Chainsaw used to break locked gate
A GRAZIER who used a chainsaw to break through a locked gate so she could access a private road has taken her fight to the Supreme Court.
Julie Naylor owns “Tabgha”, 1770 acres of land where she runs cattle, at Midgee, 14km south of Rockhampton.
Until August last year she used a private road which she claims she must use to access her property but that all changed when the owner locked the gate.
The dispute escalated to a point where Mrs Naylor took a chainsaw and cut gaps in the wooden gate to free the padlocked gates.
She ended up in court and pleaded guilty to trespassing for which she was fined $300.
A trial began yesterday at the Supreme Court at Rockhampton to determine whether Mrs Naylor can use the road.
Mrs Naylor claimed the road was a historical route that had been used for 50 years to reach the land she now owned.
Counsel Lee Nevison, appearing for the respondents, Morris and Walter Pierce, told the court that while historically access to the road had been granted, this was limited and granted only as a “neighbourly gesture”.
But over time problems had occurred with allowing access.
Mr Nevison said Mrs Naylor had to establish that it was a necessity to access the land via the road.
He said he would establish that there was an alternative access available to her.
Counsel Anthony Mellick, representing Mrs Naylor, said the alternative access, a track through the southern road reserve, would cost millions to turn into serviceable road and it could all come to nothing because her lease ended in 2014.
Mr Mellick said his clients had offered compensation to Mr Pierce for the use of the road which could be used for maintenance.
Mr Nevison questioned Mrs Naylor on her contractual negotiations prior to purchasing the land, stating that she knew that access over the road to her property was not available when she bought it.
Mrs Naylor said she always understood that she could use the road.