Clive Palmer, who made his fortune through securing access to 160 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves in the Pilbara Ranges, plans to rebuild the Titanic and contest the seat held by Wayne Swan, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
Palmer, who is 58 and has an estimated net worth between $3 to $6 billion, made both announcements on Monday in Brisbane.
Palmer says he plans to run as candidate in Australia’s conservative party, Queensland’s Liberal National Party (LNP).
Palmer is not a fan of the recently passed coal tax.
If chosen to represent the Brisbane seat of Lilley, he will try to unseat Swan who has held the seat since 1998.
“I believe we should be getting bigger and stronger, creating more wealth for our people, so that we have more money to distribute to the things that need to be done in this country,” said Palmer during his announcement.
“[Swan] believes in a redistribution of wealth and making the economy smaller.”
Swan said he looked forward to contesting the seat against Palmer.
“Mr Palmer will use his very considerable resources, and has used his very considerable resources to capture the Liberal Party of Queensland, and he now intends to use them if he’s pre-selected, in contest between myself and Mr Palmer,” said Swan.
“I relish the prospect of that contest. I care deeply about ideas and what sort of country we want to be, what sort of country we want to hand to our children and grandchildren.”
Palmer’s other big announcement was plans to build the Titanic II, a near replica of the ill-fated ship that sunk this month 100 years ago.
The Titanic II would differ from the original in being equipped with modern engine and a modern hull design.
When built the Chinese navy has been invited to accompany the ship when it runs its maiden voyage from England to New York.