You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ex-QN boss to answer more questions

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016

A former Queensland Nickel chief, who says he invoiced the company for private work he did on the side for QN owner Clive Palmer, will return to the Federal Court to answer more questions.

Ian Ferguson was the managing director of operations at Queensland Nickel's Yabulu refinery near Townsville before the business failed, with the loss of almost 800 jobs.

He told the Federal Court on Wednesday that during his first year on the job he didn't know how the nickel refinery worked and he also had an oral agreement with Mr Palmer to do unrelated work.

That work included scouting for property development opportunities for the former federal MP, while he was at the refinery in senior roles.

He said his own private company, Primeland Australia, invoiced Queensland Nickel for the work and those invoices were paid through the nickel company's payroll.

However, it was heard the value of the work he did for Mr Palmer was deducted from his Queensland Nickel salary.

Mr Ferguson started working at the now-mothballed refinery in March 2012 as a commercial director and within weeks became the general manager.

But for his first year he didn't understand the refinery's corporate structure, or how the plant "actually operated", he said.

Special-purpose liquidators PPB Advisory are questioning Mr Ferguson and other former Queensland Nickel chiefs about how the ill-fated company was managed.

Mr Ferguson will return to the court on Thursday while Mr Palmer is expected to give evidence on Friday.

The liquidators are trying to claw back about $70 million the federal government shelled out to cover entitlements for axed workers.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon