Lade and Company Pty Ltd v Finlay & Anor; Lade v Franks & Anor [2010] QSC 382

Lade and Company Pty Ltd v Finlay & Anor; Lade v Franks & Anor [2010] QSC 382

The appellant sought “…the amount of $5,269.63 plus 11% compound interest with daily rests for rates paid … on his private registered property, held by him in a Deed of Grant to an Estate in Fee-simple of alienated land” and “…the amount of $250,000.00 for the trespass from the placing by the corporation ‘Queensland Government’ of the corporate ‘Public Seal of the State’ on my Certificate of Title” and “…the amount of $250,000.00 for the burden upon William Alexander Lade, not being a ‘person and a corporation’, resultant from the placing of a restrictive covenant” … “to pay rates to an entity of a ‘foreign government’ holding an Australian Business Number”. Apart from invalidity brought about by a failure to comply with Imperial legislation Mr Lade also seems to contend, relying on s 53 of the Constitution Act 1867 (Qld), that, absent a referendum, the constitutional requirements necessary to validate the various legislative provisions under which rates have been levied or his Certificate of Title dealt with were not met. The Court dismissed the relief sought and held that:

“There are at least two difficulties for Mr Lade’s contentions. First, parliament is quite at liberty to alter these provisions if it so wishes, even though the Act is expressed to be a constitutional one: see McCawley v R [1920] AC 691 (PC). So if the relevant Acts have been passed without regard to the requirements of the Constitution Act 1867 (Qld), as Mr Lade contends, then Parliament must be assumed to have so intended. Secondly, I am required to take judicial notice of Acts of Parliament and assume the accuracy of copies of such Acts: s 43 and 46A of the Evidence Act 1977 (Qld). So, without evidence to the contrary, I am not concerned with the question of whether the constitutional requirements relating to the valid passing of any Act of Parliament have been complied with. Now, so far as I am aware, there never has been a referendum held to alter these constitutional arrangements. Equally, so far as I am aware, there has been no Bill passed that expressly or impliedly provides for the abolition of or alteration in the office of Governor or that expressly or impliedly in any way affects any of the nominated sections of the Constitution Act 1867, nor do any of the legislative enactments mentioned by Mr Lade in his pleading have this effect. As well, again so far as I am aware, the constitutional requirements were followed in the passing into law of the enactments in question.”

Mr Lade initially sought an adjournment so that his case could be argued by David Walter who for personal reasons could not attend the hearing. I note that Mr Walter has conducted similar arguments in some of the cases and failed: see Burns v State of Queensland & Croton  [2006] QCA 235; Wilson v Raddatz [2006] QCA 392; and Glasgow v Hall [2007] QCA 19. See also the decision of P Lyons J in Burns & Ors v Cassowary Coast Regional Council (Unreported, Cairns, 27 of 2010, 27 April 2010). Costs orders have been made against Mr Walter in some cases.

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