Clive Palmer was in Perth as a parliamentary committee, of which he is a member, quizzed Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens in Brisbane.
Clive Palmer’s absence from a parliamentary hearing that grills the Reserve Bank governor twice a year was disappointing, a Liberal MP says.
The mining millionaire is one of 10 MPs who sits on the House of Representatives economics committee.
Twice a year, these politicians get their chance to question Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens on everything from interest rates, the Australian dollar and anything politically contentious.
But the Palmer United Party leader, who represents the Queensland Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax, was nowhere to be seen as Mr Stevens faced the MPs at state Parliament House in Brisbane.
Mr Palmer was also absent earlier this year.
Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer, who chairs this committee, said hearings were held right across Australia.
“It’s always disappointing when committee members can’t schedule the time in their diary to attend such an important hearing,” she told AAP.
“It’s unusual for committee members not to attend this hearing.
“All committee members make it to where the committee is held because of the priority in properly oversighting the Reserve Bank.”
But Labor MP Ed Husic, the deputy chair of the committee, saw the bright side of Mr Palmer’s absence.
“I wasn’t disappointed he wasn’t here. It meant more questions for us, frankly,” he told AAP.
“If he doesn’t want to turn up, it’s his choice.”
As MPs questioned Mr Stevens on the budget and the possible re-introduction of the carbon tax, Mr Palmer hung up the phone to an ABC radio interviewer in Perth, after a question about Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie’s comments that China’s military capacity was a threat to Australia.
Mr Palmer was already under fire for telling an ABC studio audience on Monday night that the Chinese government were “bastards” and “mongrels”.