WA border battle: High Court to hear from states

Clive Palmer’s legal fight over Western Australia’s hard border is expected to heat up on Wednesday with states to have their say in the High Court.

Justices will hear from the attorneys-general of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.

All have intervened in the border battle between the mining magnate and the WA government.

WA Premier Mark McGowan on Monday said he was ‘confident’ his government would win the court case. Picture: Jackson Flindell The West AustralianSource:The West Australian

Mr Palmer’s lawyers on Tuesday diverted their argument away from the constitutionality of the border and instead to whether the ban was “reasonably necessary”.

WA solicitor-general Joshua Thomson SC defended the state’s approach, saying social distancing and face masks were not as equally effective at reducing the risk of coronavirus compared with the hard border.

Clive Palmer’s plane was at RAAF base Fiarbairn in Canberra, but he did not attend the High Court on Tuesday. Picture: NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia

But Peter Dunning QC, who is fighting Mr Palmer’s case, argued that opening to “low risk” states would not increase the risk to West Australians.

Mr Palmer is understood to be in Canberra but has not made an appearance at the court.

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