Pensioner in chains over battle to keep his jetty
A NOOSAVILLE pensioner has chained himself to a jetty in protest at what he believes is a conspiracy to forcibly take the structure from him.
After spending three weeks on the Noosa River jetty to highlight his concerns, owner Kevin Driscoll yesterday wrapped a chain around his ankle and attached it to the structure.
He predicted he would be going to jail because "the Queensland State Government, along with Noosa Council, is now to going to use force" to remove him.
Mr Driscoll bought the jetty in 1993 as part of a property settlement and claims the actions of Noosa Council and the State Government would have implications for jetties right along the coast.
A flyer Mr Driscoll is handing to passers-by says: "The Noosa Council and Qld State Government are in secret talks over many years and in recent months have hatched a plan to take the jetty by force and rip off the owners without any compensation."
The situation has become even more complicated by the fact council and the State Government appear unable to agree on where they stand.
Noosa Council last week issued a statement saying staff had met with Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection representatives to clarify the issue.
"The State Government confirmed at the meeting that it will act to ensure the removal of the temporary wood structure on the site, which they say is illegal," it said.
However, an EHP spokesperson issued a statement saying it had taken compliance action against Mr Driscoll over the jetty's pylons in 2013 and the situation had been rectified.
It was now a "new allegation of non-compliance".
"EHP has taken no action at this stage, as it is still investigating the matter," it said.
Mr Driscoll's argument centres on the footpath works, which he believes must be rectified by council before he can fix the platform and satisfy the government.
Council has advised that footpath work will go ahead and have no impact on the jetty, however Mr Driscoll said the work would result in lack of access to the jetty.
Noosa Council's director of planning and infrastructure, Martin Drydale, said the council had done all it could do to clarify the situation, but said "this is clearly a matter for the State Government."
However, Mr Driscoll said he was prepared to accept financial compensation for the jetty.
He noted that other jetties in the vicinity had been valued around $200,000.