EXCLUSIVE | ‘We’re not going out there to die’, the site firefighters refuse to attend
Firefighters are refusing to attend blazes at Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery due to major safety concerns.
Concerns have been raised about dangerous chemicals not being maintained at the site near Townsville, since the company’s collapse in 2016.
Palmer ran the business into $300 million of debt, leaving more than 800 people out of work.
Since then, several unexplained fires have broken out at the site, with one rapidly building to a category five emergency.
One Black River Rural Fire Brigade member contacted Ray Hadley telling him the blaze escalated so rapidly due to the hazardous chemicals and poorly maintained machinery at the refinery.
Now Queensland Rural Fire Service volunteer Kevin tells Ray they’re not trained to fight chemical fires.
“We’ll get a road location, if it’s near the refinery, some of us won’t go.
“We’re trained for vegetation fires… we’re not here to fight chemical fires.”
Kevin tells Ray a blaze they battled in October was just 100m from where “busted bags of sulfur” were buried by Queensland Nickel staff.
“We do this because we love our community and we love the people in it. We’re not going out there to die,” he says.
The Ray Hadley Morning Show has contacted Mr Palmer for comment. He’s yet to respond.
A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokesperson admits the refinery is a “major hazard facility”.
The refinery’s owner Clive Palmer is now telling Townsville residents he’s keen to reopen the facility, saying he’s “prepared to inject tens of millions of dollars into the economy”.
Click PLAY below to hear from Queensland RFS volunteer Kevin
Ray brought the issue to the attention of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Mr Dutton says he’ll be discussing the matter with the Queensland government urgently.
Click PLAY below to hear from Home Affairs Miniter Peter Dutton