Mining magnate Clive Palmer has announced he will form his own political party for this year’s federal election, fielding candidates in 150 House or Representative seats as well as the Senate.
Palmer told the ABC’s Lateline that Australia needs a new party “to unite all Australians in a time of crisis to work together”.
Named the United Australia Party, Palmer said it was a reformation of the party of the same name which governed Australia in the 1930s, Daily Mercury reported.
Prime ministers Joseph Lyons, Robert Menzies and Billy Hughes were all part of the original United Australian Party.
"We think we've got some great ideas, we think we can contribute to the debate and hopefully we can get the support of Australians," Palmer said.
"It's not reasonable to say Australians will vote for a party or their votes are locked in before the contest. Let's have the contest, let's have the best ideas out there, let's let the people decide."
“Julia Gillard and the Labor government are on the nose but Australians are also clearly disillusioned with both the major political parties,” he said.
“By reforming the United Australia Party we are offering a viable alternative. The United Australia Party stands for bringing people together.
“Politics today is based on politicians blaming and fighting each other; there is no leadership and no plan to grow the economy. United Australia Party will represent all.
“Australia also needs the right policies in place to restore jobs growth. We have had people with little expertise running the country and operating a trillion dollar business. We are facing a $60 billion deficit and drastic action is needed.”
Palmer said the UAP stood for honesty in government and would ensure paid political lobbyists played no part in the business of government.
“Politicians are being compromised by the reliance on lobbyists and their client’s cheque books,” he said.
“Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman have allowed lobbyists to have too much influence in the political process and this is one of the major factors in my decision last year to resign my membership of the LNP,” he said.
News.com have reported the Palmer intends to run for the Sunshine seat of Fairfax, a position held by the LNQ’s Alex Somlyay since 1990.
The announcement is set to make for an interesting run to the September election.
On Palmer’s plan to enter politics, Julia Gillard said he would have to go through the right processes.
"It’s all a question for Mr Palmer and the appropriate party registration processes," she said.
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said Palmer was a "fairly unique individual".
"He is out there in his own orbit and he is entitled to that place," Hockey said.
Former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said he was surprised Palmer was entering the race so close to the election.
"Anyone in Australia can stick their hand up and have a go, it’s democracy," Rudd told the Seven Network’s Sunrise program.
"But the thing with Clive is why on earth are you doing it now? If you are going to run and you are going to put a lot of money in behind your campaign, at least the Australian people have the right to put you under some scrutiny about what policies you would take to an election and whether they should be supported or not.
“I think this last minute stunt like Clive has got in mind is not good because people want to know what you would change."
In an unusual grouping Palmer was voted as a national treasure along with the creator of the cervical cancer vaccine Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, and Kylie Minogue.
According to the National Trust of Australia (NSW), the Australian public voted for seven Australia's to be considered national living treasures.
Ian Carroll, from the National Trust, said the group was chosen as they personified Australian qualities
"Their generous and significant contributions have, like them, become part of our national heritage," he said in a statement.
Palmer stated that his new status a 'living treasure' is "an honour, especially to be the only person (voted in) from industry".
Palmer is the owner of resource company Mineralogy which owns and operates mines in QLD and Western Australia.