Another High Court challenge is being flagged against the constitutional right of the Queensland government to keep the state’s borders closed.
School students, workers and freight drivers can enter the state without an issue, but Queensland is closed to anyone else because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are arguing that the Queensland government did not have the constitutional right to shut the border,” Mahoneys litigation partner Mitchell Downes said in a statement on the firm’s website.
He said the move was part of a wider effort to help Queensland’s tourism industry recover from the effects that COVID-19 had on the industry and businesses and people that rely on it.
A gofundme page has been set up to fund the challenge and allow the plaintiffs to start the case in the High Court “as soon as possible”.
The Australian reported the challenge had been lodged on Monday, with six plaintiffs including a Brisbane travel agency and a Cairns charter operator, plus interstate individuals and a company.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to buckle to pressure to reverse her decision to keep the borders closed during the coronavirus crisis.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has also threatened legal action in the High Court if borders aren’t reopened.
The Senator gave the Queensland premier until 4pm last Thursday to open the borders or face legal action.
The One Nation Senator made the threat on Wednesday after accusing the Premier of “destroying people’s lives” and livelihoods, and branding the border closures unconstitutional.
Ms Hanson is claiming closures violate section 92 of the constitution, which guarantees residents of Australia can move freely between each of the states and territories.
In a statement sent to news.com.au, Senator Hanson said she was “disappointed” by the leadership in the state.
“I am disappointed in the Queensland tourism body, the state mayors, and those industry leaders who failed to take up this fight and challenge Annastacia Palaszczuk over the border closure,” she said.
“I do however want to congratulate the plaintiffs in this case, who have very strong prospects and have stepped forward to take on this rogue state government.”
Senator Hanson labelled the Queensland Premier as “pig-headed” and a “dictator” who is “destroying” people’s lives by keeping the borders closed.
“There’s no real reason to keep the borders shut,” she said.
In addition to the One Nation leader, mining magnate Clive Palmer also joined the fight against the Queensland government over their stance on keeping the borders closed.
– with AAP