Mining magnate donates $100k to medical research
Mining entrepreneur Clive Palmer is making what appears to be the biggest charitable donation in Australia and wants others to follow his lead. The Chairman of mining company Mineralogy is donating $100-million to medical research and remote communities in Western Australia, and expects to donate hundreds of millions more to communities in the Pilbara over the next 30-years.
Mining magnate donates $100k to medical research
PM - Wednesday, 30 January , 2008 18:22:00
Reporter: David Weber
MARK COLVIN: A mining entrepreneur is making what may be Australia's biggest ever charitable donation, and he wants others to follow his lead.
Clive Palmer has announced a donation of $100-million for medical research, and to support remote communities in Western Australia.
Clive Palmer made a fortune in Queensland real estate and is now the chairman of the mining company Mineralogy.
As one of Australia's richest people, he says he expects to donate hundreds of millions more to communities in the Pilbara over the next 30-years.
The national peak body Philanthropy Australia says the scale of the commitment is unprecedented.
From his office in Queensland, Clive Palmer spoke to David Weber in Perth.
CLIVE PALMER: Well actually if you work it out we've done a deal with the Chinese Government where they're mining our ore up at the Pilbara, a project called Sino Iron project and they'll be paying us a royalty stream over 30-years.
At the moment on the formula that we've got for the foundation with the foundation receiving about $10-million a year each year at the current value. That would add up to about $300-million over the period right. With a net present value of about $100-million.
It'll all go to the support of communities in the Pilbara and also go to medical research in Western Australia.
DAVID WEBER: Some of it will be going to say the Telethon Institute for child health research?
CLIVE PALMER: Things like that. I can't say exactly because we haven't received their proposals or had discussions with them individually but we're looking at medical research in Perth, which has for a long-time had world standard medical research but has been poorly funded by government and industry.
And we're looking at disadvantaged communities in the Pilbara such as the Roeburn community or Aboriginal people or poor other Australians.
DAVID WEBER: It's been reported that this is unprecedented. This could be biggest charitable donation in Australian history?
CLIVE PALMER: Well it probably is but from our perspective our company's a private company and we've certainly made a lot of money out of the Pilbara and we've got more than we need to survive comfortably.
So, it's a question of where you can deploy the money where it can do the most good.
DAVID WEBER: And where you think it can do the most good is in the Pilbara itself?
CLIVE PALMER: Well I think the Pilbara's been a very important area for Australia. It's generated a lot of wealth for the community right across the continent in Melbourne and Sydney people have benefited by the Woodside project, by what BHP and Rio have done there for many years and the local community's been very much neglected unfortunately.
Because it's been seen as a transient community just you know fly in, fly out. When in actual fact a lot of people now make the Pilbara their home, have lived there for 30-years. They're bringing up their families in sub-standard conditions with not the same facilities and resources that you'd have in Perth.
DAVID WEBER: So you're not just talking about the Indigenous people, you're talking about a lack of infrastructure in the cities and towns themselves?
CLIVE PALMER: Well that's right. For many members of the community. But also, in relation to the Indigenous people I guess if you visited Roeburn, which is a predominantly Aboriginal town you'd see that the standard of its facilities is nowhere near other towns in the Pilbara even or in Western Australia and there's no reason that that should be the case in 2008.
We need to all be cognisant of that as Australians and share a joint responsibility of what we can do in a positive nature.
DAVID WEBER: The question that I suppose cynics would ask is what are the tax benefits of a charitable donation like this?
CLIVE PALMER: Well unfortunately in Australia they're not so high but that's not the motivation for giving them. I mean if you donate some money to something that's tax deductible, you would in essence get a 30 per cent value of your $1 donation. So you're missing out on 60 per cent of the benefit right.?
But, that's not our motivation for doing it and we expect that we may or we may not get a tax benefit, that's unclear at this stage.
DAVID WEBER: Do you think that miners could do more to put something back into the community?
CLIVE PALMER: Well we hoped it would be $300-million over 30-years and we think they could do more and that's the reason we're making this announcement to encourage other resource companies, who have done so well after all, to just think of the people less fortunate than ourselves and provide them a little bit of support.
MARK COLVIN: The Chairman of the mining company Mineralogy, his name is Clive Palmer, speaking to David Weber.