$ 55k bid knocked back Har­bour pay­out re­jected

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

A GROUP of dis­grun­tled res­i­dents from Hinch­in­brook Har­bour has re­jected a $ 55,000 pay­out from Pas­sage Hold­ings.

The Aus­tralian com­pany, which is over­see­ing the $ 450 mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment of the for­mer Port Hinch­in­brook, was re­quired to pay 14 land­hold­ers $ 55,000 in le­gal fees.

The le­gal fees fol­lowed an out­come to a dis­pute re­gard­ing ease­ments.

The re­spon­dent sought to en­force its claim for le­gal fees but was met with a coun­ter­claim for long­stand­ing dis­putes re­gard­ing res­i­den­tial sew­er­age levies.

Pas­sage Hold­ings de­cided to put the court case to rest by pay­ing the $ 55,000 in or­der to “move on” with re­pair­ing the devel­op­ment af­ter Cy­clone Yasi smashed Card­well.

How­ever the land­hold­ers re­jected the pay­ment in what was con­sid­ered to be a protest.

It is un­der­stood the court com­mented that it would be wise for the re­spon­dent to re- think the strat­egy of re­ject­ing the $ 55,000 which would set­tle debts.

In an af­fi­davit at­tained through the Fed­eral Court, the re­spon­dent’s lawyer, Clive Scott of Con­nolly Suthers Lawyers, said to Pas­sage Hold­ings’ lawyer Em­anate Le­gal that “Your client has of­fered to pay $ 55,000 to our clients in this mat­ter ‘ in full and fi­nal sat­is­fac­tion of any or all is­sues re­gard­ing the ac­tion.’

“Please note we are in­structed to re­ject the above of­fer.

“We have no in­struc­tions to make any counter of­fer, should it become nec­es­sary our client will seek to have the ap­pli­ca­tion dis­missed in due course.”

It fol­lows re­ports by the Townsville Bul­letin ear­lier this year that res­i­dents were un­happy with the per­for­mance of Pas­sage Hold­ings, which has ties to US busi­ness­men.

The Bul­letin re­vealed that res­i­dents were fac­ing sew­er­age costs that had risen from a six­monthly $ 500 to $ 1047.

The case has been ad­journed for hear­ing in the Fed­eral Court in Syd­ney on Au­gust 9.

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