Next Time Anyone Tries To Say That Clive Didn’t Pay His Nickel Workers, Show Them This……Clive Palmer Settles Queensland Nickel Lawsuit, Agrees To Pay Sacked Workers
By Ben Smee
Liquidator announces that agreement has been reached after a years-long legal battle
Clive Palmer will cover the full cost of entitlements for sacked Queensland Nickel workers, after he reached a deal with liquidators to settle debts owed by his failed Townsville business.
The liquidator, Stephen Parbery of KPMG, announced that an agreement had been reached late on Monday afternoon, after a years-long legal battle and two weeks into a trial in the Queensland supreme court.
Liquidators had been seeking to recover debts of up to $200m from the 2016 collapse of Queensland Nickel and the closure of the Yabulu nickel refinery in Townsville.
Speaking to media at the outset of the trial, Palmer had claimed he intended to fight the case “for the greater good”.
“People all across Australia are having trouble now with liquidators and receivers, businesses are closing … because of their unconscionable behaviour,” Palmer said.
“So when that happens to someone like me, I’ve got a moral responsibility not to give up.”
Palmer agreed to settle the claims against him and other defendants, including companies he controls on Monday. Last week he settled debts claimed by rail network operator Aurizon.
Parbery was appointed to liquidate Queensland Nickel in 2016, after the federal government stepped in to pay $66m in unpaid entitlements to former employees at the refinery who lost their jobs.
In a statement, Parbery said his role had been to investigate the events leading up the the collapse of Queensland Nickel and to take any necessary recovery action on behalf of creditors.
In doing so, the case went to a trial, which began last month. In the course of the court action, creditors claimed Palmer had acted as a shadow director of Queensland Nickel, transferred tens of millions of dollars from the company’s accounts for his own purposes, and had falsified alterations to the refinery’s joint venture agreement.
Parbery said there had been “lengthy delays” because of the complexity of the process and because of “resistance from these parties to the recovery actions”.
“With the full weight of the evidence being laid before the defendants ahead of the trial, settlement negotiations were initiated as the trial commenced,” Parbery said.
“This settlement is in the best interests of creditors and provides for the full repayment of the Commonwealth’s ($66m) debt, all other outstanding employee entitlements, and a full recovery for the majority of unsecured creditors.”
Parbery said a small number of claims were still to be dealt with by liquidators and that legal action continued against one Palmer company, Mineralogy.