Wetlands, Property, Biodiversity, Evidence, Inspections, Land Use, Wildlife

This was the second of three cases concerning the unauthorised and pre-emptive clearing of native vegetation to make way for a development, which ultimately was never approved.

In first instance of this case, the Caloundra City Council sought an injunction to prevent the respondent from further felling of trees on the property, after approximately 4.8 hectares were cleared on 21 July 2004.

This particular action was brought in response to the Council dismissing an appeal by the developer against refusal by the council to approve a development application for a residential subdivision.

Titanium argued that the Council’s refusal was unreasonable, considering what has occurred on the land, since the rezoning conditions were created in 1996. However, the court held that none of these occurrences were inconsistent with the degree of flexibility commonly found during the long-term application of a planning document.

The court held that the lands were appropriately classified as wetlands, given their physical appearance and the creatures which inhabited them. The conflicts with the planning documents were held to be major and substantial, such that they could not be overcome for a successful approval. The court dismissed the appeal.


(Contribution:  Case provided by Chloe Foyster from QUT)