HEFTY FINES FOR ILLEGAL INNES PARK NORTH FORESHORE WORKS

An Innes Park North couple who undertook unlawful earth works on their oceanfront property were fined a total of $30,000 and ordered to pay a total of $40,000 in court costs when they appeared in the Magistrate’s Court in Maroochydore earlier this month.

The couple were found guilty of contravening a Bundaberg Regional Council Enforcement Notice requiring them to remove a retaining wall and earth pad from the foreshore area of their property and replace and restore an area damaged during unlawful operational works in 2008.

The matter was pursued by Bundaberg Regional Council after it identified a number of breaches of the Planning Scheme resulting from the unauthorised work which had been carried out in a sensitive location abutting a Marine Park.

The couple did not appeal the provisions of Council’s Enforcement Notice and subsequently failed to undertake the requested remedial work by the required date.

Council’s Planning & Development portfolio spokesperson, Cr. Ross Sommerfeld said the illegal work which involved the construction of a house pad and the utilisation of foreshore rocks had occurred in 2008.

Cr. Sommerfeld said the Magistrate had found there was no building approval, no house built and the intention to build a house had been abandoned by the defendants.

“The defendants had failed to comply with Council’s Enforcement Notice requiring the removal of the illegal work,” said Cr. Sommerfeld. He said the couple had been found guilty, convicted and fined.

Division 5 representative, Cr. Greg Barnes said the couple had received fines of $20,000 and $10,000 respectively and both had been ordered to pay $20,000 each ($40,000) in court costs. They were also directed to comply with an Enforcement Order.

Cr. Barnes said Council had received numerous complaints from members of the community when the illegal work had been identified.

“The community quite rightly expects Council to enforce its legislation and take action when serious and blatant breaches occur and this is especially the case in environmentally sensitive areas”, Cr. Barnes said.

“The magistrate’s decision to impose fines and award costs to the amount of $70,000 reinforces the serious nature of the breaches”, he said.

Magistrate Dennis Beutel is currently finalising the terms of the Enforcement Order.

Date: 26-10-2012

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