Premier Mark McGowan said there was “no time to wait” in passing the Iron Ore Processing (Mineralogy Pty Ltd) Agreement Amendment Bill, which was argued in the Upper House for around 10 hours.
“Can I thank the Parliament of Western Australia for passing this very, very important legislation,” he said.
“The government has done what we can to protect tax payers from Clive Palmer’s $30 billion claim which would have bankrupted our state and we’re very confident, and all the legal advice says, these laws will work.
“We’ve done something unprecedented, but we’ve done what we needed to do to protect the people of this state.”
The legislation was introduced and passed in just two days, with the opposition failing in its attempt to have the law’s fine print reviewed by a committee.
Mr Palmer claimed the state’s claim he was seeking $30 billion was “bulls–t”.
The mining billionaire hung up on ABC national breakfast radio presenter Hamish McDonald on Friday morning after claiming Mr McGowan had broken the law.
“He’s used his position as Premier in the Parliament to give himself and his Attorney General immunity from the criminal law,” he said.
“This is an outlaw swinging his gun.”
Prior to the legislation being passed, Attorney-General John Quigley tabled a letter from Mr Palmer’s lawyers in Parliament on Wednesday, which contained an offer to drop his border closure challenge in exchange for an arbitration hearing over the iron ore dispute to be moved to Canberra.
Mr Quigley told Parliament the letter exposed Mr Palmer as a “liar and a fraudster”.
“He does not care about the interests of Western Australian families,” he said.
“We know that the hard border introduced by the McGowan Labor government has kept Western Australia virus free for nearly three months – over three months, in fact.
“His only interest is getting across that border with his legal team and experts and arbitrator to plunder $30 billion from Western Australian taxpayers.”
During the ABC interview Mr Palmer claimed the offer to drop the border closure legal battle in exchange for movement on the Mineralogy dispute was not done at his direction.
“[My solicitor has] just got an idea,” he said, adding he “wasn’t writing on [Palmer’s] company’s behalf, he was writing as an officer of the court” to make processes more efficient.
After further questions were put to Mr Palmer, and the mining magnate was asked to mind his language on air, he hung up on Mr McDonald.
“I’ve had enough of talking to you,” he said.
- with Nathan Hondros and Mary Ward
Heather McNeill is a senior journalist at WAtoday.