

"Oh look, I'm focused on creating jobs in this state - that's what I'm about and I know that every member of my team wants to get jobs created on the Sunshine Coast, jobs created across Queensland and we're going to relentlessly focus on that," he said.

Pressed further on whether the PUP leader's comments could be a setback in enticing Chinese investment and tourism, Mr Newman, who is facing a defamation suit by Mr Palmer , again avoided the topic.

"Well we've worked very hard to get investment into this state so we can see jobs being created," he began.

When asked why he had shied away from criticising Mr Palmer, Mr Newman responded it was critical the government created jobs in Queensland.

Coast MPs - ministers in the Newman Government - toed the party line, either refusing to comment or spruiking their dedication to job creation.

Member for Buderim Steve Dickson said: "My focus is on creating jobs, delivering more infrastructure and better services for the people of the Sunshine Coast, not what Mr Palmer has to say."

Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said: "The Government is focused on creating jobs and strengthening the economy of the Sunshine Coast and Queensland."

The independent MP for Nicklin, Peter Wellington was not surprised by Mr Palmer's comments and the voting public would ultimately decide the MP's fate.

"He (Palmer) certainly makes a range of various comments," Mr Wellington said.

"We knew he was a bit of a loose cannon when we voted for him and he's certainly rattling the cages. I'll leave it up to the voters of Fairfax to make their decision."

- SCOTT SAWYER


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