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Key decisions

  • Argos Pty Ltd v Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development [2014] HCA 50
  • Henderson v Queensland [2014] HCA 52
  • Commissioner of State Revenue v Lend Lease Development Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 51
  • Commissioner of Taxation v MBI Properties Pty Ltd [2014] HCA 49
  • Cantarella Bros Pty Limited v Modena Trading Pty Limited [2014] HCA 48

Administrative law

Standing – ‘person aggrieved’ – economic effects of planning decisions

In Argos Pty Ltd v Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development [2014] HCA 50 (10 December 2014), the first appellant held the lease on Crown land in the ACT. The respondent gave permission under planning legislation for nearby land to be developed as a supermarket. The second appellant conducted a shop on a sublease of the first appellant’s land. The third appellant also operated a shop on other land near the permitted development. The appellants sought judicial review of the decision. At first instance and on appeal, the ACT Supreme Court found that while the revenue of the shops of appellants two and three would be affected, this was the economic effect of increased competition. These courts found none of the appellants were ’persons aggrieved’ by the decision of the respondent for s 3B(1)(a) of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1989 (ACT). This defined a ‘person aggrieved’ as one ’whose interests are adversely affected by the decision’.

The appeal by appellants two and three was allowed by all members of the High Court: French CJ with Keane J; Hayne with Bell JJ; Gageler J, but only Gageler J allowed the appeal by appellant one. The court concluded that the text of the provision did not support a gloss that excluded economic interests from other interests but the evidence did not support a finding that the first appellant’s interests as lessor would be affected. Orders accordingly.

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