Clive Palmer.
Clive Palmer. Brett Wortman

Palmer says Tony Abbott 'good guy' on electricity prices

CLIVE Palmer says he is confident Tony Abbott shares his wish to see electricity prices for Australians reduced, giving the PM his endorsement as a 'good guy'.

The Sunshine Coast-baed political powerbroker's comments come after he met with the Prime Minister for breakfast.

"The PM was prepared to look at things. He has got certain policy objectives. He wants to listen to the Australian community, that was clear," Mr Palmer told reporters after the meeting.

"All of us can do better than we are doing. I think it's good that we have got that positive outcome. What is important is not having a shot at the PM or Labor-Liberal but to get a good result for the community.

"I was grateful to the PM that is the way he approached it."

Mr Palmer said he had a good relationship with Mr Abbott.

"I personally think he is a good guy. I have known him for a long time. He is not an evil person," Mr Palmer said.

"In 2010 I stamped around Australia trying to get him elected more than anybody else.

"It's important we stop and think we don't want ideological wars.

"What we are as Australians together is more important than the things that divide us. With all these political parties, we live in an adversarial position where there are good guys and bad guys but in the final analysis we are all Australian."

Mr Palmer will head to Paris next year for the United Nation's next Climate Change Conference.

Last night he clarified his party's position on climate change, pledging to support the carbon tax repeal itself while simultaneously opposing the Abbott Government's plans to abolish key planks of Labor's carbon tax package.

The party's position now centres on getting rid of the carbon tax, while opposing the government's direct action plan and retaining Labor's Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority.

Mr Palmer said on Wednesday he wanted to put in place an emissions trading scheme, with no carbon price attached until key trading partners including Japan, China and the United States instituted similar systems.

But while such countries are already starting to form emissions trading schemes, carbon taxes or similar policies; the PUP's position could see Australia without any price on carbon emissions for an indeterminate period, should the PUP agenda succeed.

With one sitting day left for the Senate before the new senate starts work - and the PUP to hold three crucial balance of power seats - Mr Palmer met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott this morning in Canberra.

Mr Palmer said the "constructive" meeting would likely result in further talks as he gains leverage with his three senators and Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir backing the party on the carbon tax issue.

"We think our existing model and the structure around that is good, so we can reintroduce that as an amendment to the bill (sic)," he said.

"Let me clarify, our plans don't have a zero price, it has no price on it, until the conditions are met by the government of the day, who will decide what it (a carbon price) is in line with our trading partners."

Mr Palmer said as the owner of a "large coal deposit" he was an archetypal person to oppose any action on climate change, but he meeting on Wendesday with former US Vice-President Al Gore has highlighted the issues for him.

"Right at this point in time we all have an opportunity to do something - it's a critical time with the conference coming up next year in Paris," he said.

"We can think about real change and we can do it in a way which will preserve our jobs."

Clive Palmer: I'll vote down carbon tax abolition bills

ON THE eve of the final sitting day before he gains the balance of power in the Senate, Clive Palmer has vowed to vote down key planks of the Abbott Government's carbon tax abolition.

The Palmer United Party leader in Canberra on Wednesday night met with former United States Vice-President Al Gore.

After the meeting Mr Palmer fronted reporters to reveal he had back flipped on his election promise to support the government's carbon tax abolition bills, joining Labor and The Greens in opposing the government's bills.

Among the measures the PUP senators will oppose were the abolition of the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Climate Change Authority.

The PUP senators will also move changes to other carbon tax repeal bills, to force energy producers to pass on all savings to consumers once the tax itself is abolished.

While the government has planned to introduce its direct action policy - paying $2.5 billion to polluters to cut emissions to reach the 5% by 2020 renewable energy target, Mr Palmer will not support that either.

He said the government's plan was a "waste of money" when the community was already facing "unfair measures in the budget".

But the political manoeuvre outlined on Wednesday did not extend to backing Labor's scheme.

Mr Palmer said instead, PUP senators would move to create an emissions trading scheme, with a "zero rated" carbon price attached, until such time as China, the US, the entire European Union, Japan and Korea "take action to establish such a scheme".

He also confirmed the PUP would not support any changes to Australia's current renewable energy target until 2016, allowing for a new target to be set next year.



Musical group director heads from big scrub to big city

premium_icon Musical group director heads from big scrub to big city

orthern Rivers arts group director returns from a trip to the US

How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

premium_icon How this Ballina mum juggles kids and a thriving business

"Kids are amazing but... having a passion is fulfilling as well”

Fires are starting to hit home

Fires are starting to hit home

People’s lives have been hit: firebugs take advantage of conditions

Local Partners