REVEALED: The men flying the flag for Clive
Clive Palmer has revealed who will be his candidates in six key North Queensland seats ahead of the state election.
Speaking at a press conference in Townsville on Saturday morning, the mining magnate made it clear he saw North Queensland as a winnable battleground for his party.
"I've come here to Townsville today to endorse six candidates that will be standing at the next state election and offering a new deal for Queensland," Mr Palmer said.
"The representatives that have been in Townsville, I know from bitter personal experience, that they don't care about the benefit of Townsville people.
"The three blind mice that occupy the positions of this city for the Labor Party just do what they're told by unions in Brisbane.
"Townsville needs independent thinkers. People who can offer ideas, zest and growth."
Queensland's United Australia Party leader Greg Dowling will run for the seat of Townsville and will be joined by Aurelio Mason (Hinchinbrook), Martin Brewster (Mundingburra), Michael Turner (Thuringowa), Ben Wood (Burdekin) and Gregory Armstrong (Whitsunday).
Mr Dowling said the group's diversity and experience was telling, with occupations including business owner, civil engineer, truck driver and entrepreneur.
"We do need a vision for Queensland. Our area up here is missing out because everything goes down to Brisbane, all the money, and nothing comes back up here … we are in dire straits," Mr Dowling said.
"I believe we have a team at the moment that will stand up and really get Townsville going again … They believe in what their areas represent."
Mr Dowling said creating jobs was the answer to getting North Queensland moving again, with Mr Palmer adding he wants Queensland Nickel back up and running.
"At the moment the business industry, I'm a small business owner myself, there's no future in it," Mr Dowling said.
"We can't expand because there's no confidence, and that's the biggest thing.
"There's no confidence here and there hasn't been for a number of years."
Mr Dowling said creating jobs was also the answer to the region's youth crime problem.
"My business was broken into four times in the last month … it guts you."
Mr Palmer added the current government wasn't the answer to Townsville's unemployment rate.
"You saw how the Premier said she was going to have the stadium built to create jobs, and what did she do? She brought in workers from Brisbane and Toowoomba to build it.
"No one in Townsville or North Queensland had any benefit at all."
Originally published as REVEALED: The men flying the flag for Clive