Anna Palmer says Clive was ‘joking’ in comments on her QN role
CLIVE Palmer's wife has told the Federal Court she delegated "all functions of the board" to her husband during her time as the sole director of Mineralogy.
Anna Palmer, a lawyer and chartered accountant, was the director of her husband's flagship company Mineralogy from October last year.
But the directorship was swapped back to Mr Palmer on February 27, just days after the court ordered she be summonsed for questioning.
Liquidators of Mr Palmer's failed Queensland Nickel refinery who are seeking to claw back the hundreds of millions of dollars they say is still owed to creditors, last week won the right to examine Mrs Palmer in open court.
Barrister John Peden, for the liquidators, said the request for examination came after Mr Palmer made public statements about the company's cash flow which is the subject of a wider half-billion dollar freezing order of the billionaire's business and personal assets.
"In essence Mr Palmer has said Mrs Palmer is the one in control of the money and decides where it is spent," he said.
Lawyers for Mrs Palmer last week launched a last-minute bid to stop her from having to give evidence but a judge rejected the application, finding she had "some decision-making authority" concerning Mineralogy and pointed to evidence her husband gave in 2017 when asked if there were discussions to "dispose" of the proceeds of a huge financial windfall out of a WA court case with China-based Citic.
"No, I would have to consult with my wife on that. She is in charge of financial things," Mr Palmer said at the time.
"I just - I am just a pawn in her hands.
"She obviously would have high on her agenda going shopping, I think, you know but I haven't got any intention … I live a frugal life."
But Mrs Palmer today gave evidence she believed her husband had been "joking" when he made those comments.
"I think that was just a throwaway comment," she said.
"I think he was being humorous."
Mrs Palmer said during her months as Mineralogy's director, she delegated many tasks to her husband.
"I delegated the other functions to him and my focus was really on the view of the accounts," she said.
"I had in fact delegated those functions of the board to him."
Mrs Palmer said she couldn't recall whether the arrangement had been verbal or in writing.
"I can't recall making a formal document but that is not to say there isn't one," she said.
"I can't remember if there was a document or if it was a verbal delegation."
Mrs Palmer said she did not expect her husband to advise her of every decision he made during her time as director.
"But anything that would affect the financial position of the company, yes (I expected to know)," she said.
Mrs Palmer was repeatedly questioned for the names of employees who work for Mineralogy and said she'd have to think about it.
"Maybe I'm a bit anti-social, I didn't know every employee," she said.
The examination continues.