Rightwing think-tank Libertyworks has lost its federal court challenge to Australia’s outbound travel ban.
On Tuesday the full federal court unanimously rejected Libertyworks’ bid to overturn the Covid-19 restriction, which had argued that the health minister Greg Hunt has no power to impose a blanket rule stopping citizens from leaving the country.
Justice Anna Katzmann, Justice Michael Wigney and Justice Thomas Thawley dismissed the application and ordered Libertyworks to pay the commonwealth’s costs.
The federal government had argued that, if successful, the case would have “driven a truck” through Hunt’s powers under the Biosecurity Act to impose measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the global pandemic.
The case is the fourth failed challenge to Australia’s coronavirus restrictions, after Clive Palmer’s failure to overturn Western Australia’s travel ban, a high court decision upholding the validity of Victoria’s second wave lockdown, and the federal court rejecting a bid to overturn the travel ban from India.
Despite the ban, more than 140,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have left Australia since the start of the pandemic under a regime of exemptions administered by the Australian Border Force.
Victorian reports three more locally acquired Covid cases