Palmer lodges challenge over WA border closure

Businessman Clive Palmer has submitted documents to the High Court opposing the Western Australia border closure, calling it “unconstitutional”.

Palmer called on Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan, urging him to reopen the borders to ensure a successful future for Australian trade and travel beyond COVID-19.

“There is no time to waste in getting people back to work and building prosperity for the state,” Palmer said.

“Closing down the border is against the Australian constitution and I am confident the High Court will see it that way as well.

“The Western Australian economy must keep growing and moving forward, especially during the COVID-19 downturn. This is crucial for the survival of the domestic economy and for the whole of Australia.”

Palmer hopes for a directions hearing from the High Court by the end of this week.

This comes as the Western Australian Government has announced that it is reducing its regional travel boundaries as part of the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

While state borders will remain closed, from Friday May 29, the regional boundaries implemented as the pandemic hit Australia will be lifted excluding 274 remote Aboriginal communities and regions bound by the Commonwealth’s designated biosecurity determination.

This decision comes a week after the internal regional borders were reduced from 13 to just four.

Chief health officer doctor Andrew Robertson is satisfied that this reduction led to no outbreaks and said regional boundaries could be reduced further for the upcoming June long weekend.

The Western Australian Government is continuing to consult with remote communities to ensure they are supported and is restricting entry into these communities pending further consultation.

“Western Australia’s success in curbing the spread of COVID-19 has been world-leading,” McGowan said.

“This pandemic is having a significant impact on our local economy, that’s why we have moved to ease restrictions as soon as it has been safe to do so.

“Based on health advice, Western Australia’s hard border with the rest of the country will remain in place and will likely be the final restriction lifted.

“I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding and I urge everyone who can travel to get out there, wander around Western Australia and support local businesses.”

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.