The defamation trial between Mark McGowan and billionaire Clive Palmer has been postponed, but a judge has ruled the West Australian Premier’s evidence must be given in person.
The Premier and mining magnate are suing each other for defamation in the Federal Court, with the trial originally set to get underway next week in NSW.
Justice Michael Lee heard an urgent interlocutory application on Tuesday, with Mr McGowan and WA Attorney-General John Quigley seeking permission to give their evidence at the trial remotely.
Under WA’s border rules, they would be required to self-quarantine for two weeks upon their return to the state.
Justice Lee ruled the trial would be rescheduled to begin on February 14 and run until February 17.
The trial will then recommence on February 26, if that Saturday was necessary, and finish on February 28.
Mr McGowan and Mr Quigley will not be required to travel for first part of the trial because Mr Palmer will give evidence first.
The Queensland mining magnate claims he was “brought into hatred, ridicule and contempt” when Mr McGowan referred to him as “the enemy of the state”.
But Mr McGowan claims his reputation was damaged when Mr Palmer suggested he had abused parliament and lied to the public.