Clive Palmer's dream of building a full-size replica of the Titanic could cost him $ 1 billion, while laid-off miners are still waiting for their payment.
The Australian billionaire announced plans to build a $ 500 million replica in 2012 – but paused the project in 2015 when it ran out of money.
Designer Fredrick Johansson said that the cost of building a ship has increased since then.
Clive Palmer's (pictured) dream of building a full-size replica of the Titanic could cost him $ 1 billion while laid-off miners are still waiting for their payment
“Some of the largest ships now cost $ 1 billion each. This is a smaller ship, but a rather complex project, so it's very difficult to say. We didn't start a detailed cost analysis, ”the designer told The Courier Mail.
He said the most expensive aspect of the design would be to make it an exact replica of the original Titanic – and make sure it's safe.
Mr. Johansson also said that Mr. Palmer never missed a payment to the replica designers.
"We had no problems with them. They were very smooth in that regard. You were a good customer, ”he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Palmer owes his failed nickel company in Queensland $ 7 million to workers who have waited three years for their full claims.
The angry former workers say they should be paid before the billionaire invests more money in the luxury liner.
Mr. Palmer made his living in mining by owning Mineralogy and Queensland Nickel before the refinery collapsed in 2016 and he owed the creditors $ 300 million.
Taxpayers were forced to claim 800 workers after the collapse.
The Australian billionaire first announced plans in 2012, but it wasn't until last year that it confirmed that construction of the replica would resume after a financial setback (pictured the original Titanic).
In April, Mr. Palmer promised to repay the workers and said that $ 7 million would be available to them through a trust administered by a lawyer.
But Maurice Blackburn's labor lawyer Giri Sivaraman said only one worker was paid.
"The workers … just don't trust his promise. You feel cheated and angry, ”said Sivaraman.
"It also seems particularly cruel to tell workers that the money is there, but it won't be paid until after the election."
Mr. Palmer has also spent approximately $ 60 million on an extensive advertising campaign and bombarded potential voters with text messages and television advertising prior to the May 18 election.
Mr. Palmer owes $ 7 million to workers at his failed nickel company in Queensland who have waited three years for their full claims
According to Forbes, Mr. Palmer is worth about $ 1.8 billion and is number 20 on the Australian rich list.
He was a member of the Liberal National Party in Queensland until he founded his own party, the Palmer United Party, in 2013.
After an extensive advertising campaign, he was elected to parliament, but two of his senators – Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus – left the party.
Mr. Palmer was caught sleeping in House of Representatives question time in 2014 and criticized for not being present in Parliament and attending only 54 percent of the day.
He decided not to stand for re-election in 2016 and registered the party a year later before reforming it as the United Australia Party in 2018.
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