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Newman govt has lied about debt: Palmer


Mining magnate Clive Palmer says he's not worried at the prospect of being thrown out of the Liberal National Party (LNP) for claiming the Queensland government has cooked the books.

Mr Palmer says Treasurer Tim Nicholls should be sacked for axing thousands of public servants on the basis of a fictitious assessment of the state's debt.

He's also demanding Jeff Seeney's head, accusing the deputy premier of waging a campaign of intimidation against him over a coal project.

Mr Palmer says thousands of public servants are now on the dole queue and old ladies are being turfed out of nursing homes as a result of austerity measures built on a lie.

"These books have been cooked by the biggest crooks that have ever occupied office in the state of Queensland," the LNP life member and donor told reporters on Friday.

Mr Palmer said Queensland's real net debt was $11 billion and nothing like the $65 billion flagged by the government.

He said he would lodge a complaint with the LNP executive on Friday, seeking disciplinary action against Mr Nicholls for lying about Queensland's debt in order to justify future asset sales.

He expected other members of the party - including the wife of LNP MP Alex Douglas, who chairs parliament's ethics committee - to sign the complaint.

The mining magnate said another LNP party member had already gone to the executive with a "grave" complaint about Mr Seeney that went to the heart of the deputy premier's ability to remain a member of the LNP. He would not provide further details.

Premier Campbell Newman responded by telling Mr Palmer he should not expect any special treatment from the government despite having friends in high places within the LNP.

"He won't get special favours just because he has a special relationship with senior people in the LNP or senior office bearers," Mr Newman told reporters.

He said it was for the party to decide if Mr Palmer, who is a close friend of LNP president Bruce McIver, had breached the provisions of the party's constitution by speaking out.

He refused to comment on whether Mrs Douglas's apparent involvement in the complaint against the treasurer was a sign of serious divisions within the party.

AAP has sought comment from Mr McIver, while Mr Nicholls and Mr Seeney are due to address the media shortly.

Mr Palmer told AAP his association with Mr McIver was not the issue - it was the very serious allegations he'd made.

"The treasurer should not be saying we're in deep financial trouble when we're not, to create hysteria so they can sell off our assets," he said.

"Fourteen thousand Queensland families should not be without their pay packets because these little deadbeats want to get re-elected."

He said he was not fearful of losing his life LNP membership when the executive considered his comments on November 23.

"My understanding is that that meeting will be about the very serious allegations I've made," he said.

"I'm not as important as what I've said."

Earlier this year, Mr Palmer kept his party membership after a series of public attacks on the Newman government.

He said any public comments he made were in his capacity as a businessman, not on behalf of the LNP.

Mr Nicholls denied exaggerating the state's debt.

"Unless the entire treasury has got its numbers wrong, unless they are applying a standard that is not acceptable to the Australian Accounting Standards Board, then I'm pretty sure that our figure's right," he told the Queensland Media Club.

He said at the end of 2011/12 Queensland's gross debt was $62 billion.

Mr Nicholls said Mr Palmer's complaints were a "juvenile" effort from a man who was unhappy he didn't get approval for his rail project in the Galilee Basin.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Jeff Seeney also dismissed Mr Palmer's accusations as a "whole lot of stupid statements".

"What we ... saw is a temper tantrum from a billionaire who hasn't accepted that he can't get his own way," Mr Seeney told reporters in Brisbane.

Mr Seeney said he had not been approached by the LNP executive about any accusation against him, and if Mr Palmer was going to be thrown out, it was a decision for the LNP executive.

He said Mr Palmer's friendship with LNP president Bruce McIver shouldn't spare him.

"No matter who he's friends with, no matter what business relationships he has, he will be treated exactly the same as every other Queenslander."