Palmer splashes $4.4m on mansion pad
GOLD Coast millionaire Clive Palmer has been criticised by the State Government for splashing out $4.4 million on two properties on the exclusive Sovereign Islands as creditors continue to chase his company for millions in unpaid funds from the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
Property records obtained by the Gold Coast Bulletin reveal the resources magnate, who turns 64 today, went on a spending spree in January, obtaining two sites on King Arthurs Court totalling 1413 sqm.
The sites looking out over the Surfers Paradise skyline include an existing house while the other, an empty block of land once marketed as the location for a four-storey home.
With the existing house removed the site would be able to accommodate a mansion.
The cash splash extends the number of properties the Palmer family own on the King Arthurs Court to six, with the family's spend on Sovereign Islands topping more than $20 million over the past decade.
Mr Palmer, who is currently fighting an application before the courts by liquidators to freeze his assets, yesterday did not respond to questions put to him by the Gold Coast Bulletin.
At the time of its collapse the Townsville-based Queensland Nickel owed $215 million to creditors, including $74 million to employees.
The Federal Government paid out $64 million in entitlements to the staff.
News of the property sale was swiftly condemned by the State Government which last night took aim at the former federal MP.
"It's extremely disappointing to hear reports like this when more than two years after the collapse of Queensland Nickel, the company's former workers are still waiting to get their entitlements from Mr Palmer," a spokesman for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
The 2016 collapse of the company cost nearly 800 workers their jobs.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the news would be "more than a slap in the face" for former Queensland Nickel workers.
"I would like to see him stand in front of the people of Townsville and those who lost their jobs and explain to them why he is willing to spend the money on his mansion rather than repay the debts owed to workers," he said.
"This is more than a slap in the face, this will make them furious and I think those former workers will read about this with absolute disgust."
According to court documents, more than 150 businesses were named as creditors for Queensland Nickel, with rail company Aurizon the biggest at $88 million.
Court documents revealed last week show one employee alone was owed $890,000.
Federal Workplace Minister Craig Laundy yesterday declined to comment on the matter.
Mr Palmer's latest Sovereign buys were made in his own name, distinct from other Palmer holders at Sovereign, such as wife Anna, son Michael, and daughter Emily.
There's also one in the name of his nephew and former right-hand man Clive Mensink.
The sales, on January 28, came two months after a court order that Chinese company Citic must pay him $US278 million in a dispute over iron-ore royalties.
The move was understood to have restored his fortune to more than $700 million.
The King Arthurs Court properties are not his only recent purchases.
Last month he signed up for a $7.4 million riverfront residence in Brisbane, owned by the former boss of the failed Linc Energy, Peter Bond.