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Marketing Matters Pty Ltd v QLD Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd[2021] QCAT 200

Marketing Matters Pty Ltd v QLD Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd[2021] QCAT 200

QUEENSLAND CIVIL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL

CITATION:

Marketing Matters Pty Ltd v QLD Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd [2021] QCAT 200

PARTIES:

MARKETING MATTERS PTY LTD

(applicant)

v

QLD PAINTING & COATINGS PTY LTD

(respondent)

APPLICATION NO:

BDL019-16

MATTER TYPE:

Building matters

DELIVERED ON:

12 March 2021

HEARING DATES:

On the papers

HEARD AT:

Brisbane

DECISION OF:

Member Beckinsale

ORDERS:

  1. The application for costs by Marketing Matters Pty Ltd is dismissed.
  2. The application for costs by QLD Painting & Coatings is dismissed.

CATCHWORDS:

APPLICATION FOR COSTS

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009 (Qld) ss 100,102

Queensland  Building Construction and Commission Act 1991 (Qld) s 77

Ralacom Pty Ltd v Body Corporate for Paradise Island Apartments (No. 2) [2010] QCAT 412

APPEARANCES &

REPRESENTATION:

 

Applicant:

Self-represented

Respondent:

Self-represented

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]
    On 4 September 2019 my decision was published in this matter in which I ordered that Qld Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd pay Marketing Matters Pty Ltd the sum of $20,927.55 by 4pm 19 September 2019. For completeness I made provision for the parties to make submissions regarding costs within specified time periods.
  2. [2]
    Qld Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd lodged an appeal against the decision which ultimately was dismissed.
  3. [3]
    This is my decision and reasons in respect of the applications for costs.
  4. [4]
    As was stated by His Honour Justice Wilson in Ralacom Pty Ltd v Body Corporate for Paradise Island Apartments (No. 2) [2010] QCAT 412 (at [4]):

The starting point concerning costs in QCAT is that each party must bear its own: QCAT Act, s 100. This presumption may, however, be displaced if the Tribunal considers it necessary in the interests of justice to order a party to pay all or part of the costs of another party: s 102(1). The phrase “in the interests of justice” is not defined in the Act but is to be construed according to its ordinary and plain meaning, which obviously confers a broad discretionary power on the decision-maker.

In determining whether it is in the interests of justice to award costs against another party the Tribunal may have regard to the nature and complexity of the dispute; the relative strengths of the claims made by each of the parties; and, whether a party has acted in a way that unnecessarily disadvantages another party: QCAT Act, s 102(3).

  1. [5]
    As regards building disputes, however, the usual position as to costs is displaced  with section 77 of the Queensland Building Construction and Commission Act 1991 conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal and section 77(1)(h) providing the Tribunal with a discretion to award costs.
  2. [6]
    Although the parties were granted leave to be legally represented by direction made 14 September 2016, and engaged solicitors at some point, neither party was legally represented at the hearing. Marketing Matters Pty Ltd has sought payment of legal fees in the amount of $16,264.93, $11,781.60 costs of a quantity surveyor and other expenses, including travel and accommodation, of $12,749.66, totalling altogether $40,796.19.
  3. [7]
    Marketing Matters Pty Ltd submits that it made an offer to settle at mediation (a without prejudice process) and a later offer which totalled $28,001.05.
  4. [8]
    Qld Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd have misconstrued entirely the directions regarding costs submissions. Instead of addressing the submissions of Marketing Matters Pty Ltd, it has instead revisited its unhappiness with the process and submitted a claim itself for costs of $11,746.
  5. [9]
    I will not repeat my observations made in my decision concerning the ill will between parties and the difficulty this presented in the matter being heard. In my view such animosity would have contributed to the matter not being settled when it ought to have been. The costs expended in litigating the matter, including the involvement of experts, were unjustifiable given the amounts of the claims. Whilst Qld Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd was unsuccessful with its counterclaim, Marketing Matters Pty Ltd only achieved an order for less than half what was sought. In all those circumstances I would dismiss the application for costs of Marketing Matters Pty Ltd.
  6. [10]
    For completeness, I dismiss the application for costs by Qld Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd.
Close

Editorial Notes

  • Published Case Name:

    Marketing Matters Pty Ltd v QLD Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd

  • Shortened Case Name:

    Marketing Matters Pty Ltd v QLD Painting & Coatings Pty Ltd

  • MNC:

    [2021] QCAT 200

  • Court:

    QCAT

  • Judge(s):

    Member Beckinsale

  • Date:

    12 Mar 2021

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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