Clive Palmer loses High Court battle against Western Australian state, prevented from suing

Clive Palmer has lost his High Court battle with Western Australia in defiance of a law that prevents him from suing the state for up to $ 30 billion.

Palmer wanted to sue after decisions made on his Balmoral South iron ore project in the Pilbara caused him financial losses.

He said the law attacked and discriminated against him because he was from Queensland and interfered with the independence of the courts.

But today, in a unanimous decision, the Superior Court ruled that the law passed by the WA Parliament to prevent him or his companies from suing the state was valid.

Clive Palmer represents himself in court

It was a colorful and unusual High Court hearing involving the mining magnate, which lasted for several days instead of the usual one.

Palmer’s companies were represented by senior attorneys, but he represented himself and broke down when he told the court that he had been personally targeted for being a Queenslander.

The case dates back to decisions made by a previous Liberal government over Palmers’ Pilbara Balmoral South iron ore project.

The project has never obtained the necessary approvals, despite mediation.

Clive Palmer has appeared in the High Court of Australia. (ABC News: Gregory Nelson)

Palmer said he suffered a large financial loss because he was unable to sell the project to a Chinese company as a result of the government’s decisions.

A law was passed to prevent him from suing the government.

At first, Palmer denied that he was seeking around $ 30 billion in damages. But, the government used parliament to reveal court documents that showed it was seeking at least $ 27.74 billion.

The second reading speech of the law noted that it was equivalent to the total state budget.

Palmer and his companies argued that they discriminated against him because he was from Queensland and the law interfered with the independence of the courts.

Western Australian lawyers rejected those arguments, saying the state had the right to limit its liabilities.

More to come.


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