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Dubios to hand himself in for jail time after appeal fails

A 70-YEAR-OLD Rockhampton man will surrender himself to the police today after his last-ditch attempt to appeal a court order was dismissed on Friday.

John Dubois earlier this year appealed Brisbane Judge David Searles' imprisonment sentence of three months following a 28-year battle against Rockhampton Regional Council.

Mr Dubois surrendered himself to the police on Friday but he was let go for the weekend because his paperwork wasn't ready.

Judge Searles found Mr Dubois, the owner of Koongal Motors, in contempt of court for not complying with a court order handed down 15 years ago.

It was handed down when the then Rockhampton City Council took him to the Planning and Environment Court for refusing to comply with a regulation.

Mr Dubois refused to remove part of the automotive equipment from his workshop at Koongal Motors.

The council stated the equipment was in the wrong planning zone.

So in 1995 the council took him to court and the legal battle has raged since.

But when the council changed the 1986 Town Plan to the 2009 Rockhampton City Plan, Mr Dubois continued to disobey the order, thinking it became null and void because of the transition.

Mr Dubois said about 2010 he started receiving commercial-light industry rates notices from the newly amalgamated Rockhampton Regional Council.

Close friend Ken Hay said the council had been constantly hounding Mr Dubois for the past 28 years about the matter.

"The council has spent millions of dollars of taxpayers' money chasing one man," he said.

In a letter to the editor earlier this year, Mayor Margaret Strelow said the court set rules about which parts of his yard he could use so as to provide a reasonable quality of life for neighbours.

The court matters largely revolved around failure to comply with this court order. Mr Dubois will be released from prison after serving one month.

Topics:  rockhampton regional council



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