Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter is arrested by police.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter is arrested by police. Alistair Brightman

Bay Superboat race protester vows he won't stop

FORMER mayoral candidate says he will continue his work to stop the annual superboat race, despite his last attempt landing him in court.

Lee Stjohn Carter's five-year battle to cancel the annual offshore superboat championships race is "not over".

This is despite not being able to satisfy Magistrate Stephen Guttridge beyond a reasonable doubt he had a right to try to stop the race in November last year.

The former high school teacher appeared in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday on trial, charged with one count of contravening a police direction.

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested. Alistair Brightman

Carter had pleaded not guilty to the charge in December last year, and said he had a "reasonable excuse for doing what he did because the race was inappropriately permitted".

The count heard on November 20 last year, Carter had planned to paddle into the superboat course and stop the race as a result.

Carter told the court his plight with the race came out of concern for the marine life including dugongs and turtles that may live within the superboats race zone.

Before he could make it to the water, Carter was stopped by seven police officers including Senior Constable Richard Watman, who appeared as a witness in court.

Snr Const Watman said he had been briefed on Carter's intentions and therefore issued the defendant with a "move on" notice, but Carter tried to continue his way to the water.

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter is arrested by police.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter is arrested by police. Alistair Brightman

Carter was arrested on the beach, and was taken to the Hervey Bay watch house where he was charged with contravening an order.

"I didn't want it to end the way it did, sir, but I had concerns for your welfare," Snr Const Watman said.

"If you did go into the exclusion zone, we would have no option but to go in there and get you."

Mr Guttridge told Carter if the contents of the permit to host the race were inconsistent, the evidence before him showed it was still a valid permit and he had to make a determination based on that.

"The contents of the permit are really quite irrelevant," Mr Guttridge said.

"I appreciate you don't agree with me...and you can appeal my decision."

Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested.
Super boat protest at Scarness Beach - Lee Carter talks with police before being arrested. Alistair Brightman

Carter was sentenced to a good behaviour bond, where he will be ordered to pay $300 if he commits another offence within 12 months.

A conviction was not recorded.

Outside of court, Carter said he had not yet made up his mind if he would appeal, but said he would be meeting with a minister to discuss changing the permit to allow the superboat race to continue.


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