Legal row brews over Imbil sports park

DEFIANT: Motorsport park developer Scott Canty is considering legal action after Gympie Regional Council rejected his plan for the Mary Valley.
DEFIANT: Motorsport park developer Scott Canty is considering legal action after Gympie Regional Council rejected his plan for the Mary Valley. Greg Miller

IMBIL multi-sports park developer Scott Canty says he and Gympie Regional Council are on a collision course, with legal action probable.

Councillors last week rejected Mr Canty's controversial plan to build a major off-road motorcycle and 4WD park on private land near Borumba Dam.

"We're seeing lawyers too," planning portfolio councillor Ian Petersen said in response.

Mr Canty says councillors jumped the gun and rejected his proposal before they had the chance to consider the final version.

He also says council staff were not qualified to make some of the decisions involved in the rejection and Mary Valley councillor Julie Walker should have declared a conflict of interest because of a cousin's competing off-road motorcycle operation nearby in the Kenilworth district.

Cr Walker, who seconded the rejection motion, denied any impropriety and said she had discussed the matter with fellow councillors and staff.

"I had discussed that particular issue with councillors and planning staff in a prior meeting," she said.

"My cousin does have a bike park - and I don't know whether it's council approved or not, because I haven't talked to that particular cousin for about 10 years or so.

"He doesn't live in the same building as I do.

"He's not even in the same shire as I am.

"They just said 'No,' that's got nothing to do with it. So I had to be advised by my associates in the council."

It is understood Cr Walker's cousin operates a recreational motorcycle facility in the nearby Kenilworth district, but it is not known if this is council approved or if it is similar in style to the Canty proposal.

Mr Canty says he has no problem with the Kenilworth operation, but says he believes Cr Walker should have declared a conflict and taken no further part in any decision on his proposal.

Planning portfolio councillor Ian Petersen said it was up to individual councillors to determine if they were breaching any conduct standard.

He said the council also faced deadlines and needed information from Mr Canty to determine if it could stop the clock on assessment.

Mr Canty also claims council staff involved in the process were not properly qualified.

Gympie Times

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