Fugi­tive col­lects fat pay cheque

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ME­LANIE PETRINEC

CLIVE Palmer is pay­ing his fugi­tive nephew more than $ 8000 a fort­night to travel the world while former Queens­land Nickel work­ers in Townsville are still owed $ 6 mil­lion in en­ti­tle­ments.

The bombshell ev­i­dence was re­vealed yes­ter­day dur­ing a Supreme Court ap­pli­ca­tion by the tax­payer- funded liq­uida­tors of Queens­land Nickel to freeze more than $ 200 mil­lion of Mr Palmer’s as­sets.

The liq­uida­tors’ bar­ris­ter, Shane Doyle QC, cross- ex­am­ined Mr Palmer about pay­ments made to his nephew and former QN di­rec­tor Clive Mensink since he be­gan his over­seas jaunt last June.

Mr Mensink has failed to re­turn to Aus­tralia, de­spite two war­rants for his ar­rest be­ing is­sued af­ter he did not ap­pear at public ex­am­i­na­tions into the col­lapse of QN last year with $ 300 mil­lion in debts and more than 800 job losses.

Mr Doyle said Mr Mensink was paid more than $ 8000 a fort­night – first by Mr Palmer’s com­pany Queens­land Nickel Sales and then by Min­er­al­ogy af­ter March this year.

Mr Palmer said the war­rants made “no dif­fer­ence to our obli­ga­tions to pay him”.

“I re­call be­ing aware of it, I was aware he was be­ing paid his salary and would con­tinue to be paid,” he said. “He was en­ti­tled to re­ceive his salary.”

Mr Palmer told a Fed­eral Court hear­ing in May that he was not aware of any pay­ments to Mr Mensink, but yes­ter­day said he was “heav­ily se­dated” at the time.

He fa­mously turned up to the hear­ings with a breath­ing de­vice and vomit bag af­ter suf­fer­ing from pan­cre­ati­tis.

Liq­uida­tors have ap­plied to freeze Mr Palmer’s as­sets amid a $ 500 mil­lion court case to re­coup debts to cred­i­tors and claim com­pen­sa­tion for al­leged in­sol­vent trad­ing and breaches of di­rec­tors’ du­ties.

Part of the debt in­cludes en­ti­tle­ments owed to more than 450 em­ploy­ees.

Out­side court, Mr Palmer said the en­ti­tle­ments were sep­a­rate to Mr Mensink’s con­tract, which he said he was re­quired to hon­our.

The hear­ing to freeze his as­sets con­tin­ues next month.

UN­CLE BUCKS: Queens­land Nickel owner Clive Palmer at court yes­ter­day.

Globe- trot­ter Clive Mensink.

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