POLITICS

Clive Palmer's Greatest Hits

Working hard, or hardly twerking?

25/05/2016 12:30 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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Clive Palmer's time in parliament is over

Clive Palmer has seemingly called an end to his time in the federal parliament, bringing to an end a spectacular and controversy-ridden three years in politics. On Monday, the billionaire businessman and leader of his eponymous Palmer United Party said he would not stand for the Senate in Queensland, following his announcement that he was not seeking re-election to his seat of Fairfax.

With that in mind, it's high time to look back on Palmer's brief but stunning stint in the federal parliament. Palmer's career in Canberra, which spawned its own Facebook fan page "S**t Clive Palmer says", which included memorable interviews (and walkouts), party disintegration, wild allegations about spies, and less participation in the activities of the House of Representatives than might have been expected...

Scraping into politics

Palmer stood for the seat of Fairfax at the 2013 election, and despite his massive profile and resources, juuuust scraped the win by an astonishing 53 votes. The close and controversial finish would set the tone for Palmer's three years in Canberra.

Working hard, or hardly twerking?

If you've forgotten that time Clive twerked during a segment of the Kyle and Jackie O show, apologies for reminding you. Yes, this technically happened just before the 2013 election, but come on -- as if we were going to leave this out.

The man who wasn't there

Clive made headlines even when he didn't make it to the chamber. He was notorious for missing entire days of parliament, rarely taking his seat in the House of Representatives unless he was scheduled to ask a question during Question Time or to make a speech. In mid-2015, he was outed as only attending 84 of the 130 sitting sitting days since his election. Here he is earlier this year, unfortunately flubbing the punchline of a joke he was making about Malcolm Turnbull's offshore bank accounts.

"Chinese spy"

Clive got into some trouble when he accused media mogul Rupert Murdoch's ex-wife Wendi Deng of being a Chinese spy.

"You know Rupert Murdoch's wife Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy and that's been right across the world," Palmer claimed in an interview with Today.

"She's been spying on Rupert for years, giving money back to Chinese intelligence... that's why Rupert Murdoch got rid of her."

Palmer controversially attacked Chinese interests at several points in his parliamentary career, including the infamous appearance on Q&A where he said "I don't mind standing up against the Chinese bastards" as Labor's Penny Wong -- the first Asian-born member of an Australian cabinet -- looked on and gave some epic side-eye.

Interview walkouts

Palmer made a reputation for himself of abruptly wandering out of interviews when he was confronted with tough questions. Here he is on 7.30, in July 2014:

Then again, in November that same year, on Lateline:

Jousting with journos

Palmer had many run-ins with journalists over the years. Have a look at this one from the National Press Club, where he berated a News Corp journalist to "have some guts to Rupert... stand up and be a journalist for a change."

"I'm not going to take that rubbish from you mate... you haven't got the guts to ask a question on the topic because it's beyond your intellectual capacity."

Later, he told Lateline host Tony Jones "why don't you shut up" after a question about climate change.

Charity man

Palmer did open his heart and make some nice contributions at points during his politics career. In 2015, Clive offered a luxury apartment and car to a family who lost their son and home in a fire.

"Goodbye Bronwyn, Bronwyn goodbye"

Perhaps the most bizarre moments of Palmer's political life were the twin "goodbye" videos he filmed for Bronwyn Bishop and Tony Abbott. Bishop's video came as she faced intense scrutiny and calls for her to resign from the speakership of the parliament, over her misuse of helicopters:

Later, after Abbott was replaced as Liberal leader and PM by Malcolm Turnbull, Palmer reprised his most famous role, singing "goodbye Tony, time to go, roll over, Malcolm's hopping into bed."

Losing members

The Palmer United Party entered the 2013 parliament as a true rising force, with three senators -- Dio Wang, Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus -- and Palmer himself in the House of Representatives. By 2015, just Wang and Palmer remained, as Lambie and Lazarus made noisy departures from the party to start their own political organisations.

Palmer slammed Lazarus upon his departure, saying he would be a "solitary figure who plays solitaire in his office all day long." Earlier this month, upon announcing he wouldn't seek re-election to Fairfax, Palmer said he wanted to "apologise to the people of Tasmania for Jacqui Lambie's behaviour when she was a Parliament," and had another dig at Lazarus.

"[Lazarus] crumbled and couldn't take the pressure... I guess, when you play football a lot you like to see how your game is going, so he is used to good publicity. In my case I am used to bad publicity so it doesn't worry me," Palmer said.

Queensland Nickel

Of course, a major contributing factor of Palmer leaving parliament has to be the woes of his Queensland Nickel refinery. The Yabulu facility went into administration then liquidation in recent months, putting hundreds of workers on unemployment.

A Four Corners special investigation into the business saw Palmer truly unleash, sending off a series of tweets raging against the TV program and then, in the aftermath, giving several fiery interviews in response. Here he is on Today:

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