Palmer vows to block laws until PUP given staff
CLIVE Palmer's senators must be given more staff, or the Palmer United Party will either delay or reject government legislation.
Mr Palmer gave the warning in a morning interview with ABC on Monday, as politicians including Prime Minister Tony Abbott return to Canberra for the resumption of Parliament.
He said once the PUP holds the Senate balance of power from July 1, any hope of his three senators supporting the government will depend on whether they fully understand the detail of its legislation.
Mr Palmer said the Greens had 14 staff helping them to decipher legislation while the PUP so far had none.
"I think it's an attempt by the government to have us just agree with everything," he said.
Mr Palmer said its demands would not stop the PUP from holding discussions with the government.
"We're happy to talk to them, but we're not in a position where we can debate something or say we disagree with it if we don't even really know what the consequences are of a particular bill," Mr Palmer said.
"It's not reasonable to expect our senators to vote for something they don't fully understand."
Mr Palmer said it was a "practical problem" that senators will need to take their time to digest whatever the government is offering.
He said that would "end up costing the government a lot of money and confusion that doesn't need to happen".
Mr Palmer also hit back at suggestions that Senator Ricky Muir - who is with Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party - does not know enough to be effective.
Mr Muir is currently aligned with the PUP, helping to form a voting bloc in the Senate
"There's this sort of cliché going around that you've got to be a particular type of person to be able to have a view or vote for something," Mr Palmer said.
"Certainly, Australians want to see average Australians having a say."
Mr Palmer said his party was already prepared to block key budget items by the government including its Paid Parental Leave scheme.