Developer sues defiant councillor
TWEED Greens Party councillor Katie Milne is in legal hot water, with billionaire developer Bob Ell suing her for alleged defamation.
But the defiant councillor, who is fiercely opposed to two new townships proposed by Mr Ell’s company Leda Holdings at Cobaki Lakes and Kings Forest, has vowed to continue to comment on the projects.
Cr Milne is the second Tweed Greens Party councillor to face a lawsuit from Mr Ell.
Former Greens Party councillor Henry James, who did not stand again for election after the entire council was sacked by the NSW Government in 2005, faced legal action understood to be also related to the Kings Forest project. The case was later settled quietly.
Cr Milne has retained a Sydney barrister to defend her when the case is mentioned in the NSW Supreme Court today, but when asked how confident she was about fighting the case, she said yesterday, “I better not say too much”.
She vowed however not to be silenced on the two huge developments. “I’ve sought advice. I’ve got no private gain in commenting on those developments so I can continue to comment.”
Mr Ell’s statement of claim alleging defamation seeks damages plus costs, for a letter that Cr Milne emailed to media outlets last March.
Mr Ell has told Sydney media the legal action came after “protracted negotiations to seek a public apology” failed.
Cr Milne was ordered to pay costs to organisers of the Rally Australia event in the Tweed in 2009 after a costly injunction failed to stop it.
Her success in earlier court cases to stop a marina at Chinderah won her applause from many in Tweed.