Clive Palmer makes some media moves

Bec Fary / July 08, 2013 11:53 AM

Australia’s mining magnates are trying to hijack the country’s media. 

Clive Palmer Sydney Morning Herald

Photo credit: Sydney Morning Herald 

Following Gina Rinehart’s ongoing attempts to take over Fairfax, mining billionaire and wannabee prime minister Clive Palmer has claimed a name for his new publication.

Palmer last week lodged a trademark application for the name “The Australia Times”, hinting that the media business would include online and print versions and real estate advertising.

But he’s been beaten to the naming punch by a Melbourne-based online magazine.

IT businessman David Abouav founded The Australia Times earlier this year as a “free, non-aligned, grass roots, national online publication”. 

He is strongly opposed to Palmer’s trademark bid.

Under the mantra “Independent Media Inspiring Minds”, the first issue of The Australia Times was published on June 14.

The Australia Times

Photo credit: The Australia Times

Deputy chief of staff at the Melbourne magazine, Kelly Sargent, said Palmer’s lawyers must have searched the business and trademark registers before lodging their application.

"It would therefore not come as a surprise to him that The Australian Times, The Australia Times and The Australia Times Pty Ltd would all lodge objections should his trademark application reach the advertising stage,” she told The Australian

Sargent said either Palmer’s lawyers were incompetent or the whole venture was just a stunt.

Palmer is currently suing national broadsheet The Australian in the Queensland Supreme Court for defamation.

Last month he also barred a reporter from the newspaper from his political party’s media event in Adelaide, describing the paper as “just a rag”.

Palmer is trying to exert influence in politics too; the billionaire miner launched the Palmer United Party in April, saying he wants to field candidates in every federal seat in the upcoming election.

“I’m standing to be the next prime minister of Australia,” he said at the launch of the Party.

“I have no personal interest. I have made enough money in my life, I’m not seeking any enrichment of wealth for myself, I’m seeking it for the Australian people.” 

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