HE’s not everyone’s favourite politician through his antics portrayed in the media, but Orange businesswoman Ellie Brown’s perception of the brash Clive Palmer has been turned on its head this week.
As a board member of the NSW Business Chamber, Ms Brown attended a breakfast forum with Mr Palmer in Sydney on Wednesday to hear firsthand his policies.
“I just wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth and I’ve come to see him differently than my preconceived idea,” she said.
“I have to say the media has portrayed him one way but I came away from the meeting with a completely different view - he is absolutely passionate about Australia and making it the best place he possibly can, and by being so outspoken on issues I believe he’s doing it for the right reasons.”
As a businesswoman Ms Brown said she agreed with Mr Palmer’s views on changing the provisional tax system in Australia. Mr Palmer is calling for the government to give concessions to small business who are burdened by having to pay their provisional tax up front.
“He made some solid points on Wednesday that by businesses having that money from provisional tax for a greater length of time it is actually freeing it up to be injected into the economy,” Ms Brown said.
“For me that makes absolute sense rather than the government taking that money early.”
Ms Brown conceded Mr Palmer had attracted media attention of the wrong type over the last few weeks.
But she said she was impressed with Mr Palmer’s “grassroots” attitude to business and policy on Wednesday.
“He is a successful businessman who has walked the walk and he absolutely understands the challenge of all business,” she said.
She said some politicians are out of touch with how hard it is to run a business in Australia.
“Some of our career politicians have never worked in the real world, but he has,” she said.
Ms Brown said Mr Palmer did not touch on the topic of paid parental leave and his controversial comments about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin, which drew strong criticism earlier this week.
“And I can’t really comment on it because I haven’t had a chance to follow what has happened with it,” she said.