‘It’s ridiculous!’ Rowing behind Western Australia urges to keep the border closed to EVERY state – as billionaire Clive Palmer prepares to sue state officials
- WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan closed the border with all states in early April
- Clive Palmer contested the closure with hearings at the Federal Court next week
- The challenge will be heard in the High Court once the facts are established
- The federal government will testify, as it also opposes the closure of the border
The Attorney General has criticized Western Australia’s insistence that opening borders to some states is “unconstitutional”, claiming that “logic is defying.”
Prime Minister Mark McGowan of Western Australia is determined to keep borders closed to all states, and the decision will soon be investigated by the country’s highest court.
Billionaire magnate Clive Palmer’s legal challenge to the closings lies with the Federal Court, with hearings for next week.
Once the facts are established, they will be heard by the High Court.
The federal government, which opposes harsh border restrictions between states in WA, will prove this.
Prime Minister Mark McGowan (pictured) in Western Australia is determined to keep borders closed to all states and his decision will be examined by the country’s highest court
Restrictions have been relaxed in Perth (photo, shoppers in the city’s Apple Store), but those from other states still aren’t allowed to enter
WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week calling on the Commonwealth to withdraw its involvement, as it made no sense to question WA’s position while endorsing the closure of the NSW-Victoria border.
But Attorney General Christian Porter says it is appropriate for the Commonwealth to express an opinion on such matters, noting that Victoria is the only surviving state with significant transfers of COVID-19 from the community.
“The question is whether or not each state correctly adapts its rules and border restrictions to the problems it faces,” Porter told 6PR radio.
“It’s a smooth situation and it’s a matter of assessing expert evidence before the courts.
Police are seen at an intratstate checkpoint in the Peel and South West region of Western Australia (photo)
“The constitution provided for the creation of a nation, and part of a nation’s core feature is its ability to travel across national borders.
Mr Porter said it “defies logic” to argue that it might be unconstitutional to open the WA frontier for some states but not others.
He rejected calls to keep Canberra out of the dispute, saying the idea “that the Commonwealth would not be heard on a constitutional issue was” ridiculous.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8,758
New South Wales: 3,433
Western Australia: 621
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 111
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8,758
“We’re not helping Clive Palmer, we’re helping the court,” he said.
Two cases concerning the closure of the Queensland border are also pending in the Federal Court.
Palmer, a well-known critic of the WA Prime Minister, has accused the McGowan government of discrimination against Queenslanders.
“We haven’t had COVID-19 cases in weeks, but the WA Premier is keeping Queenslanders out of his state,” he said.
Palmer regularly does business in WA and has applied for an exemption from the police so that he could fly west with his private jet from Queensland in May.
The United Australia Party leader planned to arrive in Perth shortly after his application, but was told it had been rejected by the WA police.
He said the police told him he could apply for an exemption that would oblige him to provide details of where he is going while he is in charge, which he considered to be “unacceptable circumstances.”
“As popular as McGowan is now, it won’t be very popular in three months when people in Western Australia are shut down when they don’t have to and when they lose their livelihood and businesses are destroyed,” he said in May.
Billionaire magnate Clive Palmer’s (pictured) legal challenge to the closings lies with Federal Court, with hearings listed for next week