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Queensland Judgments
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  • Unreported Judgment

Seneca Textiles Ltd v Red Door Interiors Pty Ltd

 

[2019] QCATA 157

QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL

CITATION:

Seneca Textiles Ltd v Red Door Interiors Pty Ltd [2019] QCATA 157

PARTIES:

SENECA TEXTILES LTD

(appellant) 

 

v

 

RED DOOR INTERIORS PTY LTD

(respondent)

APPLICATION NO/S:

APL346-18

ORIGINATING

APPLICATION NO/S:

MCDT641/18

MATTER TYPE:

Appeals

DELIVERED ON:

20 November 2019

HEARING DATE:

On the papers

HEARD AT:

Brisbane

DECISION OF:

Member Hughes

ORDERS:

Leave to appeal refused.

CATCHWORDS:

APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – interference with findings of Tribunal below – functions of appellate tribunal – where no valid ground of appeal raised – where findings open on evidence – where no reasonably arguable case of Tribunal in error – where no reasonable prospect of substantive relief on appeal

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 121

Aon Risk Services Australia Ltd v Australian National University (2009) 239 CLR 175

Bradlyn Nominees Pty Ltd v Saikovski [2012] QCATA 39

Cachia v Grech [2009] NSWCA 232

Creek v Raine & Horne Mossman [2011] QCATA 226

Glenwood Properties Pty Ltd v Delmoss Pty Ltd [1986] 2 Qd R 388

McIver Bulk Liquid Haulage Pty Ltd v Fruehauf Australia Pty Ltd [1989] 2 Qd R 577

Piric & Anor v Claudia Tillier Holdings Pty Ltd [2012] QCATA 152

QUYD Pty Ltd v Marvass Pty Ltd [2009] 1 Qd R 41

REPRESENTATION:

 

Applicants:

Self-represented

Respondent:

Self-represented

APPEARANCES:

 

This matter was heard and determined on the papers pursuant to s 32 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld).

REASONS FOR DECISION

  1. [1]
    Two Justices of the Peace ordered Seneca Textiles Pty Ltd to pay $1,581.30 (out of a claim for $4,427.30) to Red Door Interiors Pty Ltd for defective wallpaper. 
  2. [2]
    Seneca has applied for leave to appeal that decision.
  3. [3]
    In determining whether to grant leave, the Tribunal will consider established principles including:
    1. (a)
      whether there is a reasonably arguable case of error in the primary decision;[1]
    2. (b)
      whether there is a reasonable prospect that the appellant will obtain substantive relief;[2]
    3. (c)
      whether leave is needed to correct a substantial injustice caused by some error;[3] and
    4. (d)
      whether there is a question of general importance upon which further argument, and a decision of the Appeal Tribunal, would be to the public advantage.[4]
  4. [4]
    Seneca’s application for leave to appeal does not address any of these. Instead, it submitted that it was awaiting reasons for the decision and sought to reargue its case by re-submitting the same evidence considered by the learned Justices in making their findings.
  5. [5]
    After having its request for an adjournment refused, Seneca did not attend the hearing. Seneca has not provided any reasonable explanation for its failure to attend the hearing. The Tribunal provided reasons for its decision on the day of the hearing. Seneca was able to request a copy of the Transcript. The Tribunal has discharged its obligation to provide reasons for its decision.[5]
  6. [6]
    To arrive at their decision, the learned Justices made a finding that the wallpaper was more than likely not fit for the purpose for which it was supplied:

… the UK supplier, TM Interiors, they did test the wallpaper, they sent it to Osborne & Little for testing, and it – they found a fault. It is on that basis that we find that the Australian wallpaper, which was the same wallpaper – excuse me, as the one which was supplied by the respondent, was not – was more than likely not fit for the purpose for it to be supplied.[6]

  1. [7]
    Nothing in the material or the transcript persuades the Appeal Tribunal that this finding was not open to the Tribunal. Having considered material filed with the application and oral evidence from Deborah Atkins at the hearing, the learned Justices were in the best position to assess credit and make findings accordingly. The Tribunal’s finding that the wallpaper was more than likely not fit for the purpose was open on the evidence. 
  2. [8]
    The appeal process is not an opportunity for a party to again present their case.[7] It is the means to correct an error by the Tribunal that decided the proceeding.[8] The minor civil disputes jurisdiction requires the Tribunal to deal with matters fairly, quickly and economically.[9] A party who does not attend a hearing and does not provide a reasonable excuse cannot expect a different outcome by simply re-arguing their case on appeal:

The statutory regime under which QCAT operates places obligations upon parties themselves to take care in their dealings with Tribunal matters, and to act in their own best interests. QCAT’s resources for the resolution of disputes are in high demand and serve, as the High Court has recently observed in relation to court resources, ‘… the public as a whole, not merely the parties to the proceedings’. Finality in litigation is highly desirable, because any further action beyond the hearing can be costly and unnecessarily burdensome on the parties.[10]

  1. [9]
    The Tribunal’s decision was therefore appropriate and I can find no reason to come to a different view.

Should the Appeal Tribunal grant leave to appeal?

  1. [10]
    Leave will not be granted where a party simply desires to re-argue the case on existing or additional evidence.[11] A clear purpose of the requirement for leave, before a party has the right to appeal, is to prevent any attempt to simply conduct a retrial on the merits of the case.[12] An application for leave to appeal is not, and should not be an attempt to reargue a party’s case at the initial hearing.[13]
  2. [11]
    Having read the transcript and considered the evidence, I find nothing to indicate that the Tribunal acted on a wrong principle, or made mistakes of fact affecting their decision, or were influenced by irrelevant matters. The evidence was capable of supporting the Tribunal’s conclusions.
  3. [12]
    Leave will not be granted where a party simply desires to re-argue the case on existing or additional evidence.[14] A clear purpose of the requirement for leave, before a party has the right to appeal, is to prevent any attempt to simply conduct a retrial on the merits of the case.[15]
  4. [13]
    There is no question of general importance for the Appeal Tribunal to determine. There is no reasonably arguable case that the Tribunal was in error. There is no reasonable prospect of substantive relief on appeal. There is no evidence that a substantial injustice will result if leave is not granted.
  5. [14]
    Leave to appeal is refused.

Footnotes

[1]QUYD Pty Ltd v Marvass Pty Ltd [2009] 1 Qd R 41.

[2]Cachia v Grech [2009] NSWCA 232, 2.

[3]QUYD Pty Ltd v Marvass Pty Ltd [2009] 1 Qd R 41.

[4]Glenwood Properties Pty Ltd v Delmoss Pty Ltd [1986] 2 Qd R 388, 389; McIver Bulk Liquid Haulage Pty Ltd v Fruehauf Australia Pty Ltd [1989] 2 Qd R 577, 577, 580.

[5]Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 121(4).

[6]Transcript, page 1-14, lines 4 to 8.

[7]Bradlyn Nominees Pty Ltd v Saikovski [2012] QCATA 39, [9].

[8]  Ibid.

[9]Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld), s 3, s 4.

[10]Creek v Raine & Horne Mossman [2011] QCATA 226 at [13], citing with approval Aon Risk Services Australia Ltd v Australian National University (2009) 239 CLR 175, 217.

[11]Piric & Anor v Claudia Tillier Holdings Pty Ltd [2012] QCATA 152, [12] (Wilson J).

[12]  Ibid.

[13]Bradlyn Nominees Pty Ltd v Saikovski [2012] QCATA 39.

[14]Piric & Anor v Claudia Tillier Holdings Pty Ltd [2012] QCATA 152, [12] (Wilson J).

[15]  Ibid.

Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Seneca Textiles Ltd v Red Door Interiors Pty Ltd

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Seneca Textiles Ltd v Red Door Interiors Pty Ltd

  • MNC:

    [2019] QCATA 157

  • Court:

    QCATA

  • Judge(s):

    Member Hughes

  • Date:

    20 Nov 2019

Appeal Status

Please note, appeal data is presently unavailable for this judgment. This judgment may have been the subject of an appeal.
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