SYDNEY, April 27 (UPI) -- Australian mining tycoon Clive Palmer said his candidacy for prime minister under the banner of a new political party he is forming is a serious gesture.
Palmer unveiled the United Australia Party Friday and formally threw his hat into the ring for the September elections.
"I am standing because I think I can offer better service to the community than anyone else," Palmer told reporters.
Palmer, who made his fortune in mining and natural resources, enjoys a high public profile, in large part due to his proposal to build a $200 million replica of the ocean liner Titanic, The New York Times said. He was also a major financial supporter of the conservative Liberal-National Party but resigned last year amid disputes over his own political aspirations.
Palmer might have a chance of winning the September election. The Times noted Prime Minister Julia Gillard has seen her public support erode this year, and her Labor Party has had its own internal conflicts.
Conservatives reacted quickly to Palmer's move, urging voters to stick with the Liberal-National Party as the best bet to unseating Gillard and the Labor Party.