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A Queensland court today heard that Clive Palmer bought Queensland Nickel for one dollar. His workers were present to chase the $200 million they’re owed. He wasn’t.
Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery shut down in 2016 taking with it hundreds of jobs, and continuing to owe millions of dollars. Today, we discovered how much he paid for it: one solitary dollar.
The Brisbane supreme court today heard that Clive bought the property from BHP seven years before it turned to salt. Creditors are now chasing approximately $200 million.
FTI Consulting administrator Kelly-Anne Trenfield told the court that 550 workers were stranded by Palmer, recalling her trip to Queensland Nickel in January, discovering that the company was $10 million in the hole, losing a further $1 million in the week she was present.
The court also heard administrators were unable to accept the local government’s offer of emergency funding, because it would have required “a costly environmental clean-up of the poorly maintained refinery.”
Queensland Nickel collapsed a handful of months later. Palmer was not in court today to confirm the findings of the administrator.
Now, pardon my lack of historical comparison, as I am but a lowly millennial, but the actions of Clive reminds me of two clashing Simpsons references. One, where Bart buys a decrepit factory for a dollar and marvels at the wreck as it falls down, all while entertaining the fantasy of him being a legitimate industry baron.
The other reminds me of Montgomery Burns, outrightly claiming that he has no money, only to have the roof above him collapse by the sheer weight of gold on the floor above.
The real-life comparison, of course, is Clive Palmer crying poor, while gleefully congratulating himself for subverting the Federal Election for the princely fee of $55 million.