Newman wants Clive to upgrade refinery instead of dinosaurs

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman said he hoped newly elected federal politician Clive Palmer would honour his promise to upgrade his nickel refinery instead of buying more dinosaurs for the fairways of his Coolum Resort.

Mr Newman, talking on a Brisbane radio station on Thursday said there was two issues surrounding Mr Palmer's nickel refinery at Yabulu which had concerned his government.

"The first one is that the refinery has some very extensive sort of tailing retention ponds and dams, which have toxic water contaminated by heavy metals and the like from the refining processes," he said.

"Last year, Mr Palmer wanted authority to discharge water into the Great Barrier Reef and we said no."

Mr Newman said that was one of the major reasons that resulted in the public fallout and on-going feud between the two.

"That is one of the reasons he has got a bit of a problem with my government," he said.

"People need to know that.

"I want Queenslanders to know we do not have fights for the sake of having fights. We have fights to do the right thing."

Mr Newman said he would like to see Mr Palmer honour the commitment he made in June when he promised a billion dollars' worth of investment and 500 new jobs at the refinery.

"We know that money has been going from the refinery to things like the Coolum Resort to pay for that and to I would argue pay for dinosaurs on the fairways," he said.

"I am concerned that he meets his environmental obligations and I would like to see him deliver on that commitment.

"I would like him to invest in the refinery and I would like to see another 500 jobs in Townsville."

Mr Newman said he was willing to work with Mr Palmer to ensure the upgrade and new jobs became a reality.

"For what it is worth, we might have had our disagreements but if he needs the support of government in any application to actually re-invest, to actually build the refinery to secure those jobs, he has our full support," he said.

"We want to see those jobs and the existing jobs protected."

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