Council in CMC inquiry

ANOTHER complaint against the council has been lodged with the Crime and Misconduct Commission after the CMC urged the complainants earlier this month to file their documents “within the next two weeks”.

The complainants are five Hervey Bay resident ratepayers who are concerned about alleged former and current council practices in “supporting and condoning” the common high rise building practice of launching sheet pile steel anchors under neighbouring properties.

This method of building basement car parks under high rises has been used for decades here to anchor new buildings sitting on sandy soil.

The anchors are horizontally “drilled” from the building site, across and under the neighbouring boundary nearest the basement car park.

The file that went to the CMC on October 20 accuses the former Hervey Bay City Council and the Fraser Coast Regional Council of supporting and condoning “trespass, council corruption, dishonesty, collusion and fraud”.

While the complaint singles out Patrick McNamara’s brick bungalow at Urangan on the Esplanade as having been a victim of sheet piling anchors from a high rise building next door, it also asks the CMC to order the council to run an audit of potential similarly affected properties.

The Chronicle emailed questions to the council, to which it replied:

“The council believes it is a civil matter between two parties.

“But it does take the matter seriously and has referred it to its lawyers.”

Mr McNamara is currently waiting for a Supreme Court hearing date for his case against parties involved in building the high rise next door to him.

In exchange for allowing the developer of the neighbouring high rise to place a sewer manhole in his property, the developer installed a fence and gate to “match” the fence around the high rise.

But no monetary compensation was ever paid to Mr McNamara.

Mr McNamara says his home has suffered “major damage” from the sheet piling technique. An engineer’s report quotes the damage to be worth about $255,000.

The five complainants are asking the CMC, after the proposed audit, to ensure the council notifies prospective buyers of affected properties, re-evaluate the properties backdated to the sheet piling “trespass”, adjust the rates accordingly and instigates legal proceedings against the “perpetrators of the trespass”.

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