Local, Politics

Has Coffs Council become one of the more vexatious in Northern NSW?

Our recent stories on Coffs Harbour City Council’s travails in the courts got one of our readers, Beau Dugan, to do some research on the NSW Caselaw web site.

The pie chart below that Beau has generated from a spead sheet CCO has seen represents the number of heard cases, some multiple times, within the NSW legal system by seven Mid-North and North Coast NSW councils in the ten years up until the end of August 2020.

It would appear in the ten year period 2010-20 that Coffs Harbour City Council is equal first with the Lismore Council in the number of cases it has taken or appealed the decisions of.

This represents 27%, or just over a quarter, of the total legal cases taken by the seven councils named above in that ten year period.

This chart doesn’t tell us how successful the CHCC has been in these cases or how much in net legal fees this may all have amounted to but it does suggest that when it comes to preferring Court to pre-negotiated settlements the CHCC could well be in the running for a ‘gold medal’ in the litigiousness stakes.

The Free Dictionary defines litigiousness as;

“a quarrelsome disposition to engage in or carry on lawsuits………….. contentiousness, quarrelsomeness – an inclination to be quarrelsome and contentious.” See; https://www.thefreedictionary.com/litigiousness

The chart above, and the figures relating to it, does not include any cases that may have been heard in Federal Courts or Tribunals.

Further digging by other ‘sleuths’ among our readers with tijme on their hands can be done here; https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/about


  1. Surprised? Not one bit! The voice of the ratepayers counts for nothing with bullies!

  2. And I’m supposed to be surprised why? It is exactly what I would expect from a council that only knows how to bully its rate payers and does what they want not what the residents want and need and now we are in a recession it has made no move to cancel or postpone that building that no one seems to want

  3. Not something we can be very proud of. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so this graphical exhibit reveals the Council’s attitudes toward resolving issues by means other than conflict-free arbitration and negotiation.

    Bloody mindedness comes to mind – why not when you’ve got your hands on the public purse.

    With having this exposed now at a time where the dispute over biomass / waste management issue is yet to reach the public, perhaps visitors here are able to add what they suspect about how much money has been forked out or is due to be paid out.

  4. Who are the lucky law firms?

    I can imagine their advice; “There is a good chance we can win this case but there are no guarantees. The only guarantee we can give is the bill.” LOL!

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