BILLIONAIRE businessman and eccentric politician Clive Palmer has cancelled his planned visit to Tamworth today, but that hasn't stopped him from firing multiple shots at New England MP Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Palmer's United Australia Party (UAP) brokered a preference swap with the Coalition, however Mr Joyce has bucked deal and will instead preference the Christian Democrats first.
"It's understandable, because Barnaby knows [New England UAP candidate] Cindy Duncan is a major threat," Mr Palmer told the Leader.
"I think the main thing about politics, is you must put Australia first - and that's difficult to do when your whole personal life is in disarray. It's sad to see Barnaby switching positions on a whole range of issues.
"Many people in Tamworth have suggested to our candidate that he should have a break from politics to get it back together, and we'd be happy to assistance with that break."
Mr Palmer said regional voters were growing tired of the National Party.
"You've got to remember, I've been with the Nationals longer than Barnaby, I used to be their official spokesman," he said.
"I've got strong links to regional people and I can see there is a lot disillusionment in people who normally vote Nationals, because the party hasn't delivered for the bush - it's failed to deliver on the drought.
"People have had enough by now, and the government needs a change of priority. Voters need to let the government know they are not happy with what's happening, and by voting for the United Australia Party they're telling them they need to improve their performance."
Mr Palmer spruiked his party's zonal taxation policy, which would see all areas more than 200 kilometres away from a capital city pay 20 per cent less tax, which would be returned in the form of a rebate.
"That would encourage both industry and people to come out to the regions, where 85 per cent of the nation's wealth is created," Mr Palmer said.
"It would also assist the cities by taking pressure off infrastructure, while better utilising the under used infrastructure of regional Australia.
"We also have a policy that would stop small businesses and farmers paying tax on money they have yet to earn."
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