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McGowan’s bid to dodge own Covid rules

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West Australian Premier Mark McGowan will seek to give evidence at a defamation trial against billionaire Clive Palmer via video link so he can avoid having to quarantine.

The pair are suing each other for defamation in the Federal Court, with the trial set to get underway next week in NSW.

Justice Michael Lee will hear 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.

It comes after Mr McGowan controversially announced late last week that WA’s hard border would remain in place indefinitely following a surge of Omicron cases in the eastern states.

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Under the tough border measures, Mr McGowan would be required to self-quarantine for two weeks upon his return to WA.

The judge previously indicated it was his preference for Mr McGowan to testify in person.

If this new application is not granted, the Premier wants the trial to be adjourned.

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.

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