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Age fogs Palmer's memory in QN hearing


Clive Palmer has solicited Australia's highest court in the latest bid to halt his public grilling over the collapse of Queensland Nickel.

It is the businessman's third attempt to stop giving evidence at the Federal Court hearing in Brisbane where liquidators are trying to show he acted as a shadow director of the doomed company.

Mr Palmer has repeatedly denied he was "personally" responsible for the day-to-day management of QN's Townsville refinery and only gave instructions as chairman of the governing joint venture committee.

The only other member of the committee was his nephew, sole director Clive Mensink, and Mr Palmer had authority to represent the whole committee.

If Mr Palmer is found to have been a shadow director, he could be held liable for some of the company's $300 million debts.

Although Mr Palmer's current testimony is due to end on Friday, barrister Nicholas Ferrett applied for an interim injunction in the High Court on Thursday to stop the liquidators from bringing him back for future questioning.

Mr Palmer is seeking to challenge the "constitutionality" of Federal Court proceedings, which have already heard from other key players including chief financial officer Daren Wolfe.

The matter will be heard in early November.

Mr Palmer continued to dance around questions from liquidators on Thursday as to how much he knew about QN's tumbling finances and instructions he gave on contracts, debts and redundancies.

"Your perception of my involvement in this business is totally wrong," he said.

Questioned by barrister Tom Sullivan about an expletive-laden email he sent to Mr Mensink in which he wrote "I told you what to do, do it", Mr Palmer said: "I don't recall what I told him to do"

Asked by Mr Sullivan why he didn't remember when it was only nine months ago, Palmer said: "I'm 62 - you know how it is.

"I might have told him to wipe his arse with it but I can't remember"

Mr Palmer also told the court he had only read about insolvent trading in books and the newspaper but "didn't fully understand" the concept in the latter half of 2015 when the business was failing.

The long-time businessman denied he was aware QN had a systemic cash flow problem in September last year and allegations they could not pay their debts at that time were "bulls***".

"To have a shortfall of $14 million in a month or a week is hardly systemic," he said.

The former federal MP reiterated claims Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was behind the big four banks denying QN a $25 million overdraft in October.

But overall this didn't matter because Mr Palmer claimed the joint venture could have covered the company's "trivial debts" at any time but wanted to see if it could "stand on its own feet".

He also didn't think it was necessary to put up his personal assets as security for the overdraft because the joint venture's $1.95 billion assets should have been sufficient.

"In reality it is just corruption at its highest level," Mr Palmer said.

The hearing continues on Friday.