by Jeni Bone
On the same day as announcing he will run for Federal politics, mining magnate, Clive Palmer has revealed his plans to enter the cruise ship business by building the Titanic II - complete with period costume and all the accoutrements of the ill-fated liner.
Along with political ambitions, Palmer aims to build Titanic II.
At a press conference this morning, Palmer said he will seek Liberal National Party preselection for the Brisbane seat of Lillely, currently held by Treasurer, Wayne Swan.
'I intend to put to the test to the people of this country my views against the treasurer in his home seat of Lilley,' Mr Palmer said in Brisbane. 'He has been the sitting member for far too long. It's about time we get this country moving again.'
Regarding his plans to build a fleet of world class luxury liners, including a 21st-century version of the Titanic, Palmer stated he has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build Titanic II.
With the latest navigation and safety systems, Titanic II will sail in the northern hemisphere, with her maiden voyage from England to North America scheduled for late 2016.
Palmer told the media in Brisbane the rebuild was a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg 15 April 1912.
When one wag enquired as to whether Palmer's ship could sink, he retorted, 'Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it! It is going to be designed so it won't sink. It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn't happen. But, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen.'
Palmer said he has established his own shipping company, Blue Star Line, with the new ship having the same dimensions as its predecessor, with 840 rooms and nine decks.
'These people produced work that is still marvelled at more than 100 years later and we want that spirit to go on for another 100 years,' he said of his quest.