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ARELJ - Case Note - Financial Consequences of the Dismissal of a Native Title Claim

Matthew Pudovskis
Barrister, Francis Burt Chambers

Representatives of beneficiaries under a native title land access commercial agreement brought an action for breach of contract in the Supreme Court of Western Australia when the mining company parties to the agreement refused to make a payment owing under the agreement. The companies refused to pay on the basis that the agreement was frustrated or void for uncertainty and therefore unenforceable since the relevant native title claim had been dismissed by the Federal Court of Australia and deregistered. The Supreme Court dismissed the claim and declared that the commercial agreement had been, since the date the native title claim was dismissed and deregistered, terminated for frustration and unenforceable.

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