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More #aviation news on Richard Rudd

The information continues, with another story in Richard’s local paper, The Mareeba Express. [See below] today [31st August 2021]

It has an interesting comment attributed to Mareeba Shire Council:

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”

In the previous article [Tuesday 23rd August 2021] it has attributed to CEO Peter Hamilton Franks:

Mareeba Shire Council CEO Peter Franks told The Express it had complied with Mr Henry’s decision.

“Council respects the decision of the court,” he said.

“The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.

“Council removed padlocks from the building on the morning of Thursday, 12 August 2021, and returned the keys for the hangar to Mr Rudd when he attended the Council office that same day.”

The Express reached out to Mr Rudd for reaction and comment however he was unable to be contacted before the paper’s deadline.


The Mareeba Shire Council certainly would not be aware of actions by Mr. Rudd as he has not telegraphed what actions he will take and he will keep to the Supreme Court Order:

ORDER of 11th August 2021 in Cairns Supreme Court

1. The respondent will forthwith restore possession of the leased premises known as Lease N on SP171528 at Mareeba Airport, along with the keys thereto, to the applicant as the lessee of the premises.
2. The respondent will pay the applicant’s costs of the application to be assessed on the standard basis if not agreed.

Richard called at Council offices on Thursday 12th August, only to be screamed at by a Council employee who identified himself as “…Anthony Archie….”.

Richard left to return to his vehicle and the person approached to throw some keys though a vehicle window. Richard returned them on Friday morning as the Council office opened as there was nothing to identify what the keys were.


Last Tuesday’s Mareeba Express has expanded on Council’s “view”, in that it has gone to the Airport, unlocked the hangar, BUT did not inform Richard of doing this action [by phone, letter or e-mail].

Consequently the hangar was unlocked until Sunday [15th August 2021, when Richard and friends occupied the hangar.

The Anthony Archie incident in the Council foyer has more relevance in that he was either unaware of “the Unlocking” OR failed to inform Richard of this action.

Either way, Council continues to refuse to honour the spirit OR the content of the Supreme Court ORDER.

Frank’s comment: “The judge’s interpretation of the approved use of the hangar was different to Mareeba Shire Council’s interpretation.”

Well, one should look at the Council lease, where at s2.02, it describes ……hanger(sic)…. . Likely, the lease is invalid anyway and Judge Henry corrects that in his Judgement, together with an apt summary of what a hangar is for, the use, storage etc.

A change to the lease at 2.02 should ensue Mr. Franks and become at least: “………..aircraft storage, maintenance and ancillary aviation uses….”

This is the common usage phrase in most leases at Mareeba Airport.

Richard is working to meet item 2 of the ORDER – Costs of the Application.

DAMAGES ARE ANOTHER MATTER


Judge Henry and his careful interpretation of what a HANGAR and IT’S USAGE is:

[13] The lease does not define the term “aircraft storage hanger” or the purpose of its use. Clause 2.20.7 was highlighted in argument by Council. It defines “hanger” as being “a building … suited for use as an aircraft storage facility”. However, that definition is expressly for the purposes of the lease’s construction clause only and, in any event, the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage facility” adds nothing material to the undefined meaning of the words “aircraft storage hanger”.
[14] It is well known that an aircraft hangar is a large building, usually located at an aerodrome, in which aircraft are stored. That might reasonably be described as its primary purpose and sensibly explains why the words “aircraft storage hanger” may have been adopted in the lease. However, it is similarly well known that the customary or ordinary use of an aircraft hangar is not confined purely to the act of parking and storing aircraft therein and that its use includes the performance of maintenance and repair work, that is, work performed upon aircraft housed therein, in order to maintain aircraft in or return aircraft to a state of airworthiness. That might reasonably be described as its secondary purpose.
[15] Further, because that secondary purpose is potentially time consuming, it may necessitate uses ancillary to that purpose – uses of a kind common to any building where human beings may work for prolonged periods, such as uses of a bathroom, kitchen and rest facilities.
[16] The lease’s use of the phrase “aircraft storage hanger” as distinct from “aircraft hanger” ought not be interpreted as confining the relevant purpose of use to that of storage to the exclusion of the aforementioned secondary purpose of maintenance and repair work and uses ancillary thereto. Such an interpretation would conflict with clear contextual indications to the contrary in the terms of the lease.
[17] The terms of the lease identify a leased lot which, on any view of the evidence, is a lot located at Mareeba Airport. Moreover, the terms of the lease implicitly contemplated that the premises would be accessible to travel at the airport from the airport taxi way and runway.
For example, clause 2.20.9 required the premises be adequately fenced “to prevent the ingress of wild or domesticated animals onto the airport taxi way or runway”. In short this was a hangar to be constructed and used at an airport, not off at some other location like a storage warehouse unconnected with tarmac and runways.
That context made it inevitable the hangar would be used at the airport by aircraft in which the premise’s tenant had an interest. It could scarcely be thought such aircraft would not from time to time require maintenance or repair work to ensure or restore their airworthiness or that such work would not be carried out in the tenant’s hangar.

Judge Henry’s full Judgement


2 September, 2021

Veteran top gun to pursue legal proceedings against Council

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

By Michael Warren

Long time pilot Richard Rudd says he intends to start legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council. He’s pictured here inside the controversial hangar. INSET: The bed Council suggested indicated permanent residency at the hangar.

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

Richard Rudd, whose story captured recent national attention says the hangar lockout saw one of his planes fall into a state of un-airworthiness and as such he couldn’t provide the upkeep and maintenance it required to stay in the air.

As such the 82 year-old who has been flying planes for the past 66 years said when his immediate health improves his priority is to recoup the losses he’s absorbed from being locked out of the hangar for nearly 12 months.

“Because I’ve been locked out I haven’t been able to put the oil through the engine or run the engine, the (Boeing Stearman) plane’s battery is also ruined and needs replacing. “As such my intention is to start legal proceedings against Council.

“I’m happy I won the case but it’s been nearly 12 months of sleepless nights, financial worries, stress and hurt, which has actually damaged my health, and I’ll be seeking further compensation.”

Mr Rudd who first worked on planes as a 15-year-old reiterated the bed inside the hangar is for convenience purposes only and not in any way for permanent residency reasons.

The bed inside the hangar was a contentious issue as MSC suggested its presence indicated the long time pilot was potentially living on site.

“Again the bed is here to rest between works – sometimes I drop my wife at work at 9am and I’m here at the hangar until 9pm until I pick her up, so as an 82 year-old man, sometimes I’ll have a quick nap, but by no means do I live here at the hangar.”

Mr Rudd said he feels vindicated by the recent Supreme Court decision.

“I was initially somewhat shellshocked by the Council’s decision to take the case forward, but I always knew the truth, and that came out in the judge’s ruling,” he said.

“My message to Mareeba Shire Council is this; whenever they take action against a person, they better make sure they get it absolutely right.

“By that I mean legal, spelling wise, wording, and everything else, because this has been the most disgusting exercise I’ve ever come across in my life.”

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”


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