n 470 St Kilda Road P/L (ACN 006 075 341) v Reed Constructions Australia P/L (ACN 003 340 341) & Philip Martin, Vickery J was reviewing an adjudication determination, where the Principal had argued that a statutory declaration provided by the Contractor was patently false. His Honour reviewed the authorities in relation to several questions, including:
- The Principal argued that the Act implies a duty of “good faith” into the making of a payment claim. His Honour concluded, consistent with authority albeit seemingly contrary to other obiter statements, that there is “good faith” pre-condition to valid payment claim under the statutory regime created by the Act.
- The Principal argued that compliance with the adjudication application time limits provided in s 18(3) of the Act a basic and essential condition of validity. His Honour concluded that this was a factual issue for the adjudicator, not reviewable as a “basic and essential condition”. His Honour concluded that the adjudicator’s determination on compliance with the adjudication time limit was not reviewable in the present case.
- The Principal argued that the failure of the Contractor to provide a (non-false) statutory declaration had the effect that the payment claim was not valid under the Contract. His Honour concluded that the adjudicator’s assessment of the correct factual position (in this case, the Contractor’s statutory declaration was contradicted by 5 statutory declarations provided by the Principal) Whether finding by adjudicator that payment claim valid reviewable), even if an error of fact, did not constitute an error of law that was reviewable.
- His Honour then considered the requirement that an adjudicator provide reasons pursuant to Section 23 of the Act, and concluded, in the present case, that the reasons, albeit brief, were sufficient.