THE Queensland Government has granted Clive Palmer's new owner of the Townsville Yabulu nickel refinery an environmental approval to operate it, while calling for Palmer to hire back 550 workers.
In a bid to secure job offers for 550 workers expected to be made redundant on Friday, the change meant the new owner, Queensland Nickel Sales Pty Ltd (QNS), could sign new employment contracts with the 550 workers facing the sack.
A statement from the directors on Friday afternoon, said they hoped to write to staff with offers "on the same terms" as their previous contracts.
- All 550 workers at Qld Nickel to go on Friday
- Palmer takes back control of refinery from administrators
State Environment Minister Steven Miles told the ABC that with the environmental approval, there was no barrier preventing QNS from re-hiring the employees.
"There is no excuse at all for Mr Palmer to allow these families to spend the weekend not knowing if they have a job or not on Monday," he said.
"This environmental approval removes the only major impediment to Clive Palmer guaranteeing the livelihoods of 550 families."
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