Clive Pamer has come under fire in a report from Queensland Nickel administrators.
Clive Pamer has come under fire in a report from Queensland Nickel administrators. Warren Lynam

TIMELINE: The highs and lows of Palmer's political career

CLIVE PALMER REJECTS ADMINISTRATORS' ALLEGATIONS

MEMBER for Fairfax Clive Palmer has taken to social media to respond to the allegations made against him within the FTI Consulting report into Queensland Nickel released on Tuesday morning.

Mr Palmer tweeted and uploaded the following statement to his Facebook page this morning rejecting the claims made by the administrators.

"The truth of the matter is the administrators are embarking on a campaign to secure more funds for their exorbitant fees,'' Mr Palmer said.

"They have already paid themselves $4 million and are seeking to liquidate Queensland Nickel to pay themselves another $5 million."


RELATED: Newman: Palmer issues vindicate my government


Mr Palmer said at no time in his dealings with administrators FTI Consulting did they raise any of the allegations now being made.

"The administrators did so without providing myself or others named in their report the opportunity to be aware of such allegations or discuss such matters.

"The report calls into question the professionalism and impartiality of FTI. Their findings are filled with innuendo."
Mr Palmer said the public had a right to know the truth.

"Queensland Nickel employees who were first made redundant were paid two weeks wages in advance while their redundancy and entitlements were being determined.

"It was FTI who made the decision not to pay entitlements, not any person working for Queensland Nickel.

"FTI continued to trade the company for over a month with Joint Venture funds without the Joint Venture's approval," Mr Palmer said.

"On March 3, Queensland Nickel ceased to be the manager of the Queensland Nickel Joint Venture.

"The administrator refused to transfer the joint venture bank account to the new manager as required by the joint venture agreement,'' he said.

Mr Palmer said he obtained a $23 million line of credit which when added to the joint venture bank account would have kept the refinery open avoiding further redundancies.

"Instead the administrator decided to sack all 550 employees, not pay their entitlements and to close the refinery.

"I want to be clear that at no time did I act as a shadow director," he said.

Mr Palmer will later today release documents showing the role in which he acted, proving the allegations are false, the statement ends. 


EXPERT SAYS CLIVE PALMER'S POLITICAL CAREER IS FINISHED

A DAMNING, 124-page report into the failed Queensland Nickel refinery's finances has recommended ASIC investigates the company's collapse.

The administrator's report confirmed it considered Mr Palmer a shadow director of Queensland Nickel and labelled Mr Palmer and official Queensland Nickel director Clive Mensink- Mr Palmer's nephew- "reckless" in how they exercised their duties and powers as directors.

The report was followed by widespread condemnation for the embattled MP while a number of Coast political identities felt it may seal his fate in the minds of the Fairfax electorate.

"He certainly won't get elected next time if he even stands... his political career is done on the Coast," University of the Sunshine Coast political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens said.

She believed any chances Mr Palmer had of shifting into the Senate had probably also been mortally wounded.

"There's huge disappointment and total disillusionment (from voters)," Ms Stevens said.

"If you're a pollie you've got to appear holier than thou. I don't expect many people will vote for him."


WATCH: Clive Palmer at his election campaign launch in 2013

 

ADMINISTRATOR RELEASES DAMNING REPORT

Administrator FTI Consulting yesterday released its report examining the finances of Queensland Nickel.

Among the findings and allegations made, the administrators revealed they were treating Mr Palmer as shadow director, despite Mr Palmer's repeated claims he had been acting within his rights as a committee member of the joint venture between Queensland Nickel, QNI Metals and QNI Resources.

FTI Consulting rejected Mr Palmer's claims.

"Our observations indicate Mr Palmer, a former Director of the Company, appears to have acted as a shadow/de facto director of QN at all material times from February 2012 up to the date of our appointment on 18 January 2016," the report reads.

"Both Mr Mensink and Mr Palmer, in our view, appear to have been reckless, in exercising their duties and powers as Directors of QN."

In the report which recommends creditors vote on April 22 to liquidate Queensland Nickel, administrator John Park outlined a number of payments alleged to have been made by Queensland Nickel to related parties.

BETTER DAYS: Clive Palmer with some of his Rolls Royces.
BETTER DAYS: Clive Palmer with some of his Rolls Royces. Iain Curry

Among them, Palmer Leisure Coolum, operators of the Palmer Coolum Resort was reported to have received more than $58 million between July 1, 2010 and January 18, 2016.

"This was joint venture funds, it wasn't Queensland Nickel's funds, it wasn't Queensland Nickel's expenditure, it was covered by a joint venture agreement of which I was a member of a joint venture committee," Mr Palmer told ABC's Lateline on Monday night.

The report also flagged possible breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 by Mr Palmer and Mr Mensink.

"Our investigations indicate certain persons appointed as a Director, or whom may have acted in the capacity of a director, may have contravened Sections 180, 181, 182, 183 and/or 184 of the Act, as well as their fiduciary and common law duties," the report said.

Among those alleged breaches, FTI Consulting said the directors "directed and/or authorised QN to enter into transactions with related parties which do not appear to have been in the best interests of QN or for a proper purpose" among others.

The administrators also noted they believed there was an opportunity for action to be taken over insolvent trading, having identified November 27, 2015 as the date Queensland Nickel became insolvent.

Since that date, according to the report, Queensland Nickel incurred further debts totalling $771 million, of which $73.9 million is owed to employees while unsecured creditors are owed more than $151 million.


CONTRIBUTIONS TO PALMER UNITED PARTY

The administrators also targeted contributions made by Queensland Nickel to the Palmer United Party, totalling about $21.5 million since 2013.

"It is our view the donations made by QN to PUP have appropriated assets otherwise available to QN and its creditors for the benefit of a director-related entities, and because of these transactions, caused detriment to QN," the report said.

Mr Palmer's opponent for the seat of Fairfax at the next Federal Election, LNP candidate Ted O'Brien, said it was up to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to resolve the issue of Mr Palmer's alleged shadow directorship.

"Unless there are legal grounds for him to stand down as the Member for Fairfax or he comes clean and says he is not up to the job then he should go to the next election and be held to account by the people of Fairfax," Mr O'Brien said.

"People put him there, they're the boss, let them decide.

"People on the Sunshine Coast have bent over backwards to give Clive Palmer a fair go."

Former Federal Member for Fairfax Alex Somlyay said Mr Palmer had no obligation to stand down without being charged or convicted, but said he believed the latest in a string of scandals had done irreversible damage to his political clout.

"If he stands for re-election in Fairfax there's no way he'll be re-elected," Mr Somlyay said.

Mr Palmer did not return the Daily's calls on Tuesday seeking comment.


TIMELINE: Clive Palmer's political career

 



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