Appeal proceedings where the Appellant (Compass) was a developer and operator of marina facilities and Mr Harburg was its sole director, company secretary and shareholder. Compass and Mr Harburg entered into a suite of contractual arrangements with the Respondent (Port of Brisbane Corporation) which were ultimately, by legislation, transferred to the State. Pursuant to those arrangements, Compass leased certain property from the State with a view to undertaking a marina development at Scarborough Boat Harbour in South East Queensland, Mr Harburg guaranteed Compass’ obligations.
The State sued Compass and Mr Harburg for rent under the applicable leases and guarantees and Compass and Mr Harburg sought to avoid liability because they contended that they had been misled into entering into the relevant contractual arrangements and leases. They also counterclaimed for damages for deceit and for misleading and deceptive conduct. Their claims failed and the State obtained judgment against both Compass and Mr Harburg for AUD 9,486,204.64.
By this appeal Compass and Mr Harburg sought to reverse that outcome, or at least to ameliorate it significantly. The appeal should was dismissed.
Claire Schneider (with S Cooper QC) appeared for the respondent, instructed by Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
The judgment is published here.