Controversial billionaire Clive Palmer has revealed the mysterious announcement he shelled out big money for in a two-minute television ad last night.
He’s been spamming your phone, littering our cities with billboards and clogging TV airwaves with his face for weeks.
Now, controversial mining magnate Clive Palmer has revealed the expensive two-minute rant he’s been texting you about all day. It’s an attack on China.
In the ad, the billionaire Queenslander accuses Labor of “allowing the Chinese to undertake a clandestine takeover of Australia” via ports and airports in Western Australia.
In a voiceover, the United Australia Party’s James McDonald, who organised the ad, says: “At 80km south of Karratha, in the existing Karratha Airport in the Pilbara, the Chinese Communist government-owned companies, with the help of the Labor Party, built and constructed a private jet airport.”
Over another voiceover, retired Royal Australian Airforce squadron leader Martin Brewster then warns that “a superior military airforce could control all of Western Australia’s resources in the Pilbara and the north-west shelf gas reserves”.
McDonald says Australia must now be “concerned” that “Australian politicians are acting in the interests of Chinese Communist Party and not in the interests of Australia”.
“The Chinese communist government won’t allow Australians or any Australian companies to control ports or airports in China.
“Why should Bill Shorten or Mark McGowan allow them to control our strategic assets?”
Valuable TV time doesn’t come cheap, and an advertising expert told news.com.au the mining billionaire would likely have splashed about $132,000 for two minutes of airtime to deliver his mysterious announcement.
Mr Palmer teased the announcement yesterday via unsolicited text messages, warning recipients that their “freedom is under threat” and telling them to tune into Channel 9 between 7.20pm and 7.35pm.
Mr Palmer has been spending millions of dollars on relentless television advertisements, text message spam, full page newspaper ads, billboards and what one distributor has called a statewide flyer drop across Victoria, in an inescapable ad campaign.
Mr Palmer’s United Australia Party has issued warnings about submarines, overspending on the National Broadband Network, marijuana and the Greens, and now, the Chinese government intervening on Australian soil.
The party delivered double-sided flyers across Victoria yesterday, claiming that West Australian officials had colluded with the Chinese government and endangered the sovereignty of Australia.
The letter drop, which the party claimed was “an important message about national security”, followed a mass send-out of unsolicited texts yesterday, telling Australians their “freedom is under threat”.
The party has spent a whopping $1.005 million on TV ads and radio slots in a single month in October, according to figures obtained by The Australian.
Yesterday’s flyer, obtained by news.com.au, makes a number of serious allegations about a Chinese conspiracy to spy on Australian military bases.
Signed by Mr Palmer, the letter alleges a ploy aimed at “extending Chinese Communist influence in Australia and supporting the establishment of Chinese military bases in the South China Sea”.
Mr Palmer then alleges that a Chinese government ship searching for MH370 was actually spying on Australia’s military. “It is clear to me the vessel was spying on the Australian military,” the flyer reads.
“China’s relentless pursuit of Australian politicians is worrying for anyone who values our nation’s democratic freedom and sovereignty.”
The flyer then spoke about WA Premier Mark McGowan travelling to China to meet with President Xi Jinping. Mr Palmer took aim at complex changes in legislation that affect his own company and its dealings with CITIC, a Chinese company that leases mining land from him in the Pilbara.
Mr McGowan has claimed these changes are being made to protect the jobs of more than a thousand Australian workers.
Mr Palmer said any changes would “favour China’s biggest conglomerate”.
“The WA Government is favouring Chinese Government interests over the rights of Australians and Australian national security,” the flyer says.
One of the flyer distributors told news.com.au that those delivering the flyers were told to ignore “no junk mail” and “no advertising material” stickers posted on letterboxes. They said the flyers were delivered to “most of Victoria”.
Salmat initially declined to comment, but today issued a statement stating that “Salmat’s delivery contractors follow a code of conduct set by the Distribution Standards Board which sets out, amongst other things, to respect “no advertising material” stickers on residents’ letterboxes.”
“Local newspapers and political materials are the exception to this as they are not considered “advertising” and are exempt from existing legislation.
“We’re committed to ensuring our distributors do the right thing,” the statement read.
The distribution company, Salmat Distribution, declined to comment on the number of flyers distributed or the areas canvassed, saying they were bound to protect the privacy of their client.
Mr Palmer is in dispute with CITIC as he claims the company hasn’t paid the full $500 million fee owed for land clean-up when the lease ends.
CITIC argues Mr Palmer’s company Mineralogy won’t release more land for them to continue to mine.
As the legal stoush heats up and thousands are at risk of losing their jobs, the WA Government has threatened to intervene, changing legislation to rule against Mr Palmer.
Mr McGowan has claimed his actions are on behalf of the 1500 employees at the CITIC mine. He’s referred to Mr Palmer’s conduct as “unreasonable”.
“These workers have every right to be concerned about the behaviour of Mr Clive Palmer and his company Mineralogy,” Premier McGowan said in parliament in November.
A spokesperson for the Premier declined to comment further.
Mr Palmer has moved control of his business to an unoccupied office in New Zealand, telling the media if the WA Government were to intervene, he would be forced to use international laws to “sue the Australian taxpayer” for compensation to the tune of $45 billion.
Many have wondered why Mr Palmer has once again entered into politics, with ABC election analyst Anthony Green saying Palmer has a “nil” per cent chance of winning in the seat of Herbert, where he alienated voters when his nickel mine collapsed and thousands lost their jobs.
As Mr Palmer and representatives from the UAP have not responded to news.com.au’s requests for comment on this story.