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Clive Palmer's Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville has confirmed it will lay off 237 workers.
Mr Palmer was in discussions with the Queensland Government for a $35 million bailout to keep the operation at Yabulu afloat but was knocked back late last year.
Police were called to the site this morning and extra security guards were stationed at the gate of the plant.
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.
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) said it was disappointed by the decision to shed jobs.
It said it believed about 550 employees would remain with the business.
Just months before Mr Palmer asked the State Government for help, documents showed that some of his businesses, including Queensland Nickel, donated about $9.5 million to his Palmer United Party (PUP).
During the 2014–2015 financial year, Queensland Nickel had enough money to donate $5,947,720 to the PUP.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad said the State Government tried to work with Queensland Nickel but the company would not disclose all details about its financial position.
Ms Trad said it would have been irresponsible to give taxpayers' money without first seeing the company's books.
"Unfortunately the Government's request for access to the full financial statements of Mr Palmer's businesses was not responded to, and we could not, in all good conscience, hand over money to a private company without full financial due diligence," she said.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill questioned whether the company should have donated millions of dollars to Clive Palmer's federal election campaign.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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