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No grounds for Georges River Council to challenge Land and Environment Court decision regarding childcare centre

Posted 16 August 2016 by (Hurstville News)

At a meeting of Georges River Council last night, Administrator John Rayner determined that Council would not appeal the Land and Environment Court’s decision to grant consent to the development of a childcare centre at 45 Ogilvie Street in Peakhurst.

Mr Rayner acknowledged the history of community concern about the matter, and thanked community members for attending the meeting.
“It is important to Council and the community that the reasons for not challenging the decision of the Land and Environment Court are clear and transparent.
“On expert legal advice from Mr Ian Hemmings SC, there is no error on a question of law with respect to this proposal.
“Given that an appeal made by Council against the decision of the Court would be limited to a question of law, there is therefore no justification for spending ratepayers money challenging a decision which is unlikely to result in a different outcome for residents.”
Mr Rayner said that any appeal to the Court’s decision would have to be lodged by 18 August, 2016, which is why an extraordinary meeting of Council was called. A community member spoke about concerns relating to traffic impacts on residents and the nearby Peakhurst West Public School.
Mr Rayner thanked her for speaking and representing the community, and acknowledged that this would decision would be disappointing for some residents. “To pursue an appeal would not be in ratepayers’ interests,” he said.
“The expenditure of Council funds through appealing a decision that we have been advised would not be successful would constitute maladministration.
"Councils expenditure to date is in excess of $130,000. "An appeal would likely cost over $50,000 and Council would also be required to meet the court costs of the applicant, also likely to be in excess of $50,000."
For more information, visit Council’s website: www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au.

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