Council listened to legal advice

GYMPIE Mayor Ron Dyne said council had to be realistic when it came to assessing development applications.

“Everyone has the right to appeal if conditions are too much,” he said.

This was the reasoning behind council dropping some conditions from the Sunshine Coast Quarries’ Moy Pocket application.

Councillors went into committee on October 15, 2008 and decided to give Sunshine Coast Quarries the option to pay just under $200,000 towards the cost to upgrade Moy Pocket Road or supply road base.

Cr Dyne said he could not comment further until he could talk with other staff but remembered the development application was adequate at the time. “It has to be reasonable and relevant,” he said.

“Because it is a state strategic site council believes it (Moy Pocket Road) should be maintained by the State Government.”

Planning and Development Committee Chairman Cr Ian Petersen said back in 2008, councillors had to take into account there was a pending legal case by Sunshine Coast Quarries. He said it wasn’t that council simply left off some conditions because they had been asked to.

“The decision was made from the benefit of advice from qualified people, including town planners,” he said.

“Council doesn’t give up conditions on a whim,” Cr Petersen said

He said legal advice at the time was that council’s original conditions weren’t lawful.

“There’s a strong case the State Government should be stepping in here.”

Cr Petersen said being a site of state significance the quarry had a right to operate.

“Council has spent millions already. We’ve imposed the strongest conditions that are legally sustainable and forcible.

“Again we can refuse it but if we haven’t got good grounds the ratepayers would have to pay legal costs.”

Gympie Times

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