Daily Insurance: Wednesday, 13 May 2015 View in browser

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

Daily Insurance

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Executive Summary (One Minute Read)
Mineralogy Pty Ltd v Sino Iron Pty Ltd (No 2) (FCA) - dispute concerning control of port terminal facilities - inspection of port and associated mine infrastructure granted
Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council (NSWCA) - contempt - failure to comply with judicial orders - appeal dismissed
Adrenaline Pty Ltd v Bathurst Regional Council (NSWCA) - contract - restitution - Council’s general power to contract - good consideration for fees paid - appeal dismissed
Summaries With Link (Five Minute Read)
Mineralogy Pty Ltd v Sino Iron Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 429
Federal Court of Australia
Edelman J
Inspection - dispute concerning control possession and ownership of port terminal facilities - respondents currently controlling and operating terminal - applicants sought that Court conduct inspection/’view’ of port and associated mine infrastructure - held: inspection would assist Court’s understanding of photograph and documentary exhibits - little or no danger inspection might result in undue waste of time - little danger of confusion arising from material alterations to site - inspection would assist Court to understand dispute - inspection should be held - application allowed.
Rumble v Liverpool Plains Shire Council [2015] NSWCA 125
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
Beazley P; McColl & Basten JJA
Contempt - applicants owned used car business - cars and parts stored on property owned by first applicant  - Land and Environment Court judge issued orders for removal of cars and parts with exception for cars own by residents of property - applicants did not comply - primary judge found applicants in contempt of court - applicants sought leave out of time to appeal - applicants contended Land and Environment Court judge erred finding both applicants “owned and occupied” property whereas second applicant neither owned it nor lived there - applicants sought to challenge convictions on basis orders not served properly and primary judge erred in finding business run at property - applicants challenged constitutional validity of laws establishing local government in NSW and Council’s powers to restrain use of private property and sought referral of constitutional matters to High Court - held: once order made, liability depended on the judicial order and not its legal basis - even if orders set aside, failure to comply with them was contempt - no basis to impugn constitutional basis or validity of Local Government Act 1993 - appeal dismissed.
Adrenaline Pty Ltd v Bathurst Regional Council [2015] NSWCA 123
Court of Appeal of New South Wales
Macfarlan, Ward & Leeming JJA
Contract - restitution - statutory interpretation - appellant conducted annual motor racing event at circuit under five year agreement with respondent Council - each year appellant paid fee for right to use circuit and ancillary services - appellant claimed it was entitled to be repaid amounts because it had mistakenly believed Council complied with statutory obligations in setting fee - primary judge found in favour of Council on  basis fees paid by appellant stood outside regimes established by Local Government Act 1993 governing fixing of fees, with which it had not complied - held: primary judge wrong to regard Council’s ‘general power to contract’ as permitting it to stand outside of Pt 10 Ch 15 - however appellant had received good consideration for fees it paid - appeal dismissed.