WA premier Mark McGowan speaks at an indoor media conference wearing a suit and tie.

Mark McGowan, Clive Palmer fight out dull draw in court stoush that left both with black eyes

After a two-year journey through the court system, the contest between two of Australia’s most high-profile political characters is nearly at a close, but without a clear winner.

At the end of it all, both Mark McGowan and Clive Palmer were found to have defamed each other, although the Premier was decided to be deserving of the greater sum of damages.

It all seems to have been part of a gamble for the Premier, who was not only trying to avoid giving Clive Palmer a single cent on multiple fronts, but as Justice Michael Lee found, also likely had his reputation “enhanced”.

Even still, he’s walked away bruised in other ways, having had his relationship with the owner of the Perth’s only daily newspaper, Kerry Stokes, laid bare, and the capability of his Attorney General into question called.

It’s left many West Australians asking one question: was it all worth it?

As much as McGowan has, and will, be criticized for counter-suing Palmer, there’s one good reason he did.

McGowan’s reputation ‘enhanced’?

Yesterday, Justice Lee ordered McGowan to pay Palmer $5,000 in damages – a bill that could have been left to the WA taxpayer.

By countersuing, Palmer has been ordered to pay McGowan four times that – $20,000 – leaving the Premier, and WA, ahead.


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