Western Australia’s battle with Clive Palmer challenging orders made by a Queensland judge has been delayed until September.
WA’s parliament last week passed extraordinary legislation to amend a 2002 state agreement with Mr Palmer’s Mineralogy company and terminate arbitration between the two parties.
The bill is designed to block Mr Palmer from claiming up to $30 billion in damages from the state.
Mr Palmer secured orders in the Queensland Supreme Court to have the arbitration awards formally registered shortly before the bill was signed into law.
He claimed this meant WA’s “draconian and disgraceful” legislation would now be invalid under the constitution.
The matter returned to the Supreme Court on Wednesday with the WA government arguing it was not notified about the action and the orders should be set aside.
Mr Palmer’s legal team sought additional time to consider the issues raised in WA government’s submissions to the court.
“We received their (WA) case at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon – that’s the first time that Mineralogy has been made aware of the case against them,” barrister Dominic O’Sullivan told the court.
“We have not had time to look at the submissions in the application and we would want to present a complete package of submissions.
“It is not an appropriate course to force us to try to respond on the run.”
Justice Glenn Martin adjourned the hearing until September 10.
WA Attorney-General John Quigley on Tuesday used parliamentary privilege to table a confidential document which he said proved the quantum of Mr Palmer’s damages claim.
The statement of claim signed by Mr Palmer in late-May outlines damages sought by his Mineralogy and International Minerals companies totalling $US16.2b (A$22.4b).
It also includes a demand of six per cent interest on claims dating back to October 2012 calculated at $US3.77b ($A5.24b).
A second damages claim has not yet been quantified.
Mr Palmer had claimed the WA government’s talk of an almost-$30 billion damages claim was “bulls***”.
Mr Palmer, through Mineralogy and International Minerals, is pursuing damages over a 2012 decision by the former Liberal government not to assess his proposed Balmoral South iron ore mine in the Pilbara.
The billionaire mining magnate is separately challenging WA’s hard border closures in the High Court.