Clive Palmer has had an emergency meeting with the State Government to save Queensland Nickel and the jobs of 700 workers.
Mr Palmer’s north Queensland Yabulu refinery is seeking almost $50 million from the Queensland Government, after the West Australian Supreme Court rejected a bid for $US48 million from estranged Chinese business partner CITIC.
Managing director of Queensland Nickel Ian Ferguson has urged staff at the Townsville refinery to pressure local MPs to get support from the government.
“Its future rests in the hands of the Queensland Government,” a letter to staff from Mr Ferguson said.
The memo urges recipients to contact Townsville’s state MPs to highlight the dire prospect of unemployment, which it claims would have an impact on 3000 local families.
Mr Ferguson said the closure of the refinery would be catastrophic for the Townsville community.
“What we had in October was an assurance by Mr Palmer that all of the employees’ jobs were safe at Queensland Nickel and that there were no issues with the company,” he said, according to a report by ABC News.
“Since that time we have repeatedly spoken with the company, we put out letters for the company to disclose the situation so that Government could be as well armed as possible to know what its position was and of course what options Government may be able to consider in providing assistance to those workers.
“I think it’s very concerning that here we are a few weeks out from Christmas and Mr Palmer is now threatening to close the plant.
“Any decision to close the Yabulu nickel plant will be the decision of Mr Palmer and his alone. This Government stands ready to assist workers and we don’t treat this as a game.
“This is not a game, we are dealing with people’s livelihoods.”