Clive Palmer outside the court yesterday.
Clive Palmer outside the court yesterday. Dave Hunt / AAP Image

Palmer: Qld Nickel millions 'my personal money'

CLIVE Palmer says former Queensland Nickel employees should be "thankful" for him, and the millions of dollars he ripped from the company's coffers was his to spend.

The eccentric mining magnate talked at length outside the Federal Court in Brisbane this morning as he prepares to again give evidence at a public examination into the company's collapse last year.

QN plunged into voluntary administration last January, with $300 million in debts and almost 800 jobs were lost.

But Mr Palmer, responding to questions from journalists, agreed the workers should be "thankful" for him as he took over the company from BHP when it was poised to "dismiss" staff.

"Yeah they should be (thankful) because they wouldn't have had a job for seven years, he said.

The court was told yesterday that Mr Palmer ordered more than $40 million to be transferred from QN's accounts to other entities and people, including $15 million to himself and $8 million to his father-in-law.

Mr Palmer was at pains this morning to point out the money was his to deal with as he saw fit.

"At the end of the day the money we are dealing with is money that is my personal money just like your money is personally in your bank account ...," he claimed.

Mr Palmer is back in the witness box this morning to give evidence at the hearing, which aims to gather evidence to claw back money for creditors, including the $70 million owed to taxpayers.