FERNKILN P/L V AUST BUILDING IND P/L  QCA 179
Queensland Court of Appeal – 25 May 1999
Australian Building Industries owned land in Townsville that it proposed to develop as a commercial site. Fernkiln was a roofing manufacturer that was interested in leasing a purpose built building in Townsville. Australian Building Industries gave Fernkiln a design and construct proposal to construct the building and lease it to Fernkiln. Fernkiln responded by sending Australian Building Industries a letter of intent that proposed terms for a lease. The solicitors for Australian Building Industries send a counter offer about the terms of the lease. No contract documents were signed and eventually Fernkiln decided it no longer required the building. In the meantime Australian Building Industries had with the knowledge of Fernkiln commenced building works on the property and spent $300,000.00 on the works.
Australian Building Industries completed the building and sued Fernkiln for breach of contract and alleged that Fernkiln was estopped from denying there was a contract.
Was there a binding contract between Australian Building Industries and Fernkiln?
If there was no contract was Fernkiln estopped from denying the contract because of its actions in allowing Australian Building Industries to work on the site?