A government MP has urged the Australian Federal Police and Australian Taxation Office to investigate Clive Palmer’s role in putting Queensland Nickel into administration.
Ewen Jones told parliament on Tuesday evening he believed the besieged nickel refinery was part of a phoenix operation, where assets and cash are moved to other entities before a business folds.
He believes Mr Palmer has been acting as a ‘shadow director’ and was part of a deliberate exercise to not pay creditors or staff entitlements to hundreds of employees.
The Queenslander urged government agencies including the AFP to investigate Mr Palmer’s role and ‘hold those responsible to account’.
‘At the end of the day, the people who have worked at Queensland Nickel have done nothing wrong,’ he told parliament.
‘The role of the member for Fairfax (Mr Palmer) cannot be underestimated here.’
Mr Jones’ stern message comes after Mr Palmer on Monday revealed a series of demands he believes must be met by government to recommence activities at Queensland Nickel by the end of July.
It also follows an accusation by Mr Palmer that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull misrepresented him in parliament by stating he had management control over the company.
Mr Palmer and Mr Jones have been engaged in a public spat since news broke of the troubles at Queensland Nickel, which is located in Mr Jones’ Townsville electorate.
‘To have this happen should make those people involved, including possibly the shadow director, the member for Fairfax, hang their heads in shame,’ Mr Jones said.