Council seeks contempt charge as homeowner defies orders
BUNDABERG Regional Council is seeking to have a woman charged with contempt of court after she refused to comply with a court order to make her house safe and put in place the appropriate approvals.
The lengthy matter started in October 2014 when Debbie Lorraine Muller was given 12months to complete all work on a house she was planning to move to at 22 Kolan St, North Bundaberg.
On December 17, court documents were lodged after a council compliance officer received complaints about the dwelling and inspected the site.
In February 2015, Ms Muller lodged a notice of discontinuance of a private certifier, and on October 21, 2015, the 2014 council building approval lapsed.
Sometime during the next 18months, Ms Muller moved a home from Narangba to the address without advising the council.
In September 2016, the council issued an enforcement notice to put up temporary fencing immediately and to obtain a building approval by October 21 or demolish and remove the building by January 6 last year.
In March this year, Ms Muller was ordered by the Planning and Environment Court at Brisbane to rectify safety issues and complete the building work she had failed to do.
The order stated Ms Muller was to remove and not replace all things in connection with the building that had been placed at the address unless she complied with several orders.
Only one of the orders, to maintain a temporary security fence to restrict public access, was followed.
The compliance officer said the fence was now "falling into disrepair".
The other orders included lodging a building application and obtaining effective building approvals by August 14.
Ms Muller was also ordered to gain a building inspection certificate to ensure foundation work had been completed and was safe by September 21.
By October 30, Ms Muller was to ensure the completion of all exterior building works in accordance with the council's requirements.
By failing to comply with the orders, the homeowner was to remove the building from the address entirely.
As Ms Muller failed to do so, the matter will be heard by the Brisbane court on February 8.
On the inspection this month, the officer said until the dwelling was completed in accordance with the building approval, there were a number of potential concerns.
This included the ability of the house to withstand storm events and the performance of the security fencing in its weakened state.