The Bug has named Queensland businessman Clive Palmer as its Australian of the Year for 2018.
At a ceremony at the Sherwood Arboretum in Brisbane’s inner-western suburbs, Mr Palmer was presented with his award (pictured above) by chair of the judging panel, The Bug’s finance and investment columnist Morrie Bezzle.
Mr Palmer made a brief speech to thank the judges and readers of The Bug before leaving quickly in his chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce after asking if any Queensland Supreme Court sheriffs or bailiffs were present.
In his absence, Mr Bezzle said Mr Palmer was eventually an obvious choice for the judging panel.
“Clive Palmer is a worthy winner of this year’s award because he typifies average Aussies,” Mr Bezzle told the crowd at the ceremony.
“He’s a big bloke with big ideas and big dreams who’s doing a lot of things ordinary Aussies just dream about.
“He lives like he’s got a squillion quid in the bank, flies here and there in his own jet, and generally lives the high life.
“Like ordinary Aussies he’s in a constant battle with his weight and is known to touch up his grey hair a bit now and then.
“He loves telling governments what to do and lately has spent a motza on billboards spruiking his many ideas like very fast trains, and… other very fast trains.
“He’s got big plans like rebuilding the Titanic and I bet, once that’s done, if he can make a quid out of sinking it he will.
“Most of all Clive never allows himself to get caught up in the quicksand of red tape that constantly frustrates visionaries like him by making unfair demands like paying the entitlements of the people who lost their jobs when he shut his Townsville nickel plant.”
Mr Bezzle noted that in the four years since he took up the position as chair of the judging panel, Mr Palmer was the first living Australian to receive The Bug’s Australian of the Year Award.
“Since I started chairing the judging panel we’ve given the award to the late Alan Bond, the late Christopher Skase, and the late Laurie Connell,” he said.
“If I do nothing else in my life I will always look back with immense satisfaction that this list of winners also includes the words ‘Chair of Judging Panel, M. Bezzle’.
“Clive joins this illustrious company and I couldn’t be more proud,” Mr Bezzle said.