A billionaire's political ambitions

The man behind Titanic 2 now wants to be the Aussie Prime Minister.

Premier ambitions for Titanic II

Clive Palmer
The billionaire Clive Palmer Credit: PA Images

The man behind Titanic 2 could launch the ship in Southampton in 2016 as Prime Minister of Australia. That's if he gets elected.

Clive Palmer has announced his newest venture is to stand for election in September and he plans to form his own political party.

Some had claimed Titanic 2 was a publicity stunt to get him world wide attention before announcing his intention to stand.

While some reman sceptical about the plan Mr Palmer insisted - in an interview with ITV News Meridian - that the Titanic 2 replica "would be built."

Titanic II
Guests attend a gala breakfast as plans to build a replica of the Titanic are explained. March 2013. Credit: The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

Last week a contract was awarded for a marine company to design and manage the project but work has not yet started.

The flamboyant mining magnate was a long-time supporter of the opposition Liberal-National coalition but gave up his membership last year after a bitter and public dispute with the government in his home state of Queensland.

He now plans to re-form the United Australia Party, which dissolved in 1945, and contest all 150 lower house seats in the national polls, as well as seats in the upper house Senate.

Mr Palmer said: "The reason I'm standing is to be the next prime minister of Australia."

"I have no personal interest. I have made enough money in my life, I'm not seeking any enrichment of wealth for myself, I'm seeking it for the Australian people.

"I could go off and stay in Monaco, have a nice drink and forget about this country, but we've got more commitment to Australia and its children than anyone else."

He joins a growing list of high-profile candidates including Australian-born WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who intends to run for the Senate with his WikiLeaks Party.