13/10/2021 - 07:55

Palmer loses High Court feud

13/10/2021 - 07:55

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Mining magnate Clive Palmer has lost his High Court battle against the state government over legislation introduced to thwart his $30 billion damages claim.

Mining magnate Clive Palmer has lost his High Court battle against the state government over legislation introduced to thwart his $30 billion damages claim, with the High Court finding it was not invalid.

The Mineralogy chair had been claiming damages from the Western Australian government, alleging the legislation passed was discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The legal action centred around a second court case over a 2012 decision by the Barnett government which prevented him from developing Mineralogy's Balmoral South Iron Ore project in the Pilbara.

In 2014, arbitration found favour with Mineralogy, prompting the state government to reconsider the proposal and request a suite of amendments.

But Mineralogy was later told the proposal would be treated as lapsed, affecting the company's ability to sell the project and prompting it to sue for damages.

A hearing had been scheduled for November 2020, but the state government passed extraordinary legislation through parliament in August to amend its 20-year-old agreement with Mineralogy and terminate arbitration between the two parties.

At the time, Attorney General John Quigley said the government wanted to change the agreement to "tighten" its defence.

The legislation was passed amid an ongoing public feud between Premier Mark McGowan and Mr Palmer over the state's COVID-19 border arrangements.

During the four-day hearing in June, Mr Palmer, who appeared for himself, had argued that the amending act was “discriminatory” and that the government had singled him out for being a Queensland resident.

But in a judgement released this morning, the High Court unanimously disagreed and ruled in favour of the state government.

“Plainly, it does not,” the judgement read.

“Neither the legal operation nor the practical operation of the whole or any part of the amending act would be any different if the plaintiff were resident in Western Australia instead of being resident in Queensland.”

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