Clive Palmer has lashed out at the Queensland government for refusing to support his struggling Yabulu nickel refinery, amid reports that insolvency experts have been called in.
Mr Palmer released a statement saying the government's recent refusal to assist Queensland Nickel by guaranteeing a $35 million loan was making it "near impossible" to compete in the international marketplace.
The government refused because the federal MP and mining magnate wouldn't share financial details of his wider business empire and they wanted evidence he had no way to bail out the refinery, near Townsville.
Mr Palmer accused the Labor government of sitting idle while governments of China and Canada took steps to support the resources sector in the aftermath of a commodity price downturn.
"It has become abundantly clear that the Queensland Labor government does not support Labor voters and does not care about potential job losses in Townsville," he said on Thursday.
"Australia is being placed at a distinct disadvantage and our standard of living is in jeopardy because of government inaction.
"The Queensland government needs to stop playing politics and start showing leadership and compassion for the people and economy of north Queensland."
On Thursday night Employment Minister Grace Grace responded, saying comparing Queensland to China and Canada did nothing to reassure QN workers everything was being done to ensure the company's long-term viability.
"The government has been advised that QN is liaising with insolvency experts, that they are looking at all available options, and that the company intends to work to trade through this period," she said in a statement.
"Any decision to close the business rests entirely with the company's owner, but the Palaszczuk government stands ready to deploy our rapid response team to help affected workers if this unfortunately happens."
The team would help workers secure their entitlements and provide other services, including financial advice, and job searching.
An earlier statement from director Clive Mensink said he and other executives had done "all we could" in the circumstances.
Mr Mensink also gave an assurance that workers would be paid next week.