One Nation senator Rod Culleton has told the Federal Court a delayed flight meant he couldn't attend a hearing over a broken land deal debt, despite previously saying the no-show was due to a family emergency.
Senator Culleton was in 2013 ordered to pay $205,000 in damages after he terminated a 2009 deal with former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester for land near Williams in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region within months of it being signed, citing financial problems.
Frustrated by Senator Culleton's refusal to pay the bill, which has ballooned to more than $280,000, Mr Lester lodged a creditor's petition in October, with the intent of bringing on an involuntary bankruptcy.
The matter was scheduled to be heard and determined in the Federal Court in Perth on Thursday afternoon but was adjourned by consent to December 19.
Justice Michael Barker said Senator Culleton had informed the court he could not attend because his flight from Melbourne had been delayed due to a mechanical problem.
But outside the High Court in Canberra after a hearing over his eligibility to stand for parliament, he told reporters he wouldn't front Justice Barker for family reasons.
"Unfortunately my mother was sent to emergency in Bunbury last night, which is quite distressing. I want to get home to the family," Senator Culleton said on Wednesday.
While he said he'd pay money "into the court", he also vowed to keeping on fighting Mr Lester, who had become a "pest".
"Unfortunately I had to divert my time and interest and funds to other areas, now I can concentrate on Mr Lester and finish Mr Lester off in the legal arena, which I am prepared to do," he said.
"I will fight it right to the very end because it's personal with Dick."
When the matter was heard in the Federal Court in November, Mr Lester, 78, told reporters outside Senator Culleton was a "serial litigant".