3 October, 2015. 8:45
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
CLIVE PALMER HAS become only the fourth Member of Parliament to climb Mount Kosciuszko while in office. Doing it for charity, Mr Palmer said it was easy to make time. However, rather than don the snow boots or hiking shoes, the 61-year-old opted to ascend the nation’s highest peak in his late model Bentley Flying Spur. In the summer months, it’s possible to drive up to Kosciuszko base camp. From the base camp, it’s only a matter of minutes to the summit.
As the atmosphere became thinner and thinner, the mining magnate was forced to wear an oxygen mask during the climb.
The Palmer Expedition team leader Gary Manual said he genuinely feared for his life during the climb – which says something about the challenges faced by the team. Manuel has climb Mt Everest solo and trekked over the North Pole from Canada to Russia.
“His driver is a fucking madman. The speed limit it 60 kph – he must’ve thought it was miles an hour,” said Mr Manual. “Scared me shitless. Clive was in a bad way. Between the puffs on his Habano, he was sucking on that oxygen bottle like a punk teen sucks on a gatorade bottle down at the skate park.”
Gary said that wasn’t the worst of it.
“Once we got to the Kosciuszko carpark near the summit, Clive made his driver key-bang the Bentley for his own amusement. I’m all for keybanging falcons and shit but not a car worth more than my house.”