Council stands by fines for airstrip owner

FINED: Brian Scoffell has received $33,000 in fines from the council for allowing a fire ant helicopter to land on his property.
FINED: Brian Scoffell has received $33,000 in fines from the council for allowing a fire ant helicopter to land on his property. Rob Williams

IPSWICH City Council stood by their decision to issue infringement notices to an airstrip owner during a council meeting yesterday.

Mutdapilly resident Brian Scoffell faces a $33,000 fine for breaching the town planning act.

Mayor Paul Pisasale said council enforces compliance for the safety and to protect the lifestyle of residents.

Cr Pisasale said council had received complaints around the property for years from residents.

"While I'm mayor of this city and while these councillors are our job is to look after the safety and quality of life for people in this city," he said.

"In Mr Scoffell's meetings with council all he's found out is after the first four or five fines, come in and work with us and we would have worked for a resolution like we've done with everybody else."

Cr David Phalke told the meeting he had received emails from residents.

"I have an email by the residents group out there and it's addressed to the premier Campbell Newman and the minister John McVeigh and also another email to the CEO and council from the residents about how the dispute has been perceived.

"All around Mr Scoffell's place is state government owned land where the helicopters could have landed.

Cr Paul Tully said town planning schemes cover a variety of issues.

"This is a very vex issue where people have different views in relation to a difficult planning approval. I've been out on site with Cr Phalke in the past and there is no doubt residents have been dive bombed," he said.

In Saturday's edition of the Queensland Times it was reported Ipswich City Council had given Mr Scoffell infringements notices since 2003.

The infringement notices relate to breaches of the town planning act between September 14, 2012 and April 20, 2013.

Council allege Mr Scoffell engaged in a commercial arrangement with Biosecurity Queensland and permitted other aircraft to land and take-off from the airfield.



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