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Culleton faces creditors owed $6m plus

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016 Rebecca Le May

A group of people owed more than $6 million by One Nation Senator Rod Culleton have faced him at a creditors meeting in Perth, with one man saying the newly-sworn in politician tried to bully and discredit "everyone in the room".

Liquidators were appointed to his company Elite Grains, which is one of at least three linked to Senator Culleton, in November 2013.

Some attended the meeting in person on Thursday, while others dialled in.

One creditor, who did not want to be named, said Elite Grains officially owed dozens of people more than $6 million but other suppliers and service providers had written their debts off.

The creditor said he did not believe Senator Culleton's claim that he was not insolvent and he had $34 million to transfer into Elite Grains.

He said the creditors held little hope of getting a cent back from the liquidation but pursuing Senator Culleton was a matter of principle and "trying to stop him doing this to other people".

Senator Culleton "bullied the meeting from the start", he said.

"Every time someone went to ask a question, half-way through, he'd give his opinion," the creditor told AAP.

"He sort of sat in the middle and controlled everything from there. The liquidator had trouble getting him under control.

"He basically did his normal thing: accused everyone of not being owed money and tried to discredit everyone in the room.

"He was all over the place. It's bizarre, the way he talks. He bulldozes people and they get confused.

"At the end, he asked for his company back so he could trade himself out. Everyone just looked at each other and thought 'how are you going to trade yourself out when you've got nothing?'"

Attorney-General George Brandis announced on Wednesday that Senator Culleton would likely face a High Court challenge to his eligibility to be a member of parliament because he had been convicted of larceny when the federal election was called in May.

The 2014 NSW conviction over a $7.50 key he took from a tow truck driver who was trying to repossess a lease car was later annulled as it was recorded in his absence after he failed to attend court.

But Senator Culleton pleaded guilty to the charge at a subsequent hearing and no conviction was recorded.

He still faces a stealing charge in WA relating to a $27,000 hire car, which he allegedly surrounded with hay bales to thwart bank-appointed receivers during foreclosure proceedings.

That was set to go to trial in Perth Magistrates Court in September but he had it delayed.

A new trial date will be set on November 15.

The Australian constitution bans people from being federal MPs if they are awaiting or serving sentences for crimes that carry sentences of 12 months' jail or more - which applies to both charges.

A second constitutional issue could also arise if Senator Culleton is found to be an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent.

Senator Culleton, who was sought for comment, dodged waiting media after the meeting by slipping out through a rear exit.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said Senator Culleton had a few options available to him, including a leave of absence and staying on and voting in divisions. "This is not an easy time for Senator Culleton and his family and I have encouraged him to make an informed decision on his future," Senator Hanson said on Thursday night after seeking legal advice on the High Court challenge. Senator Culleton was seeking independent legal advice, she said.

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