News State QLD News Creditors vote to liquidate Qld Nickel

Creditors vote to liquidate Qld Nickel

Administrators said the refinery could have survived if millions were not shifted.
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Creditors of Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel have voted to liquidate the company, a fortnight after administrators made the recommendation amid crippling debt.

Creditors, which includes 800 sacked workers, agreed at a meeting in Townsville on Friday to wind up the company.

Administrators told the meeting that liquidators will now be able to pursue Mr Palmer for debts owed.

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Workers are owed more than $70 million but the meeting has been told almost $60 million will be covered by the federal government’s entitlements scheme.

More than $150 million is owed to unsecured creditors.

Administrators FTI Consulting found in early April that Queensland Nickel, which went into voluntary administration last year, had been used as Mr Palmer’s “personal piggy bank”.

In its report, FTI Consulting found the Townsville refinery could have survived the drop in nickel prices if millions of dollars had not been shifted from it to Mr Palmer’s other businesses.

FTI Consulting pointed to a possible breach of fiduciary and common law duties by a director or officer of the company and criticised Mr Palmer and his nephew and former QN director Clive Mensink for being “reckless”.

The report said that on November 29, 2012, Mr Palmer instructed QN to transfer $43 million out of the company to a number of entities, including nearly $15 million to himself.

It also found that between August 2012 and June 2013 QN paid for 60 vintage cars, which ended up at Mr Palmer’s Coolum resort’s Motorama Museum.

They were then sold to Mr Palmer for $5 million, but the loan forgiven in 2015.

QN also made a payment on Mr Palmer’s Titanic II project.

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