The Sunshine Coast hinterland is experiencing a surge in tourism since the erection of Palmer United billboards on the Bruce Highway. The large yellow signs, which feature an image of Clive Palmer poised to dive forward and crush passing traffic, are diverting record volumes of traffic into the region’s unsigned interior roads.
“I’ve heard parents say the billboards frighten their kids,” says the operator of a small business at Maleny. “They’d rather bypass the signs and take the inland route, which is just wonderful for communities like ours. We’re very grateful that Clive is helping people connect with the real Australia.”
Attendances at Australia Zoo have also increased since the Palmer signs were erected. “It could be a coincidence,” says a zoo spokesman, “but the traffic on the Steve Irwin Way is a lot more congested since Clive’s signs went up.”
A drinker at the Ettamogah Pub, who has to pass one of the Palmer signs every day, summarises the public mood well.
“I don’t blame people for heading for the hills. I never thought I’d see anything as terrifying up this way as the Steve Irwin statue at Mooloolaba. But I was wrong.”