Council loses appeal on Jetty case

Coffs Harbour City Council (CHCC) has lost an appeal against an earlier judgement that found they owed a duty of care to a young boy who fell from the Jetty in September 2011.

CHCC appeal rejected.

The NSW Court of Appeal unanimously rejected the appeal brought by the CHCC in September of this year.

In a ruling releaded last Friday 23 October the three judges on the Court of Appeal found in the case of Coffs Harbour City Council v Polglase [2020] NSWCA 265 as follows;

“1.   Grant leave to the Council and the Trust to appeal against the orders for costs in the court below, if such leave be necessary.

2.   Appeal dismissed.

3.   Application for leave to cross-appeal dismissed.

4.   The appellants (the Council and the Trust) to pay the respondents’ costs of the appeal.

5.   The cross-appellant (the plaintiff) to pay the cross-respondents’ costs of the cross-appeal.”

A key finding related to who had a duty to maintain, manage and administer the Jetty .

The Court of Appeal supported the lower Court’s finding that the CHCC, via a trust they formed, had this duty.

It was announced by Council at it’s 14 May meeting this year that it esitimated that it would cost between $16 – $20m to repair the jetty. See; https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2020/05/CO_20200514_AGN_2216_AT_WEB.htm

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See the full NSW Court of Appeal decision here; https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/17549216a165f567fe6e12a2?fbclid=IwAR1rhUay_cJZoPv7BoaUC9CUMc6eAcsS44-LXmH1j6ItNVFpYcyHJoqBTLI

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