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Clive Palmer abandons politics over LNP refugee stance
24/08/2012 - Mining magnate Clive Palmer will no longer seek Liberal National Party preselection for the next federal election.
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The billionaire said he has decided not to run because he can't support the coalition's stance on asylum seekers.
Palmer said both the government and opposition's refugee policies would result in people dying needlessly.
"If a family wishes to fly to Australia and they don't have a visa and can safely fly, the Australian government should instruct airlines to allow them to board," he said in a statement on Thursday.
"The government is creating a market for the people smugglers where they can extort disposed people for many tens of thousands of dollars and create problems for the Australian Navy needlessly."
Palmer had indicated he wanted to run in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, currently occupied by retiring LNP MP Alex Somlyay.
He had previously said he was also considering running in Bob Katter's north Queensland seat of Kennedy and Treasurer Wayne Swan's seat of Lilley.
Palmer, a lifetime LNP member, said he would still support the party but could not stand for Fairfax because of the issue.
"I cannot allow children, women and men to die needlessly when the government or the opposition has the means to simply solve the problem by issuing a simple administrative direction," he said.
"Because of my conscience, I cannot offer the level of support to Tony Abbott required to be a candidate in his team to form the next Australian government."
However, Palmer said he still supported the election of an Abbott government.
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