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Lies and fantasy: Clive Palmer on administrator's report -

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MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Clive Palmer has described a damning administrator's report as lies and fantasy and declared no court would find against him.

FTI Consulting found Mr Palmer and his nephew Clive Mensink appeared to have acted recklessly as directors of Queensland Nickel.

The Federal Government is now considering the report, and whether it will pay entitlements to almost 800 sacked workers.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: The administrator's findings that Clive Palmer worked as a shadow director of Queensland Nickel and appeared reckless in exercising directors' duties are a fantasy, according to Mr Palmer.

CLIVE PALMER: No I don't think a court will agree with it. It's just not true.

ANNIE GUEST: The administrator also found that money transferred to other Palmer companies and the Palmer United Party could have saved Queensland Nickel.

Here's FTI Consulting's John Park.

JOHN PARK: You're near on a 200 million negative with respect to cash participation, you know, that would have given us at least another few years of trading in that environment for a nickel price recovery if the money was still in the bank.

ANNIE GUEST: But Mr Palmer told Radio National the money didn't belong to Queensland Nickel, the operating entity for his Yabulu nickel refinery.

CLIVE PALMER: Absolute rubbish. If you look at the accounts which are lodged with ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission), that was given by the two joint venture companies, which I own and are my private companies. It wasn't given by Queensland Nickel.

ANNIE GUEST: Mr Palmer went on.

CLIVE PALMER: False, lie, not true. You know, the publicity, you'll see in Australia's report, it doesn't say anywhere where we can recover that money. If that money had come from Queensland Nickel, it would be recoverable but it didn't.

ANNIE GUEST: The company owes about $200 million in employee entitlements and other debts.

FTI Consulting recommended liquidation.

While ASIC's investigations continue and speculation mounts about Clive Palmer's future, the immediate needs of almost 800 sacked workers are worrying Townsville's Mayor Jenny Hill.

JENNY HILL: People are absolutely desperate. They don't qualify for Centrelink; they don't qualify for any real assistance.

ANNIE GUEST: On 7.30, the Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, wouldn't reveal the Government's plans regarding paying worker entitlements.

BARNABY JOYCE: I'm not going to make the call for another minister. Mind you, we are considering that report right now.

ANNIE GUEST: The administrators also found spending on safety at the Yabulu nickel refinery had halved since BHP Billiton's ownership, with an exhaust stack at risk of collapse.

The report noted Queensland Nickel is fighting charges of environmental damage linked to a tailings dam.

The Queensland Environment Minister, Steven Miles has proposed legislation ensuring Mr Palmer would be held responsible if the charges are proven.

STEVEN MILES: These laws would give the environmental regulator the power to serve orders and ultimately prosecute other related entities that may have received a financial benefit, may have been in management control of the operation at the time that environmental harm occurred but at the moment can't be held responsible for environmental damage.

ANNIE GUEST: Do you expect those laws will pass?


ANNIE GUEST: The Minister says recent monitoring found excess ammonia in creeks around the refinery.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Annie Guest reporting.