Clive Palmer has refused to back down over accusations Gold Coast council officers used “high-powered rifles” to kill deer on his land and sold the meat to local restaurants.
The Queensland businessman wrote about the “potentially murderous actions” on his Facebook page on Saturday morning.
Palmer said staff and consultants observed the officers entering his property, killing the livestock and “endangering human life”.
“They removed the carcasses of at least 10 red deer from inside my property boundary and investigations have revealed they sold the meat from those animals to Gold Coast restaurants at up to $40 per kilogram,” he said.
Palmer accused council officers of endangering the lives of his children.
“Small children and families should be able to play in their backyard without fear the government will fire guns in or on their property,” he said.
Palmer said he would contact police and pursue the matter through the courts and also threatened to return to politics if no action was taken to investigate.
The Gold Coast mayor, Tom Tate, denied officers had been shooting deer on Palmer’s land.
Gold Coast Council spokesman Warwick Sinclair said the council “strongly refutes” the allegations, but said the council had on occasion been forced to euthanise deer that had escaped Mr Palmer’s property and “gone ballistic in the streets”.
“Animal Management officers have not been to the property recently, officers would not enter a property without a warrant, and we have no record of the allegations he is making,” he said in a statement.
“Council has also checked that it has not issued a contract for such services. [There] has been an ongoing problem with deer at this property. We have had calls from QPS in the past as deer have escaped and caused danger on the roads.
“A number of notices have been issued to Mr Palmer in the past for failing to maintain the property and allowing deer to escape.”
Mr Sinclair said council was attempting to contact Mr Palmer.
“Once they get out they’re obviously quite a danger to the community – people walking or cars. [But] it’s fairly rare. We work with the state government Department of Primary Industries and the police. We don’t just turn up and start shooting them,” he told news.com.au.
“We say to all property owners, whatever livestock, even a cow, you’ve got to keep it contained on your property.
Palmer said he was “convinced” Tate and the council had told the truth but that they had been misled.
“I’m also convinced they have been unknowingly misled by council officers who have discharged high-powered rifles in residential areas for their own criminal purposes,” he said.
“My staff and other witnesses will co-operate with the council and support Tom Tate’s leadership to ensure the safety of all the residents of the Gold Coast.”