Clive Palmer attacks Rudd, Abbott over Aussie job losses
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has accused Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott of failing to stand up for Australian jobs being lost to overseas companies.
But the mining magnate is facing similar accusations over his decision to build his Titanic II ship overseas.
Mr Palmer made an appearance at a protest spearheaded by NSW Senate leader Matt Adamson in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Adamson said mid-north coast NSW residents were facing an uncertain future over plans by UGL group to stop production at its Taree operations.
Mr Adamson, a former State of Origin footballer, said the decision by the engineering and property services group to close its Lansdowne plant at the end of October would put 133 employees out of work and devastate the local community.
"The devastation doesn't stop there as the decision by UGL will cost the economy of an already struggling town more than $1 million a month with downstream harm to suppliers of the UGL facility," Taree-born Mr Adamson said.
"We want UGL to man up and explain why they are closing the rail maintenance facility in Taree and sending the work to offshore operations."
Mr Palmer said the people of Taree had been let by both the major political parties who had been allowing companies such as UGL to take away Australian jobs.
"The Palmer United Party is committed to standing up for regional communities such as Taree," he said.
"One of the Palmer United Party's key policies to assist regional Australia is to ensure the nation's mineral wealth contributes to the welfare of the whole country.
"This will be achieved by utilising mineral resources from the mining states of Queensland and Western Australia and with incentives from the Commonwealth establishing downstream processing in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
"If we can export these products at a higher dollar value, it will create more revenue, jobs, tax and more facilities.
But Mr Palmer has faced questions over huge job cuts at his Sunshine Coast resort and his decision to build a replica of the Titanic in China.
He has defended the move, saying there is not the shipbuilding infrastructure in Australia that is needed.
But he said there were many Australians involved in the design and planning for the project.
Mr Palmer said he had saved about 250 jobs at his Palmer Coolum Resort by scaling back staffing to keep it open. He says under the previous owners it was losing massive amounts of money.
The PUP leader is travelling the country on his $70 million jet in a bid some of his 150 candidates across the line.