LAND COURT OF QUEENSLAND

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LAND COURT OF QUEENSLAND

CITATION: APT Petroleum Pipelines Pty Limited v Western Downs Regional Council [2014] QLC 18

PARTIES: APT Petroleum Pipelines Pty Limited

(appellant) v

Western Downs Regional Council (respondent)

FILE NOs: LGR023-13

LGR027-13 LGR028-13 LGR029-13 LGR030-13

DIVISION: General Division

PROCEEDING: Appeals against categorisation decisions for differential general rates

DELIVERED ON: 14 May 2014

DELIVERED AT: Brisbane

HEARD ON: 17 March 2014

HEARD AT: Dalby

MEMBER: WA Isdale

ORDERS 1. The appeals are allowed.

2. The rating category of the land is changed as follows:

Lot 1 on RP 172984, Dalby Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Wambo, Rate Code 2, Category 22, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Regional Centre Locality – Wambo. Rate Code 2-22.

Lot 1 on RP 172983, Kogan Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality.

Rate Code 2-23.

Lot 1 on RP 118571, Block Valve, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage

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– Major Town Locality. Rate Code 2-23.

Lot 17 on BWR 797, Yuleba Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality. Rate Code 2-24.

Lot 1 on RP 186244, Condamine Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality. Rate Code 2-24.

3. Any application for costs is to be filed and served within 15 business days of the publication of these reasons and any reply is to be filed and served within 15 business days of the application.

CATCHWORDS: Local Government Act 2009 s 104

Local Government (Finance, Plans and Reporting) Regulation 2010 ss 24, 25, 26, 27

Rates – rating – differential general rates – appeal by landowner against decision of the chief executive officer on owner’s objection to rating category for the land

Armstrong v Clark [1957] 2 QB 391

Chamwell Pty Ltd v Strathfield Council (2007) 151 LGERA 400, 408

Kia Australia Pty Ltd v Chief Executive Officer of Customs (1998) 86 FGR 473

Koala Motels Pty Ltd v Chief Licensing Inspector 18 ALR 12

Lizzio & Anor v The Council of the Municipality of Ryde (1983) 155 CLR 211

Miller v Sutherland Shire Council (1993) 130 LGERA 286 Penrith City Council v Waste Management Authority (1990) 71 LGRA 376

Pioneer Concrete (Qld) Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council (1980) 145 CLR 485

R v Skeen & Anor (1859) 169 ER 1182

Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales v Sydney City Council (1987) 61 LGRA 305

South Australian National Football League Inc v City of Charles Sturt (1998) 97 LGERA 293

Toner Design Pty Ltd v Newcastle City Council (2013) 198 LGERA 203

Yu & Leung v Brisbane City Council & Anor [2006]

QPELR 102

APPEARANCES: RN Traves QC instructed by King & Wood Mallesons for the appellant

EJ Morzone instructed by King & Company solicitors for the respondent

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Background

[1] On 4 September 2012 the Western Downs Regional Council resolved in accordance with s 104 of the Local Government Act 2009 to adopt the 2012-2013 Revenue Statement.1 The Revenue Statement sets out the rate codes, categories and descriptions of rateable land in the Council’s area of responsibility. The Rate Codes are:

1 - Residential

2 - Commercial and Industrial

3 - Rural

4 - Other Intensive Business and Industries [2] The present appeals relate to five properties owned by the appellant. They are:

 Lot 1 on RP 172984, the Dalby Compressor Station. It is located in what was formerly the Shire of Wambo

 Lot 1 on RP 172983, the Kogan Compressor Station. It is in the former Chinchilla Shire.

 Lot 1 on RP 118571, the Block Valve, also in the former Chinchilla Shire.

 Lot 17 on BWR 797, the Yuleba Compressor Station, located in the former Shire of Miles

 Lot 1 on RP 186244, the Condamine Compressor Station. It is also in the former Shire of Miles

[3] The respondent issued rates notices for these five parcels of land on 24 September 2012.

In each case the land was categorised as “004/30 Petroleum Other < 400 ha”. The symbol

< indicates “less than”.

[4] The appellant, acting in accordance with s 24 of the Local Government (Finance, Plans and Reporting) Regulation 2010 (the Regulation), objected to the categorisation of the land. Notices of Objection were delivered on 22 October 2012.

[5] As required by s 25 of the Regulation, the local government’s chief executive officer considered the objections to categorisation and decided not to allow them.

[6] Under s 26 the landowner lodged the present appeals which, being relevantly identical, were heard together with a view to their prompt determination as required by s 27. That section provides that the Land Court may, if it allows the appeal, change the rating category for the land.2 In that case, the rating category is taken to have been changed from the start of the period of the rate notice.3

1 Exhibit 5 [8].

2 S 27(3)(b).

3 S 27(4).

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The view

[7] The parties agreed upon a view which was conducted on 17 March 2014. The view was of the Dalby Compressor Station and the Tipton West coal seam gas processing facility.

The view, while not itself evidence, may facilitate understanding the evidence.

The Court’s approach

[8] In cases of a dispute over the applicable rating category, the correct approach was said by Debelle J in South Australian National Football League Inc v City of Charles Sturt to be:

“The task of determining the nature of a land use will obviously require an examination of the manner in which the land is being used and, if it has been improved, an examination of the nature of the buildings or improvements or other development on the land and the use which is made of them. If there is more than one use, it is necessary to determine the predominant use of the land: (s176(3)). Given that the enquiry is to determine the nature of the land use, the principles of planning law as to the process involved when determining the nature of a proposed development provide some assistance. The enquiry should not involve a meticulous examination of the details of the likely activities being conducted on the land or any precise cataloguing of them but, instead, should be an enquiry as to what, according to its ordinary terminology, is the appropriate designation of the use of the land and any buildings thereon: see Stephen J in Pioneer Concrete (Qld) Pty Ltd v Brisbane City Council (1980) 145 CLR 485 at 507-508; 44 LGRA 346 at 362-363. Generally speaking, that will often be a useful approach. Of course, each case must be considered according to its own facts and circumstances.

It is essential to remember that the purpose of the enquiry is limited to a determination of the nature of the land use. However, some assistance may be gained from examining the activities in which the owner or occupier of the land is engaged since they might provide an understanding of the nature of the use of the land. However, care must be taken to ensure that the nature of the activities of the owner or occupier do not distract one from the real question, which, as I have said, is to determine the nature of the use of the land. The fact that land is being used by a commercial enterprise does not necessarily mean that the land is being used for commercial purposes. A commercial enterprise might use a particular parcel of land for a purpose quite divorced from its usual commercial activities, for example, it might use a particular parcel for charitable purposes only. In other words, a commercial organisation and a non-commercial organisation might use land in the same way. Thus, the essential task is to determine the nature of the land use. In the final analysis, it might often be a question of fact and degree whether the use is for a commercial purpose or some other purpose: Lizzio v Ryde Municipal Council (1983) 155 CLR 211 at 217; 51 LGRA 114 at 117; Penrith City Council v Waste Management Authority (1990) 71 LGRA 376 at 384.”4

[9] In Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales v Sydney City Council, Mc Hugh JA, with whom Hope and Samuels JJA agreed, said:

“Accordingly, a test has been devised which requires the purpose of the use of land to be described only at that level of generality which is necessary and sufficient to cover the individual activities, transactions or processes carried on at the relevant date. Thus the test is not so narrow that it requires characterisation of purpose in terms of the detailed activities, transactions or processes which have taken place. But it is not so general that the characterisation can embrace activities, transactions or processes which differ in kind from the use which the activities etc as a class have made of the land.”5

[10] Preston J said in Chamwell Pty Ltd v Strathfield Council that:

“The characterisation of the purpose of development must also be done in a common sense and practical way.6

4 (1998) 97 LGERA 293, 298.

5 (1987) 61 LGRA 305, 310.

6 (2007) 151 LGERA 400, 408 [45].

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[11] The Planning and Environment Court said in Yu & Leung v Brisbane City Council &

Anor:

“[16] In determining the description which is applicable, the Court must undertake its task of characterisation in a practical and common sense way to determine the appropriate genus which best describes the activities in question. Where there are two or more defined purposes which are apt to cover a particular proposal, a ‘best fit’ approach is appropriate.

What must be characterised is the proposal the subject of the application, rather than some further or other application which might be made at another time.”7 (References omitted.)

The respondent’s contention

[12] The category into which the respondent places the subject blocks is within Rate Code 4 – Other Intensive Business and Industries. Within this, it is more particularly described as:8

Category Description Identification

30 – Petroleum Other <400ha Land, within the Regional Council area, used or

intended to be used primarily for gas and/or oil extraction and/or processing (or for purposes ancillary or

associated with gas and/or oil extraction/processing such as water storage, pipelines), excluding petroleum leases, with an area of less than 400 hectares.

As determined by the CEO

[13] The appellant’s statement of facts and contentions includes the following paragraph:

“24 Processing gas involves changing the composition of the gas by removing impurities which exist in the gas when it is removed from the earth. The Appellant does not conduct any gas processing activities at the Sites or as part of the RBP operations.”

“RBP” is the Roma to Brisbane pipeline.

[14] In regard to this, the respondent’s statement of facts and contentions in response, at paragraph 1, states:

“1. The matters of fact stated in paragraphs 1 to 37 of the Appellant’s Statement of Facts and Contentions (‘ASFC’) are not in contention for the purposes of these appeals.”

[15] The respondent agrees that each of the sites is used for the transportation of gas by a pipeline.9 It contends that using the sites for a pipeline that transports gas is a use associated with gas extraction and/or processing because the pipeline provides the means of transport of the gas from the extraction and processing locations to the distributors and users.

7 [2006] QPELR 102, 104 [16].

8 Exhibit LV-2 of Exhibit 5 at p 36.

9 Respondent’s Statement of Facts and Contentions in Response [6].

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[16] Alternatively, the respondent says that the use of the sites is ancillary to gas extraction and/or processing as its use is incidental to and necessarily associated with gas extraction and/or processing. It says that the fact that the appellant does not itself extract and/or process the gas is not a relevant consideration.

[17] It was not in contention that for the purposes of the present appeals identical considerations are relevant to each appeal property.

The evidence

[18] Evidence was provided in affidavit form. Two of the deponents also gave oral evidence.

The witnesses Kerryanne Frances Mallitt gave evidence by telephone and Lee Vohland was present in Court. A number of photographs, Exhibits 1 and 6, and a copy of the respondent’s 2013-2014 Revenue Statement with the records of its formal adoption (Exhibit 7) were also admitted into evidence.

[19] Ms Mallitt’s affidavit sets out the activities that occur at the sites.10 The compressor stations have turbine driven compressors which facilitate the efficient utilisation of the pipeline and the Block Valve serves as a safety device to enable the pipeline to be shut down in an emergency. Preventative and corrective maintenance and repairs are also carried on at the sites which are equipped and staffed to meet those needs and activities.

[20] The activities at the sites do not involve any refining or purifying of the gas that is supplied for transport by the pipeline.11 The gas is pressurised by the compressors so as to facilitate its transportation along the pipeline.12 Ms Mallitt affirms that processing the gas involves changing its composition by removing impurities which are in it when it is removed from underground and that the appellant does not undertake any gas processing activities at the subject sites.13 Ms Mallitt is the Manager, Field Services North East for the corporate group of which the appellant is the presently relevant manifestation.

[21] Mr Mark Lewis Fothergill is the General Manager Infrastructure Strategy and Engineering for the corporate group. Mr Fothergill describes coal seam gas extraction and processing. He also describes gas transportation and affirms that the pipeline is operated for the sole purpose of transportation of gas.14 The pipeline does not process gas.15 The activities conducted by the appellant at the pipeline “are limited to activities for the purpose of the safe transportation of gas”.16

10 Exhibit 2 [14] and following.

11 Exhibit 2 [43].

12 Exhibit 2 [44].

13 Exhibit 2 [45].

14 Exhibit 3 [13].

15 Exhibit 3 [14].

16 Exhibit 3 [15].

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[22] Mr Matt Magregor Newton is a mechanical engineer and the Manager, Commercial, Transmission East Coast for the corporate group. Mr Newton affirms that the pipeline is

“a transportation service for producers of gas”.17 Mr Newton states that:

“42. The infrastructure at the Sites does not include any equipment which purifies the gas, for example, by particulate or coalescing filters or otherwise process the gas.”18

[23] Mr Lee Vohland provided an affidavit19 and gave oral evidence. Mr Vohland is the Corporate and Community Support General Manager of the respondent. Mr Vohland holds the degree of Bachelor of Business, majoring in local government and has over 40 years experience in local government. He sets out the history relevant to the present appeals and various rating categories in which the land might be arguably included as well as land use codes. On pages 168 and 169 of the exhibits to his affidavit, exhibits LV-10 and LV-11 are copies of letters dated 19 November 2009 to the respondent from the appellant’s corporate group. They relate to the Kogan Compressor Station and the Block Valve. They state the writer’s belief at that time of the correct rating category of those blocks. It is not contended that these letters should affect the Court’s decision in the present appeals.

The rating category for which the appellant contends

[24] The appellant contends that the correct rating categories for the five appeal parcels are as follows:

Lot 1 on RP 172984, Dalby Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Wambo, Rate Code 2, Category 22, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Regional Centre Locality – Wambo (002/22)

Lot 1 on RP 172983, Kogan Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality (002/23)

Lot 1 on RP 118571, Block Valve, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality (002/23)

Lot 17 on BWR 797, Yuleba Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality (002/24)

Lot 1 on RP 186244, Condamine Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality (002/24)

17 Exhibit 4 [14].

18 Exhibit 4 [42].

19 Exhibit 5.

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[25] These categories appear in the respondent’s Revenue Statement 2012-201320 in the following form:

Category Description Identification

22 – Industrial, Transport and Storage – Regional Centre Locality – Wambo

Land used for industrial, transport or storage purposes in the former Wambo Shire and the locality of Dalby, which is not otherwise categorised

To which the following primary land use codes apply or should apply:

28-Warehouses and Bulk Stores 29-Transport Terminal

30-Service Station

31-Oil Depots and Refinery 33-Builders Yards, Contractors Yard

34-Cold Store, Iceworks 35-General Industry 36-Light Industry

37-Noxious/Offensive Industry (including abattoir)

23 – Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality

Land used for industrial, transport or storage purposes in the locality of Chinchilla, which is not otherwise categorised

To which the following primary land use codes apply or should apply:

28-Warehouses and Bulk Stores 29-Transport Terminal

30-Service Station

31-Oil Depots and Refinery 33-Builders Yards, Contractors Yard

34-Cold Store, Iceworks 35-General Industry 36-Light Industry

37-Noxious/Offensive Industry (including abattoir)

24 – Industrial, Transport

and Storage – Town Locality Land used for industrial, transport or storage purposes in the localities of Jandowae, Miles, Tara and Wandoan which is not otherwise categorised

To which the following primary land use codes apply or should apply:

28-Warehouses and Bulk Stores 29-Transport Terminal

30-Service Station

31-Oil Depots and Refinery 33-Builders Yards, Contractors Yard

34-Cold Store, Iceworks 35-General Industry 36-Light Industry

37-Noxious/Offensive Industry (including abattoir)

[26] The appeals were conducted on the basis that the land use codes set out in the

“Identification” column were not determinative. The respondent relied on the word

“pipelines” in category 4-30. If it is not successful in this, there is no dispute that the categories in Rate Code 2 – Commercial and Industrial, namely categories 22, 23 and 24

20 Exhibit LV-2 of Exhibit 5 at pages 27-28.

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will be applicable for the subject blocks which are located in the areas described as Wambo, Chinchilla and Miles.

Category 4-30

[27] The evidence is all one way in that the subject land is not used for the extraction or processing of gas. The “Description” in 4-30, read so as to ascertain the ordinary, natural meaning of the words, uses “pipelines” in the context of the remaining relevant words of the “Description” after the reference to gas extraction or processing, namely purposes

“ancillary or associated with” gas extraction/processing “such as … pipelines”.

[28] The relevant sites on the pipeline would be within this category if, as the respondent contends, they are for purposes ancillary or associated with gas extraction or processing.

[29] Extraction of the gas will relate to taking it from the geological structure holding it.

Processing of the gas would refer to the operations of purifying the gas. It is not disputed that these sites are used for the transportation of gas21 which is not extracting or processing gas so attention must be directed to whether this transportation is ancillary or associated with gas extraction or processing.

[30] This will be a question of fact and degree. In Lizzio & Anor v The Council of the Municipality of Ryde22 Gibbs CJ was considering selling of flowers and the use of land for a dwelling house. The question was whether the sale of flowers was incidental to the use of premises for a dwelling house.23

[31] In Koala Motels Pty Ltd v Chief Licensing Inspector24 Muirhead J said:

“It is important to note that the word ‘ancillary’ has a special meaning. It means less than supplementary or supplemental to – it means ‘subservient’ or ‘subordinate’ the derivation being from the Latin ‘ancillaris’ ― ‘ancilla’ being a handmaid.”25

[32] In Miller v Sutherland Shire Council26 Bignold J said:

“The physical and visual separation of the proposed carport from the existing dwelling- house does not, in my judgment, deprive the carport of its quality or character of being ancillary to the existing dwelling-house erected on the subject land. In so holding I am using the term ‘ancillary’ either according to its acquired meaning in town planning contexts of ‘incidental, subordinate or subservient’ or according to its ordinary dictionary meaning (for example, the Macquarie Dictionary) of ‘accessory’ or ‘auxiliary’.”27

[33] In Toner Design Pty Ltd v Newcastle City Council28 Basten JA said, at page 206:

“It has long been accepted that the exercise of characterisation in such circumstances is one of fact, often involving an evaluative judgment.”

21 Respondent’s Statement of Facts and Contentions in Response [6].

22 (1983) 155 CLR 211.

23 (1983) 155 CLR 211, 217.

24 18 ALR 12.

25 18 ALR 12, 14.

26 (1993) 130 LGERA 286.

27 (1993) 130 LGERA 286, 295.

28 (2013) 198 LGERA 203.

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At page 207, his Honour said:

‘paragraph (a) – ‘ancillary to’

Paragraph (a) requires more than interdependence; it requires a dominant and subservient relationship. Thus, for a development to be ‘ancillary to’ another development, it must not merely coexist with, but must serve the purposes of, the other development. If a sewerage treatment plant were proposed for land involving a residential development, it might well be ancillary to that development if it took and processed sewerage emanating from the use of the residential development. On the other hand, if the plant were designed to assist in meeting the needs of other buildings in the area, although its construction might be subservient to the dominant purpose of residential development, its wider function might mean it was not ancillary to that particular development. It might not qualify as ancillary if it had a not insignificant extraneous purpose.

Secondly, the concept of ‘ancillary to’ involves matters of size and scale. Thus, two developments each of which was of significant scale in its own right might not demonstrate the relevant relationship of one being dominant and the other being subservient thereto.

Examples are not necessarily helpful because the factors to be taken into account will vary as between cases. Broadly speaking, however, the factors to be taken into account will depend on planning considerations and not, for example, relative financial returns to the owner or occupier of the site.”

These comments, in the context of a planning regulation, are useful for present purposes.

[34] The word “ancillary” is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary29 as something which is accessory or auxiliary, a subsidiary or helping thing. It defines “associate” as, inter alia, to connect by some relation, as in thought and to join as a companion, partner or ally.

[35] In Kia Australia Pty Ltd v Chief Executive Officer of Customs30 Finkelstein J said:

“I can now turn to the meaning of the word "associated". To arrive at a meaning that requires a choice between several ordinary meanings it is appropriate to adopt that meaning which better carries out the objects of the Act: Armstrong v Clark [1957] 2 QB 391. It is also necessary to avoid irrational and illogical consequences: R v Skeen and Freeman (1859) 169 ER 1182.

The purpose for including as a component of the price of imported goods payments that are made to an agent who is also an agent of or associated with the vendor of goods or the supplier of services as a component of the price of the imported goods is to ensure that duties of customs are imposed on the actual price of those goods. That is the reason why the agency or association must be in respect of the imported goods or in respect of the supply of other goods or services whose value would be taken into account in determining the price of the imported goods. This reason suggests that the association must be something more than a mere "connection" between the agent and the vendor or supplier. It also suggests that an agent to whom a commission is paid will relevantly be "associated with"

the vendor or supplier if the agent and the vendor or supplier are acting together or have some common purpose in relation to the goods referred to in s 155(2)(a)(i) or the services referred to in s 155(2)(b)(i).

In this regard the Oxford English Dictionary provides a more useful definition of

"associate" than does the Macquarie Dictionary. One meaning that the Oxford English Dictionary attributes to the word "associate" is: "to join (persons, or one person with another), in common purpose, action, or condition; to link together, unite, combine, ally, confederate." It is in this sense that the word "associated" in s 155(2)(e)(ii) should be understood. Thus, to establish an association will require something more than a connection between the agent and the vendor. In particular, where the connection is a shareholding, at least where that shareholding is less than a controlling interest, there will not be an association for the purposes of the section.

29 Revised Third Edition.

30 (1998) 86 FCR 473.

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Moreover, to give the word "associated" a meaning that would have the effect that a mere holding of shares by the agent in the vendor would constitute an association is to give the word a meaning that will produce unreasonable results. Why should it be supposed that the Parliament intended that any connection between the agent and the vendor however remote, should affect the character of the commission that is paid to the agent? Take as an example the case where the agent provides a variety of services that are quite unrelated to the importation of goods. Should the fact that the agent performs some of those services for the vendor create an association between them? What if the agent is also a seller of goods? If the agent sells goods to the vendor should that result in an association for the purposes of s 155(2)(e)(ii)? Take another example that is close to the facts of this case. Assume an agent who also invests some of its funds in securities. Should an investment in the securities of the vendor result in an association for the purposes of the section? In my view to give the word "associated" a meaning that would produce the consequence that an association is created in any of the above circumstances is both unwarranted and unnecessary. It is not a meaning that would further the objects of the legislation.

It follows that the Tribunal was in error in the conclusion that it reached. It was not open for the Tribunal to conclude that merely because Itochu held 2% of the issued capital of Kia the two companies were associated within the meaning of s 155(2)(e)(ii). Further, even if that shareholding did amount to an association it was still necessary for the Tribunal to consider whether that association was in relation to the imported goods or in relation to the other goods referred to in s 155(2)(a)(i) or in relation to any of the services referred to in s 155(2)(b)(i). The Tribunal did not consider this issue at all. If it had it would not have been open to it to find the relevant relationship merely because of the shareholding.”31

Transport

[36] The word “transport” as used in category 2-22 is not defined in the Revenue Statement so will have its ordinary meaning, being the act of carrying or conveying something from one place to another.32 As Mr Newton stated in his affidavit when referring to the pipeline:

“14. In simple terms, APA’s RBP operates to provide a transportation service for producers of gas from point A to B”.33

The RBP referred to is the Roma to Brisbane pipeline.34

[37] The compression of gas and the block valve are things carried out and, in the case of the block valve, existing in connection with the transportation of gas. The activities which are and, in the case of the block valve, which are designed to be carried out on the subject land are not things which are “ancillary” to the extraction of processing of gas as these things are not subordinate or subservient to either of those things. The activities on the subject land do not serve the purpose of extraction or processing of gas.

[38] In relation to the concept of “associated”, the requirement that there be a joining as a companion, partner or ally in a common purpose or action is not satisfied. The appellant’s purpose of providing a transportation service is not the purpose of those who extract and/or process the gas.

31 (1998) 86 FCR 473, 480-481.

32 The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1989.

33 Exhibit 4 [14].

34 Exhibit 4 [6].

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[39] Reading category 4-30 with a view to finding its normal meaning supports the view that where the word “pipelines” is used the pipelines referred to will be those used for purposes ancillary or associated with gas extraction or processing so that the existence of a pipeline and its elements such as the compressor stations and the block valve, does not of itself bring the land upon which it is built into this category. The conclusion indicated by the authorities is the same as that suggested by a reading of the words used and no forced construction occurs.

[40] The pipeline, of which the appeal properties are parts, is itself a large structure and, as a matter of scale, not something readily thought of as ancillary or associated with gas extraction or processing.

[41] The appellant finds support for its contentions in the definition used in the Revenue Statement for “Coal Mine”.35 A coal mine is defined as:

“Land that was used or is used:-

For purposes ancillary or associated with a coal mine such as, for example but not limited to, washing down, stockpiling, haulage, loading, buffer zone (dust and noise), water storage and rehabilitation; …”

[42] The appellant submits that haulage is that which occurs on the mine site and that all of the examples of what is within the meaning of ancillary or associated are things which take place on the mine site. Consistent interpretation within the Revenue Statement indicates that what is within category 4-30 would be pipelines proximate to the extraction or processing sites. The plan in Exhibit 2, at page 172, shows that the subject sites are well removed from any other plant.

[43] Gas is transported through the pipeline, the purposes of which are the purposes of the activities on the subject lands. The category into which the respondent placed these properties is, for the reasons given, not able to be confirmed. In the case of all of these properties, the category into which they must be placed for the purposes of the Revenue Statement 2012-2013 are the categories contended for by the appellant.

[44] The five appeals must be allowed. The rating category of the land is changed to the relevant part of Code 2 in respect of each of the subject blocks, categories 2-22, 2-23 and 2-24 as appropriate to the location of individual blocks.

35 Exhibit 5 p 19-20.

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13 Orders

1. The appeals are allowed.

2. The rating category of the land is changed as follows:

Lot 1 on RP 172984, Dalby Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Wambo, Rate Code 2, Category 22, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Regional Centre Locality – Wambo. Rate Code 2-22.

Lot 1 on RP 172983, Kogan Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality. Rate Code 2-23.

Lot 1 on RP 118571, Block Valve, located within the area of the former Chinchilla Shire, Rate Code 2, Category 23, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Major Town Locality. Rate Code 2-23.

Lot 17 on BWR 797, Yuleba Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality. Rate Code 2-24.

Lot 1 on RP 186244, Condamine Compressor Station, located within the area of the former Shire of Miles, Rate Code 2, Category 24, Industrial, Transport and Storage – Town Locality. Rate Code 2-24.

3. Any application for costs is to be filed and served within 15 business days of the publication of these reasons and any reply is to be filed and served within 15 business days of the application.

WA ISDALE MEMBER OF THE LAND COURT

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References