Clive Palmer, the former leader and one of the largest financial contributors of the United Australia Party, has lost a High Court bid to sue the state of Western Australia.
Palmer had been suing the Western state’s government for a projected loss of $30 billion due to the impact of a governmental decision to not assess Palmer’s plans for a Pilbara-based, Balmoral South iron ore mine. He lodged this claim in mid-June, 2021.
In response to this legal claim by Palmer, the Western Australian government immediately rushed through new emergency legislation to prevent Palmer from claiming damages. At the time the WA government released a statement saying that should this claim be granted, it would “cripple the state’s economy”.
This announcement was confirmed by WA Premier Mark McGowan:
BREAKING: The High Court has upheld the State’s emergency legislation to terminate Clive Palmer’s claim for damages – a claim that would have cost taxpayers $30 billion and left our State bankrupt.
This is a monumental victory for all Western Australians. pic.twitter.com/Neq0rpgOmh
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) October 13, 2021
In response to these legislative changes, Palmer then commenced a legal case against the WA government with the High Court, claiming the rushed laws were “unconstitutional”, and that the legislative changes “discriminated against” him for being a Queenslander. He goes on to say in his statements, “It’s a duty that my moral compass does not allow me to avoid,” he says in the submissions.”
Palmers further argues to point of being discriminated against due to his state of origin claiming, “That is done … by allowing the legislative process of the Parliament of Western Australia to be used for the purpose of waging a vendetta against a resident of another state, whose allegedly objectionable characteristics include being a Queensland resident — a person likened to a cane toad.”
Today, the High Court handed down their decision, declaring that the WA Government’s emergency legislation was valid constitutionally. The Australian reports that the High Court found that WA legislation did not “plainly” single out Clive Palmer “for discrimination forbidden by the Constitution”.
These are not the first battles Palmer has brought and lost against the Western Australian parliament, after challenging WA’s tight border restrictions across the Covid-19 pandemic, in the High Court. While this may seem like an outlandish claim, Palmer was referring to section 92 of the Australian Constitution, which guarantees movement between states. However, the High Court ruled in favour of the Western Australian Government due to the risk of Coronavirus entering the state and public health orders.
This latest High Court ruling adds to the slew of issues the United Australia Party has dealt with of late.
Last week, Clive Palmer came under fire for declaring that he will not be receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.
This coincided with both a television advertisement, and the sending of millions of text messages to unsuspecting Australians by UAP leader Craig Kelly, declaring that the Covid-19 vaccination is unsafe. This has been proven to be false, Covid-19 vaccinations are safe, according to Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.