'I jolly-well hope Clive gets over the line': Wellington
STAUNCH Sunshine Coast independent Peter Wellington has come out swinging in support for billionaire magnate Clive Palmer's tilt for the seat of Fairfax.
Minutes before Queensland Parliament sat on Tuesday, Mr Wellington told assembled journalists the region had been ignored for too long, even when the LNP enjoyed unanimous support.
Mr Palmer announced late last week he would take on the LNP for the seat currently held by outgoing member Alex Somlyay under the banner of his own United Australia Party.
Mr Wellington said there needed to be more candidates like Mr Palmer.
"I can remember when John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia, we had Mal Brough, Peter Slipper, Alex Somlyay and Warren Truss and frankly, nothing really happened.
"Mr Palmer is a very intelligent man," Mr Wellington said.
"I think he has a lot to offer for the Sunshine Coast, for Queensland and for Australia."
When asked if this undermined his position as an independent, Mr Wellington said he had long supported other candidates and parties when necessary.
He said it was "premature" to say whether or not he would join Mr Palmer's new United Australia Party.
Mr Wellington said with the flamboyant billionaire elected to Canberra, "the next Federal Government will certainly not take the Sunshine Coast for granted".
"I jolly-well hope he gets over the line."