1600 jobs at risk as Clive Palmer begs for a bailout
UP TO 1600 jobs could be affected if a nickel refinery owned by Sunshine Coast MP Clive Palmer is forced into administration.
Mr Palmer had an emergency meeting with Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt in the hope of securing $50 million to breathe life back into the troubled business.
It was not the first time Mr Palmer had met with government staffers regarding Queensland Nickel's Townsville refinery, but according to Mr Pitt, this meeting came with a threat of shutting down the business.
"He's come back threatening to close the business if the state doesn't bail him out," Mr Pitt said on Tuesday.
Mr Palmer has said he expects the company to again be self-sustaining by mid-2016.
In a statement, the mining magnate turned Member for Fairfax said the exports were worth $680 million a year, and was "the largest employer int he region".
"The Queensland Government needs to put the welfare of these Townsville families highly on the agenda," Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer also complained that he was disappointed that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declined to meet with him.
He said it was "disappointing that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk didn't have the time to discuss this important issue that could be devastating to north Queensland," the ABC reported.
The desperate request for cash came after the Western Australian Supreme Court rejected Mr Palmer's bid to have Chinese business partner CITIC pay him US$48 million
In the aftermath of its failure, CITIC spokesman Rob Newton said Mr Palmer bore responsibility for his financial situation.
"Mr Palmer is responsible for how he spends his money and his business decisions," he said.
"In recent years, those decisions have included golf courses, nickel mines and robotic dinosaurs."