2. Clive Palmer
One name dominated Queensland politics in 2012 – which was impressive, seeing as he’s not a politician.
It’s been a big year for Clive Palmer.
It started quiet enough – just a threat to sue what was then QR National [now Aurizon] over what he said was a breach of confidentiality. That case was dropped.
His injunction attempt against the Football Federation of Australia did make it to court – but was dismissed.
Same with his case against Hyatt, the former managers of his Coolum resort.
He also established his own football body, Football Australia to “oversee” Football Federation Australia. He then held a press conference where he accused Lock the Gate founder Drew Hutton and the Greens of being a “tool of [the] US Government” and hinted at a CIA conspiracy.
That was just March.
Mr Palmer later said he had just wanted to deflect bad attention away from the LNP during the election campaign.
The mining magnate then teased he’d been considering his own political career – running against Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan in the seat of Lilley. He erected a billboard, but withdrew the idea before pre-selection closed.
Then there was the Titanic II unveiling, that dinner, dinosaurs at his resort, a brief flirtation at starting a media company called Rage and calling media conferences to announce he would call another media conference for a big announcement in the future. Which the media went to.
And that is not counting his fall out with the Liberal National Party, the establishment of a fund to help sacked public servants, his public war of words with Premier Campbell Newman, his suspension from the party, reinstatement and subsequent resignation.
After that, he began floating the idea of setting up his own political party, which he has since put on hold, telling Fairfax Media that the polling “while good” didn’t show enough support to make it worth his while.
And now he has been named the joint Secretary-General of the World Leadership Alliance, a non-profit independent organisation which counts former world presidents and prime ministers in its ranks and president of the alliance’s business arm, the World Economic Council.
Both his son Michael and wife Anna have been named on the board of the council.
He told Fairfax Media his new roles meant he “probably won’t have time for the LNP” but he still plans on making his presence felt in Queensland.
“The other people are so boring, aren't they? You ask them a question and they don’t answer it, they give a platitude. It’s just a game,” he said,
“You might as well tell people the truth, even if they don’t like it. That’s the reason there are journalists. To find the truth. But those people are making journalists redundant. I mean, I could take all day to answer a question and give something very boring that says nothing, you know? But what is the point of that?”
But he also said that he believed money needed to stop impressing people.
“If you have a lot of money or you don’t have a lot of money, that shouldn't be a relevant thing, really, it is what you say and the content of your character,” he said.
“I can get a lot of journalists wanting to talk to me anywhere in the world because I have a lot of money, which is silly don’t you reckon? It doesn't mean my ideas are any more valid then anyone else’s, you know? But that is just the way it is. It’s crazy, don’t you reckon?”
Mr Palmer plans on seeing in the new year by taking his super yacht Maximus on its yearly run from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, but after that, he said he was unsure of what surprises 2013 would hold.
Whatever it is, it’s bound to be big.