As long as I am the owner of Queensland Nickel I will not allow the company to borrow funds from the Queensland Government.
The simple fact of the matter is that there is no loan from the Government or anyone else.
It is my understanding that Queensland Nickel is debt free and has net assets of over $1.9 billion, far more than the Australian and the Courier Mail glued together.
Queensland Nickel had revenue last year exceeding $680,000,000. Queensland Nickel employs around 800 people and another 1500 people depend on its activities. It is responsible for over $1,300,000,000 worth of economic activity in Townsville.
Irresponsible media reports saying I was given the refinery from BHP are false. I paid many millions of dollars to purchase the refinery.
Just as false are claims that I discussed environmental issue with the Treasurer or that there were concerns in this area. Such reporting is fabrication.
The Townsville refinery has been operating for over 40 years. It has an excellent track record.
At the request of the then Queensland Premier, I took what steps were necessary to save the jobs of thousands of people. I put my money on the line for the people of North Queensland and that is the truth of the matter.
Workers at QNI are paid on average more than 25 per cent above the award and receive an extra one percent in super each year above what the company is required to pay.
There’s no reason to panic just because the nickel price has dropped and create stories for journalists who can’t find a real story.
We do things not because they are easy but because they are hard. We have to stick with it and together we will achieve the extraordinary.