Maroochydore Court House.  Photo:Barry Leddicoat / Sunshine Coast Daily
Maroochydore Court House. Photo:Barry Leddicoat / Sunshine Coast Daily Barry Leddicoat

Central Queensland council sued over misleading document

A BUSINESS has won a court action against Central Highlands Regional Council and has been awarded over $800,000 by the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Hotel and motel company Geju Pty Ltd had purchased a vacant block of land on Hibernia Road in Capella in 2008 for the purpose of building sheds on the understanding it was zoned 'industrial'.

However, they found it was zoned 'rural', with conditional approval for a material change of use permitting some industrial development.

The certificate also referred to the wrong block of land.

Justice Duncan McMeekin found that the "wrong property description was not observed by a whole series of people who dealt with it and who one would expect might notice."

The court was told the company would not have bought the land if this had been known and was mislead by a Limited Town Planning Certificate issued by the council.

The company also bought action against the solicitors working for Geju on the purchase, Anne Murray & Co.

The council argued that despite its defects, the certificate was not misleading.

According to court documents, the council submitted the company "effectively obtained what it bargained for - a block of land on which industrial development could occur".

Geju argued land zoned industrial was substantially different from rural land with permission to carry out some forms of development within four years of approval.

On December 1, Justice McMeekin ordered damages of $1,127,205.50 be paid to Geju.

But on December 13, this figure was revised to $852,205.50 after Geju revealed they had also settled the claim against their solicitors for $275,000.


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