MADELEINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR TRADE AND RESOURCES
MEMBER FOR BRAND
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
Scott Morrison and Christian Porter’s disastrous intervention to support Clive Palmer’s attack on Western Australia and Queensland’s COVID-19 border restrictions cost taxpayers over $1 million.
Appallingly, the Morrison Government slipped over $40,000 of public money directly into Clive Palmer’s already-bulging pockets.
For over a year, the Morrison Government asserted that the full cost of its dangerous and damaging attempt to undermine Western Australia’s border measures was a state secret.
Scott Morrison and his former Attorney-General, Christian Porter, claimed repeatedly that it would harm the public interest if that information were revealed to the Australian people.
Now we know why they were so determined to hide this information from the Australian people.
It has finally been revealed that the Morrison Government’s disastrous intervention in support of Clive Palmer resulted in taxpayers forking out:
- $771,685 (excluding GST) to solicitors in the Australian Government Solicitors’ office;
- $138,975 (excluding GST) to external counsel;
- $66,805 (excluding GST) on the Commonwealth’s own expert witnesses;
- $5,000 (mostly excluding GST) on travel;
- $7,430 (including GST) on accommodation for lawyers;
- $530 (excluding GST) on “working lunches” for the Commonwealth’s team of 6 lawyers; and
- $40,995 to Clive Palmer.
So not only did taxpayers pay over a million dollars to the Morrison Government’s own lawyers and experts to help Clive Palmer, the Morrison Government paid for Clive Palmer’s legal fees too.
This is in addition to the $22,000 it was ordered last week to pay the West Australian Government and the $2,904 it had to pay the State of Queensland.
These figures do not even include the work done by the Government’s chief lawyer, the Solicitor-General. The Solicitor-General, who is paid a salary of over $700,000 per year to work on the taxpayers behalf, was directed by Christian Porter to spend weeks in preparation and days in court supporting Clive Palmer’s challenge, before the case was abandoned.
Christian Porter and Scott Morrison threw the full weight of the Commonwealth behind Clive Palmer’s failed challenge to Western Australia’s public health measures.
It was only in the face of a massive public backlash from Western Australians - in particular Premier Mark McGowan - that Scott Morrison backed out of the challenge. But the damage was already done, which is why Clive Palmer publicly thanked Mr Morrison for helping his challenge.
The people of WA will not forget this.
Comments attributable to Madeleine King MP:
'The fact that the Morrison Government has wasted over $1 million on backing Palmer to tear down WA’s border is disgraceful.
'What is even more gobsmacking is the $40,000 they’ve paid him personally for their trouble – nearly double what an average Australian pensioner gets from the Government in an entire year.'