In Jotham Property Holdings Pty Ltd v Cooperative Builders Pty Ltd & ors  VSC 552 (Vickery J), Justice Vickery, the Supreme Court of Victoria Judge in Charge of the Technology, Engineering and Construction List, was considering whether an adjudication determination was invalid on the grounds that the particular payment claims were served multiple times, in breach of Section 14(8). His Honour held that the payment claim, the subject of the adjudication, had been the subject of an earlier payment claim. Pursuant to Section 14(8), a further payment claim may not be made for the same [progress payment] reference date under the construction contract. His Honour rejected the claimant’s argument that, pursuant to Section 14(9), if a previous payment claim had not been made, it could be claimed afresh pursuant to Section 14(9). His Honour concluded:
On a plain reading s 14(9) provides that, if another and earlier payment claim has been made, but the amount of that earlier claim has not been paid, the unpaid amount may be included in a later and different payment claim which covers different construction work or the supply of different goods and services, calculated by reference to a different reference date under the construction contract.
His Honour preferred this interpretation on the basis that this construction was consistent with Section 14(8), whereas the the claimant’s argument would render Section 14(8) otiose, and further that this construction of Section 14(8) and 14(9) was consistent with the purpose of the Act.
His Honour concluded that the payment claim was invalid.