Newman and Palmer party in fight over spending

PREMIER Campbell Newman accused a Palmer party member of misleading Queensland Parliament as he defended a decision to have minted medallions made abroad.

Yeerongpilly MP Carl Judge - from the United Australia Party, the Queensland version of the Palmer United Party - asked the premier to justify making his Premier's gift medallions in China rather than supporting small businesses and employment in Queensland.

He said this came on the back of his government criticising Fairfax electorate "member-elect" Clive Palmer and "Australian national living treasure" for the same thing.

"I do have a standing policy ... I don't ever comment on Mr Palmer," Mr Newman said.

"I will comment on the assertion that he is the member-elect, he is not.

"That is frankly a misleading of the house.

"If I go to the AEC website, the poll has not been declared. He has not been given that endorsement at all."

In eventually responding to the medallion production, Mr Newman said he did offer local contractors "every opportunity" but the quotes were "chalk and cheese".

He said the China manufacturer could make each medal for $3-$4 while Queensland businesses were quoting from $16 a medal "up into the 20s".

"I couldn't justify that. I've got a duty to spend public money wisely," he said.

Mr Newman then questioned whether Mr Palmer gave local suppliers an opportunity to produce more than four million election DVDs before sending the work to China.

A spokesman for Mr Palmer said local suppliers were sought but the DVDs could not be made in Australia in a short timeframe.

Mr Newman took the opportunity to take a swipe at Condamine MP Ray Hopper, who leads Katter Australian Party in Queensland, for suggesting an alliance with the Palmer United Party.

"The Member for Condamine has been in a lot of different political parties but I today am predicting a change - I'm predicting another 'hop', shall we say, to another party," he said.

"Is it the case that the PUP's clear commitment to the Member for Condamine is that he can have a car and fuel card?

"Is that where passion for alliances comes from?"

It was hard to hear clearly with all the shouting during Question Time but Mr Hopper yelled something about Newman's performance being the reason for him changing parties.

The PUP spokesman said he did not know of any negotiations specifically with Mr Hopper but there had been much interest in that vein.

"There's a number of people talking to the PUP as a result of the weekend, state, federally and in the senate," he said.



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