Mr Palmer told the Daily he was present on “70% of occasions in Parliament House”.
Mr Palmer told the Daily he was present on “70% of occasions in Parliament House”.

Doesn't matter if I vote: Palmer explains bad attendance

CLIVE Palmer has explained why he is the least likely politician to vote in the House of Representatives - he is using strategy.

Figures gathered by the ABC show Mr Palmer has voted only 19 times out of a possible 202, putting his attendance rate at about 9.4%.

The next lowest was Bob Katter, who clocked 41.8%.

The average was 93%.

Member for Fisher Mal Brough has attended 434 out of a possible 491 votes, which gives him an attendance rate of 88%.

Mr Palmer told the Daily he was present on "70% of occasions in Parliament House".

He said because his party held the balance of power in the Senate "if I vote in the Lower House, then everyone knows how I vote".

"This then undermines my negotiating power in the Senate," he said.

"It was a deliberate decision not to vote in the Lower House.

"It does not have an impact (if I vote there) as I don't have the balance of power there.

"We have got negotiations going on in the government and opposition in relation to all laws,'' Mr Palmer said.

"If we haven't got negotiating power, we can't get the best results for Australia

"I'm not going to fall for that."

Of Mr Palmer's 19 votes, 13 went to scrapping the carbon and mining taxes, a perceived conflict of interest for the mining magnate.

Mr Palmer has disputed allegations of a conflict of interest, saying he was "retired" from his businesses now.

"We all pay tax. Does that mean that members of parliament don't vote on income tax bills?" he said early this month.

Mr Palmer hailed the axing of the mining tax, saying foreign investment would now return to Australia and create jobs.

"(The MRRT has) done a lot of damage to Australia and hasn't raised any money," he said.

Due to parliamentary process, attendance is only recorded on votes as "ayes'' or "nays", so politicians must leave the chamber if they are to abstain.



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