• Austin Pollock

Analysing Clive Palmer's speech at the National Press Club

It was controversial before he even spoke - but do the claims Clive Palmer made at the National Press Club stack up?

Clive Palmer testing positive for COVID-19 delayed his speech at the National Press Club by a number of weeks, but last week - it happened.


Controversy surrounded it, with the ABC showing it on a delay rather than live.


The first claim from Mr. Palmer that we're analysing is this:


"There's also the situation with Labor, where we had Dan Andrews having the longes- the, uh, biggest lockdown in the Austra- the world's history."

The ABC already found that last year, the city of Iquique in Chile's north was under stay-at-home orders for a grand total of 287 days - that’s more than the 262 days Melbourne spent under lockdown restrictions, spread out between 6 lockdowns from the start of 2020 to the end of 2021.


Another claim was one that has been repeated for weeks - that the UAP is "now Australia's largest political party."


While that’s obviously not true based on the amount of members in parliament they have - their only MP is Craig Kelly - when it comes to membership, it becomes a bit of a trickier issue.


The UAP itself boasts 80,000 members, but only last month there were complaints about people receiving emails welcoming them to the party despite not signing up.


The AEC tells 6 News that they have a “limited role in verifying the number of members in political parties, depending on whether they are a Parliamentary party or a non-parliamentary party.”


They also say that non-Parliamentary parties are not required to provide their entire membership list when registering/being reviewed, and only need to provide a list of 1,500 members for verification.


It’s also worth mentioning that unlike many other parties, it is free to join the UAP.


And the final claim we’re looking at is that former Palmer United Party senator Dio Wang "was the first person to introduce the idea of a federal ICAC" in 2013.


But when we head into the archives, we can see that that’s not true.


In fact, it was the Greens that proposed a national anti-corruption commission as early as 2009.


The ABC reported on it at the time, and the Parliament House website even says that "Labor and the Coalition voted against Greens Senate motions calling for a National Integrity Commission in 2009, 2016, 2017 and 2018."


Dio Wang only joined the senate as a member of what was then-called the Palmer United Party in 2014.


In fact, in 2016, Wang actually said that "proposals for a national integrity or anti-corruption agency in Australia date back to the 1980s."


Watch the full edition of Fact-Check here.


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