Security of payment – jurisdictional error and denial of natural justice

Syntech Resources Pty Ltd v Peter Campbell Earthmoving (Aust) Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] QSC 293

I refer to earlier postings regarding Kirk; N.K Collins and more recently Thiess in relation to jurisdictional error in the purview of judicial reviews and the supervisory role of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of Queensland has held that an adjudicator’s failure to consider various spreadsheets which formed part of the Principal’s adjudication response, but which were not included in its payment schedule, amounted to jurisdictional error. The Court clarified that even if the spreadsheets were not included in the Principal’s payment schedule, section 26(2)(d) of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) still required the adjudicator to consider the spreadsheets in making his determination.

The Court also concluded that natural justice required the adjudicator to inform the parties that he was determining the matter without reference to the spreadsheets. The failure to give that notice denied the Principal the opportunity to advance any explanation for the omission.

Reproduced with permission of Allens and in accordance with their terms of use.

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