Clive Palmer’s ‘healthy’ new look
JUST one year ago, a sick, struggling and much thinner Clive Palmer was battling his way through Federal Court questioning on the collapse of his Townsville nickel refinery, complete with breathing apparatus and vomit bag.
Portrayed as dangling at the end of his financial tether, battling litigation on several fronts, living on a diet of Lite n' Easy meals, and clearly struggling with his health, the outlook looked bleak for the former Federal MP.
Fast-forward a year and the boisterous Mr Palmer is back representing himself in the Supreme Court, boasting of his considerable wealth, while cutting a more robust and effervescent figure than the gaunt man who had to lie down on the benches outside court between hearings this time last year.
While last year Mr Palmer very nearly fell off the annual list of richest Australians, this year he's up to 20th place with an estimated worth of $2.84 billion.
The unprecedented spike is due to his mammoth legal victory in January against Citic Pacific, which was ordered to pay the Gold Coast businessman $US350 million ($460 million) plus ongoing royalties from its Sino Iron project in WA.
His lawyers even went so far as tender the rich list to a chuckling Supreme Court justice last month as part of a bid to stop a court decision to freeze more than $200 million of his assets, a move Mr Palmer himself has said will have "no impact" due to his considerable wealth.
It comes as the 65-year-old also prepares for another controversial tilt at federal politics.
Scores of bright yellow billboards have been erected featuring a smiling Clive Palmer and the words "Make Australia Great" in a nod to US President Donald Trump's campaign-winning slogan "Make America Great Again".
With a spring in his step, Mr Palmer has fronted up to media conferences outside court declaring the legal action against him over the collapse of Queensland Nickel a "politically motivated witch hunt" designed to stop him from regaining his position as an MP.
Online Mr Palmer has posted images of himself depicted as Superman and has opened up registrations for Palmer United members, urging people to "Support Clive Palmer and the resistance".
He has also announced plans to reopen Queensland Nickel which collapsed in early 2016 under $300 million of debts and caused the loss of about 800 jobs.
Mr Palmer last week revealed his plans to reopen the refinery which he says could hold billions of dollars worth of cobalt in its tailings dams.
And the balance of his wealth is also set to be revealed after a judge yesterday ordered Mr Palmer and his companies provide a detailed list of all assets as well as their value and location within 30 days as part of a freezing order placed on the mining magnate.
Mr Palmer told the court it could cost him as much as $2 million to professionally value his assets and asked the disclosure be delayed until the freezing orders had been heard before the court of appeal but Justice John Bond knocked back the request.
Mr Palmer is expected to face court again in August where he will fight to have government-appointed liquidators thrown off his case.