Palmer’s $400k warning sign for state election
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer could loom large as kingmaker in the upcoming state election, with his company Mineralogy refusing to reveal its plans for political donations for the October poll.
It comes after Mineralogy Pty Ltd made a massive $400,000 contribution to Townsville mayoral candidate Greg Dowling - believed to be the biggest in Queensland electoral history.
Mr Dowling said yesterday he was fortunate to receive the donation and denied that it would make him beholden to Mr Palmer or Mineralogy.
A spokesman for the company confirmed no decision had been made about whether it planned to make further donations to Mr Dowling's campaign.
They also would not confirm if the company would potentially make similar types of donations during the upcoming October state election.
"Mineralogy is supporting the best candidate for Mayor in Townsville," a Mineralogy spokesman said.
"For too long this great City has been taken for granted by Labor.
"It's time for a change and Greg Dowling is the best person for this job.
"Greg Dowling is a good person and a respected member of the Townsville community.
"He has an interest in the future."
Mr Dowling, an Independent candidate, said he had never asked for the donation from Mineralogy and the money would be used on advertising, such as billboards to promote his policies.
"Our big policies are naturally water, crime, employment, cost of living," he said.
"It is time for a change up here and that's why I'm running.
"I am 100 per cent running as an independent."
He said he had not spoken personally to Mr Palmer since before Christmas.
A State Government spokeswoman said their proposed laws on donation caps would stop contribution of this magnitude in a state election.
She said a parliamentary committee was considering whether to apply similar caps to local government elections.
"Queensland elections should be decided by voters, not those with the biggest chequebook," she said.
Acting Townsville Mayor Les Walker - who is a member of Mayor Jenny Hill's team - said their focus was on delivering for the city.
"It just demonstrates we are definitely the underdogs big time," he said.