Mining magnate Clive Palmer claims he has been “brought into hatred, ridicule and contempt”, had his reputation damaged and his feelings hurt over comments made by WA Premier Mark McGowan.
The billionaire is suing the premier for defamation in the Federal Court, as well as pursuing multiple other legal battles with the WA government.
In a statement of claim, released by the court on Tuesday, Mr Palmer said several allegedly “grossly defamatory” comments were made by Mr McGowan between July 30 and August 14.
They included statements made during press conferences in which Mr Palmer was described as “the enemy” of the state and that he was trying to “damage the health” of West Australians.
The premier also commented that Mr Palmer wanted to come to WA to promote “a dangerous drug”, namely the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, as “some sort of cure for COVID”.
Mr Palmer alleged that statement suggested he dishonestly promoted the drug as a cure.
Mr McGowan’s statements allegedly had negative imputations, including that Mr Palmer was a “traitor”, a “threat to Australians” and used his money to “inflict harm on the health and wellbeing of the people of Western Australia for his own selfish gain”.
In a Facebook post, Mr McGowan also allegedly suggested Mr Palmer intended to “steal $12,000 from very man, woman and child” in WA and was “prepared to bankrupt the state” over a mining dispute.
The statement of claim says Mr Palmer “continues to suffer loss and damage to his reputation, and injury to his feelings” over the Labor leader’s “extreme and sensational” comments.
It is not known how much money Mr Palmer is seeking from the premier in his aggravated damages claim.
Mr Palmer also wants an order made to “permanently restrain” Mr McGowan from making similar comments in the future.