Clive Palmer defends campaign texts, says he'll send more

Clive Palmer says he will continue to send unsolicited texts to millions of voters as part of his federal election campaign.

Key points:

  • The text messages contained campaign material for Mr Palmer’s United Australia Party
  • Many recipients were angered and questioned how the party got their phone number
  • Mr Palmer says the communication was legal and plans to send more

The text messages, sent last week, contained geo-targeted slogans and campaign material relating to Mr Palmer’s United Australia Party (UAP), leaving many questioning how the Party got their phone number.

The businessman-turned-politician claimed 5.6 million phones received the messages and said he does not know how the numbers were obtained.

“I don’t know that personally, we don’t have the list of course,” he said.

“Under the Privacy Act all registered political parties are entitled to contact Australians via text.

“Distribution lists are generally available through nearly any advertising agency in Sydney.”

Mr Palmer said the response to the texts was outstanding, with 265,000 people accessing the party’s website and staying for more than one minute.

There were also 3,000 complaints, but Mr Palmer claims most were “robo calls” by the trade union movement directed at his phone and the phones of other party members in an attempt to intimidate.

“We’ll be running text messages as we get closer to the election because it’s a way of stimulating debate in our democracy,” he said.

Mr Palmer intends to run for the Federal Queensland seat of Herbert, which includes Townsville.

If he’s elected it will be his second time in Parliament having had a short-lived run previously between 2013 and 2016.

The United Australia Party intends to stand 150 candidates for lower house seats as well as a senate ticket.

Mr Palmer has also endorsed a free video game app, launched today, which was developed with some contributions from the UAP

The game features a cartoon Clive Palmer running an obstacle course as he collects chocolate biscuits and jumps on politicians and commentators.