Clive Palmer has defended channelling millions of dollars in donations from his Queensland Nickel company, saying workers at the venture were "the heroes" despite it announcing 237 job losses on Friday.
Breaking his silence, Mr Palmer has blamed the falling cost of nickel as well as the Queensland government for the job losses, after they failed to guarantee a $35 million loan for his Queensland nickel refinery.
Sacked workers: 'pretty heartbreaking'
Workers sacked at Clive Palmer's Townsville nickel refinery on Friday say they "can see the place folding in six months anyway". Nine News
Mr Palmer's nickel company donated $288,516 to the Palmer United Party on December 31, according to Fairfax Media, two weeks before the company was to sack hundreds of workers.
Over the last two years, the same nickel company has donated $21 million to PUP.
However, Mr Palmer has defended the donations and said the workers had a lot to be thankful to him for.
"We were the heroes... it's a very successful story that this place has been going for six years after BHP said it would write it off," he told ABC News.
Citing generous vacation packages to Fiji, as well as offering a number of expensive cars as gifts, Mr Palmer was certain he wasn't the one to be questioned about the matter.
"It was our money on the line to protect their jobs," he said, pointing the finger at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk instead.
"Anna has never had to run a business in her life," he said.
The ABC earlier reported Mr Palmer as claiming his donations had ended the carbon tax, saving his refinery $24 million a year.
At the time of the carbon price repeal in July 2014, the Greens and other critics called on Palmer and his Palmer United Party senators to abstain themselves from the vote given the businessman's clear interest in the outcome.