Peter Slipper tips Fisher by-election for rival Brough

SPEAKING OUT: Former Fisher MP, Peter Slipper.
SPEAKING OUT: Former Fisher MP, Peter Slipper.

OUSTED Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper says he hopes Clive Palmer wins the seat of Fairfax as he will be a force for good on the Sunshine Coast.

The former Member for Fisher said Mr Palmer had the interests of the community at heart and would deliver new infrastructure for the region if he is successful.

In a wide-ranging interview on ABC-TV yesterday, the former Federal Speaker also predicted voters in his old seat of Fisher would be forced back to the polls for a by-election before the current term expired.

The new Member for Fisher Mal Brough's position was "untenable", due to his alleged role in Mr Slipper facing sexual harassment charges, and he would be forced to stand down, he said.

Mr Brough was not available for comment yesterday but has maintained his innocence in the matter.

Political maverick, Clive Palmer, would have a positive effect on the Coast, he said.

Mr Slipper briefly agreed to join the PUP in May but reneged when details were mistakenly released to the press.

The pair has common enemies in the LNP after Mr Slipper was sacked from the party while Mr Palmer has consistently railed against the conservatives since he quit the party last year.

"I think Clive Palmer's got a lot to offer this country," Mr Slipper said.

"I greatly respect him. He's someone who thinks beyond the square and is a little bit different. But I think he's going to have a pretty big impact, particularly with the election of three Palmer United Party senators.

"... I'd like to see him elected as the Member for Fairfax because I'm sure we'd get a lot of extra infrastructure on the Sunshine Coast."

Mr Slipper also questioned why he had been "singled out" after being charged for the misuse of Cabcharge vouchers. He will face court in December for allegedly using $900 worth of Cabcharge dockets to inspect vineyards in the ACT.

Mr Slipper accused the Department of Finance of double standards after other MPs were allowed to pay back misused entitlements.

Under the Minchin Protocols, which govern complaints over expenditure, MPs can repay entitlements unless they are the subject of a police investigation.

Mr Slipper was charged because the matter was referred to the Australian Federal Police before the department intervened.

He said he did not know who had referred the matter.

"I feel I've been singled out and it was grossly unfair and when you look at the fact that there had been numerous occasions when members have been allowed to pay back disputed amounts, no questions asked, matter closed," he said.

"...Either the charges against me should be dropped or everyone else should be charged."

Topics:  australian electoral commission clive palmer fairfax federal election 2013 peter slipper ted obrien

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