Aquaculture company suing Gladstone Ports Corporation

COURT ACTION: Clive Keenan is suing the Gladstone Ports Corporation.
COURT ACTION: Clive Keenan is suing the Gladstone Ports Corporation. Scottie Simmonds BUN310811CRA2

AN AQUACULTURE company is suing the Gladstone Ports Corporation, which runs the Port of Bundaberg, for actions it claims ruined the chance of it continuing to operate.

Clive Keenan, managing director of Coral Coast Mariculture (CCM), filed the papers in the Federal Court this week and served them on the ports corporation.

In a statement Dr Keenan said on May 14 last year the management of the port changed the locks on the company's seafood factory at the port.

"They did not provide a reasonable opportunity for CCM to remove its property," he said.

"In fact the Port of Bundaberg took away CCM's rights to sell the company's improvements, with the abrupt termination of the company's lease only days earlier, which they also did without providing any warning."

Dr Keenan said CCM bought the property in early 2006 as the base to conduct a Sustainable Regions-funded project to develop a soft-shell crab aquaculture farm.

The lease on the building was bought from receivers for $486,500 and the company then spent $1 million bringing the factory up to full AQIS export standards.

"After six years of continuous improvement, CCM's property at the Port of Bundaberg was equipped as a fully functional scallop and other seafood processing plant, complete with all necessary facilities but was lacking the capital required to launch and operate fully," Dr Keenan said.

The first directions hearing is scheduled in Brisbane for February 12, 2015.

The Gladstone Ports Corporation did not provide a comment when approached.

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