Palmer companies named biggest political donors of 2015

Struggling mining magnate and politician Clive Palmer was responsible for almost 96 per cent of all Australian political donations from mining companies in 2015.

A report by AAP showed that out of the $10.4 million that was donated to political parties in 2015, $9.6 million came from the Palmer-owned companies Mineralogy and Queensland Nickel (QNI), to the Palmer United Party (PUP).

Queensland Electoral Commission records show Queensland Nickel, under the sole directorship of Palmer’s nephew Clive Mensink, donated $288,516 on December 31.

Palmer said the most recent donation from QNI to PUP was made prior to June, and that the paperwork was filed on the last day of 2015.

He argued that size of the donations was comparatively small because the Queensland Nickel refinery had provided $4.5 billion worth of investment to the state since 2009.

“So these are very large amounts of money and over $4 billion of exports — so a $100,000 here or there is not what matters … what matters really is our continuing economic operations of the state,” he said.

QNI went into administration little more than two weeks later on January 18, after Mensink announced the company would retrench 237 workers in order to cut costs.

By comparison, the next largest political donor from the resources sector in 2015 was Woodside Energy, which made donations of $112,600 to the Labor Party and $127,000 to the Liberals.

In total the Liberal and National party coalition received $361,000 from eight companies, while the Labor Party received $418,500 from 16 different companies and organisations.

At present Queensland Nickel is operating under the administration of FTI Consulting.


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