• March 13, 2019 in Agricultural Law, Commercial Law, Litigation

    Native Title Blow for Primary Producers

    Primary producers who have battled drought and flood along with continually challenging economic conditions have been dealt yet another blow with a Federal Court ruling against a pastoral holder who applied to upgrade her tenure to freehold.

    Creevey Russell Lawyers Principal Dan Creevey said the refusal by Justice John Reeves in the Federal Court to grant an order by Sophie  Pate that native title did not exist over her cattle property near Carmila in North Queensland was “another nail in the coffin for primary producers” and should be appealed.

    “Just when you thought it can’t get any harder for primary producers, the Federal Court has cast a shadow over the ability to obtain a determination that native title does not exist over country, and therefore the ability to freehold that property,” he said.

    Mr Creevey said Ms Pate sought to upgrade her tenure to freehold and commenced a non-claimant application seeking an order native title did not exist over her property.

    “The application was not contested and there wasn’t a native title claim filed in response, with the applicant arguing the court could infer no native title existed on her land,” Mr Creevey said.

    “But Justice Reeves ruled even though the application was unopposed, the applicant must prove on the balance of probabilities that native title did not exist. He found to make an order that native title did not exist would be contrary to the objectives of the Native Title Act 1993.”

    Mr Creevey said the Reeves judgment has foreshadowed a view on the Native Title Act which may result in a failure of the application no matter how strong the evidence that native title does not exist.

    “The Court arrived at a conclusion in the Pate case that a negative determination of native title would prevent any future application for compensation against the State for loss of native title rights and would be contrary to the objects and purposes of the Native Title Act,” he said.

    “The concern arising from this is that someone, somewhere may have an unexercised native title claim but that granting an application for a determination that native title does not exist will forever prevent that right being exercised.

    “This is despite a section in the Native Title Act which provides expressly for the reservation of compensation claims against the state when non claimant application provisions are utilised.

    “At the moment the Court has only expressed a qualified view on the state of the law but if that view is confirmed, freeholding of any country where native title has not been extinguished will not be on option.

    “The opportunity to persuade the Court of a contrary view should not be missed but will require the joining of forces to promote a favourable outcome.”

    Further Enquirers, please contact our Litigation Team:

     

    Dan Creevey
    Principal

    Ph:       +61 7 4617 8777
    Email:    

  • February 7, 2018 in Agricultural Law, Litigation

    CREEVEY RUSSELL LAWYERS INVITES ALL TO SHATTERCANE CLASS ACTION INFORMATION EVENING IN WILLOW TREE– 13TH FEBRUARY 2018

    Leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers will provide its first update for 2018 on its class action against Advanta Seeds Pty Ltd, previously trading as Pacific Seeds, on behalf of growers who used MR43 Elite sorghum seed anytime between 2010 and 2014 and have suffered a Shattercane infestation on their land due to the use of that seed.

    Creevey Russell Principal Dan Creevey said the firm will be hosting an information evening at Graze Willow Tree Inn on Tuesday, 13 February, 2018.

    “The latest position pleaded by Advanta Seeds in their defence is that the term “shattercane” is uncertain and as a result, they do not know and cannot know the meaning of the term,” Mr Creevey said, “It is disappointing to both me and the farmers that they now won’t even recognise the term shattercane as a known industry term.”

    Creevey Russell last year obtained funding to proceed with the class action for group members on a No Win, No Fee basis.

    The class action seeks to recover compensation for losses that sorghum growers are alleged to have suffered as a consequence of planting contaminated MR43 Elite sorghum seed.

    “Any person who has been affected by Shattercane after planting MR43 Elite seed should attend this meeting to see whether they might be able to benefit from this action,” Mr Creevey said. “The farmers have been suffering from the impacts of shattercane for a long time and I am proud to be able to fight for them”.

    The class action was initiated in Queensland but has also extended to include those sorghum growers in New South Wales who have also been affected.

    Shattercane is a noxious weed which if present in a sorghum crop competes strongly with the planted sorghum and results in a reduced yield. Once present on the land, it can spread vigorously quickly infesting and overrunning the land. It is also difficult to eradicate, often meaning that the land cannot be used commercially for a considerable time.

    Please contact 07 4617 8777 to register your interest in attending the information session, at Graze Willow Tree Inn, 18 New England Hwy, Willow Tree NSW 2339, from 5.30pm-7.30pm, on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Refreshments will be provided.

    When: Tuesday 13th of February at 5.30pm

    Where: Graze Willow Tree Inn – 18 New England Hwy, Willow Tree NSW 2339

    RSVP: CLICK HERE or call 07 4617 8777

  • February 2, 2018 in Agricultural Law, Commercial Law

    Work with Your Heavy Vehicle Transporters to Ensure Safety

    Primary producers have a responsibility to ensure goods they send or receive via a heavy transport vehicle are delivered safely and adhere to Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), says leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.

    Creevey Russell Principal Dan Creevey said the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) recognises the important role growers, farmers and fishermen play in feeding Australians and providing quality produce to overseas markets.

    Mr Creevey said primary producers, as parties in the road transport supply chain, will have specific obligations under the HVNL, which commences on July 1, 2018, to adhere to the ‘Chain of Responsibility (CoR)’ to ensure safety by preventing a breach of the law.

    “This requires each party in the supply chain with the ability to control or influence the transport activity to take positive steps to prevent mass, load restraint, dimension, fatigue and speed offences,” he said.

    “As a primary producer, any time you send or receive goods using a vehicle that can carry more than 4.5 tonnes – regardless of whether the vehicle is yours or someone else’s – you become part of the supply chain. You therefore have a shared responsibility to prevent breaches of the law.”

    • Mr Creevey said it was important for primary producers to work with their transporters and fully understand the requirements of the HVNL.
    • “Avoid making demands of transporters that may lead to speeding, driving while tired or overloading and ensure all loads are within legal limits and properly restrained. If you’re using your own truck, make sure it’s maintained to a roadworthy standard.”

    For more information on the HVNL and CoR, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/cor.

    Further inquiries:

    Dan Creevey (07) 4617 8777

    About Creevey Russell Lawyers

    Creevey Russell Lawyers is a full service law firm which operates primarily from our Brisbane practice, with the capacity to provide superior legal services to western Queensland through our Toowoomba practiceCreevey Russell Lawyers deliver results to a variety of clients including developers, corporations, accountants, liquidators and private clientele.

  • January 30, 2018 in Agricultural Law, Litigation

    CREEVEY RUSSELL LAWYERS INVITES ALL TO SHATTERCANE CLASS ACTION INFORMATION EVENING IN TOOWOOMBA – 6TH FEBRUARY 2018

    Leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers will provide its first update for 2018 on its class action against Advanta Seeds Pty Ltd, previously trading as Pacific Seeds, on behalf of growers who used MR43 Elite sorghum seed anytime between 2010 and 2014 and have suffered a Shattercane infestation on their land due to the use of that seed.

    Creevey Russell Principal Dan Creevey said the firm will be hosting an information evening in their Toowoomba offices on Tuesday, 6 February, 2018.

    “The latest position pleaded by Advanta Seeds in their defence is that the term “shattercane” is uncertain and as a result, they do not know and cannot know the meaning of the term,” Mr Creevey said, “It is disappointing to both me and the farmers that they now won’t even recognise the term shattercane as a known industry term.”

    Creevey Russell last year obtained funding to proceed with the class action for group members on a No Win, No Fee basis.

    The class action seeks to recover compensation for losses that sorghum growers are alleged to have suffered as a consequence of planting contaminated MR43 Elite sorghum seed.

    “Any person who has been affected by Shattercane after planting MR43 Elite seed should attend this meeting to see whether they might be able to benefit from this action,” Mr Creevey said. “The farmers have been suffering from the impacts of shattercane for a long time and I am proud to be able to fight for them”.

    The class action was initiated in Queensland but has also extended to include those sorghum growers in New South Wales who have also been affected.

    Shattercane is a noxious weed which if present in a sorghum crop competes strongly with the planted sorghum and results in a reduced yield. Once present on the land, it can spread vigorously quickly infesting and overrunning the land. It is also difficult to eradicate, often meaning that the land cannot be used commercially for a considerable time.

    Please contact 07 4617 8777 to register your interest in attending the information session, at 580 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba, from 5.30pm-7.30pm, on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Refreshments will be provided.

     

    When: Tuesday 6th of February at 5.30pm

    Where:   Our Toowoomba Offices, 580 Ruthven Street Toowoomba

    RSVP: CLICK HERE or call 07 4617 8777

     

    If you have Shattercane problems please contact Dan Creevey for a no obligation, free of charge discussion about the class action, please call on 07 4617 8777 or email

     

  • November 9, 2017 in Agricultural Law, Litigation

    CREEVEY RUSSELL LAWYERS INVITES ALL TO OUR SHATTERCANE INFORMATION EVENING NSW – 16th November 2017

    Creevey Russell Lawyers are pleased to announce that they now have funding to proceed with this action and will be hosting a Shattercane information evening at the Graze Willow Tree Inn for those farmers already involved and any farmers looking to be involved in this class action.

    THIS CLASS ACTION WILL BE CONDUCTED  ON A ‘NO COST TO YOU’ BASIS.

    If you have suffered loss or damage from Shattercane  – Come along for an informative discussion and hear about the recent progression of the case from Dan Creevey and the team.

    This is your chance to find out more about Shattercane, what the Class Action means to you and how we can help your situation.

    Graze Willow Tree Inn
    18 New England Hwy, Willow Tree NSW 2339
    16th November 2017 – 5.30pm to 7.30pm
    Refreshments provided

    RSVP’s ESSENTIAL – Click Here or call 07 4617 8777

  • October 27, 2017 in Agricultural Law, Litigation

    CREEVEY RUSSELL LAWYERS INVITES ALL TO OUR SHATTERCANE INFORMATION EVENING – 9th November 2017

    Creevey Russell Lawyers are pleased to announce that they now have funding to proceed with this action and will be hosting a Shattercane information evening in their Toowoomba office for those farmers already involved and any farmers looking to be involved in this class action.

    THIS CLASS ACTION WILL BE CONDUCTED  ON A ‘NO COST TO YOU’ BASIS.

    If you have suffered loss or damage from Shattercane  – Come along for an informative discussion and hear about the recent progression of the case from Dan Creevey and the team.

    This is your chance to find out more about Shattercane, what the Class Action means to you and how we can help your situation.

    Toowoomba Creevey Russell Office
    580 Ruthven Street
    9th November 2017 – 5.30pm to 7.30pm
    Refreshments provided

    RSVP’s ESSENTIAL – Click Here or call 07 4617 8777

  • September 14, 2017 in Agricultural Law, Commercial Law, Property Law

    Landholders Encouraged to Convert to Freehold Title

    The security of land tenure in rural Australia is often on the mind of pastoralists. With the introduction of rolling term and perpetual leases, pastoralists were given greater security over their interest in the land. There have been further developments that give leaseholders the opportunity to have their interests converted to freehold title so that rural landholders can enjoy the most secure interest available to property owners.

    Leasehold conversion is offered by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (“DNRM”). Landowners can apply to DNRM for the conversion of their leasehold interests to freehold title. DNRM can then make an offer to the landowner often called an “Agreement to Offer a Conversion of a Lease” (“Offer”). These Offers are usually conditional which means that certain requirements must be satisfied before the conversion of land tenure will occur. Conditions will most likely include: payment of a deposit, signing of the Offer and satisfaction of any Native Title interests that may exist in relation to the land subject to the conversion.

    Upon receiving an application for conversion, DNRM will research the tenure history of the land. If the land has never been held with exclusive possession, such as a previous freehold title, Native Title will need to be addressed as a condition to the conversion being made. This is a common requirement in rural pastoral areas where exclusive possession has not previously been granted.

    Native Title interests can be addressed in a number of ways. These include: negotiating an agreement called an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (“ILUA”) with peoples that may hold an interest to the area, or by non-claimant applications to the Federal Court for a determination (decision) in regard to the native title interests in the area.

    Once the conditions of the Offer have been satisfied, DNRM can then grant the conversion of leasehold interests to a freehold title.

    Creevey Russell Lawyers have an experienced team that can assist you in the intricacies of these conversion applications. If you would like to discuss the conversion of leasehold interests, contact our Damian Bell on (07) 4617 8777.

  • August 23, 2017 in Agricultural Law, Litigation

    Class Actions Level Playing Field

    Legislative changes in Queensland which have established a regime for conducting class actions provide plaintiffs with a more level playing field to seek justice, says leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.

    The Queensland law firm has been among the first to take advantage of recent amendments to the Civil Proceedings Act 2011 with the launch of its class action against Advanta Seeds Pty Ltd, previously trading as Pacific Seeds, on behalf of growers in Queensland and NSW who have had sorghum contaminated with shattercane seed.

    Creevey Russell’s Principal Dan Creevey said in many cases a class action – a claim arising from seven or more claimants against the same defendant and handled as a rule on a ‘no win, no fee basis’ – is the only option many plaintiffs have to seek redress from the courts.

    “Class actions allows plaintiffs to pursue claims even if the quantum of the claim is not that great,” he said. “A class action lawsuit allows plaintiffs to pursue a worthy cause on principle. For example, a bank may be adding hidden fees to customers’ accounts. While the amount of the claim for the individual may not warrant the legal fees for one plaintiff, a class action allows such litigants to seek justice.”

    Mr Creevey said another advantage to a class action is a judgment or settlement against the defendant can result in a fairer distribution to the plaintiffs.

    “If many plaintiffs sue the defendant the ‘first in’ plaintiffs may be the only ones who receive damages,” he said. “Class actions provide more options for an equitable distribution of the judgment/settlement moneys.

    “Class actions also benefit the judicial system. The case is managed and determined by one judge in one court. That judge ensures that the matter progresses as quickly as possible and that it is given a certain level of priority and decisions are made in the interests of justice.”

    Further inquiries:

    Dan Creevey (07) 4617 8777

    About Creevey Russell Lawyers

    Creevey Russell Lawyers is a full service law firm which operates primarily from our Brisbane practice, with the capacity to provide superior legal services to western Queensland through our Toowoomba practiceCreevey Russell Lawyers deliver results to a variety of clients including developers, corporations, accountants, liquidators and private clientele

  • July 21, 2017 in Agricultural Law

    CSG Companies Seeking Short Cuts

    Some coal seam gas companies have been seeking short cuts around the correct process required when negotiating with landholders over access rights to their properties, says leading legal firm Creevey Russell Lawyers.

    Creevey Russell Partner Damian Bell said mining and petroleum companies in Queensland looking to enter property are required to negotiate Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCA) with all registered owners and occupiers.

    Mr Bell said the first formal stage of the CCA process requires the resource company or ‘Authority Holder’ to provide landholders with a Notice of Intention to Negotiate (NIN).

    “This NIN stipulates a minimum negotiation period of 20 business days during which the Authority Holder is not allowed to access the land to carry out ‘advanced activities’,” he said.

    “However, we have seen a growing tenancy for the CSG companies to skip the NIN and begin talking directly to issues such as access and compensation. This is a typical tactic to try and cut short the process and attempt to lock up the deal before the landholder is properly advised on both these key points.

    “Once the NIN has been provided, and in some cases before, a landholder will be given a draft CCA. The landholder is then able to negotiate the technical terms and conditions of the agreement that will reflect the unique requirements of their property.”

    Mr Bell said if negotiations on the CCA are unsuccessful, the parties can engage in alternative dispute resolution or a mediation conference coordinated by an appropriately qualified, independent person.

    “If negotiations remain unsuccessful, the parties may seek a determination from the Land Court as to the terms of the CCA,” he said.

    “If you have been approached by an Authority Holder and want assistance in negotiating the terms of a CCA, or need assistance with the activities of an Authority Holder, contact Creevey Russell Lawyers Resource Team on 07 4617 8777.

    “With more than 40 years of combined rural and resources experience we are ideally qualified to help right across Queensland and NSW with respect to CSG negotiations.”

    About Creevey Russell Lawyers

    Creevey Russell Lawyers is a full service law firm which operates primarily from our Brisbane practice, with the capacity to provide superior legal services to western Queensland through our Toowoomba practiceCreevey Russell Lawyers deliver results to a variety of clients including developers, corporations, accountants, liquidators and private clientele

  • June 30, 2017 in Agricultural Law

    Shattercane Information Night – Tuesday July 18 5.30pm

    CREEVEY RUSSELL LAWYERS INVITES ALL TO OUR SHATTERCANE INFORMATION EVENING.

    Creevey Russell Lawyers will be hosting a Shattercane information evening in their Toowoomba offices on TUESDAY 18 July 2017 at 5.30pm for those farmers already involved and any farmers looking to be involved in this class action.

    THIS CLASS ACTION WILL BE CONDUCTED  ON A ‘NO COST TO YOU’ BASIS.

    If you have suffered loss or damage from Shattercane  – Come along for an informative discussion and hear from Dan Creevey and the team.

    This is your chance to find out more about Shattercane, what the Class Action means to you and how we can help your situation.

    Toowoomba Creevey Russell Office
    580 Ruthven Street
    5.30pm to 7.30pm
    Refreshments provided

    RSVP’s ESSENTIAL – Please click ">HERE or call 07 4617 8777