Auctioneer ordered to pay $63k in roadworthiness dispute

Shane Cutting. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Shane Cutting. Photo: Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

A NEWCASTLE-based car auctioneer has been ordered to pay Shane Cutting of Bent St Car Mart $63,000 after a civil court in Grafton this week found the auctioneer had breached a contract.

At the centre of the dispute were about 30 cars Mr Cutting sent on consignment to Valley Motor Auctions in Newcastle that the auctioneer refused to pay for.

The cars were deemed roadworthy by Reimer's One Stop Auto in South Grafton. About a dozen of them were later found to be un-roadworthy in Newcastle.

Appearing on behalf of Valley Motor Auctions, Simon Priestly questioned both Mr Cutting and Harry Reimer at length.

He asked how it was possible for the cars to be issued with roadworthy certificates in Grafton and subsequently have them fail roadworthy tests in Newcastle.

"You knew at the time the vehicles were sent to my client that a significant number of them were not roadworthy," Mr Priestly said to Mr Cutting, who replied "No".

Mr Cutting said the auction house continued to try to sell the cars after it tried charging him storage on the basis the vehicles were not roadworthy.

He said he bid on the cars "to prove they were still trying to sell them after they were trying to charge me storage for them".

The storage fee Valley Motor Auctions presented Mr Cutting was in excess of $30,000.

The managing director of Valley Motor Auctions, Graham Gamer, appeared via video link from Mt Gambier where he was on holidays.

"I believe there is sufficient evidence to constitute a fraud of my company," said Mr Gamer.

He read out a list of damages to the cars, including rust damage and faulty electronics.

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Reimer was called to the stand.

He said he had been the subject of an RTA investigation, which had found him not at fault.

However, Mr Priestly continued to ask detailed questions about the issuing of the certificates.

On Wednesday, Magistrate Linden found Motor Valley Auctions was in breach of its contract with Mr Cutting.

He awarded $38,000 to be paid to Mr Cutting over the claim the contract had been breached, and $25,000 in damages.

Costs were reserved.

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