Clive Palmer's claim that only he can deliver WA more GST rev- enue is misleading and his other promises to the State's voters are almost impossible to deliver, analysis reveals.
In the midst of one of the biggest one-person election campaigns in history, the Queensland miner has made a raft of pledges he hopes will sway voters in next week's Senate election re-run.
But political experts and opponents on the Left and Right argue the Palmer United Party's promises cannot be substantiated.
The revelations came as CITIC Pacific president Zhang Jijing, while playing down concerns his company's feud with Mr Palmer had hurt Sino-Australian relations, said it had harmed the billionaire's standing in China.
"I cannot say this would stop Chinese investors from investing in Australia but I think it will stop investors from co-operating with Mineralogy," he said.
One of Mr Palmer's biggest boasts - that only he can return every dollar of GST raised within WA - was ridiculed yesterday by WA Treasurer Mike Nahan as nonsense. "I don't think he knows the Commonwealth Grants Commission, how it works or perhaps even how GST is collected," he said.
"Anybody who has looked at this issue seriously can tell you that it is stuck in a rut. It is going to take unanimous agreement of all governments to change it."
University of Notre Dame politics lecturer Martin Drum said Mr Palmer could advocate WA getting a bigger share of the GST, but it was misleading to suggest he could deliver it.
And if WA was to receive more in GST payments, other States would by definition have to receive less. Tasmania, which will have a PUP senator from July 1, would be a big loser, making such a move politically untenable.
Mr Palmer has pledged to back the repeal of the mining tax but last week added a condition: that the Government abort plans to axe a $211-a-year supplement payment to the children of dead or badly injured war veterans.
Mr Palmer, who is opposed to the carbon tax, has said he wants its abolition made retrospective.
It would wipe his $6.2 million outstanding tax liability while putting a $7 billion hole in the Budget. The threat could only be delivered if Mr Palmer had the balance of power, as he has claimed. But Dr Drum said at best PUP would share the balance of power.
After July 1, PUP would have at least two senators (three if PUP wins one of six WA Senate seats next Saturday). There will be six or seven crossbenchers sharing the balance of power.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said Mr Palmer's dispute with his Chinese business partner CITIC Pacific "sends a poor message to potential investors in Australian resource projects".
In his letter to voters, Mr Palmer has claimed the Australian economy was "declining and investment in WA has almost ceased". WA is still the nation's centre for spending. Current projects, those pencilled in and those being considered, are worth close to $250 billion, according to Deloitte Access Economics' quarterly investment monitor.
Yesterday, Mr Palmer brushed aside suggestions he would not have the balance of power, saying Tony Abbott needed the votes of PUP and its ally from the Motoring Enthusiast Party to get legislation through the Senate.
He said if the support of all premiers was needed to meet his GST demands, it was the "Prime Minister's problem" and he would need to get the agreement of other States.
He said the Government could not get the carbon or mining taxes repealed without PUP support.