Disgraced former Queensland Nickel owner Clive Palmer has defended his decision to pay his fugitive nephew $4,000 a week, despite many of his former employees claiming they are owed big-time after the company’s collapse.
Speaking to Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 last night, Palmer said he’s fully entitled to pay former Queensland Nickel director Clive Mensink – and that he’d pay him a million bucks weekly if he felt like it.
“It’s my money, he’s my nephew… I earned my money hard,” Palmer said.
Queensland Nickel folded with roughly $300 million in debts in 2016, leaving nearly 800 former employees without jobs. Taxpayer-backed liquidators have sued Palmer and Mensink for around $500 million, alleging Queensland Nickel operated in all kinds of shoddy ways before its demise.
Despite an arrest warrant over the matter, Mensink has refused to testify in Australia, and is reportedly holed up in Bulgaria.
Palmer’s 7.30 interview comes just days after the Queensland Supreme Court put a freeze on his personal assets, as the courts continue to assess the millions of dollars of entitlements allegedly owed to employees after the company’s implosion.
Palmer has repeatedly denied being personally liable for alleged debts to employees and creditors. In one particularly heated point, he told Sales “if you want to continue the interview, I suggest you keep quiet” about the claims put against him.
He also claimed the asset freeze was actually part of a “political witch hunt” perpetrated against him by the two major political parties, and affirmed he wasn’t liable for paying former employees despite allegedly sitting on billions of dollars.
You can watch the full interview HERE.
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Image: 7.30 / ABC