Council wins contempt case against property owner
THE Bundaberg Regional Council has won a court case against a local property owner, who has been ruled guilty of contempt of enforcement orders.
Debbie Lorraine Muller is ordered by the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland to pay the council's legal costs of $20,000 and a fine of $5000 by August 30.
According to the court documents Ms Muller's placed a relocatable house on her property at 22 Kolan St in 2014, and had the approval to do so.
The approval ended because Ms Muller did not complete the works necessary to have the house secured.
"For almost three years, the Bundaberg Regional Council has been endeavouring to variously encourage, demand, require and eventually coerce Ms Muller to either remove the house or obtain a new building development approval and undertake the works necessary to complete and secure the house," the document said.
"The Court has made enforcement orders requiring steps be taken to rectify the unlawful building works.
"Ms Muller accepts that she has not complied with the enforcement laws."
Judge Nicole Kefford ruled that Ms Muller will have to remove anything connected to the building from the property.
She said there needed to be a punishment for contempt to keep the community's faith in enforcement orders.
"In my view, appropriate punishment for the contempt would be an order that the respondent is fined $5000.
"I will also order that the respondent, Ms Muller, by herself, her servants or agents from from the land...situated at 22 Kolan St Bundaberg, and do not replace all things in connection with the relocated building that has been placed on the land by the 30th of August, 2019, and order that respondent, Ms Muller pay the applicant's cost of an incidental to the proceeding fixed at $20,000," Judge Kefford said.