Clive picks another electorate at random
Image © 2012 AAP One / Dan Peled
Mining magnate Clive Palmer says he is considering challenging popular crossbencher Bob Katter at the next federal election.
Mr Palmer says he is interested in running for Liberal National Party (LNP) preselection in either Queensland seat of Kennedy, held by Mr Katter, or Fairfax where LNP MP Alex Somlyay is retiring at the next election due by November 2013.
Mr Katter from the Australian Party holds the north Queensland electorate of Kennedy with a 18.3 per cent buffer, while Fairfax on the Sunshine Coast is held by Mr Somlyay with a margin of 7.0 per cent.
Mr Palmer said he liked to stand in a seat where the electorate knew him and he knew them.
"The seat of Kennedy, and maybe the seat of Fairfax," Mr Palmer told ABC Television from Tahiti on Wednesday.
The mining billionaire said he was the largest private employer in northern Queensland where Kennedy was located, while he owned a house and a resort in Fairfax.
He said Australians were concerned about the role of independent MPs in the parliament.
The minority Labor government relies on the support of four crossbench MPs for legislation to pass the House of Representatives.
"I just want to say the days of independents is over," Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott advised him not to run for LNP preselection in the Brisbane seat of Lilley, held by Treasurer Wayne Swan.
"He said `Clive don't stand for Lilley'," Mr Palmer said.
"Of course I didn't stand for Lilley as I respect my leader."
Mr Abbott had said earlier on Wednesday that Mr Palmer would have to put in the "hard yards" and accept being a MP was a full-time job if the billionaire wanted to stand as a LNP candidate for federal parliament.
"I would personally devote 100 per cent of my time to the people of Australia," Mr Palmer said.
"Seeing if we can get the Australian economy right, see if we can get some go forward."
"It's not good enough to just drift into office."
Mr Palmer said he was sure the party had an agenda to make a difference.
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