Clive Palmer is seeking $1.8 billion in damages from the liquidators of Queensland Nickel, his collapsed refinery near Townsville, in the state’s Supreme Court.
Queensland Nickel was placed into liquidation in 2016, leaving hundreds of workers without employment and the company $300 million in debt. The two years since have involved an ongoing court case to resolve the future of the refinery and compensation arrangements for the former workers.
The colourful businessman has made the claim against FTI Consulting’s John Park and insolvency practitioner and founding partner of PPB Advisory Stephen Parbery, who was appointed special-purpose liquidator by the Australian Liberal Government.
Palmer described the case as a “politically-motivated witch hunt” that has gone on for two years and been an incredible waste of taxpayers’ money.
“The liquidators are all part of a government agenda to divert me away from serving the people of Australia who I love. In the meantime, these actions continue to cause misery to the people of North Queensland,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The $1.8 billion claim is for damages caused to me and my companies. All Australians now realise that this is a witch hunt. The government is trying to supress political diversity, but they won’t succeed.”
PPB Advisory made a $70 million claim against Palmer in the Supreme Court last July in an attempt to secure funds for the former employees and creditors of the operation.
Palmer said the Queensland Nickel liquidators were following the same agenda as Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), whose recent charges brought against him had been “doomed to fail” by former chairman of the corporate watchdog, Tony Hartnell.
“The charges are an attempt to try to make me ineligible to stand for parliament and they won’t succeed,” Palmer said.
“All of Australia should be made aware of the draconian powers of ASIC with their threats of jail and secret interviews that can’t be revealed. This is not the Australia we should live in.
“Many Australians do not have the resources to defend these issues but I will fight for all Australians and will leave no stone unturned in bringing these people to account for the vast amounts of money they have robbed from the taxpayer.”