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- Unreported Judgment
SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND
Townsville City Council v QNI Metals Pty Ltd & Anor  QSC 61
TOWNSVILLE CITY COUNCIL
QNI METALS PTY LTD
QNI RESOURCES PTY LTD
Supreme Court at Brisbane
3 April 2020
On the papers
- In this matter an application was made to have the proceeding placed on the commercial list. Because the application was made at the time of the Covid-19 Pandemic it was heard on the papers with the agreement of the parties. Had the application for listing been made in normal circumstances I would have delivered this judgment ex tempore. However, because of the unusual circumstances I will publish a short written judgment.
- The plaintiff sues to recover rates and the defendants claim that they are not liable to pay rates. They rely on part of a schedule to the Queensland Nickel Agreement Act 1970 and an agreement said to have been made between the State and their predecessor in title. It is said that that agreement could be described as “commercial”.
- This matter originally began in the District Court in Townsville in 2016. By order of Flanagan J on 10 February this year it was transferred to the Brisbane Registry of the Supreme Court. Justice Flanagan made orders should have seen the parties file amended pleadings in the matter by the end of March 2020. As well Justice Flanagan made an order that unless the applicant filed an application for the matter to be placed on the commercial list, the proceeding should be placed on the supervised case list.
- In my view this is not a commercial matter. Questions of statutory interpretation and contractual interpretation arise. Questions of public law and Crown rights might arise. Nonetheless I cannot see any truly commercial aspect to this matter.
- As well the parties have delayed considerably in the progress of the matter to date. While the matter might benefit from supervision, that can be provided on the supervised case list. The commercial list is for parties who have commercial matters and who have the desire to have them progressed and heard quickly. The history of this matter is against the parties on the latter point.
- I dismiss the application to list this matter on the commercial list. I order that the parties contact the Associate to Applegarth J to ask that the matter be placed on his supervised case list.
- Published Case Name:
Townsville City Council v QNI Metals Pty Ltd & Anor
- Shortened Case Name:
Townsville City Council v QNI Metals Pty Ltd
 QSC 61
03 Apr 2020