By now, we had hoped that the judgement on our Appeal might have been delivered, but alas, there is no news as yet. Our solicitors have told me recently that there is no way we can ‘predict’ when the Judge might be ready, so we must continue to remain patient – it could be weeks or even months before we hear!
Meanwhile, we continue to watch with interest some of the decisions of the Toowoomba Regional Council, aware that other groups are trying to call the TRC to account as well as challenge some of its decisions. The problem is that once planning permission has been given to a development, the only way to stop it is a legal (and very costly) appeal. The TRC knows that few people have either the money or the stomach for such a fight, which gives it an extraordinary position of power when it comes to planning decisions.
The most effective thing ratepayers can do is campaign against prospective development applications before they are voted on by Council, and to that end, I commend to you the newly formed ‘Ratepayers’ Association’ led by Frank Ondrus. If it can establish a large email base, it would then be possible for 100s if not 1,000s of people to send submissions to the TRC objecting to development applications deemed unsuitable or unnecessary. Doubtless, there will be more said in the media about the Association and any public meetings it plans to hold, so watch out for such announcements.
Once we have a judgement in our Appeal, we still plan to hold a public function to thank our supporters, so details will be communicated via the website and email – it will be held on a Sunday afternoon in the gardens/Hall at St Luke’s Church.