QN staff ‘ not my prob­lem’ Palmer tells ex- work­ers: Get a job

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETRINEC

CLIVE Palmer has stun­ningly de­clared sacked Queens­land Nickel work­ers should show some “ini­tia­tive” and get a job while de­fend­ing his lux­ury Mediter­ranean cruise.

The for­mer bil­lion­aire resur­faced in Bris­bane yes­ter­day af­ter his Euro­pean hol­i­day last month, and hit out when asked if the out­rage among QN’s for­mer work­ers over his trip was jus­ti­fied.

“I am not re­spon­si­ble for your job and your fam­ily, you are,” Mr Palmer ( pic­tured) said.

“If you hap­pen to be un­em­ployed for two years, that doesn’t show much ini­tia­tive about your­self does it?

“Why not move lo­ca­tion or go some­where? I wouldn’t be un­em­ployed for two years. I ac­cept my re­spon­si­bil­ity to look af­ter my wife and my chil­dren and I ex­pect any­one else should, too.”

QN col­lapsed last year with $ 300 mil­lion in debts and 800 work­ers were made re­dun­dant.

Mr Palmer was at the Plan- ning and En­vi­ron­ment Court yes­ter­day at­tend­ing me­di­a­tion with the State Gov­ern­ment re­lat­ing to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion or­ders placed on QN’s re­fin­ery at Yab­ulu.

While he couldn’t talk about the closed- door me­di­a­tion ses­sion, he said he wasn’t wor­ried about a mam­moth law­suit be­ing mounted against him by the gov­ern­ment- ap­pointed liq­uida­tors of QN, be­cause he said the case had “no sub­stance”.

Just hours later, liq­uida­tors PPB Ad­vi­sory al­leged he re­fused to be served at his CBD of­fice with pa­per­work for the lit­i­ga­tion, which aims to claw backb more than $ 200 mil­lion in debts as well as com­pen­sa­tion for al­leged in­sol­vent trad­ing.

“De­spite Mr Palmer ad­vis­ing that he was pre­pared to ac­cept ser­vice of pro­ceed­ings com­menced against him by the Spe­cial Pur­pose Liq­uida­tors when he re­turned to Aus­tralia, he took eva­sive steps to avoid be­ing served to­day,” liq­uida­tor Stephen Par­bery said in a state­ment last night.

The liq­uida­tors claim Mr Palmer told them he would be re­turn­ing next week, and his sur­prise ap­pear­ance yes­ter­day led to an at­tempt to serve him, which was al­legedly thwarted by his staff.

Mr Palmer de­nied the liq­uida­tors’ al­le­ga­tions that he was a shadow di­rec­tor of the com­pany and that it was trad­ing in­sol­vent since late 2015.

“That is ab­so­lutely not true, and they know it’s not true,” Mr Palmer said.

Harry Bruce: page 39

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