Fugitive collects fat pay cheque
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.