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Mr Clive Palmer coy on nickel refinery future

Steel News - Published on Tue, 27 Aug 2013

The Australian reported that prime ministerial aspirant Mr Clive Palmer refused to guarantee that his Yabulu nickel refinery in Townsville would remain open after the federal election.

Mr Palmer\'s refusal followed a challenge by the local Liberal National Party member, Queensland Mining Minister Mr Andrew Cripps, to guarantee the refinery\'s future amid rumours it would be closed after September 7th.

Mr Cripps wrote to Mr Palmer on the weekend claiming that several refinery executives were standing as candidates for the Palmer United Party rather than running the operation, called Queensland Nickel.

The refinery sits in Mr Cripps\'s seat of Hinchinbrook and the federal electorate of Herbert, which is being contested for the PUP by Mr Martin Brewster, who is the director of expansion and major works at Queensland Nickel as well as Mr Palmer\'s nephew.

Another of Mr Palmer\'s nephews, Queensland Nickel MD Mr Clive Mensink, is No 2 on PUP\'s Senate ticket.

The MD of operations at the refinery, Mr Ian Ferguson, is the PUP\'s candidate for Dawson, based in Mackay but running north to include some of the southern suburbs of Townsville. Mr Palmer himself is running for Fairfax, based on the Sunshine Coast. In his letter, Mr Cripps wrote that Mr Palmer had strong community support for his actions in keeping the refinery open after he bought it from BHP in 2009.

Mr Cripps said that \"There is speculation you are simply deferring the announcement of the closure of the refinery until after the federal election, to avoid any negative impact such a decision may have on electoral support for your political party.\"

When questioned about the matter yesterday at the National Press Club, Mr Palmer said that he had given extravagant Christmas presents to many of the employees and that he had got the cost of production down dramatically.

But he refused to guarantee that the refinery would remain open and his campaign failed to return calls.

Source – The Australian


Posted By : admin on Tue, 27 Aug 2013
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