Reference no: EM1334401 , Length: 1000 Words
Sam owns a sheep station in central Queensland. After the discovery a huge copper deposit and many months of negotiations, Sam enters into a written contract on 10 December 2013, to sell his sheep station for $10 million dollars to Giant Copper Ltd who propose to develop a massive open cut copper mine on the station. The contract provides for payment of a deposit of 10% of the purchase price on exchange of contracts and for the balance to be paid in six month’s time on completion.
One week after Sam and Giant Copper Ltd exchange contracts, Greenie discovers a colony of bilbies previously thought to be extinct living in on Sam’s sheep station. In January 2014 as a result of Greenie’s discovery, the Queensland Government passes the Sam Sheep Station Bilby Protection Act 2014, that declares all of Sam’s sheep station a wildlife reserve and declares it illegal to use the sheep station for any mining activities. The stated object of the legislation is to protect the colony of rare bilbies living on the sheep station. As a result of the Sam Sheep Station Bilby Protection Act 2014, the sheep station is now only worth $5 million dollars. Giant Copper Ltd informs Sam that as they can no longer use the station for mining they do not consider themselves bound by the contract and demand the return of their deposit.
After the discovery of the bilbies, Greenie, is interviewed by a television news crew. During the interview Greenie tells the reporter that Sam is an environmental vandal who should be in prison.
Greenie says that when he told Sam about the presence of the bilbies Sam tried to bribe him into not making this public, as Sam didn’t want anything to jeopardize the sale of the farm to Giant Copper Ltd. This is not true. He also says Sam tried to destroy the bilbies burrows to get rid of them. This is also not true. The television station runs the interview in full on the national news along with footage of bulldozers ripping burrows. This footage is actually of bulldozers ripping up rabbit burrows on properties in NSW. After the interview is broadcast, Sam receives hate mail and death threats.
Advise Sam on the legal issues arising in relation to the contract between Sam and Giant Copper Ltd, and the television interview. Discuss any points the other parties may counter argue. In giving your advice you should assume that the Sam Sheep Station Bilby Protection Act 2014 (Qld) is valid. In relation to Giant Copper Ltd, would it make any difference to your advice if Greenie had discovered, and made public, the presence of the colony of bilbies before the contract was made?
Chapter 19 - Negligence
(Pentony, Graw, Parker & Whitford, Understanding Business Law, 6th edition, 2013, Chapter 25)
Chapter 20 - Property and Business Torts
(Pentony, Graw, Parker & Whitford, Understanding Business Law, 6th edition, 2013, Chapter 26)
Chapter 25 - Termination of Contracts and Remedies for Breach
((Pentony, Graw, Parker & Whitford, Understanding Business Law, 6th edition, 2013, Chapter 7,
including insert from Sweeney, O'Reilly & Coleman, Law in Commerce, 5th edition)