Ex-Mayor's threat to sue council
THE owner of Champions Quarry wants compensation from the Lismore City Council after the company had to alter plans for a $500,000 upgrade of an intersection on Wyrallah Road.
Jeff Champion, a former Lismore mayor who owns the Tucki Tucki quarry that controversially wants to expand its operation, yesterday said the council could accept the claim or face costly legal action.
“It’s up to them which way they want to go,” he said.
Lismore City Council general manager Paul O’Sullivan declined to discuss the case, but said the council would prefer to negotiate a settlement.
Mr O’Sullivan said he had been delegated by the council to ‘negotiate an outcome, but he (Mr Champion) doesn’t seem to be willing’.
Neither side would reveal the size of the claim, but Mr Champion said it was only to cover the additional costs of engineering plans for the new site on the eastern side of the intersection.
The issue revolves around the upgrade of the intersection to allow trucks to turn safely in and out of the quarry.
Mr Champion claims the council gave him the go-ahead to widen the western side of the intersection at the entrance of the quarry.
However, once work began, the council learned the road was not fully within the ‘road envelop’, meaning the council did not own the land on its western side.
In fact, it is Crown land held in a public trust as a flood reserve and connects with Tucki Nature Reserve. The trust complained to the council about the work.
The upgrade was in preparation for the proposed expansion of the quarry, which will see up to 6.35 million tonnes of material extracted.
The council rejected the expansion in February, but in May Mr Champion asked the Government to approve the expansion under its major projects legislation. The State Government is yet to make a decision.