Palmer’s company gives six-figure gift to Dowling campaign
A Clive Palmer-owned company donated a six-figure sum to Townsville mayoral candidate Greg Dowling's campaign - the day before he announced his candidacy.
Electoral Commission of Queensland data shows Mineralogy Pty Ltd donated $100,000 to Mr Dowling's campaign on January 14, one day before the former footy player held a press conference at the Flinders St building recently purchased by Clive Palmer.
It comes after Mr Palmer made a public promise to contribute $50,000 of his own money - the same cash he received in the form of a defamation payout from incumbent Jenny Hill.
In just a week, the Greg Dowling mayoral fund raising campaign has surpassed Team Jenny Hill's entire 2016 campaign donation takings.
Mr Dowling, who has repeatedly asserted his independence from Mr Palmer and the United Australia Party, said he was shocked at the amount and claimed he had no idea Mineralogy Pty Ltd donated $100,000 until days after it dropped into his campaign account.
A spokesman for Mineralogy - the same person who sends out media releases for Clive Palmer and now Mr Dowling, too - said the mining company was supporting the "best candidate for Mayor".
"For too long this great city has been taken for granted by Labor," he said.
"It's time for a change and Greg Dowling is the best person for this job."
Asked who was running his accounts, the former State of Origin great said he'd rather not say, before hinting to an announcement about a council team in a few weeks.
According to Mr Dowling he has not had further discussion with Mineralogy since they agreed to let him use the heritage-listed Flinders St building as his campaign office and the only communication he's had with Mr Palmer since January 15 was a text message saying "well done".
He said people would keep hitting him on his Clive Palmer connections because he ran for the mining magnate's United Australia Party in the Federal Election but the council election was "totally different".
"Clive is an ally and he is supporting me, but it has nothing to do with him, running for his party … it has nothing to do with that whatsoever," Mr Dowling said.
"This is my campaign and that's the point I'm trying to make."
Team Jenny Hill logged a total of $148,360 in donations during the 2016 campaign, with the largest single contribution being the controversial $35,000 from Wingate Properties Pty Ltd.
Three mayoral candidates will contest the council elections which will be held on Saturday, March 28.
Sam Cox announced he would take on incumbent Jenny Hill for the top job back in November.