ON THIS DAY in 1982, the High Court of Australia delivered Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of NSW  HCA 24; (1982) 149 CLR 337 (11 May 1982).
“Contract – Construction – Implied terms – Frustration – Contract to carry out excavations for rail authority – Completion required by certain date – Contractor working three shifts seven days per week – Injunction granted to third party restraining contractor from working at certain times – Whether implied term of contract that authority would grant reasonable extension of time and indemnify contractor against additional costs occasioned by grant of injunction – Whether injunction frustrated contract – Extrinsic evidence of intention.
Arbitration – Jurisdiction to entertain claim that contract frustrated – Power to award interest on award – Compound interest – Supreme Court Act 1970 (N.S.W.), s. 94(1).”
Codelfa contracted with the State Rail Authority’s predecessor, the NSW Commissioner for Railways, to perform the excavations on Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs railway. It was agreed that Codelfa would perform three shifts per day over a fixed period, but they were unable to meet this requirement because of injunctions brought by local residents.
Codelfa sought damages from the SRA on two grounds: (1) that there was an implied term that if they were restrained by injunctions the SRA would extend time for completion or would indemnify Codelfa for any losses caused by the injunctions; in the alternative, (2) that the contract was frustrated by the injunctions.
Mason J at 352 observed that the “true rule” regarding the admission of evidence of the surrounding circumstances is that such evidence is admissible if the language of the contract is ambiguous or capable of more than one meaning but is not admissible to contradict the language which has a plain meaning.
The court held that there was no implied term. Even if a term needed to be implied to give efficacy to the contract, the was not a term “so obvious it goes without saying”. The court referred with approval to its earlier decision in Secured Income Real Estate (Australia) Ltd v St Martins Investments Pty Ltd  HCA 51; (1979) 144 CLR 596.
Codelfa was nevertheless successful with the court holding that the contract was frustrated because “the performance of the contract in the events which have occurred is radically different from performance of the contract in the circumstances which it, construed in the light of surrounding circumstances, contemplated”.
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ON 16 MARCH 2015, the NSW Land and Environment Court delivered Chidiac v Mosman Council  NSWLEC 1044 (16 March 2015).
“DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: development standards for height and floor space ratio; adequacy of applications to justify contravention of standards; compatibility of proposed development with objectives of the standards and the objectives of the R3 zone; desired future character of the area; view impacts; amenity of proposed dwellings”
The Court dismissed an appeal against Mosman Council’s deemed refusal of a Development Application for demolition of existing structures at 1 Musgrave Street, Mosman and the erection of a five level residential flat building above two levels of basement car parking.
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ON 11 MARCH 2015, the High Court of Australia delivered Grant Samuel Corporate Finance Pty Limited v Fletcher: JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association v Fletcher  HCA 8 (11 March 2015).
The High Court held that rule 36.16(2)(b) of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW) could not be utilised to vary the time for the bringing of proceedings for orders with respect to voidable transactions under s588FF(3) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
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ON 3 MARCH 2015, the NSW Land and Environment Court delivered Markakis v Mosman Council  NSWLEC 1033 (3 March 2015).
“DEVELOPMENT APPLICATION: two storey dwelling; inappropriate siting of dwelling on battle-axe site; inadequate landscaped area; impacts on adjoining dwellings; internal amenity; resolution of shared parts of site with adjoining property.”
The Court dismissed an appeal against a decision of Mosman Council to refuse a Development Application for a two storey dwelling at 103A Raglan Street, Mosman.
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ON 2 MARCH 2009, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission delivered Ananda Sehra v Harris Farm Markets Mona Vale Pty Ltd  AIRC 196 (2 March 2009).
Termination of employment – jurisdiction – probationary period.
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ON 21 OCTOBER 2008, the NSW Land and Environment Court delivered Harris Farm Markets Cammeray Pty Ltd v North Sydney Council  NSWLEC 1413 (21 October 2008).
“Development Application :- use Unit CG-01 as a fruit and veg shop in a mixed use retail/commercial/residential development, parking, traffic, compliance with zone and control plan objectives, economic impact on existing neighbourhood centre.”
The Court upheld an appeal against a decision of North Sydney Council and in doing so granted development consent for the use and fit-out as a fruit and vegetable market in a mixed use retail/commercial/residential development at Nos. 450 – 476 Miller St, Cammeray.
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ON 18 JULY 2008, the District Court of NSW delivered Varela v Harris Farm Markets Pennant Hills Pty Ltd  NSWDC 116 (18 July 2008).
TORTS – negligence – occupier’s liability – customer slipped on crushed grapes in a fruit and vegetable market – nature of duty of care – whether duty breached – system of inspection and cleaning – whether in operation at time of injury – onus of proof – inferences – causation – contributory negligence – unsatisfactory state of plaintiff’s evidence as to earning capacity – pre-exisiting injuries – inconsistent income tax returns – assessment of damages
The plaintiff was awarded damages in the amount of $68,297.10 as compensation for injuries she received when she slipped on a grape whilst shopping at Harris Farm Markets at Pennant Hills.
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