Palmer fails to show  at  poll inquiry
No show: Clive Palmer. Picture: Getty Images

Clive Palmer spent months publicly accusing election officials of incompetence and corruption but he has baulked at the chance to back up his claims before an inquiry into the conduct of last year's Federal Election.

Mr Palmer was a no-show at a parliamentary committee hearing into the election despite requesting that he appear in person to give evidence.

His failure to turn up angered MPs, who pointed out he had been given at least three opportunities to air his grievances.

"We want to be very clear about the fact we didn't request Mr Palmer to appear - he requested to appear and we have accommodated that request," committee chairman and Liberal MP Tony Smith said.

After last year's election, Mr Palmer blasted Australia's voting system repeatedly and accused the Australian Electoral Commission of bias.

A spokesman for Mr Palmer said the MP had some matters to deal with in his electorate.

Mr Palmer took his war with Chinese Government-owned CITIC Pacific to a new level yesterday, saying the company was in "illegal occupation" of the Cape Preston port in WA's north.

Mr Palmer's company Mineralogy claims CITIC has refused to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in export royalties on iron ore from the $10 billion Pilbara Sino Iron project. Mr Palmer said Chinese ship Li Dan 6 had docked at Cape Preston and was preparing to transport the 21st shipment of Australian iron ore concentrate without paying for it.

"The Chinese occupying Australian ports is a matter of national security as is the Chinese goal of controlling resources in Australia and destroying Australian enterprises by failing to honour contracts using the courts and unlimited cash to delay and disadvantage Australian companies and workers," he said.

CITIC responded last night.

"Sino Iron has been producing and shipping high quality concentrate with all required approvals in place," it said.

"In addition to the $US415 million ($442 million) paid to Mineralogy at the outset, we have been paying Mineralogy and the WA Government royalties that are owed and calculable.

"There are disputes between the parties that are before the courts."

The West Australian

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