The long, sad saga of Clive Palmer continues as WA challenge fails


As Clive Palmer loses his lockdown challenge against the WA government, let’s look back on the past decade or so of Palmerisms.

Clive Palmer (Image: AAP/Dan Peled)

Our very own proto-Trump Clive Palmer today lost his fight with the Western Australian government.

The High Court ruled that Western Australia’s border closure was valid, and did not breach section 92 of the constitution, as Palmer had challenged.

For a putative billionaire, Palmer sure does seem to face a lot of setbacks. It seems a good time to look back at the great failures of the Palmersaurus.

Read about the pickle Clive Palmer’s gotten himself into this time.

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Clive Palmer loses High Court challenge to Western Australia’s coronavirus border closure


Billionaire miner Clive Palmer has lost his High Court challenge against Western Australia’s coronavirus border closure.

The question put to the High Court was whether Western Australia’s Emergency Management Act and the directions to close the border in light of the coronavirus pandemic breached section 92 of the Constitution.

Mr Palmer’s lawyers told the High Court the closure did breach section 92, which guarantees movement between states.

But the West Australian Government told the court the closure was justified because they were reasonable and necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The hard border was implemented in a bid to stop people infected with the virus from entering WA.(ABC Goldfields: Emma Field)

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said today the court had found the Act complied with the Constitution, and the directions did not raise a constitutional issue.

Mr Palmer was ordered to pay costs.

WA Premier vows to keep fighting Palmer

The High Court challenge kicked off after Mr Palmer was denied an exemption to allow him to enter Western Australia in May.

His lawyers told the court the closure was not necessary or reasonable, and suggested keeping people out made no difference to the risk of the spread of COVID-19 inside the state.

Ultimately, this was found to be untrue.

WA Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the High Court decision, and vowed to continue fighting Mr Palmer in the courts on several other matters.

“We are keeping border controls in place for the foreseeable future. This decision backs in the decisions we have made.”

Mr McGowan said the verdict had given him confidence ahead of the state’s various other legal battles with Mr Palmer.

A tight head shot of WA Premier Mark McGowan speaking during a media conference indoors with flags behind him.
Premier Mark McGowan says WA will keep fighting Mr Palmer “at every single turn”.(ABC News: Eliza Laschon)

He said there were still eight other matters pitting Mr Palmer against the state, including a damages claim seeking tens of billions of dollars.

“He has eight actions against this state, including one to take $30 billion, the entire state budget. That is going to cost millions of dollars to defend,” Mr McGowan said.

“He keeps on trying to take our health and take our wealth, and we will keep on fighting him at every single turn.

“[But this High Court decision] does give us confidence because our legal team is outstanding.”

Palmer told no ‘nice reception’ waiting

WA Attorney-General John Quigley said the state was always “very confident” that the hard border was valid.

A man wearing a mask carrying luggage at Perth Airport.
Travellers have needed special permission to enter WA since it introduced the hard border in April.(ABC News: James Carmody)

“Nonetheless, when you’re dealing with a person who has unlimited economic resources, it’s always a relief to push back against him and defeat him and his push against all Western Australians.

WA is set to relax its hard border arrangements from November 14, after which time Mr Quigley said Mr Palmer would be free to enter the state.

“But I don’t think he’s going to receive a very nice reception here by Western Australians if he’s spotted out and about,” he said.

There were some tricky moments in the case.

Part way through the hearing Mr Palmer’s counsel, Peter Dunning, conceded he was not suggesting the Emergency Management Act was invalid, and was only concerned about the directions to shut the borders. 

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel pointed out removing the challenge to the Act might mean there was no longer a constitutional question for the High Court to consider.

“Section 92, of course, operates on the statute, not what is made under the statute, the latter usually raising a question of whether or not it is properly authorised within what is otherwise a valid Act,” she said.

Mr Dunning told the court the directions had taken on the character of legislation.

Ruling follows Federal Court backing WA

The case was slated for an urgent hearing, but when there was no agreement about the key facts, the matter was sent to the Federal Court to assess the health risk posed by COVID-19 and whether border closures were the most effective measure to contain its spread.

It was during that process the Federal Government, which had sided with Mr Palmer, bowed out.

Federal Court Justice Daryl Rangiah found the most effective way to keep the virus away was to shut the border.

“The border restrictions have been effective to a very substantial extent to reduce the probability of COVID-19 being imported into Western Australia from interstate,” he said.

West Australia’s Solicitor General Joshua Thomson said that was enough to sink Mr Palmer’s case, which the WA Premier branded “selfishness”.

Western Australia was backed by Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania as well as the ACT and the Northern Territory, who were all concerned about their powers to control their borders in the current circumstances.

The Tasmanian representatives said the risk is unquantifiable and no one knows when or where there’ll be an outbreak.

The High Court will release its reasons for today’s decision later.



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Clive Palmer loses High Court challenge to Western Australia’s COVID-19 border closures



Billionaire miner Clive Palmer has lost his High Court challenge against Western Australia’s coronavirus border closures.

The question put to the High Court was whether Western Australia’s Emergency Management Act and the directions to close the borders in light of the coronavirus pandemic breached section 92 of the Constitution.

Mr Palmer’s lawyers told the High Court the closure did breach section 92, which guarantees movement between states.

But the West Australian Government told the court the closures were justified because they were reasonable and necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said today the court had found the Act complied with the Constitution, and the directions did not raise a constitutional issue.

Mr Palmer was ordered to pay costs.

How it all unfolded

The High Court challenge kicked off after Mr Palmer was denied an exemption to allow him to enter Western Australia in May.

His lawyers told the court the closures were not necessary or reasonable, and suggested keeping people out made no difference to the risk of the spread of COVID-19 inside the state.

Ultimately, this was found to be untrue.

But there were some tricky moments in the case.

Part way through the hearing Mr Palmer’s counsel, Peter Dunning, conceded he was not suggesting the Emergency Management Act was invalid, and was only concerned about the directions to shut the borders. 

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel pointed out removing the challenge to the Act might mean there was no longer a constitutional question for the High Court to consider.

“Section 92, of course, operates on the statute, not what is made under the statute, the latter usually raising a question of whether or not it is properly authorised within what is otherwise a valid Act,” she said.

Mr Dunning told the court the directions had taken on the character of legislation.

Neither side agreed on the case’s facts

The case was slated for an urgent hearing, but when there was no agreement about the key facts, the matter was sent to the Federal Court to assess the health risk posed by COVID-19 and whether border closures were the most effective measure to contain its spread.

It was during that process the Federal Government, which had sided with Mr Palmer, bowed out.

Federal Court Justice Daryl Rangiah found the most effective way to keep the virus away was to shut the border.

“The border restrictions have been effective to a very substantial extent to reduce the probability of COVID-19 being imported into Western Australia from interstate,” he said.

West Australia’s Solicitor General Joshua Thomson said that was enough to sink Mr Palmer’s case, which the WA Premier branded “selfishness”.

Western Australia was backed by Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania as well as the ACT and the Northern Territory, who were all concerned about their powers to control their borders in the current circumstances.

The Tasmanian representatives said the risk is unquantifiable and no one knows when or where there’ll be an outbreak.

The High Court will release its reasons for today’s decision later.



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Australia news live: Clive Palmer's challenge to WA border closure rejected as Victoria reports zero coronavirus cases


Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry is set to deliver its interim report. Follow latest updates

11.03pm GMT

WA premier Mark McGowan is pleased with the ruling.

This is a significant victory.

I will always fight to protect the health of Western Australians.

Thank you, WA. pic.twitter.com/hJ0fS9WJ7D

10.54pm GMT

The High Court has ruled that the WA border closure decision was valid.

#breaking the High Court has rejected Clive Palmer’s challenge against WA’s border ban. Both the directions and emergency laws are valid. Palmer to pay costs. #auspol #auslaw

10.46pm GMT

The Australian competition watchdog is keeping a close eye on lawsuits against digital platforms overseas, including the US Department of Justice’s recent case against Google and proposed new competition laws in Europe, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chair Rod Sims has said.

“The ACCC is focusing on the media bargaining code, our ad tech inquiry and our study examining app stores, and we have noted the Epic Games proceedings against Apple and Google in the US in regards to the latter,” Sims said in a speech on Friday.

10.33pm GMT

Looks like there’s still no result in the US election, the update from Pennsylvania is just that they’re still counting the votes (good).

10.16pm GMT

Australia’s services sector is seeing a marked improvement as domestic demand perks up after the doldrums of the coronavirus pandemic, AAP reports.

New figures show the services industry is expanding for the first time since November 2019 as government stimulus and improved confidence leads to an increase in sales, new orders and deliveries.

9.58pm GMT

Unified security also had pointed comments for Sky News host Peta Credlin, although it didn’t specifically name her.

The firm denied suggestions recently put forward by Credlin that Unified had been given an early heads up about the set up of hotel quarantine on 27 March.

The first contact Unified Security received from anyone in State or Federal government regarding Hotel Quarantine in Victoria was an email from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions at 11:33pm on March 27, 2020.

This was nine hours after it was announced by the Prime Minister.

9.57pm GMT

Unified Security, which was the company given the bulk of the contracts for hotel quarantine in Victoria, including at the Rydges, which accounted for 90% of all infections in Victoria since late May, has issued this lengthy statement ahead of the report due out today.

The company says it was “certainly not” responsible for the outbreak, despite some of its guards testing positive for Covid-19, because the firm was “never in charge of infection control”.

9.45pm GMT

Australian politicians are just waiting for the results of the US election like the rest of us.

Via AAP:

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton described the protracted contest as “an amazing spectacle”.

“Obviously some matters are heading to the court and votes are shifting around,” he told Nine on Friday.

9.39pm GMT

Australia’s agriculture minister, David Littleproud, has said the government is seeking clarity from China over potential new trade curbs as Labor ramps up its calls for Scott Morrison to “stand up for Australian exporters”.

Littleproud played down the significance of the report in China’s state-controlled Global Times that appeared to confirm a halt to imports of seven Australian products.

Scott Morrison must stand up for Australian exporters. If any country, including China, unreasonably blocks our exports we must call them out. Mr Morrison must explain to the Australian people what these new restrictions mean for jobs, what he is going to do to help our exporters.

he most recent example of Mr Morrison failing to provide leadership was when Liberal senator Eric Abetz questioned the loyalty of Australians of Chinese heritage.

9.37pm GMT

I just listened to Gladys Berejiklian’s 2GB interview.

She was asked about the fact that the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, did not respond to the NSW premier’s election-night text about opening the borders, but did text back when Queensland won the first State of Origin game.

“I’m over the personal stuff, to be honest. I just want it fixed … Imagine not being able to see your loved ones, imagine not being able to operate your business, imagine your business shutting down because of this decision.

I don’t want to see that happen. I don’t want to see more people go through it. We’ve all been through enough in 2020, haven’t we?

9.34pm GMT

Wonderful news, Victoria has recorded no new cases, yet again.

Another day of double zero. Yesterday there were zero new cases and zero lives lost. The 14 day average is 1.3 and there are 2 cases with an unknown source. More info here and also later today: https://t.co/pcll7ySEgz #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/YuOYkv9tlq

9.26pm GMT

The NSW government is considering giving households vouchers of up to $100 each to pay for a meal in an attempt to boost the state’s hospitality sector, AAP reports.

The $500m proposal could be announced in the state budget, to be handed down on 17 November.

9.15pm GMT

Today will also mark the end of quarantine for the first set of Australians brought back to the NT Howard Springs facility under the new agreement between the NT and federal governments aimed at clearing the backlog of Australians waiting to return home.

9.08pm GMT

China’s foreign ministry has rebuffed Simon Birmingham’s call for clarity on potential new trade actions against a range of Australian sectors, which reportedly could take effect as soon as today.

It comes after the state-run Global Times appeared to confirm that China had “halted seven categories of Australian goods from the market” but did not provide any further details. At a regular press conference late yesterday, the foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, was asked about the reported measures targeting sectors including copper, sugar, wine, barley and timber.

The Chinese competent authorities’ measures on foreign imports are in line with Chinese laws and regulations and international customary practices. They protect the safety of consumers and the legitimate rights and interests of domestic industries, and are consistent with the free trade agreement between China and Australia.

Related: Australian exporters scramble as fears of more China trade bans grow

9.00pm GMT

We may also know sometime today (our time) the outcome of the US election.

You can follow all the US election updates on our live blog here. If we get the result, we will include some local reaction in this Australian blog.

Related: US election 2020: Joe Biden holds lead over Donald Trump in tense wait for results – live

8.57pm GMT

In case you missed it last night …

A Chinese-Australian community figure who was pictured with the federal minister Alan Tudge donating $30,000 in Covid-19 relief to a Melbourne hospital in June has become the first person charged with a foreign interference offence. (There is no suggestion Tudge was involved in any wrongdoing.)

Related: Chinese-Australian community leader charged under Australia’s new foreign interference laws

8.51pm GMT

Jacinda Ardern has given strong indications that the one-way bubble between New Zealand and some Australian states will not be altered, AAP reports.

The prime minister said she wasn’t likely to alter “existing border settings” in the short term:

New Zealanders want and deserve a safe summer holiday, so our focus is on managing the existing risk profile. We will be continuing with our existing border settings for now while we work on what can be accommodated within those settings.

8.45pm GMT

Hello and welcome to Friday. I’m Josh Taylor and I will be bringing you all the Australian Covid-19 news and the latest in politics.

Here’s what we know so far:

Continue reading…



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Cameron Smith, classy gesture, pre-game message, Storm beat Panthers, Victoria, Clive Churchill Medal


Melbourne Storm showed the difference between experience and enthusiasm, holding on for a 26-20 win against the Penrith Panthers in the NRL Grand Final on Sunday night.

The Victorians ran out to a 22-0 lead at the break as the Panthers were helpless in the face of a first half onslaught.

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Melbourne had plenty to play for, doing it for their state.

While the unprecedented nature of the season has been spouted ad nauseam throughout 2020, the Storm have felt the brunt of it, being based on the Sunshine Coast all season, while still rolling on to finish second on the ladder.

Before the match, the most experienced of campaigners, Cameron Smith, reminded his players of who they were playing for.

On the front of the Storm jersey, Smith pointed to a large V with the statement “Our home, Victoria”.

Post-match, Smith praised his side for an incredible effort, being away from Victoria for five months because of COVID-19.

Accepting the trophy, Smith pointed to the V and explained its significance.

“Lastly, to our squad, to all our coaches, and in particular all of our families who have been through a lot this year, they’re just over there, we haven’t been in our house, in our homes, for five months,” he said.

“We haven’t slept in our own beds for five months. And in the last 80 days … we’ve been out of our resort or out of our accommodation twice, but we turned up every day with a great attitude. We turned up every day being resilient and wanting to get better and wanting to get here tonight and win it all, and we’ve done it.

“We’ll remember it for the rest of our lives and a big congratulations to everyone, particularly the boys that are celebrating their first premiership. Hold on to that forever, boys.

“And lastly, before I go, this big V on my jersey, on our jersey, this is who we’re playing for. Everyone back home in Victoria. This one’s for you, you beauty.”

Smith then fronted the post-match press conference alongside coach Craig Bellamy and fullback and Clive Churchill Medalist Ryan Papenhuyzen and was asked about the toughness of the year.

But the star was left frustrated and emotional after not being able to hug his children after full-time, taking a moment to gather his thoughts when he was asked about it.

“There have been some strange rules and strange restrictions all year where that’s Ok to this thing, but you can’t do that thing,” he said.

“I don’t know. If you start thinking and worrying about all these different protocols and restricitions, you’d do your own head in.

“But we knew about those circumstances when we came down to Sydney last night and of course you’d love to embrace your family and hug your children, your wife, your parent, your partner’s wife, whoever it is, your loved ones, because we were out playing those 80 minutes but they’ve been through this entire season with us and going through those challenges. They’re just as much a part of what we’ve done tonight as all the players and the coaching staff.”

Smith once again turned in a vintage performance as the Storm dominated proceedings from the get-go.

Former teammate Billy Slater told Channel 9 Smith was at his scheming best.

“Didn’t he go to work in that first half,” Slater said. “The great number nine, it started with an early kick out of dummy half. He turned the Penrith Panthers around and allowed his aggressive defensive line to get up and apply the pressure on it.

“He kicked multiple penalty goals and it’s just his true indication in defence, he’s so effective in that middle third of the field. He’s suffocating the Penrith Panthers, but picking up the right options and also picking up the first try of his Grand Final career.

“If this is his last game, he’s certainly making it count.”

After Smith scored his try on the stroke of halftime, Channel 9 commentator Erin Molan tweeted: “That try the Clive Churchill wrapped up we think?”

He didn’t end up winning the Clive Churchill Medal, the only award he’s yet to win in the game with fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen named man of the match.

But at 37, with rumours swirling around his retirement, and after 430 games at the top flight, Smith’s legend has continued to grow in 2020.



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NRL Grand Final 2020: Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers, start time, Clive Churchill medal, Cameron Smith, Nathan Cleary, past winners


Canberra’s Jack Wighton became the fourth player in history to win the Clive Churchill Medal in a losing side in last year’s grand final… who will win it this year when the Storm and Panthers face off?

For those not familiar with the medal, it’s named after Clive Churchill, who is regarded by many the greatest player the code has ever produced. The medal is awarded to the best player on the field in the grand final.

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Wighton was sensational in his team’s heartbreaking loss to the Roosters and rightfully earned the honour. But the 27-year-old’s moment of glory was unfortunately overshadowed by a miscommunication where Roosters’ prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was told he had won the medal.

Grand Final

This year’s winner will join the impressive list of winners that traces back to the very first recipient, Parramatta legend Peter Sterling in 1986.



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Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Munster eyes Clive Churchill Medal to atone for 2018 double sin-binning


“It is what it is. There are going to be a lot of keyboard warriors and a lot of people trying to bring up that moment but it doesn’t faze me too much,” Munster said.

“It wasn’t a great moment for myself or my family but I have moved on, everyone makes mistakes. The only way I can make amends for what happened in 2018 is go out and try to play the best footy I can, prove to everyone that I can play on the big stage.”

Cameron Munster gets his marching orders in 2018 during his nightmare decider against the Roosters.Credit:Getty

Munster has never been short of confidence and believes his ability stacks up against anyone in the game. That’s why he has set his sights on not just playing a leading role for the Storm but taking home some added silverware in the process.

“The next thing I’d really like to do is play well this Sunday and show everyone I can play well on the big stage again. I wouldn’t mind having the ‘Clivey’ on my shoulders,” Munster said.

“It’s a great moment for them (players who win it) and they can relive that for the next 30 years. It would be nice to have it but it would great to just win the grand final, not for me but for everyone in Melbourne and for Cameron Smith if he decides to hang the boots up. What a great way to send out a champion.”

Munster had a subdued night against the Raiders as halves partner Jahrome Hughes took a leading hand. Munster has been carrying a knee injury but is unlikely to be taking a backseat to anyone once the grand final begins, saying he feels the Storm are more dangerous when he’s taking on the defensive line.

“Just get in the game a lot earlier, run the ball more. Be aggressive with the ball… when I do run the ball hard and aggressive I’m very hard to handle,” Munster said.

“When I do run the ball, things happen for me. It’s just getting my hands on the ball and just controlling the game.”

Munster will go head-to-head with Panthers breakout star Jarome Luai, who has been in superb touch all season and created a host of chances with his running game against South Sydney in the preliminary final.

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Luai has a fan in Munster, who said he had been deeply impressed with what he was bringing to the table and felt he would be unlucky not to make the final NSW cut when Brad Fittler picks his side.

“He’s got a lot of confidence, a lot of skill. I like the way he plays, he plays with a lot of flair and he’s not too scared to get in with the rough stuff.

“He has come leaps and bounds from previous years, there was obviously a question mark on who would play six for them and he has taken it with both hands.

“The way he is playing I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets five-eighth of the year. Cody Walker is probably the front runner and rightly so, he’s been outstanding, but if I had to pick the next best five-eighth it would be Jarome.”

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Clive Palmer challenges federal plan to deregister his political party ahead of Queensland election


Businessman Clive Palmer has a launched a legal challenge against federal moves to deregister his United Australia Party (UAP).

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced last month that Mr Palmer’s UAP had failed a membership test to determine whether it had at least 500 members.

The AEC issued a notice of intention to deregister the businessman’s party, giving Mr Palmer a month to respond before a final decision was made.

This week, Mr Palmer applied to the Federal Court to stop the AEC going ahead with deregistration on a number of legal grounds, including an alleged breach of the rules of natural justice, failure to follow due procedure, and improper exercise of power.

According to Mr Palmer’s court application, UAP supplied the AEC with a list of 550 members on May 12.

Two weeks later, the AEC notified the party that it could not match 137 membership names with names on the electoral roll and requested UAP supply an alternative list.

This new list was forwarded to the AEC on July 23.

But a week later, the AEC said it still could not match 136 people with the electoral roll.

UAP supplied another list on August 6 and, according to Mr Palmer, his party was notified that the AEC would be carrying out a random sample of members.

On September 17, the AEC issued a statement saying it was considering deregistration.

Mr Palmer has alleged the AEC followed an invalid process in full knowledge that the party had satisfied the 500-member test at the state level, with the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) registering his party in April.

“The AEC well knew there were many more members of the UAP,” the court document said.

“The AEC failed to provide Mr Palmer with any or any adequate reasons for the decisions.”

This legal stoush will not affect the standing of the UAP in the upcoming Queensland election, where the party is running in 50 seats.

Last month, the ECQ said “there is currently no evidence” to instigate deregistration proceedings against the party at the state level.

An ECQ spokesperson said the commission conducted a “membership survey” when UAP applied for registration five months ago.

“Given the recency of the membership survey of the UAP, and the proximity of the state general election, the ECQ does not intend on conducting another membership survey,” the spokesperson said.

Clive Palmer wearing a Ned Kelly shirt, holds a microphone mid speech, punters in the background.
This legal stoush will not affect the standing of the UAP in the upcoming Queensland election.(ABC Capricornia: Erin Semmler)



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Clive Palmer’s WA coronavirus border challenge may have suffered a setback, but it’s far from over


WA Premier Mark McGowan is claiming a significant win in his Government’s high-stakes legal stoush with billionaire businessman Clive Palmer over the state’s hard border closure.

But is this the end of the matter?

Far from it.

What did the Federal Court actually decide?

Clive Palmer launched a High Court challenge in May over the constitutionality of Western Australia’s border closure.

The matter was then sent to the Federal Court to determine key facts of the case, including the health risk posed by COVID-19, and whether border closures were the most effective measure to contain its spread.

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In his judgement on Tuesday, Justice Darryl Rangiah said the border restrictions had been “effective to a very substantial extent” in preventing COVID-19 from being imported into WA from interstate.

He said “a precautionary approach should be taking to decision-making”, and alternative measures, like exit and entry screening, mandatory facemasks, or a “hotspot” regime, would be less effective.

How does that affect the High Court case?

Justice Rangiah made it clear the Federal Court’s findings were “only concerned with the health risks posed by COVID-19” to the WA community.

The findings could not “take into account any economic, social or other consequences”.

Travellers are not allowed to cross WA’s borders unless they meet strict exemption criteria.(ABC News/Mark McGowan via Facebook)

University of Sydney constitutional law expert Anne Twomey said now those facts around health risks had been decided, the High Court would take into account “broader considerations” relating to the constitution.

“Just because certain findings have been made on the issue of public health in the Federal Court decision, it does not dictate what the High Court will decide,” she said.

“But it certainly does give a lot more support to Western Australia going into that court case.”

So what will the High Court take into account?

Mr Palmer’s challenge relates to section 92 of the constitution, which requires free movement between the states.

Constitutional expert Professor Anne Twomey
Constitutional expert Anne Twomey says the ruling supports the argument that WA’s laws are “reasonably necessary.”(Supplied: Anne Twomey)

Professor Twomey said based on previous section 92 cases, the High Court would take into account “economic issues, not to mention the social effects of closing borders” when assessing the validity of the WA border restrictions.

“The main thing they will be looking at is whether or not this particular law is reasonably necessary for the purposes of achieving a legitimate end,” she said.

Professor Twomey said the assessment of the facts by Justice Rangiah “would strongly support an argument that the Western Australian laws are reasonably necessary”.

“But the problem with all of this is those facts keep changing,” she said.

“So whatever the facts are by the time the High Court decides something, well they might be different again.”

When will this all wrap up?

The Chief Justice of the High Court had previously indicated the case may be heard as early as October.

It is less clear whether the court would be prepared to move quickly on the matter.

A man with white hair wearing a business shirt in mid-conversation
Mr Palmer’s challenge relates to section 92 of the constitution, which requires free movement between states.(AAP: Dave Hunt)

Professor Twomey said one factor could be the impending retirements of High Court judges.

“If they do take this case on, and all the judges sit, we know that they’ll need to get it done reasonably quickly, because they’ll have to get it done before Justice [Geoffrey] Nettle has to retire [in December],” she said.

“If all judges sit on it, at least by December you would have to have some kind of a decision.”

That’s presuming there are no more twists and turns in this case before then.



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