Federal MP Clive Palmer could have saved the jobs of 237 Queensland workers if he wanted to, a former member of his party says.
Senator Glenn Lazarus was a member of the Palmer United Party when it received about $20 million in political donations from Mr Palmer’s Queensland Nickel business, which went into administration on Monday.
The now independent senator says Mr Palmer could have sold off some of his asset to save the troubled business, but didn’t.
Senator Lazarus said much of his time in the party was spent discussing Mr Palmer’s assets and business interests.
‘I would have thought that by him offloading some of that and creating some funds, he may have been able to save their jobs,’ he told ABC radio.
He said he didn’t know how the party spent the millions donated by Queensland Nickel.
Mr Palmer should now stump up his own funds to ensure affected workers are paid, the senator said.
Mr Palmer has blamed the redundancies at his Yabulu refinery on low nickel prices.
He did not front the media on Monday after news Queensland Nickel was going into voluntary administration.
But Queensland Nickel’s managing director Clive Mensink said he believed the company could trade its way out of trouble.
Meetings will be held on Tuesday to connect sacked workers with support agencies, including Centrelink.