Clive bites back at 'misinformation' on nickel refinery cash

CLIVE Palmer has hit back at allegations he met with the Queensland Treasurer to bail Queensland Nickel out.

The Federal Member for Fairfax has issued a statement this afternoon to set the record straight.

"It is evident that I am being personally attacked because I am a politician," Mr Palmer said.

"The simple fact is I have not been a director of any of the companies I own since 2013 when I became a Federal Member for Fairfax.

"I retired from business at that time to become a full time federal politician. Notwithstanding, comments continue to be made about me so I am going to respond.

"Queensland Nickel is in a strong position, 2015 audited accounts by EY show the company has unencumbered net assets of $1.95 billion.

"The Managing Director of Queensland Nickel, Clive Mensink, informs me that as a result of the low nickel price of approximately $3.50 a pound, the company is experiencing a small deficit in cash flow.

"In the global downturn of commodity prices, many resource companies are facing difficult conditions.

"Global miner Anglo American, which employs 150,000 people around the world, is reportedly laying off 85,000 staff worldwide, this is just one example."

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill yesterday appealed to the State Government to help Queensland Nickel before jobs were lost.

Mr Palmer says no jobs need to go at the North Queensland refinery.

"The fact is, not a single job needs to be lost at the Townsville refinery if fairness and common sense prevails," he said.

"Just like many companies with a strong balance sheet and small cash-flow deficit, Queensland Nickel approached the four major Australian banks for assistance.

"Despite unencumbered assets of nearly $2 billion, it was denied a $35 million overdraft by the four major Australian banks. I have been informed Queensland Nickel was told that in the current investment environment they would not lend to a resources company.

"With assets of almost $2 billion, Queensland Nickel's balance sheet is strong. Banks are not supporting the resources sector, which is in a downturn cycle, as a matter of policy and this is a major problem. This should therefore be a matter of concern for both the Queensland and Federal Governments.

"As a result of this concerning policy by the banks affects all Queensland resource companies, the Managing Director of Queensland Nickel, Clive Mensink, approached the Queensland Government.

"At the request of the Queensland Government, Queensland Nickel allowed the Queensland Under Treasurer Jim Murphy to attend meetings with the four major Australian banks.

"The banks reconfirmed their policy in relation to lending to Queensland resource companies and stated if the Queensland Government acted as guarantor for the small amount of money being sought against unencumbered assets of $1.95 billion, the funds would be forthcoming.

"At no time did Queensland Nickel request taxpayer funds, only a guarantee from the Queensland Government and for security of the guarantee for $35 million, Queensland Nickel offered its balance sheet of nearly $2 billion.

"In my assessment, this is a risk free proposition that would ensure the continued operation of the refinery.
Queensland Nickel is not asking for money like the $40 million a year the government pays to the foreign-owned Boyne Smelters in Gladstone.

"It is shocking that Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt gives away $40 million each year to the foreign owned Gladstone smelter but has refused to support Queensland owned company Queensland Nickel, the largest employer in North Queensland.

"Six years ago when I took over the refinery, the then Premier Anna Bligh did everything to encourage me to buy it and my personal intervention in 2009 when BHP was going to close the refinery saved thousands of jobs and the Townsville economy.

"In the last six years the workforce has been exceptional in its efforts to bring the facility up to world class standards and create a debt free business with a strong balance sheet."

"It's disappointing that the Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt do not seem concerned about the people of North Queensland, they obviously lack leadership and compassion.

Queensland Nickel:

  •  contributes $1.6 billion to the Townville economy each year,
  • it is responsible for about 722 direct jobs and at least 1,500 indirect jobs
  • positively impacts the lives of approximately 10,000 people in the local region.

Topics:  clive palmer finances mining money queensland nickel

Korean students get taste of Beef Cap

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow

ROCKY wants part of educational program experience.


TRENDY TRASH: Several sales are being held in Rockhampton today as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

Bargains up for grabs across Central Queensland today

BAG A BARGAIN: Several sales are being held in Rockhampton and the Central Highlands on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Don't miss a bargain at these sales

Local Partners

Region's prison well over capacity

There's more bodies than beds, but an expansion may be on the cards in the future to relieve pressure on the centre.

Your chance to win

Learn More

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to entertainment and events this weekend

AWARD WINNING SHOW: Tequila Mockingbird can be seen at St Brednan's College, Yeppoon on Saturday.

LOOKING for something to do this weekend?

Garage Sale Trail finds treasure in trash

Richard Morvell from Trendy Trash Rockhampton, Cr Neil Fisher, and Craig Dunglison, Manager of Rockhampton Regional Waste and Recycling gear up for Garage Sale Trail.

Bargains galore on offer at garage sales this weekend

GARAGE SALE GUIDE: Find out where to grab the best bargains

Several sales are being held in Rockhampton on Saturday as part of the national Garage Sale Trail.

Your guide to the Garage Sale Trail in Rockhampton

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.