Clive Frederick Palmer (born 26 March 1954) is an Australian businessman and former politician. He has iron ore, nickel and coal holdings. In 2016, the BRW magazine "Rich 200" list estimated his wealth at A$600 million. In 2012 he was named a national living treasure by the National Trust of Australia's New South Wales branch, awarded to up to 100 living people. Recipients were selected by popular vote for having made outstanding contributions to Australian society in any field of human endeavor.
Palmer owns Mineralogy, Waratah Coal, Queensland Nickel at Townsville, Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course at Port Douglas, Palmer Colonial Golf Course at Robina, and the Palmer Gold Coast Golf Course, also at Robina. He owned Gold Coast United FC from 2008 to 2012.
Palmer created the Palmer United Party in April 2013, winning the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax in the 2013 election and sitting as an MP for one term. He formally de-registered the party on 5 May 2017.
In 2018, Palmer revived his party as the United Australia party, announcing he would be running candidates in all 150 seats, including himself in Herbert. Former One Nation senator Brian Burston joined his party after his announcement and serves as his deputy leader.
Early Life Edit
Palmer was born at Footscray Hospital in Footscray, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria on 26 March 1954, and spent his early years in the nearby suburb of Williamstown. His family moved to Queensland in 1963 and Palmer was largely raised on the Gold Coast, where he attended Aquinas College and Southport State High School, although he also attended Toowoomba Grammar School for a short time. Palmer's father, George, was a successful travel agent, and the family travelled the world extensively. George Palmer was also the proprietor of the Akron Tyre Co and the Akron Broadcasting Co and, thus, the founder of Melbourne broadcasting station 3AK (now operating as SEN 1116).
Palmer studied law, journalism, and politics at the University of Queensland from 1973 to 1975, but did not finish the course. He later completed a Diploma of Law through the Queensland Bar Board, and worked as a clerk and interviewing officer for the Public Defender's Office.
Business Career Edit
Palmer is the owner of Mineralogy, a company which is 2006 had 160 billion tonnes (160×109 long tons; 180×109 short tons) of iron ore reserves in the Pilbara Ranges, in remote northern Western Australia. In 2008, Palmer bought Waratah Coal. In 2009, he bought Queensland Nickel and the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery after BHP was going to close the refinery, and thousands of jobs would have been lost. In the first year after purchasing the refinery, Palmer gifted staff 50 Mercedes Benz cars and thousands of overseas holidays after the refinery turned a huge profit. Palmer and his management team have since faced significant challenges with the cost of nickel dropping from over $7 per pound to around $3.70 per pound. On 18 January 2016, Queensland Nickel entered voluntary administration after the price of nickel crashed in October 2015 and the Queensland Government refused any assistance.
In November 2017, Justice Kenneth Martin of the Supreme Court of Western Australia awarded Clive Palmer's company Mineralogy a substantive al windfall of nearly AUD$200m in its long-running dispute with Citic Pacific over a disputed royalty payment. Palmer said the decision was "a win for Australian law over Chinese Communist government powerhouses".
Palmer purchased the Gold Coast United soccer club in 2008. In October 2009, he made a decision to cap attendances of Gold Coast United home games at Skilled Park stadium to 5,000, in a bid to save money by avoiding transport subsidies on crowds over 5,000. After a widespread backlash and only 2,616 fans attending the next home game, and the intervention of Football Federation Australia (FFA), the idea was scrapped.
On 29 February 2012, Ben Buckley and Frank Lowy announced that Palmer's license for Gold Coast United FC was to be revoked for constant breaches of FFA rules, and regulations and sought to pay out the contracts of the players for the remaining month of the season. Lowy stated that he acted in order to protect the integrity of the sport. However, Palmer stipulated that he would contest the decisions through legal action and claimed Lowy was a dictator. Despite a ruling ordering the removal of "Freedom of Speech" logos on team shirts, Palmer indicated they would remain. On 2 March 2012, Palmer lost his Supreme Court bid against Gold Coast United's expulsion from the A-League.
In 2012, after the FFA revoked his Gold Coast United A-League licence, Palmer founded Football Australia – a competing organisation for the sport of football in Australia. The FFA adopted a number of the changes that Football Australia had proposed.
In June 2002, Palmer was appointed an adjunct professor of business at Deakin University's Faculty of Business and Law, a role he held until 2006. During that time, he delivered a series of lectures as part of Deakin's MBA residential programs. In 2008, Palmer was appointed an adjunct professor of management at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
In December 2012, Palmer was appointed secretary general of the World Leadership Alliance, a democracy-promoting council that included former US president Bill Clinton and Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Palmer was named the president of the alliance's business chapter, the World Economic Council.
In December 2012, on Christmas Day, Palmer hosted a buffet lunch for 650 disadvantaged people, mostly children and their families.
On 4 March 2012, Palmer was named, amid controversy, as a National Living Treasure by the New South Wales Branch of the National Trust of Australia.
In April 2012, he announced that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC Jinling Shipyard to construct a replica of RMS Titanic, the Titanic II. The ship was to be built in China and set sail in late 2016, later postponed to 2018. Palmer also added over 150 animatronic dinosaurs to his resort in Coolum, creating the largest dinosaur park in the world.
In 2015, Palmer donated a house, car, and food to victims of a house fire in Beenleigh that saw their son tragically lost his life.
In 2017, Palmer lost a lot of weight. This was accompanied by a renewed dedication to posting regular memes on his official Facebook page. The memes often have nonsensical or ironic undertones, and contain reoccurring themes – such as Rupert Murdoch's control of the media in Australia, contrasting himself with other political figures such as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, or paying homage to Tim Tam packets and his pet "Grog Dog". Some have decried these regular posts as a "meltdown", while others reference Palmer's claim that they are "poetic". Palmer was once required to provide an affidavit explaining a tweet sent out during a hearing on 1 December 2017.
Titanic II Edit
In February 2013, at a press conference in New York, Palmer announced plans to build a modern-day replica of the liner RMS Titanic. It was planned that Titanic II would be built in China and would make its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City in 2016 (later postponed to 2018). Palmer hoped to recreate the Titanic as closely as possible with its familiar external and internal appearances. According to Palmer, the Titanic II would be 883 feet long, weigh 55,800 gross tons and carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. Palmer said the Titanic II would honor the memories of those who died and survived on the Titanic. The Titanic was operated by the White Star Line and Palmer's cruise company is named Blue Star Line.
During the first half of 2015, evidence accumulated strongly suggesting that the project had been abandoned. The Blue Star Line trademark was listed as "abandoned". No construction had been ordered in the Chinese shipyard identified as the likely building site with the workers highly skeptical that the project would ever move beyond the proposal stage. In May 2016 it was reported by the administrators for a bankrupt Palmer company, Queensland Nickel, that no significant money had been spent on the development of Titanic II in over two years. On September 27, 2018, the Blue Star Line, in a press release on their official website, announced that work on the project would recommence. Prior to this media release, the website had not been updated since May of 2014.