'Tip Chick' evicted from dump
TIN Can Bay’s popular “Tip Chick”, Jessica Milne, says Gympie Regional Council is about to drive her out of her tree – literally.
Now that she has been “tipped out” of the job she has done without any complaints from her customers, because council has found someone cheaper.
But that is apparently not good enough for the council, Ms Milne said this week, as she took some of her last looks around the dump which has been her livelihood and environmental passion since she took on the contract about six years ago.
Jessica said council has decided not to approve an extension of her contract, a decision it claims is its “option” under the contract.
But the enthusiastic recycler said it is wrong for council to assume that the “option” is council’s alone.
She said it is a mutual option and council has an obligation to show her the natural justice any Australian is entitled to expect under law – and that, she said, includes giving her a statement of reasons for the decision not to extend.
Council has now called tenders and found a cheaper alternative, but Jessica said this occurred after council made its decision not to extend her contract – and it is that decision which she said should not have been made in the first place, without good reason.
So now invites the Tin Can Bay community to attend a meeting and “last chance closing down sale” at the tip, prior to her formal eviction at 11.59am.
And, while they are there, she said she has plans to make sure council finds it just a little harder than they expect to “drive her out of her tree”.
She plans to fasten herself to the upper branches of the tree and stay there indefinitely, pending a review of her case.
“I had a meeting with (Mayor) Ron Dyne and I told him I would tie myself to the tree.
“He said, ‘That sounds like a threat’ and I said I was just telling him what I planned to do,” she said this week.
“I built the place up from nothing and I want to keep it going. This is my whole life,” she told The Gympie Times last month.
This week she said she wants reasons, because she said council must have some and as a public organisation, it owes a public explanation for its decision.
“I’ve built on the site and put in fencing at no cost to council. Every other dump had its sheds built by the council.
“I had a petition and lots of emails but it didn’t mean anything, according to council,” she said.