Clive Palmer hangs up on fiery interview
Clive Palmer has pulled his signature move once again, hanging up on a radio interview after being questioned about being depicted as a cane toad on the front of the West Australian newspaper.
The mining billionaire is locked in a bitter dispute with the WA government, which last night rushed through emergency legislation to block legal action it says could potentially bankrupt the state.
Mr Palmer alleges actions by the Liberal government eight years ago have affected his iron ore interests in the Pilbara to the tune of $30 billion. He is also separately challenging WA's hard border closure in the High Court.
In a heated interview with RN Breakfast host Hamish Macdonald this morning, Mr Palmer several times referred to Macdonald's questions as "bullsh*t" and repeatedly questioned why WA Premier Mark McGowan was "giving himself immunity from criminal prosecution" and stifling freedom-of-information requests under the emergency legislation.
"You as a journalist should be concerned about that," he said.
Macdonald suggested the WA Premier was simply protecting "taxpayers of Western Australia" from footing the bill for the $30 billion damages claim. Mr Palmer hit back, saying the figure was "just bullsh*t, that's just rubbish".
"Do you think a court in Australia would award someone $30 billion?" he said.
"They've eliminated my rights to appear in court, they've eliminated natural justice. In Australia it's not the government that decides disputes, it's the courts. (The emergency legislation is) invalid, it won't take the High Court long to throw it out.
"This is an outlaw swinging his gun around to protect him and the Attorney-General from the criminal law."
Macdonald then asked why Mr Palmer's lawyers had written to the WA government offering to withdraw his High Court challenge against the COVID-19 border closure if they agreed to move the arbitration hearing related to the mining damages claim from Perth to Canberra.
"Well that's another bullsh*t, you know, get a copy of the letter and read it," he said, prompting Macdonald to ask Mr Palmer to "with respect, please mind your language".
Mr Palmer claimed the letter was sent by his solicitor on his own initiative but "he never pursued it with me".
Macdonald asked, "So your in-house counsel wasn't writing on your behalf or your company's behalf?"
"No, he was writing as an officer of the court, (he is) duty bound to negotiate settlements in all proceedings," Mr Palmer said.
Macdonald replied, "With respect, Mr Palmer, you've used some colourful language this morning and I must say that defies belief."
The host then turned to some colourful coverage of Mr Palmer in the West Australian newspaper in recent days, which "this week depicted you as Dr Evil, as a cane toad - the headline was 'pest'."
That was the last straw for the mining magnate. "Well look, goodbye - I've had enough talking to you, mate, see ya," he said.
ABC RN host Matt Bevan said the six-minutes, 22-seconds it took for Mr Palmer to hang up was "a bit longer than some of our team were expecting".
Mr Palmer last night called for Mr McGowan and WA Attorney-General John Quigley to resign, revealing the Queensland Supreme Court had already formally registered awards made in his favour in the arbitration.
A spokesman for the WA Premier told NCA Newswire the emergency bill was "designed to protect us from such an order".
"It was obtained without any notice to the state, which is very unusual," the spokesman said. "The state is seeking advice about whether the order can be set aside or appealed on that basis."
Originally published as Clive Palmer hangs up on fiery interview