Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville has confirmed it will lay off 237 workers.
Mr Palmer had asked the Queensland government for a $35million loan to keep the operation afloat but was knocked back late last year.
Managing director Clive Mensink said in a statement it was a “sad state of affairs” that only industry in the south-east corner of Queensland received help from the State Government.
“The Queensland Government has made it clear despite the nickel price being the lowest in 15 years, it has no interest in assisting Queensland Nickel in providing continued employment for over 800 families in Townsville,” he said.
Extra security guards were stationed at the plant in Yabulu for the announcement.
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) said it believed about 550 employees would remain with the business.
AWU state secretary Ben Swan it had been “a horrible saga that’s been going on for a number of months”.
“Tragically this has resulted in … people losing their jobs,” he said.
“Palmer needs to stop ripping money out of the business to fund his political fantasies.”
– More to come