Allens Arthur Robinson
The Supreme Court of Queensland has dismissed an application to set aside an adjudication decision on the basis of jurisdictional error. Though it agreed with the NSW Court of Appeal that the legislation is not intended to permit a fresh adjudication application in respect of work that has already been the subject of an adjudication decision, that prohibition does not extend to instances where an adjudication decision does not address the merits of the claim.
On the facts, the Court found that an adjudicator’s mere determination that a payment claim was invalid because it included claims for services provided after the reference date did not address the underlying merits of the claim. This left the applicant free to issue a valid payment claim in respect of the same work and meant that an adjudicator did not commit a jurisdictional error by determining the subsequent adjudication application. [Case references: VK Property Group Pty Ltd and Ors v Conias Properties Pty Ltd and Anor  QSC 54; Dualcorp Pty Ltd v Remo Constructions Pty Ltd  NSWCA 69.]