Palmer And New Recruit Burston Cop A Spray At Press Conference

Sprinkler passes judgement as former One Nation Senator joins Clive

Former One Nation Senator Brian Burston is joining Clive Palmer’s newly launched party – but Canberra’s sprinkler system didn’t seem to approve.

The first press conference of Palmer’s new United Australia Party, which began with him triumphantly claiming a seat in the Senate, ended in disarray when the in-ground sprinkler beneath the podium suddenly turned on, soaking Palmer, Burston and the assembled journalists.

The abrupt and soggy end to the press conference came as Palmer was addressing questions of how he could afford to fund a political comeback while hundreds of ex-employees of his collapsed company Queensland Nickel were still owed wages.

Palmer blamed the liquidators – and it seems the sprinkler took it personally.

Just an hour after telling the Senate he would now be sitting as an independent, Burston announced that he was moving to UAP, the party Palmer yesterday announced he was “re-establishing” – a reference to the party of the same name which held government in the 1930s and 40s.

Accused of misleading the Senate, Burston claimed that he and Palmer "were still negotiating right to the last minute".

Burston quit One Nation last week after a public feud with leader Pauline Hanson, who he claimed was not allowing him to vote freely on the government's business tax cut legislation.

But if he thinks he’s going to get free rein under Palmer, he must not have been paying attention while the Palmer United Party disintegrated in 2014-15.

Not to mention that Hanson also formed a party known as Pauline’s United Australia Party in 2007, whose NSW Senate candidate was… Brian Burston.

Burston must be getting confused at this point.

Though surely as long as Brian keeps voting for business tax cuts, he and Clive will be the best of pals.