Lake King case to continue

The West Australian
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A Lake King family who took legal action to force a Chinese-backed company to honour an $8 million contract to buy their farm will pursue more than $1 million in damages through the WA Court of Appeal.

Lake King couple Ian and Carolyn Tonkin won a Supreme Court battle to enforce the sale contract with Heilongjiang Feng Agricultural, but their damages claim was rejected.

HFA is scheduled to pay the bulk of the $8 million to the Tonkins next week, more than four years after it signed off on the deal.

The settlement will occur days before Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the purchase expires.

The Supreme Court ruled last month that a $660,000 payment to the Tonkins from Vicstock Grain, an entity with business links to HFA, should count towards the purchase price. The Tonkins will challenge that ruling in the Court of Appeal.

They will also seek an increase on an interest payment of $480,000 awarded by Master Craig Sanderson based on the long delay in settling the purchase.

Master Sanderson dealt with the practicalities of the sale at a hearing this week.

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