Palmer makes pitch for cash

Mining magnate Clive Palmer may be one of Australia’s richest people, but he wants your money.

Palmer brought the tour that never ends to Melbourne on Tuesday, telling sceptical hacks that ”being in politics is not about adding up” as he unveiled the latest set of candidates for his Palmer United Party.

Plenty of questions were asked, but it might be stretching things to say they were answered.

Asked how much his travelling sideshow is costing, Palmer said the PUP was funded by donations. ”Bring your chequebooks, bring your credit cards, and we’ll accept any money,” he said.

His difficulty with addition came separately, when he was asked how a PUP government would fund more than $80 billion in spending promises.

It seems we should trust Palmer to find savings in the federal budget.

As Sunshine Coast bush band McGuinness & Co, who apparently travel with the Palmer circus, played John Williamson’s True Blue, fridge-shaped former Melbourne Storm captain Glenn Lazarus stepped up to the microphone to introduce the PUP’s Senate hopefuls – former pugilist Barry Michael and former AFL star Doug Hawkins.

After lauding the celebrity candidates for a party named after himself, Palmer said: ”Australians have had enough of politics based on personalities.”Hotel hopes high

Welcome to Jermaine Jackson’s luxury hotel chain, to be developed in a joint venture with a cash-strapped Australian tech company.

It sounds absurd, but it’s not April 1 and GoConnect chief executive Richard Li seems serious about the whole thing.

The company, which at the end of March had $1170 in the bank, reckons it is going to open Jermajesty – no, really – hotels in Australia, New Zealand and China.

Li wouldn’t give the address of the first hotel, which is apparently being built by the authorities of Chinese megacity Tianjin.

”The local government has already constructed the superstructure and they will be constructing and fitting out the rooms to our standard,” Li told CBD. He said there would be 350 rooms, or ”maybe less because some of the rooms may have to be enlarged to Jermajesty standard”.

Li said Thai hotel industry veteran Prarob Mokaves would run the joint venture, Jermajesty Holdings, which is to be 20 per cent owned by GoConnect, 60 per cent by Jackson (or Jacksun, as he calls himself these days).

The remaining 20 per cent is to be owned by an investor whom Li wouldn’t identify, but who CBD suspects is probably Mokaves.

So how is this, GoConnect’s second JV with Jackson, all to be funded? GoConnect may not have any cash, but Li said there was ”no shortage of money” available, probably through a real estate trust structure to be set up in the US. ”We always live off the smell of an oily rag for 13 years – we’re good at that,” he said. ”It’s good discipline, you know.”Mr Fix-it heads off

The American who saved Australian shopping centre basket case Centro Properties, Glenn Rufrano, has stepped down as president of the world’s biggest retail agency, Cushman & Wakefield.

Reading between the lines, it seems the retail Mr Fix-it may opt for a relatively quieter life as a director on a few US boards. Rufrano, who was universally liked by investors – and even nasty journos – took over Centro in 2008. To the amazement of his daughter he was papped at Melbourne Airport on his arrival.

Over the ensuing two years he made sure the banks didn’t arc up, rescuing jobs and keeping Centro’s malls afloat. He also listened very carefully to people, one being a cabbie who said if he was living in Melbourne he needed a footy team. His wife liked black-and-white so another Pies fan was born.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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