Clive Palmer has announced he will challenge Wayne Swan for his seat at the next federal election.
Clive Palmer has announced he will challenge Wayne Swan for his seat at the next federal election. Rae Wilson

Palmer to take on Swan

BUSINESS tycoon Clive Palmer said going into federal politics would involve "slowing down" to "smell the flowers" when he announced his tilt to take on Treasurer Wayne Swan on Monday.

The LNP life member said he believed Prime Minister Julie Gillard's days were numbered and he would throw his support behind the "next prime minister" Tony Abbott.

He said the treasurer had regularly set him a challenge by listing him as an adversary in parliament.

The former LNP donor said he did not feel he had to give up his business interests and would work against the mining tax.

"I want to see a greater prosperity ... We can only help people of we produce more revenue," he said.

"(Wayne Swan's) been the sitting member for far too long and it's about time we got this country moving again.

"I'm 58 years old. I don't think I'll be going for public office again and it's appropriate you give what you can back to the nation.

"We don't want career politicians, we want people from the community who have something to contribute.

"I'm not going into politics to pursue business interests, I'm going into politics to contribute ideas, where this country should go.

"I'd be following whatever is the policy of the LNP and that just happens to be to repeal the mining tax so that's a policy I can certainly support."

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said he could not be happier to fight in Lilley for tax breaks for 16,000 small businesses and 51,000 workers, while Mr Palmer and Mr Abbott fight to protect Mr Palmer's multi-billion profits.

"Mr Palmer will officially throw his billions behind Tony Abbott to stop the Government spreading the benefits of the mining boom to 2.7 million small businesses and 8 million Australian workers," he said.

"Mr Abbott has already proved he will always go into bat for the billionaires over struggling families.

"We've seen that in Mr Abbott opposing the mining tax, means-testing of private health subsidies,  and on the weekend in their opposition to cutting massive tax concession for the top 1% of income earners.

"And now it's official - the Liberal Party stands to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Clive Palmer if he's successful."

Mr Swan said Mr Abbott and Mr Palmer must immediately guarantee Mr Palmer would not use his massive wealth to buy his way into parliament or influence in any way the election in Lilley.

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