BECKHAUS CIVIL PTY LTD V BREWARRINA SHIRE COUNCIL  NSWSC 960
Supreme Court of New South Wales – 18 October 2002
Brewarrina Shire Council (‘the Council’) and Beckhaus Civil Pty Ltd (‘Beckhaus’) entered into a contract for the construction of levee banks around the town of Brewarrina. The banks were to be constructed in strategic positions around the town of Brewarrina to protect it from the flooding of the Barwon River.
Beckhaus served a Payment Claim on Brewarrina Shire Council, which consisted of a letter and a claim form. Beckhaus wrote to the Council advising that the work had reached practical completion and requested certification of that fact. Beckhaus, in the letter to Brewarrina, also referred to a claim form containing a statement that it was made ‘under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)’ (‘the Act’).
The Superintendent refused Beckhaus’ request and advised that the failure to achieve practical completion amounted to a breach that disentitled Beckhaus from any further payment under the Contract. Accordingly, Beckhaus’ claim was valued at $Nil. The Superintendent’s assessment of Beckhaus’ claim was made out of time for the purposes of the Act.
Beckhaus then sought summary judgment in respect of the Payment Claim.
Whether the letter and claim form constituted a Payment Claim?