News

Endangered frogs inspire council vs developer court case

Endangered froglets have sparked a battle between the council and a developer. (This is not an endangered frog, but we couldn't resist).
Endangered froglets have sparked a battle between the council and a developer. (This is not an endangered frog, but we couldn't resist). Contributed: Chris Otto

A COLONY of endangered frogs is at the centre of a long-running court battle between a major Tweed developer and the local council.

The lawsuit, which is currently before the NSW Supreme Court, stems from stormwater drainage issues at a 27ha Kingscliff block, owned by Gales Holdings.

The court heard the graveman of Gales' complaint was that the stormwater runoff that flowed onto the land caused substantial "wetting up", which from about 1999, provided a habitat for the protected Wallum froglet.

As a result, Gales was forced to set aside part of the land as a perpetual habitat, a condition the company says, resulted in a significant diminution of land value.

In March, 2011, the Chief Judge in Equity found that from about May 2004, the council had been and continued to be guilty of nuisance by discharging untreated stormwater from its drains onto the land and awarded Gales $600,000 in damages.

The council was also ordered to pay 30% of Gales' costs of treating the stormwater runoff, if the company was required to maintain a habitat for the frog.

Another $150,000 was awarded to Gales for the costs of expert advice associated with the building of the drain and the council was ordered to pay 75% of the court costs.

What followed was an appeal from Gales - calling for the court determine how much the land value had diminished since the frogs moved in and a cross appeal from the Tweed Shire Council.

Ultimately the Court of Appeal ruled that while the council had "committed nuisance" from before 1999, the arrival of the Wallum froglets on the land was not reasonably foreseeable as a consequence the council was not liable for damages.

The court found the head damages relating to the 2004 drainage works should still stand but the order for council to pay $600,000 in damages was set aside.

Topics:  kingscliff tweed shire council



Best hotel in the world found in Cabarita

FIRST CLASS: Cabarita Beach's Halcyon House has taken out the top gong for best hotel in the world.

Halcyon House named best hotel.

Driver gets jail after pursuit ends in flames on the M1

YOU'RE FIRED: A car burns on Pacific Motorway at Wooyung after police deployed road spikes to end a pursuit that began at South Grafton.

Jail time for teen who led police on car chase.

Competition winner to be revealed

Mt Marino scenic rim sunset. I Am Summer photographic competition entry.

Judges to decide winner of I Am Summer photographic competition

Local Partners

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Amber Heard 'smitten' with Elon Musk

Amber Heard

ACTRESS is reportedly excited about going public with new boyfriend

New doco argues ‘OJ Simpson is innocent, and I can prove it’

O.J. Simpson

NEW documentary series claims to have found “missing evidence".

Sunny days ahead for cult 1980's rockers

SUNNY SIDE UP: Tweed's favourite sons the Sunnyboys are back on the road in 2017.

The Sunnyboys are back and ready to rock

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

Ocean views of Coolangatta

1405/3 McLean Street, Coolangatta

Check out this week's feature property.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Expansion plan pays off

Mark Stapleton, Sharon Styman and Peter Ross from Investrent Property Management are going from strength to strength after opening an office in Murwillumbah.

Murwillumbah move a winner for property management team

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!