Clive Palmer is reportedly spending $70 million of his own money on his party’s campaign.
How is it possible for one individual to command so much wealth and where did it come from? The sad and strange reality is that Australian governments gave him most of it by letting him dig up and sell natural resources that, by rights, belong to us not him.
We’ve a history of handing vast wealth to resource and mining magnates and companies and then watching them use that wealth to undermine our democracy in order to continue to get access to that wealth. Palmer is small fry compared to Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest or the corporate power of BHP, Rio Tinto and others.
So, what do state and federal governments charge for our mineral wealth? You would hope that they use state-of-the-art methods to get the best possible prices. You’d be wrong, of course.