Clive Palmer has been appointed to two parliamentary committees dealing with the economy and infrastructure.
Mining magnate and federal MP Clive Palmer has been appointed to two key parliamentary committees dealing with economic matters.
Mr Palmer, who won the Queensland seat of Fairfax in September’s federal election, was named on Wednesday as a member of the standing committee on economics, as well as the infrastructure and communications committee.
Labor sources said Mr Palmer’s committee roles were given the nod from the prime minister’s office and government whips.
However, a senior coalition source said it was Labor who offered Mr Palmer “non-government” positions on the committees.
Mr Palmer said he wanted to achieve “something for Australia” out of being on the committees.
“With those committees, you want people who have expertise in some of those areas,” he said.
“And over my life, I’ve been involved in port development and large-scale enterprises.”
The committee roles do not come with a pay rise although, if he were to become chairman or deputy chair, those positions would bring extra parliamentary salary. Otherwise Mr Palmer can claim related expenses.
As a member of the economics committee, Mr Palmer will get a chance to quiz key officials from Treasury and the Reserve Bank.
The infrastructure committee has in the past examined such issues as the electricity sector, rail, shipping, aviation and the impact of the global financial crisis.
The businessman has been battling with the Queensland government over infrastructure relating to his Galilee Basin coal mine.
He is also taking legal action in a bid not to pay the carbon tax which came into effect last year but is due to be scrapped by the current government.
Mr Palmer rejected claims his position might give rise to conflicts of interest.