‘It’s my money’: Palmer’s trainwreck interview
QUEENSLAND businessman Clive Palmer - whose personal assets have been frozen in an effort to recover millions of dollars from the 2016 collapse of Queensland Nickel - says he is the victim of a "political witch hunt".
In a heated interview, Mr Palmer told the ABC's 7.30 host Leigh Sales he did not owe his former employees any money.
On Friday, the Queensland Supreme Court ordered the freezing of $205 million worth of the billionaire's assets.
Within seconds of the interview beginning, Mr Palmer warned Sales to "keep quiet" if she wanted the interview to continue after she quizzed him about why creditors were not paid out millions after the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
"If you want to continue the interview, I suggest you keep quiet," the billionaire businessman warned the TV host.
Mr Palmer defended his decision to pay his fugitive nephew, former Queensland Nickel director Clive Mensink, $4000 a week while 800 former Queensland Nickel staff claim they're still owed money.
An irate Mr Palmer sad he had "no liability to pay anyone".
"As you know . I have assets of $2.9 billion here in Australia," he told the ABC.
"I've never moved any assets offshore. I support this country. I believe in the people."
Mr Mensink fled to Bulgaria after the collapse of Queensland Nickel. He was tracked down by News Corp after a year-long investigation.
"It's my money, he's my nephew, if I want to pay him $1 million a week, I will. I earned my money hard, I haven't borrowed from anyone, I've got no mums and dads investors," Mr Palmer told Leigh Sales.
"This is all about a witch hunt, about me as an Australian daring to challenge the two ruling parties of this country who work hard to keep you, the people of Australia down. It's a political witch hunt."
Former Queensland Nickel employee Sam Larkin told the ABC the collapse of the company had been disastrous for the Townsville community.
"It's ripped $300 million out of the Townsville community. It brought the place to its knees and it was in bad place to begin with. He's done nothing to help that," she said.
Bede Harding, of the Australian Workers' Union, told 7.30 the knock-on effect of the collapse was still ongoing.
"Employees have found it hard to find good, consistent jobs in the Townsville market so we see a lot of our former members in very precarious employment," he told 7.30.