Clive Palmer ‘hires models’ to man booths
CLIVE Palmer has reportedly hired dozens of young models to don yellow shirts and hand out United Australia Party how-to-vote cards at polling booths across Cairns.
Bright-faced youths with the UAP logo plastered across their tops have been a conspicuous sight this morning, especially against a backdrop of mostly middle-aged and older volunteers with shirts spanning the rest of the rainbow.
The LNP's chairman in Leichhardt Michael Trout said two "volunteers" had confirmed they had been hired from a modelling agency and were promised $132 for four hours' work.
"One of the other guys here mentioned the nickel workers still hadn't been paid so they joked about being worried about their pay," he said.
"It's crazy - this is new politics."
However not all of the yellow-shirts were quite as forthcoming.
At Redlynch one young woman told the Cairns Post's reporter she was a genuine Clive Palmer supporter, albeit with a slight smirk.
A good-looking trio of United Australia "volunteers" at Freshwater State School swore they were not being paid to hand out the pamphlets.
But they could not name one of the party's policies.
They had to look at the sheets they were handing out to offer up "tax cuts" as Mr Palmer's best campaign platform.
UAP candidate for Leichhardt Jen Sackley did not deny the claim outright but said to her knowledge all of the people manning booths were volunteers.
"I think it's rubbish," she said.
"I think everybody there are people who want to be with us.
"Don't trust any of the major parties.
"They're going to do anything they can to discredit us."
Ms Sackley was on her way to the Woree State High School booth and anticipating a tight race in Leichhardt.
"We're certainly getting a lot of people approaching us and saying I've voted for you," she said.
"They want to see change but they don't want to go Labor."
Clive Palmer is estimated to have sunk about $60 million into advertising for his election campaign.