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Brandis inquiry 'pointless': WA Premier

AAP logoAAP 27/11/2016 Rebecca Gredley

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says his government has nothing to fear if there is a federal inquiry into the state's Bell Group legislation and their dealings with Attorney-General George Brandis.

The Greens will be seeking support to hold a Senate inquiry into Senator Brandis when parliament sits for the final sitting week of the year on Monday.

"The allegation that Senator Brandis instructed the solicitor general to effectively run dead in the High Court are the most serious he has faced in a career that is strewn with misconduct," Greens justice spokesman Senator Nick McKim said.

The West Australian newspaper first reported that then solicitor-general Justin Gleeson ran a submission against the legislation on behalf of the ATO, despite Senator Brandis assuring WA there would be no federal government involvement.

The bill had sought to put WA at the top of the list of creditors from Alan Bond's failed company, shunting others including the tax office, but was deemed invalid because it was unconstitutional after an appeal to the High Court in May.

Mr Barnett said on Sunday any inquiry would be "a pointless waste of money" and his government had done nothing wrong.

"I would much rather see the federal government and Australian Tax Office get right behind Western Australia so the people of this state can retrieve the money that was effectively stolen off them by a previous government."

WA Attorney-General Michael Mischin denied he had a deal with Senator Brandis, despite WA Treasurer Mike Nahan telling parliament the day after the High Court decision that the state government thought it had a deal.

"We had negotiated and consulted with the commonwealth before the bill was introduced. The commonwealth indicated they didn't have any problems with it," Mr Mischin said on Sunday.

Mr Mischin said he was angry and disappointed in the way WA was treated.

"I'm not going to identify personalities. I was very disappointed with the commonwealth's failure to abide by the initial indications that it would have no problem with the legislation," he said.

"I was disappointed that there was an intervention by the commonwealth."

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