Clive Palmer, WA eye High Court hearing

Clive Palmer is seeking almost $30 billion in damages over a decision by the former WA government.
Clive Palmer is seeking almost $30 billion in damages over a decision by the former WA government.

A bid by Clive Palmer to seek further damages from the state of Western Australia may be delayed until after next month's High Court border trial is resolved.

The two parties returned to the Federal Court on Thursday for a hearing related to Mr Palmer's claim of "unconscionable conduct" against the government.

It relates to extraordinary legislation passed in WA's parliament 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 damages from the state.

Mr Palmer is seeking almost $30 billion in damages over a decision by the former state government not to assess one of his mining projects.

The billionaire mining magnate in August said his company Mineralogy would seek to amend its claim against the state to reflect additional damages it had suffered.

Chief Justice Susan Kiefel will hear Mr Palmer's High Court claim against WA's border closures in early-November.

In the Federal Court on Thursday, Mr Palmer's lawyer submitted that the "unconscionable conduct" matter should be adjourned.

"In our submission, the appropriate forum for the determination of the validity of the act is the High Court," his barrister Kris Byrne told the court.

"This proceeding really ought to await the outcome of that proceeding."

Justice Andrew Greenwood said he would rule on a potential adjournment on Friday.

Mr Palmer has also launched defamation proceedings against WA Premier Mark McGowan, who last month filed a counter-claim in the Federal Court.

That matter is listed to be heard on November 10.

The premier confirmed WA taxpayers would foot the bill for his private lawyer.

"Any money that comes out of this defamation proceeding will go directly to the state," Mr McGowan said, adding that the WA government had so far been forced to defend eight matters before the courts involving Mr Palmer.

Federal Court Justice Darryl Rangiah in August endorsed WA's hard border closures as the most effective way of preventing the potential import of coronavirus.

The High Court will address whether the border closures are constitutional, as well as examining economic and social impacts.

Australian Associated Press