Gales win case against council
BUSINESSMAN Dr Stephen Segal has won yet another court case against Tweed Shire Council in a prolonged multi-million dollar battle to build a shopping centre development at the back of Kingscliff. The Segal family company Gales Holdings on Tuesday succeeded in a Land and Environment Court appeal against the council's refusal to allow it to temporarily graze cattle on the site of the old Kingscliff sewage treatment plant which it bought from the council. It is understood to be the 11th court win the company has had against the council following one million dollars of costs awarded against the council when it tried to rezone the land from special use as a sewage plant to industrial rather than commercial. The zoning has reverted to special use while Gales and the council continue to fight over the future of the land. Yesterday Dr Segal said he had "lost count" of the number of court wins Gales had chalked up but warned the court would remain the only avenue for development plans to be "considered properly" so long as the council administrators and management refused to talk with his company. "There are still very many issues and litigation afoot, not what Gales wants, but there is no alternative while council refuses to have meaningful discussions," he said. The council's general manager Mike Rayner said the latest court appeal had been defended because "our legal advice was that the use was not permitted under the zoning". Dr Segal claims 4000 jobs would be created and "hundreds of millions of dollars" fed into the Tweed if his company's plans for a "district centre" on the old sewerage plant site off Chinderah Road were approved. He said the council in the latest case argued it had no objection to the cattle grazing but the activity was prohibited on land zoned for special use as a sewage plant. "During the case the council's barrister argued it wasn't just about cattle but if Gales was successful they could put in plans for a district centre," Dr Segal said. "The judge considered the consequences of that but it apparently didn't influence his decision. "It's our belief these issues could be sorted out if there was proper will and discussions."