Palmer avoids scru­tiny of as­sets

The Australian - - THE NATION - CHAR­LIE PEEL

A bid by the liq­uida­tors of Queens­land Nickel to in­ter­view Clive Palmer about the spend­ing and as­sets of his flag­ship com­pany Min­er­al­ogy has been re­jected.

The gen­eral-pur­pose liq­uida­tor lodged the ap­pli­ca­tion in the Fed­eral Court af­ter com­ments made by Mr Palmer in the me­dia cast doubt on the as­sets held by Min­er­al­ogy and raised con­cern over the com­pany’s abil­ity to pay Queens­land Nickel’s cred­i­tors in the event it is or­dered to do so in the judg­ment of a Supreme Court mat­ter set to go to trial in April.

The liq­uida­tors sought or­ders that Min­er­al­ogy pro­duce bank­ing records and its man­age­ment ac­counts for the lat­ter half of 2018. Mr Palmer would then have been ques­tioned about the fi­nan­cial records in court in Jan­uary.

Spe­cial-pur­pose liq­uida­tors, ap­pointed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, have brought an ac­tion against Mr Palmer and 19 oth­ers in the Supreme Court to re­cover about $500 mil­lion. The Supreme Court has pro­tected some of the funds sought by the liq­uida­tors with a freez­ing or­der.

Mr Palmer’s as­sets can­not di­min­ish be­low $204m, while Min­er­al­ogy must not di­min­ish be­low $14m.

Ac­counts lodged with the Aus­tralian Se­cu­ri­ties & In­vest­ments Com­mis­sion show that Min­er­al­ogy posted a $354.7m profit last fi­nan­cial year.

Reg­is­trar Mur­ray Belcher dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion but said he might re­con­sider it at “an­other oc­ca­sion”.

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