A daily Bulletin listing our choice of Decisions of Superior Courts of Australia.


Friday, 12 December 2014

Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
Commissioner of State Revenue v Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd (HCA) - stamp duty - no error in Commissioner's assessment of duty on transfers of land under development agreement - appeal allowed
Peregrine Mineral Sands Pty Ltd v Wentworth Shire Council (NSWCA) - administrative law - agreement for land rates infringed Council's ability to make rates into the future - appeal dismissed
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
Commissioner of State Revenue v Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 51
High Court of Australia
French CJ; Hayne, Kiefel, Bell & Keane JJ
Stamp duty - Authority and Lend Lease made development agreement - Lend Lease agreed to buy parcels of land from Authority and to design, construct and sell buildings on land - agreed that parties would build infrastructure on and around land - transfers of land to be made pursuant to land sale contracts - Lend Lease required by agreement to pay to Authority, not only amounts under contracts, but also other amounts including payments for infrastructure, remediation, and share of gross proceeds received on sale - Commissioner assessed duty under Duties Act 2000 (Vic) according to consideration for each transfer which it determined to be total of sums payable by Lend Lease to Authority under agreement - Commissioner disallowed Lend Lease's objections - Court of Appeal of Victoria allowed appeals - Commissioner appealed - held: transaction recorded in agreement was a single, integrated and indivisible transaction - consideration for transfer of land was performance by Lend Lease of the several promises of payments - Commissioner right to include those amounts in assessments - appeal allowed.
Commissioner of State Revenue
Peregrine Mineral Sands Pty Ltd v Wentworth Shire Council [2014] NSWCA 429
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
McColl, Meagher & Ward JJA
Contract - administrative law - dispute concerning land rates payable by appellants to Council for mine they operated - agreement for land rates contained clause stating rate would be ‘adjusted annually in accordance with the Local Government Act' - Council increased rates after valuation received by Valuer-General - primary judge found clause referred to increases in rates of nature of adjustments arising out of percentage rate published pursuant to Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) not amounts determined based upon valuations - primary judge also held clause impermissibly fettered Council from undertaking statutory duty of assessing rates each year in accordance with the Act - held: no error in conclusion that agreement incompatible with the Act because it fettered Council's ability to make rates into the future - the Act did not authorise antecedent agreement capping future rates in advance - no uninvited review of decision making process leading to execution of the agreement - no error in construction of clause - appeal dismissed.
Peregrine Mineral Sands Pty Ltd

A Hymn to the Moon
(Written in an Arbour)
By Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

Thou silver deity of secret night,
Direct my footsteps through the woodland shade;
Thou conscious witness of unknown delight,
The Lover's guardian, and the Muse's aid!

By thy pale beams I solitary rove,
To thee my tender grief confide;
Serenely sweet you gild the silent grove,
My friend, my goddess, and my guide.

E'en thee, fair queen, from thy amazing height,
The charms of young Endymion drew;
Veil'd with the mantle of concealing night;
With all thy greatness and thy coldness too.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu