Today the Federal Court granted an application made by the Commonwealth Government to appoint Special Purpose Liquidators (SPLs) to recover outstanding monies from the Queensland Nickel liquidation.
The court appointed Mr Stephen Parbery, Mr Marcus William Ayres and Mr Michael Andrew Owen from PPB Advisory as the Special Purpose Liquidators. The SPLs will now be able to follow the money trail relating to the $200 million that was stripped from Queensland Nickel and re-directed to related entities of Clive Palmer and the Palmer United Party.
The Commonwealth Government sought the appointment of Special Purpose Liquidators because of the unique and alarming circumstances in this case. Following the stripping of $200 million from the company it was placed into liquidation, with over $73 million worth of employee entitlements left unpaid. The cost of these payments is now being borne by taxpayers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme.
The appointment of the SPLs will enable the Government to aggressively pursue the recovery of this money on behalf of taxpayers.
This is the first time that a Commonwealth Government has acted in this way to protect the interests of taxpayers. It sends a clear message to corporate Australia that employee entitlements rip-offs will not be tolerated. It follows the Government’s strong work to establish the FEG recovery programme and to also commence an ASIC investigation into the liquidation of Bruck Textiles, where substantial assets were also stripped from the company prior to liquidation.
When Labor was in government it did nothing to defend the interests of taxpayers by enforcing corporate laws and recovering money spent under the FEG scheme. It sat back and allowed expenditure on the scheme to increase year after year. Labor’s neglect sent a clear message to dodgy company directors that the FEG scheme could be rorted with no risk of the Government taking action to hold them to account.
Australian taxpayers can rest assured that the Turnbull Government will use every power at its disposal to ensure that the corporate dealings surrounding Queensland Nickel are thoroughly investigated and those responsible are held to account.