Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer when he was still in Parliament on May 4, 2016.
Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer when he was still in Parliament on May 4, 2016. MICK TSIKAS

Palmer 'too busy' as MP to direct Queensland Nickel

CLIVE Palmer has denied being "heavily involved" in his Queensland Nickel company because he was too busy being the Fairfax MP.

The former politician appeared in Federal Court in Brisbane on Friday regarding the demise of the Townsville based company.

He described himself to the court as a "retired businessman".

Mr Palmer said he resigned as QNI director in 2013 because he "didn't like Campbell Newman". He said he became director again before stepping down in 2014 as he was too busy when he was in Federal parliament.

"I was elected to parliament in the seat of Fairfax and was leader of the Palmer United Party," he said.

"We held the balance of power and I often had ministers knocking on my door."

Mr Palmer told the court he remained Queensland Nickel Joint Venture chairman.

In court, Mr Palmer was given a green 2001 diary that he confirmed he had used from 2009 to 2015. It was written entirely in pencil.

The court heard Mr Palmer used the notepad to record resolutions from the "joint ventures owners' committee". The court heard the book recorded him gaining increasing power over QNI even though he was not a registered director.

In an April 2012 entry Mr Palmer gave authority for Queensland Nickel funds to support other Palmer-owned companies and "Clive Palmer or his activities". This included making political donations to PUP.

Mr Palmer told the court he had been in phone and email contact with his nephew and QNI director Clive Mensink. Mr Palmer said Mr Mensink was in Berlin - but he did not know where. Mr Mensink is yet to face the court.