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Palmer companies chided over delays

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Tracey Ferrier

Clive Palmer's companies are frustrating liquidators' efforts to obtain documents about the collapse of Queensland Nickel, the Federal Court has heard.

Justice James Edelman has expressed exasperation over a months-long disagreement about what documents Queensland Nickel's parent companies must hand to special purpose liquidators.

"There's constant refusal or abstention to respond by your clients," Justice Edelman told solicitor Sam Iskander, who represents Mr Palmer's companies QNI Metals and QNI Resources.

Justice Edelman warned the delays were only pushing up court costs, and acknowledged the frustration felt by lawyers for special purpose liquidators, PPB Advisory.

"One can understand (they) are fairly exasperated," Justice Edelman told Mr Iskander.

He said PPB had been left with no understanding of what documents Queensland Nickel's parent companies considered too hard, or too costly to produce.

Justice Edelman ordered legal and other representatives for the two opposing sides to meet face-to-face before Tuesday, and agree on the scope of documents to be produced.

"It's not rocket science. There ought to have been a meeting," he said.

PPB Advisory has been given the job of trying to claw back about $70 million the federal government shelled out to cover the entitlements of sacked Queensland Nickel workers.

During Wednesday's hearing, PPB's barrister Tom Sullivan QC said lawyers for Mr Palmer's companies were frustrating efforts to end the impasse, and at times had failed to respond to emails.

"We've been attempting to engage with the Palmer parties, unsuccessfully, on a number of occasions to discuss this matter," Mr Sullivan told the court.

Mr Iskander said QNI Metals and QNI Resources had engaged an accountant to sit with the liquidators and discuss the issue by the end of the week.

Justice Edelman will hold yet another hearing on the issue on Tuesday, unless he hears the two parties have met to resolve the impasse.

Queensland Nickel collapsed earlier this year, with the loss of almost 800 jobs and debts of about $300 million.

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