CLIVE Palmer’s pitch about Titanic II – the ship he is funding to be built before a maiden 2020 voyage – hardly had the imagined grandeur and prestige of the original ship’s build in the early 1900s.
The mining magnate and former federal MP featured in a bizarre promotional video last week for Blue Star Line, the company commissioning the modern version of the famous cruiseliner.
“Travelers in time, why build the Titanic?,” Palmer asked in his opening address.
“Why go to the moon? Why does Cambridge play Oxford? Why did Cook discover Australia? Because they could, and they can, and we can – build the Titanic.”
All this was said standing in front of a simple media board. Just Clive, and the script he kept looking at to remember his lines.
Although the 64-year-old was wearing a suit and bow-tie, albeit a bow-tie worn with the strap outside of the collar.
No ocean, no ship yard, no workers, no excitement outside some animations.
Just Clive and his lines.
Because he could, because he can.
READ MORE: Titanic II project moves to Paris
Palmer has had plans for Titanic II for some time, first launching the idea at a press conference in New York in 2013.
He initially planned to have the ship make its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in 2016, but the project stalled and was then thought to have been deserted.
Last week’s video was the first time the company had posted to its website since May, 2014. Even the Blue Star Line trademark was listed as “abandoned” in 2015.
Palmer is a dividing character in Australia, perhaps to say the least. He’s had plenty of bold ideas and promises over the years.
His dinosaur-riddled golf course, his failed A-League franchise on the Gold Coast and his infamous entry to parliament in 2013 when he controversially won the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.
So should we take him at his inspiring words and believe Titanic II will one day sail across the seas?
While the ship is will be close to a replica, the itinerary has somewhat changed from the original ship’s cross-Atlantic journey.
Palmer plans to sail Titanic II from China to England and on to the United States.
But even that could altered to include other continents. Would you board Titanic II if it sailed to and from Australia?
BE THE BALL…. BOY OR GIRL
The Newcastle Knights have put the call out for the next Brett Finch, asking young fans to apply for the opportunity to become a ball boy or girl for the club's grade sides.
Kids between the ages of eight and 12 are eligible but must be available every weekend between February and September in 2019.
They will ball boy the Harold Matthews (Under 16s), SG Ball (Under 18s), Jersey Flegg (Under 20s) and reserve grade teams.
While Finch worked the lines in the ‘90s when his dad was part of the Knights’ coaching staff, kids today will need to apply on the club’s website and detail in 25 words or less why they want to be a ball kid for the Knights. Applications close at 5pm on Friday, November 9. Only successful applicants will be notified.
ORICA TRUCK ALIGNS WITH WESTPAC RESCUE CHOPPER
In a graphics match resembling a race team, mining company Orica has unveiled a striking design on one of its vehicles to match the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. The company’s latest Bulkmaster mobile manufacturing unit visited the service’s Broadmeadow base last week to show off the new look before heading out to the Hunter Valley.
Orica has supported the rescue chopper since 2015 and contributed more than $500,000 over that time.
The new initiative is designed to raise funds and awareness for the service throughout northern NSW.
“The Westpac helicopter service is a vital lifeline for the community. We’re so proud of our partnership with the service that we’ve painted one of our Bulkmaster 7 trucks in their colours, to lend support and spread awareness,” Orica’s vice president for Australia Pacific Todd Peate said.
“Our partnership expands on the existing support from Orica employees who have generously contributed through Orica’s ‘Dare to Share’ payroll deduction program over many years, with Orica matching our employee donations, dollar for dollar.”
Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service chief Richard Jones said support from companies like Orica was vital to ongoing operations.
“It ensures future operations every day of the year and still nobody ever has to pay to be assisted by the service,” he said.