Palmer slams Queensland Budget
MINING magnate Clive Palmer has predicted the Queensland Premier will be ousted by the end of the year if he continues his public service jobs cuts and mining tax hikes outlined in the Queensland Budget this week.
Mr Palmer has come out swinging since the release of the budget on Tuesday which revealed the State Government's move to hike coal royalties to 12.5% for coal valued between $100 and $150 a tonne and 15% thereafter.
The Sunshine Coast-based billionaire told ABC Lateline on Wednesday night Mr Newman needed to "come to terms with reality" otherwise he risked still being leader of the state by Christmas.
"Well, I'd be very surprised if he sticks with this policy, that he'll be Premier by Christmas, to be honest with you," he told the ABC.
"He can't destroy the state and have people who care about the community and I know his backbenchers all care about the community tolerate that and I'm sure they won't."
Mr Palmer criticised the Newman Government using former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello to undertake the Commission of Audit, which had been used to justify widespread sackings in the public service.
"We're a decentralised state, but we brought a Victorian in to tell us how we should run our state," Mr Palmer told the ABC.
"Queensland and Western Australia are decentralised states. We've got Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Cairns, Mount Isa, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast to deal with.
"We've got to provide those services across a great geographical area. And yet this guy wants to come in, sack people, so there's a decline in services, so people get unemployed and there's no money in the economy."
Despite his fierce opposition to the Newman government's policies, Mr Palmer, a long-time LNP Party member who donated more than $600,000 to the party last financial year, said the LNP still had great policies to get Queensland back on track.
"The Premier said that he won't follow any LNP policies," he said.
"But I'll tell you what, Campbell Newman, they are talking to me, they're talking to me about you," he said.
"They're talking to me about party room meetings where they can't say anything, where you muffle all debate.
"They're talking about Jeff Seeney and the sort of deals he gets up to with business. They're talking about Santo Santoro and all his influencing and things."