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King of the world - but what odds Clive's new Coolum plan will sink without trace


For a man with such big dreams, Clive Palmer has always come up a bit short on delivery. His promise for a $100 million revamp of the Coolum resort that he bought, and trashed, promises a similar fate, writes Madonna King

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Clive Palmer, in some ways, reminds me of an old boyfriend who was full of promises that never quite eventuated.

Both of them, I think, had good intentions – but the execution just failed. Dismally. Every single time.

Forget the boyfriend. We’ve both moved on. But Clive Palmer’s promises continue to make headlines. And that’s almost always where they stop.

Now it’s a $100 million redevelopment of his Coolum resort, promising to feature replicas of the Wonders of the World. One of them will be a full-size Trevi Fountain.

Maybe it’s a hunch, or maybe it’s Palmer’s history of broken promises, but I suspect it will never be filled with two-dollar coins, or Euros, like its Rome counterpart.

Taste issues aside, how much of Clive Palmer’s big-talking promises ever come true?

Ask one of the hundreds of workers who lost their jobs when his Queensland Nickel refinery went bust a few years ago, and I’ll bet they wouldn’t be risking any spare change on the Trevi Fountain venture.

No doubt, the former head of the United Australia Party has more than spare change. In the past financial year, he gifted $75,000 to the Nationals. Oh, and according to the ABC, almost $6 million to his own party.

This is the man who spent more than $60 million on advertising during the 2019 federal elections campaign.

That just shows you can have more money than sense.

No wonder he never got to act on his promise to Make Australia Great Again; his life is chalk to the cheese the rest of us eat only on special occasions.

Remember his commitment to fund the manufacture of acquisition of more than one million courses of hydroxychloroquine – Donald Trump’s “game-changing’’ coronavirus drug?

Or the foundation set up more than a decade ago to allocate $100 million for medical research in the Pilbara? Hailed as Australia’s single biggest charity act, a decade later it boasted $109.

Promises. Promises. Promises. Big fat nothings.

Fast trains for Melbourne CBD, able to travel up to 300 km in one hour.

Twenty percent less tax for Tasmanians.

Headlines galore. But little substance.

Perhaps we should have always seen this coming. Remember the promise of a real replica of the Titanic cruise liner, which sank in 1912, killing more than 1500 passengers and crew.

“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty,’’ Palmer said in 2012. “Titanic II will be the ship where those dreams come true.’’

Except they don’t. By 2015, that project was no longer seaworthy.

But then it was revived again a few years later, with a promise it would set sail next year – in 2022.

If you can provide me any more details about how to nab a ticket, or even where it is being built, please let me know. I’m desperate to spend money on that promise.

And that brings me back to the latest headline: A revamped resort at Coolum with seven restaurants, hundreds of jobs. And that life-size Trevi Fountain.

Don’t forget the Wonders of the World too. You will be able to visit the Taj Mahal right here in Queensland. Marvel at the Colosseum. Take snapchat photos of the Great Wall of China.

You just need to come to Queensland. And Clive Palmer’s Coolum resort.

And if you believe any of that, I’ve got the best deal on snake oil you could imagine. True story.

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