Clive Palmer’s Coolum Resort closes; Lukas Kamay and Christopher Hill jailed over $7 million ABS insider trading scandal: Midday Roundup

Eloise Keating /

The future of Clive Palmer’s Sunshine Coast dinosaur park is in doubt, with the mining magnate turned billionaire closing the doors to the Palmer Coolum Resort yesterday.

Palmer purchased the former Hyatt Regency Coolum in 2011, promising to invest $2 billion into the resort to boost tourism on the Sunshine Coast. The resort includes a golf course, an auto museum, the Palmer Grill restaurant and the infamous Palmersaurus Dinosaur Park.

The Courier Mail reports the resort’s accommodation has closed, with general manager Simon Stodart announcing “an extensive overhaul” of the property will now begin.

The resort’s golf course is still open, as is the dinosaur theme park, the museum and the restaurant.

According to the Australian, 40 full-time employees have lost their jobs as a result of the accommodation section of the resort closing.

The Australian also reports the resort’s former general manager, Bill Schoch, is suing Palmer in the Queensland Supreme Court after he was sacked last year.

A former employee of the resort, Peter Yates, launched a separate unfair dismissal claim against Palmer in September last year.

Lukas Kamay and Christopher Hill jailed over $7 million ABS insider trading scandal

The two men at the centre of the $7 million Australian Bureau of Statistics insider trading case have been handed jail sentences in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Former National Australia Bank employee Lukas Kamay and former ABS employee Christopher Hill pleaded guilty to insider trading and conspiracy charges in September 2014, following their arrests in May.

Kamay was sentenced to seven years and three months in jail, with a non-parole period of four years and six months. Hill received a jail sentence of three years and three month, with a non-parole period of two years.

According to Fairfax, Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth described Kamay and Hill’s scheme as the worst case of insider trading to come before Australian courts and said the pair were motivated by “personal greed, pure and simple”.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have traded higher this morning, following a strong lead from Wall Street overnight.

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said in a statement the positive activity in US markets was driven by “central bank support, adjustment to the US tightening timetable and mergers and acquisitions”.

McCarthy said local investors will be paying close attention to what the Reserve Bank says in the minutes from its monetary policy meeting in March.

“Investors will look for an explanation of the decision to keep rates on hold …  and any clues to the timing of future moves,” he said.

“The consensus is for another cut in April or May and any steering away from this scenario may pressure stocks and lift the currency.”

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 50.9 points to 5848.6 points at 11.42am AEDT. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed 228.11 points higher, up 1.29% to 17977.4 points.

Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.