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Multimillion spat: Terminal smokes contractor at appeal

After a multimillion dollar payout order, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal's appeal has been allowed.
After a multimillion dollar payout order, Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal's appeal has been allowed. Mara Pattison-Sowden

COAL export terminal has smoked its opponent in the latest round of a long-running court battle.

In June, Justice Peter Flanagan ordered Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal to pay Civil Mining and Construction about $4.1 million for disruptions during work done at the Gladstone terminal.

Wiggins Island went to the Court of Appeal, and its appeal has now been allowed.

The state's highest court on Monday ordered CMC to pay Wiggins Island's court costs for hearings held in July and August, and its costs for the appeal.

Earlier, CMC sought $14.5 million for costs incurred due to "unnecessary delays and disruptions” and it took Wiggins Island to the Supreme Court.

The court heard works took 208 days longer than planned as CMC said delays ate into its bottom line across four projects, including bulk earthworks.

Wiggins Island had counter-claimed about $12.5 million

Justice Flanagan tried the case over 36 days, delivering a judgment more than 300 pages long.

Justice Flanagan agreed the terminal should pay some costs but he stopped short of the $14.5 million CMC wanted.

Instead, he ordered Wiggins Island to pay $4.086 million not long after CMC asked him to consider more evidence.

In June, The Courier-Mail reported CMC project manager Ben Vance said disruptions and delays left his staff frustrated.

"We work on relatively fine profit margins in relation to the actual activity cost and it doesn't take long for a delay or disruption or change in methodology for our margin to be eroded,” Mr Vance said.

"This case is a long case over seven years,” Wiggins Island's barrister Declan Kelly said in Brisbane last month.

The appeal court on Monday also set aside an order granting CMC leave to re-open its case.

An order made on October 6 reserving costs was also set aside. -NewsRegional

Topics:  brisbane court business coal coal exports gladstone justice peter flanagan mining wicet wiggins island



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