NZ, not Aus­tralia, great for Palmer

The West Australian - - NEWS - Nick Evans

Clive Palmer, the come­back politi­cian who says he wants to “Make Aus­tralia Great” has qui­etly shifted con­trol of his big­gest com­pany off­shore.

Mr Palmer has spent mil­lions plas­ter­ing bright yel­low bill­boards bear­ing his im­age across the coun­try in prepa­ra­tion for a po­lit­i­cal come­back this year, and last week pestered 5.6 mil­lion Aus­tralians with text mes­sages spruik­ing his po­lit­i­cal res­ur­rec­tion — all on a plat­form of “Put Aus­tralia First”.

But just be­fore Christ­mas, Mr Palmer re­struc­tured his busi­ness af­fairs, mak­ing New Zealand greater by in­stalling a newly cre­ated New Zealand com­pany as the new “ul­ti­mate hold­ing com­pany” of his re­sources flag­ship, Min­er­al­ogy.

Min­er­al­ogy is the cashed-up cen­tre of Mr Palmer’s em­pire, declar­ing a $354.7 mil­lion profit last year af­ter a big le­gal vic­tory over China's CITIC.

It helped bankroll Mr Palmer's last stint in Fed­eral pol­i­tics, do­nat­ing more than $10 mil­lion to the Palmer United Party dur­ing his last term in Can­berra. It is now con­trolled by Min­er­al­ogy In­ter­na­tional Ltd, which Mr Palmer reg­is­tered in New Zealand on De­cem­ber 14. Min­er­al­ogy In­ter­na­tional is, in turn, owned by Mr Palmer and sev­eral Aus­tralian-based com­pa­nies he also con­trols.

Mr Palmer yes­ter­day re­jected the sug­ges­tion mov­ing cor­po­rate con­trol of his Aus­tralian em­pire to New Zealand, while run­ning for of­fice on a “Put Aus­tralia First” plat­form, smacked of hypocrisy. “It’s got noth­ing to do with pol­i­tics,” he said.

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