Palmer in December 2012
|Leader of the Palmer United Party|
1 April 2013
|Preceded by||Party Created|
|Member of the Australian Parliament
7 September 2013
|Preceded by||Alex Somlyay|
|Born||Clive Frederick Palmer
26 March 1954
|Political party||Palmer United (2013–present)|
Liberal National (2008–2012)
(m. 1983; d. 2005; 2 children)
(m. 2007; 2 children)
|Residence||Sovereign Islands, Gold Coast, Queensland|
Southport State High School
Toowoomba Grammar School
|Alma mater||University of Queensland (attended)|
|Occupation||Director and owner; Mineralogy Pty Ltd
|Net worth|| A$1.22 bn (2014 BRW)
US$550 m (2014 Forbes)
|Website||Palmer United Website|
Clive Frederick Palmer (Born 26 March 1954) is an Australian businessman, politician and owner of Mineralogy. He has iron ore, nickel and coal holdings. Palmer's net worth was estimated by Forbes magazine to be US$550 million as of January 2014; while the BRW magazine estimated his wealth at A$1.22 billion as of June 2014.
Palmer owns Mineralogy, Waratah Coal, Palmer Industries, 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.
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. However, as of May 2015 building has not begun and there is no sign of the project moving forward. Palmer also added over 100 animatronic dinosaurs to his resort in Coolum, creating a simulated Jurassic Park.
In December 2015, it was reported that his business empire was in doubt after a judge threw out his bid for $48m from his estranged Chinese business partners CITIC.
Palmer was born in Melbourne on 26 March 1954, and spent his early years in the 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 traveled 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 an instructing solicitor and interviewing officer for the Public Defender's Office.
In 2008, Palmer bought Waratah Coal.
In 2009, he bought Queensland Nickel and the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery. The following year, the company increased production by 30%, prompting him to give $10 million worth of Christmas bonuses to staff including 55 Mercedes-Benz B-Class cars and overseas holidays. On 18 January 2016 Queensland Nickel entered voluntary administration.
Palmer purchased the Gold Coast United football club in 2008 to improve his profile in China. 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. After widespread backlash and only 2616 fans attending the next home game, the idea was scrapped after the intervention of Football Federation Australia.
On 29 February 2012, Ben Buckley and Frank Lowy announced that his 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 has 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 their shirts, Palmer has indicated they will 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 license, Palmer founded Football Australia – a competing organisation for the sport of football in Australia that operated without any international affiliates.
In June 2002, Palmer was appointed 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 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 includes former US president Bill Clinton, Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Palmer was named 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.
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 outside looks and also on the inside. According to Palmer, the Titanic II would be 883 feet long, weigh 55,800 gross tons and carry 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. The Titanic II would honour the memories of those who died and survived on the Titanic, Palmer said. The Titanic was operated by the White Star Line, and Palmer's cruise company is called Blue Star Line.
During the first half of 2015 evidence accumulated strongly suggesting that the project had been abandoned. In March it was reported that no work had begun or been ordered in the Chinese shipyard identified as the likely site of construction with workers highly skeptical that the project would ever move beyond the proposal stage. On March 26, 2015, the Blue Star Line trademark was listed as "abandoned". As of May 2014 Blue Star Line has made no updates to its official web site. Nonetheless, in early 2015, it was reported by the Belfast Telegraph, and echoed through other media sources, that the project is still on task and scheduled for 2018. According to their sources, the trip's maiden voyage will be from Jiangsu, China to Dubai.
Palmer Coolum Resort: Dinosaur Park
After announcing the Titanic II plans, Palmer announced his plans to build a park that features animatronic dinosaurs. He originally proposed that it be called Jurassic Park after the film of the same name, but due to copyright issues the proposed name was changed to "Palmer Coolum Resort: Dinosaur Park". Palmer ordered more than 160 animatronic dinosaurs, which included an initial shipment of a 3.5 meter tall, 20 meter long T-Rex, nicknamed "Jeff". Palmer received full council approval for the park on 25 July 2013, and it was expected to open to the public in 2014. On 14 December 2013, the dinosaur park, now called "Palmersaurus", was opened to the public, with Terri, Bindi and Bob Irwin as guests of honour.
Palmer Coolum Resort has been the subject of a story by the ABC's 7:30 in which owners of villas at the resort allege that Clive Palmer has been locking them out of their villas
Palmer was instrumental in the split of the South Australian conservatives in the 1970s, and was active in the Liberal Movement headed by former Premier of South Australia Steele Hall. Palmer joined the Queensland division of the National Party of Australia in 1974, having been influenced by the policies of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland at the time. From the early 1980s onwards, he was involved in state politics, serving as the National Party's campaign director during the 1983 state election and as media spokesman during its 1986 election campaign, both of which were successful.
Palmer was against the "Joh for Canberra" campaign, which unsuccessfully attempted to get Bjelke-Petersen elected as Prime Minister of Australia at the 1987 federal election. He was elected to life membership of the party in 1992, which he retained after the state branches of the The Nationals and Liberal Party merged to form the Liberal National Party of Queensland in 2008.
In late April 2012, Palmer announced that he would contest Liberal National Party preselection for the Division of Lilley at the 2013 federal election, which is currently held by Wayne Swan, the former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer. However, later that year, in July, he announced his intention to seek preselection for a different seat, including possibly the Division of Kennedy, held by Bob Katter of Katter's Australian Party (formerly sitting as a National and an independent).
Several months after announcing his intent to seek preselection, Palmer resigned his life membership of the Liberal National Party. His membership of the party had been suspended on 9 November, following comments on the actions of state government ministers. He was re-instated to the party on 22 November, but resigned the same day.
On 25 April 2013, Palmer announced a "reformation" of the United Australia Party, which had been folded into the present-day Liberal Party in 1945, to stand candidates in the 2013 federal election, and had applied for registration in Queensland. Another political party, The United Party, lodged a formal objection to registration of the name 'Palmer United Party' (PUP) with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). The AEC determined that the names 'Uniting Australia Party' and 'Palmer United Party' were distinct and the name 'Palmer United Party' was not prohibited.
Member of Parliament
Palmer accused Drew Hutton and Greenpeace of receiving funding from the CIA, due to his involvement in the preparation of a Greenpeace strategy titled "Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom". His claims were dismissed by Greenpeace senior campaigner John Hepburn as "ludicrous", who said that Greenpeace would not accept money from any government, corporation or secret service. His claims were also rejected by the CIA.
In his maiden speech to federal parliament, Palmer implied that the government was "deaf to the everyday struggles of all Australians" and stated that "the entrenchment of the two-party system in this country not only threatens democracy but destroys the creativity of the nation."
Palmer lives in a large villa at the Palmer Coolum Resort, Queensland. News Limited reports that property records reveal "Mr Palmer, his family and associates own a total of 11 homes in the Sovereign Islands, a gated enclave developed on reclaimed land on the banks of the Southport Broadwater". Palmer also owns homes at Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast, Fig Tree Pocket in Brisbane and in Sofia in Bulgaria. Other holdings include properties in Brisbane, Jandowae on the Darling Downs, Queensland, Port Douglas in Queensland and Bora Bora, French Polynesia. In addition, his wife, Annastacia "Anna" Topalov owns an undisclosed number of properties held in trust.
Palmer was married to his first wife for 22 years. He has two adult children: a son, Michael and a daughter, Emily. His first wife, Susan Palmer, died from cancer in 2005. In 2007, he married Annastacia, and they have two daughters, Mary and Lucy. Palmer is a devout Roman Catholic, and was a prominent member of Right to Life Australia while at university, organising anti-abortion rallies on campus.
While watching a soccer game in October 2009, Palmer was thought to have suffered a heart attack, and was taken to hospital. However, doctors dismissed it as merely a heart palpitation. Palmer has also suffered from sleep apnoea.
Australia's 40 Richest
|Rank||Net worth (AUD)||Rank||Net worth (USD)|
|2011||5||$5.05 billion||n/a||not listed|
|2012||8||$3.85 billion||29||$0.80 billion|
|2014||28||$1.22 billion||50||$550 m|
|Has not changed from the previous year|
|Has increased from the previous year|
|Has decreased from the previous year|
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