The legal battle between WA Premier Mark McGowan and Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer has taken another turn.
Mr McGowan has launched defamation proceedings against Mr Palmer.
The businessman had already launched a range of legal actions against the Premier and the state, including a defamation suit against Mr McGowan.
In Mr McGowan’s Federal Court counterclaim, the Premier alleges he was defamed on at least seven occasions by Mr Palmer in interviews, social media posts and newspaper advertisements.
The lawsuit states the Premier suffered hurt and embarrassment, and is seeking to vindicate his reputation.
It follows Mr Palmer’s statement of claim in the Federal Court in which the mining billionaire specified six instances between July 30 and August 14 where he alleged Mr McGowan made “grossly defamatory” statements about him.
They included media conferences where Mr McGowan called Mr Palmer “an enemy of the state”.
Mr Palmer is also suing the WA Government on several other fronts including over the state’s interstate border closure due to COVID-19, which the businessman claims is unconstitutional.
The state is also facing a multibillion-dollar claim over a refusal to approve an application to develop the Balmoral South iron ore project.
The state government passed legislation in an attempt to terminate that claim, but that move is also being legally challenged by Mr Palmer.