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Aussie millionaire primes for political spotlight

May 4, 2014 • Business


In this Feb. 26, 2013 file photo, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer speaks during a news conference in New York, about his intention to build the Titanic II. Palmer is a larger-than-life Australian multimillionaire whose headline-grabbing projects include building a replica of the Titanic and a Jurassic Park-style collection of 160 mechanized dinosaurs. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Clive Palmer is a larger-than-life Australian multimillionaire whose headline-grabbing projects include building a replica of the Titanic and a Jurassic Park-style collection of 160 mechanized dinosaurs.

The 60-year-old mining magnate also looks poised to stamp his quirky style on the Australian government’s legislative agenda when three members of his newly formed Palmer United Party and another political ally assume Senate seats in July to create a small but potentially influential voting bloc.

Palmer, who’s worth an estimated $550 million, will be flaunting his growing political stature in Boston this weekend when he rubs shoulders with America’s political elite at an award ceremony for former President George H.W. Bush.

“Most of the leading members of the U.S. administration will be there, and it’s something I normally do,” Palmer told The Associated Press, referring to attending the ceremony for the annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

This year, he’s bringing with him the four senators-elect who have pledged him their support.

Palmer’s generosity toward his novice allies is typical, observers say. He’s been known to give employees luxury Mercedes-Benz cars and overseas vacations as Login to read more

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