Clive Palmer owes Mark McGowan’s government $2million after attempting to SUE and failing – as the WA leader jokes he will seize the mining magnate’s plane if he tries to enter the state
- The WA government has threatened to seize magnate’s plane if he doesn’t pay up
- Mr Palmer seeking up to $30billion from WA taxpayers in the state’s High Court
- Suing ex-Liberal state government for not assessing a proposed iron ore project
- Court on Wednesday found law not invalid and ordered him to pay court costs
Clive Palmer has lost his High Court battle with the Western Australia government over legislation blocking him from suing the state for $30billion
The Western Australian government has threatened to seize mining magnate Clive Palmer’s plane if he flies into the state before footing a $2 million legal bill.
WA Attorney-General John Quigley’s warning came as Mr Palmer lost his High Court battle against legislation preventing him and his company Mineralogy from suing the state for billions of dollars.
Mr Palmer was seeking up to $30billion from WA taxpayers claiming a law introduced by the McGowan Labor government was unconstitutional.
The legislation blocked Mr Palmer from suing the former Liberal state government for not formally assessing a proposed iron ore project in the state’s Pilbara region.
But the High Court on Wednesday found the law was valid and ordered Mr Palmer and Mineralogy to pay the costs of the court action.
Mr Quigley said the ruling brings the amount Mr Palmer owes the government to $2 million – for these proceedings and a challenge to Covid-19 border closures.
‘If he doesn’t properly pay this… the next time he flies to Western Australia as soon as we lift our border restriction I’m going to have the sheriff… seize his plane and sell it and he can catch the train home,’ Mr Quigley told ABC News Perth.
Mr Palmer had challenged the legitimacy of WA’s Covid-19 border closures and a new law banning him from suing the ex-Liberal state government for not formally assessing a proposed iron ore project in the state’s Pilbara region
‘This is outrageous that this man keeps taking us to the High Court and then refusing to pay the Western Australian taxpayer’s bill.’
WA Premier Mark McGowan described the outcome as a ‘monumental victory’, terminating Mineralogy’s claim for damages that would have left the state bankrupt.
‘Time and time again, Clive Palmer has attempted to bring our state down – first, by challenging the hard border that kept Western Australians safe through a pandemic, and then by launching an outrageous legal claim for damages,’ he said in a social media post.
‘Enough is enough. Today’s win is proof that our government will never stop fighting for the people of Western Australia.’
Mr Palmer was reviewing the judgment, his spokesman said.
The bill to amend a 2002 state agreement with Mineralogy and terminate arbitration between the two parties was passed by WA’s parliament in August last year.
It followed a 2001 agreement between Mineralogy and the WA government that the company could submit proposals in relation to mining projects in the Pilbara.
The relevant minister could respond in various ways, but not reject the proposals.
Pictured: The Balmoral South mining project. Mr Palmer challenged a bill that prevented him suing the state government for not formally assessing the proposed mine
Mr Palmer, who represented himself in the High Court proceedings, described the legislation as unconstitutional, ‘repugnant to justice’ and ‘an abomination masquerading as a law’.
He argued against it on several fronts, including that it discriminated against him as a Queensland resident.
The High Court decision followed a four-day hearing in June.
Stephen Free SC, representing the West Australian government, said the bill would have had the same effect on Mr Palmer if he lived in WA.
‘It is perfectly clear that there is no disability or discrimination of the relevant kind imposed on Mr Palmer or anyone else,’ he said.
The state argued the legislation was passed ‘in order to protect Western Australians from the crippling effects’ of a $30 billion damages claim.
The High Court last year struck out Mr Palmer’s constitutional challenge to WA’s hard border closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Palmer also has a defamation claim against Mr McGowan before the Federal Court.