Rockhampton businessman Peter Boyle stands outside of the Rockhampton courthouse after he appeared in court for refusing to pay rates.
Rockhampton businessman Peter Boyle stands outside of the Rockhampton courthouse after he appeared in court for refusing to pay rates. Alister Thomson

Businessman challenges council

A LOCAL businessman has vowed to fight the right of the Rockhampton Regional Council to charge rates on his Depot Hill factory.

Peter Boyle, who owns a factory which manufactures roof ceiling material in Depot Hill, appeared in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday after the council filed documents that he had not paid $8376 in rates between July 1, 2007 and June 31, 2010.

Mr Boyle was told to leave the court by Magistrate John McGrath after he demanded to see evidence of the magistrate's appointment.

“If you can't get that to me … I consider I can't be involved in this court,” Mr Boyle said.

Mr Boyle left after Magistrate McGrath warned he would be committing contempt of court if he stayed.

Meghan Rothery, who appeared for the council, said Mr Boyle's defence had no prospect of success and should not go to trial.

Magistrate McGrath reserved his decision.

Outside court Mr Boyle said he had the money to pay the rates but would not out of principle.

He said the Rockhampton council was illegitimate as Australians had voted in 1988 not to recognize local government in the constitution.

He also said the council was not registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

He said the council could not seize his home as he did not have one but his factory was under threat.

“Under state legislation they can sell my plant but if they ever attempt it I'll just pay the rates.”

But he added he would only do this once all appeals had been exhausted right through to the High Court of Australia.

A council spokeswoman said it could not comment because of pending legal action.



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