Business owners lose High Court travel ban bid
A GROUP of renegade business owners fighting the Queensland border restrictions have lost a High Court bid to force the Chief Health Officer to produce documents used to justify the interstate travel ban.
High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel dismissed the request for the subpoena of documents from the Queensland Government and CHO Jeanette Young this afternoon, labelling it a "fishing expedition".
Barrister Guy Reynolds argued the documents the complainants sought were of "critical relevance" to the case.
Justice Kiefel said the request for the documents was delaying the case and risked the likelihood of the matter being able to join an expedited High Court challenge against the border closures brought by billionaire Clive Palmer.
She said the argument in court today was "subsidiary" to the relevant constitutional arguments that needed to be made and appeared to be a fishing expedition.
" … and one which can only result in time being lost and this matter not proceeding to a hearing on the main issues before this court," Justice Kiefel said.
"There is no basis for the making of an order for the documents to be produced."
The three businesses fighting the border ban argue they rely on unrestricted interstate travel for customers or growth opportunities so the closure, which could last until September, is causing them "financial harm".
The companies - Mount Ommaney Travel agency Travel Essence and the parent company of Reefinity Adventures which runs a charter service on the Great Barrier Reef - argue they continue to suffer financial hardship as a result of the border closure.
Linen hire company - Super Services Group - says it has been unable to grow outside of Queensland and NSW due to the restrictions.
In a defence argument filed in the High Court, State Solicitor-General Sandy Thompson QC revealed the government "do not admit" the financial hardship is a result of the border restrictions.
The matter will return to court on Friday.
Originally published as Business owners lose High Court travel ban bid