For Like minded people who like to see-
Council and Planning Minister Hazzard have said that “overlays” are not a threat to home or land owners, and that they are only an “indicative” of potential environmental concerns.
However they might have a hard time trying to convince the elderly disability pensioner, who owns this small rural residential block in Bingi in the Eurobodalla shire. (or her even more disabled husband)
It all began when a council dog-catcher entered over their locked gate while they were away, taking photos of their personal possessions surrounded by re-growth, and utilizing informal overlay maps to serve the owners with a “prevention notice” alleging ‘potential’ pollution.
Council produced overlay maps indicating they ‘may’ have acid sulfate soil, and be “sensitive lands”. Despite council not even being able to produce an official NSW planning generated map of acid sulfate soils for the court.
However council testified In court that the defendants ‘did’ have acid sulfate soil in contact with metal, and contended that it may somehow react with metal “waste”, like their working tractor, boat, caravan, shipping containers, ride on mower, building materials, BBQ and artworks etc, and cause pollution.
The court agreed with this, and stated that councils now have the power (under the POEO ACT) to redefine any such personal possessions as a “illegal waste” as long as council deem them to be old, weathered or derelict. It was apparently also agreed that the owners had too many such possessions, and therefore it was deemed to be an “unlawful waste facility” (a criminal offence).
Council also stated in a letter to the couple that their possessions could damage the native vegetation by casting a “shadow” on the vegetation.
On Monday council cut through the locked gate chain of their property (obviously thoughtful not to bother the owners) to prepare to remove the “waste” at the owner expense using contractors. I happened by to capture the moment of their victory on camera.
Ironically the owners got their professional soil test results back the same day, and apparently there is no acid sulfate soil. Slightly alkaline actually, with ph of 9.
Another irony is that the lady owner is an artist, sculptor and teacher in the use of recycled products (having exhibited all over the world)
So presumably, any Farm or home owner in the State who is either E-zoned or overlayed, with possessions that are “old or weathered” are now potential criminals!
PS. The council failed to produce three quotes from contractors, which was required by the court to be shown to the landowner. Or get the owners “agreement” for the (unseen) contract, as was also required.
The contractor has now started and has also taken items specifically exempted by the court (such as a registered trailer!).
Council have already run up a bill for them of around $100 000, and counting.
Does anyone know a sympathetic lawyer who could put a stop work on this disgrace?