Mayor calls for government support on Yabulu jobs

Date published: 2 December 2015

Mayor Cr Jenny Hill will travel to Brisbane tomorrow to meet with the Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt seeking government action over the future of the Palmer Nickel and Cobalt Refinery (QNI) at Yabulu.

Cr Hill said the government needed to take a lead role with the company in finding a solution to the refinery’s future and hundreds of local jobs at the plant.

"I’ll be making a very clear statement on behalf of our community that every reasonable step needs to be taken by the company and the government to save those jobs," Cr Hill said.

"Politics cannot play a role in this when 3622 direct and indirect jobs, and an estimated $1.3 billion in economic activity for this city are at stake. The refinery is also the biggest user of the Townsville Port, providing valuable revenue to the Queensland Government.

"Whatever can be done must be done to keep the doors of the refinery open.

"I urge the company to be as open as possible with government, and for the government to look at all reasonable steps and the possibility of assistance to keep the facility operating.

"I met with representatives of the company in October when doubts over the facility’s future first surfaced.

"While the world commodity market has hit the metals processing industry hard, the refinery’s senior management are saying that their projected nickel prices will return the Yabulu operation to a profitable position again within six months.

"This is all the more reason why all options need to be investigated to keep the facility open.