Clive Palmer retrospectively approved more than $170 million in payments from Queensland Nickel to himself, family and his corporate interests during two meetings late last year, which he chaired himself, court documents have revealed.
According to the documents filed in the Queensland Supreme Court, Mr Palmer was the only official attendee at the private meetings held on November 21, at his Brisbane headquarters.
An employee of the businessman was the only other person listed in the minutes as in the room but “attended as an observer by invitation”.
The payments are contained in an affidavit filed by former chief financial officer, Daren Wolfe, in a liquidators lawsuit against Mr Palmer.
They include $14 million to Mr Palmer himself, $7.7 million to his father-in-law, $57 million to his Coolum golf resort and $9.2 million for his resort in Bora Bora.
Mr Palmer’s company Queensland Nickel collapsed in early 2016 with $300 million in debts, leaving more than 800 people out of work.
Liquidators are pursuing him in the Supreme Court over the payments and have alleged he was acting as a shadow director of the ill-fated business and breaching his obligations.
Palmer approved and ratified payments himself
The new documents reveal in the November meetings, Mr Palmer appointed himself as chairman and voted to “approve and ratify” payments made between 2009 and 2016.
“It was resolved to ratify all directions given by Clive F. Palmer to Queensland Nickel Ply Ltd given in whatever capacity in the period July 1, 2009 to March 30, 2016,” the minutes stated.
“It was resolved to ratify and approve all actions, payments, and activities of Clive Palmer for the period 1 July 2009 to the date hereof.”
The minutes, signed by Mr Palmer, also resolved that he “has and had full authority to act for and on the company’s behalf”.
Mr Palmer is defending the liquidators’ legal action and has denied any wrongdoing from the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
Liquidators are trying to regain $300 million owed to creditors, including $70 million to the Federal Government which was forced to pay workers entitlements.