Three years after hundreds of people lost their jobs at a Queensland nickel refinery, Clive Palmer says he’ll pay whatever is left owing to his former employees.
The billionaire says he wants to cover the $7.16 million in outstanding entitlements, but it remains unclear if he will also repay $66.86 million in taxpayer funds given to the Queensland Nickel workers.
“This is not about politics, this is an announcement about the industry in this town and jobs,” he said on Monday.
“We think our investment should be welcomed, as an Australian, as Queensland’s richest person, and we employ hundreds of people in the state.”
Mr Palmer is seeking to restart the Townsville refinery, at a time when the price of nickel is rising.
He is also trying to get elected into federal parliament for a second time, and has put himself down for preselection by his own party in the seat of Herbert, which takes in the coastal city.
Legal action against Mr Palmer, along with a number of individuals and related entities, to recover $200 million in claims against his company is ongoing in the Supreme Court.
A trial to hear those claims has been set down for July 15 and is expected to run for 45 days.