Clive’s cruise snaps a bit rich for staff
NEWS of Clive Palmer’s inlaws living it up in Bulgaria has angered sacked Queensland Nickel workers still getting their lives back on track.
Sacked worker Andrew Harris said it was a slap in the face to see Mr Palmer’s family living the high life while government liquidators were trying to recoup millions of dollars paid to 761 QN employees retrenched amid the nickel refinery company’s demise.
Mr Palmer gave $ 7.6 million of QN money to his father- in- law Alexander Sokolov in November 2012, the same day he allegedly transferred almost $ 43 million to his political party, friends, family and other family businesses.
It was revealed yesterday Mr Sokolov and his wife Stiliyana own at least two properties in Bulgaria and travel frequently to Australia.
Mr Sokolov spent the past month cruising the Mediterranean with Mr Palmer and other family members.
The Federal Government is still chasing Mr Palmer over millions of dollars in unpaid entitlements.
“It frustrates me extremely. I recently saw on Clive’s Facebook page a reporter has found him in Venice and tried to quiz him over the Queensland Nickel saga, and he tried to change the subject and make it all about Rupert Murdoch,” Mr Harris said yesterday. “Personally I don’t think ( the Government) will ever see ( the money), but I hope they pursue it as hard as they can.”
The Federal Government has paid out $ 66.54 million to 761 workers under the Fair Entitlement Guarantee Act.
Gov e r n ment - a p p o i n t e d liquidators have launched a court bid to recover the funds.
Mr Palmer has denied any wrongdoing.
Former QN worker Shaun Bramwell said it was frustrating to see Mr Palmer’s family cruise the Mediterranean.
Mr Bramwell, who received about $ 50,000 through the government entitlements scheme, said he was not sure the Government would ever see the money.
He said he was still owed about $ 4000 in entitlements.
“I don’t expect to see that. If I see it, it’s a bonus, but I’m not hanging on it because I don’t expect to see it,” he said.
Since the collapse of QN in January last year, Mr Bramwell has gained seasonal work as a sugar cane locomotive driver. He said he enjoyed the job but has not had the financial stability of full- time work.
Mr Harris has also been left with a $ 4000 shortfall, having been paid out $ 52,000 of the $ 56,000 owed to him.
He has struggled to find full- time work in Townsville and travels 1000km a week to run his parents’ business.
CRUISE CONTROL: Clive Palmer in Venice as part of his holiday cruise; former Queensland Nickel workers Andrew Harris ( below left) and Shaun Bramwell ( below right).