Clive Palmer remains unperturbed by the prospect of legal action against him by Queensland Nickel liquidators, rating its chance of success as “zero”.
Creditors, including almost 800 sacked refinery workers, voted unanimously on Friday to wind up the company in the hope of clawing back some of the $200 million they are owed.
John Park, from FTI Consulting, said action against Mr Palmer and his nephew Clive Mensink, who acted as the sole director, was “certainly an avenue available”.
But the liquidators would aim to deliver the quickest return for the benefit of creditors, he warned, and any litigation would undoubtedly be defended.
Mr Palmer said he was “not at all” concerned about liquidators resorting to that option.
Such action would have “zero” chance of success, he said, despite FTI claims there was strong evidence suggesting Mr Palmer had acted alongside Mr Mensink as a shadow director, and Queensland Nickel was trading while insolvent from November 27 last year or earlier.
Mr Palmer denies the allegations.
“The administrators just put their report in so they could get another $5 million fee,” he said.
He said he felt sympathy for the workforce but the “human tragedy” was largely the result of the global resources sector.
One ex-worker, who didn’t want to be named, described his vote to liquidate the company as “a big F-you to Clive”.
“It’s unfortunate that people use such bad language,” Mr Palmer said when asked about the crowd’s anger.
“I think the reality of it is that in 2009, when that plant was going to close, the nickel price was $7.50.
“Today its $3.50.”
The businessman-turned-politician said he kept 3000 people employed for seven years and spent $4 billion.
“Now obviously that worker wouldn’t want to spend $4 billion to keep me employed, but it’s just not proper perspective.”