Clive Palmer is suing Queensland’s deputy premier for defamation, only a month after he did the same thing to Premier Campbell Newman.
But the mining magnate-turned-federal MP, who once listed litigation as a hobby in his Who’s Who entry, says the action is about personal integrity and denies he is a serial litigant.
Mr Palmer is launching defamation proceedings against Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney, a week after the senior Liberal National Party minister told ABC TV that Mr Palmer had sought special treatment for Waratah Coal in early 2012.
Mr Seeney alleged Mr Palmer handed him a draft bill that would have benefited his Galilee Basin coal interests, and vowed to report it to the state’s anti-corruption body.
For that, Mr Palmer, a former LNP life member, is launching defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court on Monday, arguing the Crime and Misconduct Commission is too compromised to examine the issue.
“He’s questioned my integrity as a person,” Mr Palmer told reporters on Friday.
“If people want to say that I’ve done something which I haven’t and question my integrity, we need to have a fair hearing on those matters and if they’re lying the public needs to know about that.”
Mr Palmer denied litigation had become his hobby.
“We only litigate when there’s a good reason to do it,” he said.
The latest action comes a month after Mr Palmer sued Mr Newman for saying the mining magnate had tried to “buy” his government.
Mr Palmer has said his proposal would not have favoured Waratah Coal and would have ensured open access to infrastructure for every company operating in the basin in western Queensland.
In March 2013, the government announced Indian mining giant GVK and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Coal would work with freight rail company Aurizon to build rail infrastructure from the basin to the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen.
Mr Palmer on Friday produced four letters to him, from Mr Newman and Mr Seeney in 2012, showing they were pleased with Waratah Coal’s proposals to build the rail line.
“I congratulate you for your efforts to date, which are contributing to the long-held vision of the Galilee Basin becoming a major new resource region,” Mr Seeney said in April 2012, a month after the LNP won power.
Waratah went to the Supreme Court to challenge the government’s rejection of its rail proposal in October 2013.
“Today’s claims are what we’ve come to expect from Mr Palmer,” Mr Seeney said in a statement to AAP.
Earlier, Mr Palmer said the deputy premier had lied on television.
“We’re still waiting for the analysis to come back from our lie detector of his voice,” Mr Palmer said.