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Inside the colourful world of Australia's new -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Colourful, eccentric, ruthless and prone to fits of anger. Clive Palmer is all these things - and he's about to become much, much more.

The self-proclaimed billionaire appears set to secure a seat in the federal parliament and two senate spots for candidates who stood for his Palmer United Party, and who look like ending up sharing the balance of power.

If Mr Palmer's approach to business is anything to go by, it could make for an unpredictable term of parliament. Matt Wordsworth reports.

MATT WORDSWORTH, REPORTER: At Clive Palmer's resort on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, there's been some dramatic changes.

CLIVE PALMER, PALMER UNITED PARTY: This is our newest exhibit here, it's starting the dinosaur park, we call hip Slippery Pete, and he lives in a swamp and is very slimy and comes out occasionally.

MATT WORDSWORTH: The resort that's played host to CHOGM and the G20 is adding a theme park called Palmersaurus - with 160 dinosaurs.

Does Peter Slipper know you've called the alligator slippery Pete?

CLIVE PALMER: It's got nothing to do with Peter Slipper?


CLIVE PALMER: Of course not.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Now the political landscape has been transformed, thanks to his newest venture, Palmer's United Party.

Queensland's richest man has been accused of trying to buy the seat of Fairfax and crucial senate seats with a multimillion dollar ad blitz and he may have succeeded.

CLIVE PALMER: Well we didn't spend as much money as the Liberal Party did in Australia. They spend about $54 million and we stood candidates in 150 seats across the country. They stood less than 130. You can spend a lot of money and if you have the wrong ideas it will have a negative effect.

MATT WORDSWORTH: His party received six per cent of the vote nationally and more than 11 per cent in Queensland.

Suddenly Glenn Lazarus, a former star of rugby league, looks set to burst into the Senate, despite being a rookie.

GLENN LAZARUS, PALMER UNITED PARTY: I don't know everything, mate, I don't pretend that I do and I will be obviously consulting in my federal leader.

MATT WORDSWORTH: It's likely he will be joined by Tasmanian colleague Jacqui Lambie.

JAQUIE LAMBIE, PALMER UNITED PARTY: Liberal and Labor have had their turn over many, many years and I think it's about time PUP put its hand up and said right, we're here and we're here to stay in Tasmania.

MATT WORDSWORTH: But what is Clive Palmer going to do with his new found power? His main ideas include repealing the mining tax and the carbon tax, and making the first $10,000 on a home loan tax deductible. He also wants company tax to be paid at the end of the tax year rather than each quarter in advance.

CLIVE PALMER: It will free up $70 billion of money for all our businesses that can keep that money there for that 12 month period and employ a lot of people. Of course the Government will get an extra 10 per cent GST every time that $70 billion turns over during the year.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Clive Palmer would also become the richest man in Parliament. Are you going to tell people now that you're an elected parliamentarian, how much you're worth. What is the number?

CLIVE PALMER: I don't worry about numbers.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Is it hundreds of millions or is it a billion?

CLIVE PALMER: It could be. It could be a lot more than that.

MATT WORDSWORTH: You'd have company reports, your private companies would give you reports.

CLIVE PALMER: Private company reports are useless, you can like whatever you like.

MATT WORDSWORTH: But there is a legal requirement for you to declare all of your interests on a register at parliament.

CLIVE PALMER: Is there, I don't know?

MATT WORDSWORTH: The pecuniary interests register.

CLIVE PALMER: Have a look and see if it's really legal, if it's in accordance with the constitution.

MATT WORDSWORTH: You have to declare what assets you own, what directorships you hold.

CLIVE PALMER: That's okay, that doesn't worry me. It doesn't bother me, you know.

MATT WORDSWORTH: You'd know that, you've been a long time observer of politics.

CLIVE PALMER: Why should I care about that? Anything I've got, I've got from my own merits.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Everything's so opaque. Everyone's been talking about your business and your fortune for so many years, but nobody knows.

CLIVE PALMER: You tell me about it. Certainly a lot of thing people know - we've got this resort, we've got 160 billion tonnes of iron ore, we've got 400 billion tonnes of coal and then we've got now, we've announced ... I think it's about 28 TCF. Who knows how much that's worth? I don't know. I just put it all down.

CLIVE PALMER: But victory is not yet assured in the seat of Fairfax. Early today during a recount his opponent surged to within striking distance, prompting a furious outburst from Mr Palmer. He accused the Electoral Commission of corruption and threatened to block all Coalition legislation in the Senate until there was electoral reform. But late today he eased ahead comfortably and dropped his earlier threats.

Sean Parnell is a journalist and has written a biography of Clive Palmer. He says there is only way for the 59 year old - Clive's way.

SEAN PARNELL, BIOGRAPHER: Clive's already made it clear that he's the leader of the party, whether he's in the Lower House or not. I mean it's the Palmer United Party, it's his baby, his beast and he's in control. You know, all through his life in business and politics he's shown loyalty to people and generosity to people but he very much expects that loyalty in return. So how Clive wants to do it is how it will be done.

MATT WORDSWORTH: But he may struggle to get his senators to toe the party line. Jacqui Lambie is already openly dissenting of at least one policy the pledge to repeal and refund the carbon tax.

JAQUIE LAMBIE: I support tearing up the carbon tax to a certain degree but some of that carbon tax is quite good. So, you know what, tearing something up and restarting again takes longer. We probably need to start that carbon tax at maybe three or four per cent.

MATT WORDSWORTH: And while Mr Palmer is a long time supporter of processing asylum seekers on shore, Ms Lambie posted this to Facebook in December.

JAQUIE LAMBIE (VOICEOVER): There is nothing that annoys me more that Julia Gillard has failed stopping the boats. Whatever happened to looking after our own backyard first?

CLIVE PALMER: It's dated 19 December, 2012, before our party came into existence. If Tony Abbott can change on gay marriage, people can change on their points of view. So we don't want to condemn people if they've only got one option. We've shown a different option, a better way for asylum seekers and she supports that now.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Clive Palmer tells his critics he doesn't intend to be in Canberra long anyway - two terms maximum. He's been scathing of some media identities.

CLIVE PALMER: Remember those great journalists of the last century, Clarke Kent, Jimmy Olsson and Mr White, right, wasn't that a great industry to work in? If we could go back to there.

MATT WORDSWORTH: Although that was fictional.

CLIVE PALMER: It was fictional but it represented the standards of the era.

MATT WORDSWORTH: He won't even guarantee he will attend all sitting days, but he does promise an injection of life into the 44th Parliament of Australia.

CLIVE PALMER: Canberra's a pretty sterile place, you know, and it's got the best roads but hardly any traffic, you know. It's got the most money invested but hardly any ideas. It's supposed to be the powerhouse of our nation but it looks so boring, doesn't it? I'm not going to spend a lot of time in Canberra. I'm going to spend a lot of time in Fairfax, in Australia and throughout the world because the final analysis, I am a citizen of the world.