TOWNSVILLE: QNI Resources Chairman Clive Palmer today responded to misleading statements by the Townsville Port Authority.
“The simple fact is that the Port of Townsville has not at any time offered our companies a renewal of a lease on the same terms and conditions as the current leases which expire in 2024,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The Port and the State Government seek to add additional conditions to port leases to penalise the refinery operations and to make it difficult or impossible to reopen while at the same time pretending they support jobs and growth in Townsville.”
Mr Palmer has called on the Townsville Port Authority to renew the leases under the exact same terms and conditions that has allowed the refinery to operate for decades and employ thousands of North Queenslanders.
“The Special Purpose Liquidator appointed by the Commonwealth of Australia has withdrawn all allegations made against me and our companies because they were simply the lies of the political mafia that runs and holds back Townsville,’’ Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer confirmed he intended to write to all the people living in Townsville to explain the position because it affected them and their children’s aspirations and they need to know the truth.
“The Minister for Transport should resign his office before he is defeated at the next election. He never met with me,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The elected state members, the Transport Minister and the Premier have all refused to meet with me or any of our executives.
“They don’t care about Townsville’s future, just their own jobs. They have no responsibility or accountability at all,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“Our operation was the largest private employer in North Queensland and still provides 60 jobs in Townsville today.
“We were the largest user of the Townsville Port. The Townsville Port continuously seeks money from the taxpayer to give cushy jobs to its employees while Townsville is economically devastated.
“The State Government and the Port Authority need to change their attitudes.
“If the people of Townsville are happy with how Townsville is progressing, if they believe it is all it could be then there is nothing to be concerned about.
“But if they, like me, aspire to a better future and growing prosperity they should demand changes for a better future for their families,’’ Mr Palmer said.