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How #Mareeba Council deals with #Airport hangar leaseholders

What is going on at #Mareeba Airport?

To all those with airfield interests: you should be very concerned. Over the past seven months I have been subjected to a relentless campaign regarding the normal occupancy of my Hangar, currently culminating in a Lock-out, Lease termination and proposed eviction.
In June last year I wrote a letter to the Finance dept, having taken pensioner discounts off my Rate Notice, since I am a lease holder pensioner (of 81 yrs).
I also mentioned caretaking (which I wasn’t).
The result of this letter, without phone call, query, explanation or any discussion from MSC about the issue, was a Form 7 and threat of eviction if I didn’t stop residing there, issued by C.E.O. Franks.
The MSC lawyer was immediately advised..NOT residing, and the building remains “an aircraft storage facility”, the generic term for a hangar and its normal uses. This should have been the end of it, but NO.
C.E.O. Franks, (who I have never met) has conducted a vicious personal vendetta at ratepayer expense, under the guise of “compliance issues”, some of which are “homemade” fallacious and capricious nonsense.
Somehow I have fallen foul of this bullying bureaucrat, for reasons yet undetermined. I allege that he has an agenda, and I can only surmise, a corrupt one at that That is now not in doubt. So far this has all been targeted at myself only, but these so called “compliance” issues could be applied to all hangars on the airfield.
Until now I have done only the same in my hangar as at this airfield for the last 40 years.
So much for “occupancy for my quiet enjoyment” in my retirement years.
As given: Elder Abuse, discrimination, lies, denial of certain rights, lack of due process and abuse of power.
And an illegal covert cctv camera for Invasion of Privacy. Franks has no limits.
UPDATE: As of today, 4 Feb. my hangar is deemed to be “abandoned”, and MSC can sell my hangar and contents after 14 days.
Now QCAT and the Courts will have to decide. My fate. Or his.
Supreme Court Action:
Well #mareeba council solicitors are trying to “…get more time…”. Reckon, if Richard was locked out they had more than enough to reply.
Change to date proposed is the following Friday the 26th March.
MTF More to Follow.
#mareeba council will have to appear in the Cairns Supreme Court next Friday, the 12th of March.
The game is up. Explanations are now due.
Richard made 11 written requests for matters to be discussed over the last few months.
The Court is a public hearing.
The good thing about going to court.
The shenanigan activity will be made public and people can repeat the short comings with immunity because it has been made by way of a court proceedings.
FAR NORTH councils have recorded the most complaints across regional Queensland in the 12 months to June 2020, a new report has shown.
The latest Office of the Independent Assessor report released shows that 143 complaints about Far North councils were lodged with the office followed by Wide Bay Burnett at 105.
So why???????
The Mareeba mayor is saying…they the council have had few complaints and they the council are robust and transparent.
The stories are not adding up, just look at the fiasco at the Mareeba airport.
Then who is telling fibby wibs?
Must have had lessons from Annastacia & Co Pty Ltd..
Here’s what #Mayor Tippin says about complaints:
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said that while the council “has had very few complaints referred to the OIA, the robust process ensures that councillors are transparent and accountable”.

Gathering at #Mareeba Council Chambers on 16th February:

Richard outside #Mareeba Shire on Tuesday [16th February] morning calling for Franks to go or be removed for his scurrilous behaviour.
No new news on Wednesday, except for a call from #mareeba Council solicitor on direction from #franks, refusing to allow Mareeba Council or the Mayor to answer questions.
The question asked, a single one, was: “Why is Mareeba Shire refusing to talk to ratepayers?”
The solicitor, from Preston Law in Cairns, tried to put words in my mouth during the short “conversation”. Glad Juliananna CUDA, is not representing me!
This is the law firm who have not answered Richard’s letter of 8th February 2021.
Oh, by the way, Richard wrote to Council 11 times requesting a meeting/ reply/ conversation/ discussion/ explanation. All he got was a non-conclusive letter on 23rd December 2020 as a RTK/ FOI written by the compromised compliance officer – Schmuck. Preston Law said Richard should have written to them for a reply. Preston Law dodged the 8/2/21 letter, with no reply by 17th february.
No chance for a reply to any matter.
Read this pdf to see how Franks has dealt with Council matters in the past. This is Delatite Council in NE Victoria.

Activities to support Richard:
Well an interesting morning today.
I was asked to put a question to #Mayor Tippin.
She was asked as to how she represented ratepayers.
Expected a reasonable and workable answer, but NO a call by #franks and #mareeba council solicitors refusing ANY answers.
This demonstrates that Mayor #toppin has no intention of representing the #community.
ABC Cairns gave us air time this am. Discussed community representation by Councils and the failure of Mareeba Council to represent the community.
#Mareeba Shire Council is taking action against an 81 year old pensioner and has locked him out of his #hangar at the #airport.
The occupant, has requested explanations from Council CEO #Franks on eleven occasions [since September 2020], with no answer.
He arrived on 20th January 2021 to find his locks cut off and Council locks installed.
The occupant has been leasing the hangar site since 2016 and has a lease until 2037.
The Form 7 that were plastered on his door are for minor issues, which were requited prior to Christmas 2020, with one being requited in late 2016.
The #Mayor, Angela #Toppin, refuses talk to the individual and CEO #Franks, has forbidden any Councillor to have any involvement on the basis of being sub-judice.
There are no Court actions being taken against this individual by Council, just an unwarranted #administrative action.
Who runs this Council, the #elected #representatives, the #community representatives or an unelected CEO?
Visitor to Richard’s Hangar:
I’ve been in Richard’s hangar about three years ago. He keeps everything in very good order and his memorabilia make a valuable contribution to aviation. He should be congratulated for his collection and Council should encourage him to invite aviators and tourists to his hangar. Apart from being a gracious host and a Pilot with a great history, he is practically an institution at Mareeba airport.
The Council should go back to square one, declare a moratorium on action against Richard and restore his tenancy.
Australians need individuals like Richard, those that may not fit into a bureaucratic mould, but have ideas and enterprise. That spirit that made this country and inspires the free enterprise that gives us our prosperity.
As to the substance of Council’s objections to Richard I will pose the following:-

The Question.

“Has Richard harmed anyone by his tenancy of that hangar?”


 What of Peter Hamilton Franks: Does he have a history?

Yes: See document below at the italicised section, where Franks made a decision, with no Council approval.

Delatite Council is headquartered in Benalla, one of the four Council’s he has been at since coming to Australia in the early 2000 period.

TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OF THE HUTS [1950’s migrant hostel]

5. There have been four separate approaches to locate any documents proving that ownership was previously legally transferred from Council to some current hut users.
• An FOI request by Sabine Smyth dated 4th January 2017.
• A Council request to hut users who were members of the CMP Steering Committee to table ownership documents.
• A Council search of Delatite Shire records.
• A Council request to hut users in September 2018.
No documents proving that ownership was previously transferred have been located or produced or tabled at any Council or Committee meeting considering the issue of ownership.
6. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 stated that Council wrote to all hut occupants in September 2018. The request was not for “ownership” documents but copies of “documents relating to each organisations’ occupancy of their respective hut”. As I raised at the time, via communication with Council’s then CEO, these same groups had previously been asked to table any “ownership” documents at meetings of the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) Steering Committee.
7. The report to the Planning and Development Committee of 12th June 2019 made no mention of any documentary proof of transfer of ownership being produced after the above-mentioned September 2018 request.
None was produced to the CMP Steering Committee. (See the notes of those meetings and documents tabled).
A letter purporting to transfer ownership is not documentary proof of transfer of ownership in the absence of proof that Council gave authority for such a transfer.
8. Similarly, no documentary proof emerged from the Freedom of Information request on Council by Sabine Smyth of Benalla Migrant Camp Exhibition Inc. dated 4th January 2017.

9. The FOI request sought documents including “Copies of any documents relating to the transfer or gifting of Huts 1 and 2” and
“Copies of documents relating to the transfer of ownership or lease from Council to an external group or body concerning Benalla Aeropark huts 1 &2, Ballooning Victoria Hut, Benalla Theatre huts 63 & 64.”
10. No documents produced under the FOI request proved a transfer of ownership of any of the huts.
11. The documents produced in response to this FOI request showed the following:
• In early 2002 Council had allowed the Theatre Group to occupy huts 63 and 64 “rent free” on the basis they renovated and maintained them.
• A report dated 19th March 2002 outlined two options to Council one of which was a recommendation to gift some huts and lease the land. There was no documented resolution of Council (including Delatite Shire) produced in response to the FOI request to either adopt this recommendation to gift nor to delegate that authority to a Council officer.
A Council officer (Peter Franks) sent a letter to the Balloon Association of Victoria, (29/5/2002), and another officer (Janine McMaster) sent a letter to Benalla Theatre Company (30/9/2002) indicating “Council by delegation now confirms and hereby transfers ownership and responsibility, including maintenance, repairs etc to your association with Council now only leasing the land … Council confirms that it will maintain the building insurance on the huts …”
• No Council document proving a delegated authority to transfer ownership was produced.
• No Council documents evidenced that the leasing of the land referred to in these letters took place.
• No Council documents evidenced any alteration to the arrangement that Council maintained the insurance on these huts.
• There was no similar letter to the Gliding Club produced referring to any transfer of ownership.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 5
12. Whilst letters were sent from Council staff to these two organisations, the documents produced failed to show any authority for their actions on Council’s behalf. Ownership in property does not pass by mistake or by letters sent without foundation in a Council decision.
13. The fact that the resolution before Council now is to “gift” these huts confirms that Council knows that the ownership has not been previously transferred. If it had been, no Deed of Gift is needed now.
This is a flawed process.
14. I understand that the Ballooning Club and the Theatre Group may have been misled by the above-mentioned correspondence to some extent. The fact Council agreed to maintain insurance on the huts and supplied services to them for free must also be considered when assessing what type of “ownership” they might have thought they had. However, they have both had the benefit of rent-free premises for more than 16 years, with Council paying the insurance on the buildings and providing services. Any maintenance costs they have incurred is offset by this advantage and the Council’s payment of insurance and services on the huts. In addition, the Ballooning Club has been using the huts for a profit making accommodation business.
The cost of repairs was linked to this. Any leases paid by them have been on the basis of a peppercorn rent. The notes of the CMP Steering Committee meetings show that Council paid for some repairs. Further, the Theatre Group received a grant for repairs carried out in 2016/17.
15. These groups are not disadvantaged by the huts remaining in Council ownership.
16. If Council gives away the right to inspection and oversight of the condition of the huts by giving private ownership to hut users, how will it manage to ensure the place does not fall into disrepair? How will it ensure access to maintain them so that their conservation is not threatened? Council is still considered the owner of the place until it notifies Heritage Victoria that the land has been sold and the land title has changed.
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 6
17. If Council gives away the huts the proposed gifting will have impacts on Council well into the future. Council will still own the land but if any of the Corporations gifted these huts wind up, the ownership of the hut will go to whoever is the beneficiary of the assets of the Corporation. Council could be dealing with an owner who may be far removed from the place and who might not want to use the hut and yet Council would still be the liable as “owner” of the Heritage Listed Place. A Deed of Gifting cannot foresee and cover every future
18. If, at any time in the future the current users of the huts gifted ownership, or decided to vacate them, what then? They may walk away. Council would have no power to force them to remove the huts from the site and in any event, it is highly unlikely, in that event, that Heritage Victoria would allow this. So, Council would be in a worse position. It might be forced to buy back huts it is now wanting to give away for free. What if there are disputes within the Corporations given the huts? Council would have no power to resolve a dispute affecting how the hut was managed/treated.
19. These scenarios seem to be placing Council in a position contrary to responsibilities under the Victorian Local Government Act to apply Principles of Sound Financial Management to Council business. (Section 136). Exposing Council to legal liabilities whilst putting out of reach the means to protect Council against these liabilities, is not sound financial management.
20. A decision now to give away Council assets, such as these most significant huts, would surely raise questions of the integrity of Council’s asset disposal practices and policies.
21. Who is carrying the public liability insurance on these huts which are on Council land? Who is covering the building insurance?
22. None of the users of these huts need to own them to continue their use of the huts. Council does not avoid liability by giving them away.
So, why would Council take this step?
Judith Fleming Submission Planning and development Committee 17th July 2019 pg. 7
23. The Conservation Management Plan will be made more difficult to implement if inspections, maintenance, repairs etc. have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
24. Applications for available grants will be made more difficult if they have to be coordinated with four different hut owners. Why would Council take this step?
25. The report to the Planning and Development Committee, in support of the gifting, states that “the unsettled matter of hut ownership has prevented the lodgement of grant applications and is an encumbrance to coordinated planned works at the site”. On the contrary, dividing up the ownership of the huts will be an encumbrance. It will require greater co-ordination of decision making, grant applications, repairs and maintenance.

Why would Council take this step?

Other Airports:

Central Coast – Warnervale

Guidance from the former Central Coast Council Mayor on how to be deceitful, hide important matters in Confidential, and straight out lie to their constituents.
Get a bolt cutter – then if they lock it up again get the bolt cutter again just keep on going. That is what we did when Bankstown Airport took our big hangar years ago – We blocked the entrance with fuel truck and aircraft – Got some chain in case they were going to move the truck – they are not allowed to touch aircraft.
We kept on flying and got a good lawyer. Has he got an up to date signed lease?
I know one pilot who had his plane chained up because there was a fight going on with the government over his US registered aircraft they wanted tax. He just got the bolt cutters freed the aircraft and kept going. One fellow tried to fence Ray in and stop him getting logs out along a right of way – so he just got his bulldozer and tore the fence down!
Crookwell Airport:
Council are refusing to correctly recognise a lease of Jim Hutson’s, “removing” or at best hiding records and changing dates to benefit Council.

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