Businessman Len Buckeridge yesterday rejected "offensive" claims by Colin Barnett that the billionaire's compensation claim against the Government was akin to ripping money from public health, education and disability services.
The Premier fired up the major Liberal donor by advising him to "drop all this nonsense and get on and build his bulk products port" south of Fremantle, saying the Government supported it, just not a separate offshore container facility.
A consortium led by Mr Buckeridge has lodged a Supreme Court writ seeking $1 billion damages, claiming the State had dishonoured a 2000 agreement paving the way for the port and container facility.
On ABC Radio, Mr Barnett queried whether Mr Buckeridge wanted to "take $1 billion off the WA community".
"Where would that billion dollars come from," he said.
"In reality, if he was successful it would come out of education, health, services for disability. I don't think for a moment Len Buckeridge wants to do that."
In a statement, the James Point Port consortium said: "Statements suggesting that Len Buckeridge 'wants to take a billion dollars off the West Australian community' are as offensive as they are untrue".
"The company, of which Len Buckeridge is a director, wants to build a port in a manner consistent with the 2000 Contract. No more, no less," the statement said.
"James Point Pty Ltd (JPPL) still wishes to proceed with its port development at James Point, but has been prevented from doing so by Government which has failed to honour the contract it signed in 2000," the spokesman said in a statement.
"As a result, and as a last resort after twelve years of extreme frustration, JPPL is seeking restitution through the courts.