Clive Palmer has rejected claims that he is running family members and employees of his companies as sham candidates in the 31 October Queensland election just so he can boost the amount of money he can spend on an anti-Labor advertising campaign.
Mr Palmer has so far announced candidates for his United Australia Party including his wife Anna, her father Alexander Sokolov, his wife’s brother George Sokolov, Mr Palmer’s nephew Martin Brewster, and several current or former employees.
Under Queensland’s electoral laws political parties are limited to campaign spending of $92,000 multiplied by the number of seats being contested with an additional spending cap of $58,000 applied to the party’s endorsed candidate or candidates in any seat.
Mr Palmer’s UAP has already announced at least 46 candidates in the 93 seats in the Queensland Parliament meaning it can already spend at least up to $6.9 million.
“Don’t listen to fake news about what my UAP is doing,” Mr Palmer said. “We are set to make Queensland great again with original policies and ideas.
Mr Palmer made his remarks at the launch of four additional candidates who will run for the United Australia Party at the coming state poll, who will also effectively lift his spending limit to $7.5 million.
“All this talk about sham candidates is ridiculous,” he said. “It’s also very hurtful considering the UAP is going out of its way to endorse women as candidates in some very winnable seats.
“Our newest four candidates are living proof of that and I’m sure everyone in the UAP wishes Plive Calmer, Pivec Almer, Velic Lamper, and Clipe Malver (main picture) all the best as they enter the election fray.
“It’s just a pity they all can’t be here today at this event but I’m sure they are very busy, out and about in the seats they are contesting whose names escape me just right now,” Mr Palmer said.