A judge criticised a mining magnate for failing to turn up to court about the collapse of a North Queensland metal refinery.
Justice Debra Mullins reportedly lectured Queensland Nickel owner Clive Palmer for not appearing at the Supreme Court of Queensland for much of the first two days.
Mullins told Palmer, who is representing himself in court, others who either cannot afford or choose not to have legal representation have always turned up to court.
“They actually appear at the bar table the whole time,” the justice said according to the Australian Associated Press.
$200m in debts sought
Insolvency firm FTI Consulting is suing Palmer for $200 million, which the firm claims is owed to creditors since the 2016 collapse of the Yabulu Nickel Refinery, 25km north of Townsville. More than 780 people lost their jobs when operation was indefinitely suspended.
When Palmer tried to explain he found it difficult to decide between going to court or directing his companies, Mullins fired back.
“Ah, well can I tell what directors of companies usually do?” she said. “They engage lawyers.”
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Busy magnate is sorry for no show
Palmer apologised and promised to change his schedule to make time for each day of the trial.
“I was wrong, there’s just nothing else to say,” Palmer said.
Outside of court, Palmer maintained he has many commitments.
“I have got responsibilities to thousands of people across Australia,” he told the Nine Network. “I am vexed between having to defend myself here and having to carry out those responsibilities.”