Clive Palmer plans to pursue legal action against the Queensland Government for allegedly refusing to provide Queensland Nickel Resources with access to the Port of Townsville.
The Townsville Port Authority has ignored continuous correspondence to restore Queensland Nickel’s access to Berth 2, relied upon by “large-scale ongoing exports”, according to Palmer.
Queensland Nickel produces a range of nickel and cobalt products, such as nickel compacts and oxide sinter.
The company’s chairman considered the move as punishment to the “struggling economy in North Queensland.”
“The Labor Government is using politics to deny in the order of 3000 jobs directly and indirectly,” Palmer said.
“It is one thing not agreeing with my political views, but it is a completely different thing to deny thousands of jobs and a much-improved boost to the struggling economy in North Queensland.
“Blocking the importation of ore and exportation of products is a disgrace. The Labor Government is punishing the people of Townsville.”
Australian Mining has reached out to the Port of Townsville for comments.
Coinciding with the news, Queensland Nickel yesterday released a statement saying Palmer has paid at least 20 claims of unpaid worker entitlements, totalling around $450,000, with an estimated 50 to be settled before the end of the week, despite he or his companies being “responsible” for dismissals at the Queensland refinery.
“The Townsville community must be reminded that it was the administrators who dismissed 546 people and closed down the refinery for no good reason except political gain,” Palmer said.
Palmer, who is the federal leader of United Australia Party, has spent at least $50 million on his political campaign, according to wealth expert John Stensholt.