“The amount of money Council has spent on lawyers during contractual disputes over waste will remain confidential, for now.
Cr Paul Amos asked council staff for the amount of money spent on “legal fees contesting contractual disputes with our current waste services provider” during this current term.
Staff provided a response ahead of Thursday’s Coffs Harbour City Council meeting together with legal advice relating to the public release of a key briefing memo documenting the legal proceedings, which includes the cost.”
CCO Comment: The above, from a story by Tim Jarrett in today’s Daily Telegraph/Coffs Coast Advocate, highlights the opaqueness that appears to surround the Coffs Harbour City Council on many issues.
Apparently the costs can not be made public because Council is not permitted to do so yet under the arbitration rules.
This comes as rumours swirl around how much the ultimate legal and other costs will amount to with CCO hearing figures as low as $1m through to estimates that all costs involved could be in a range of $13-$17m.
What we do know is that Council have been singularly unsuccessful to date with its legal cases against Biomass and associated companies HandyBin and Coffs Coast Waste Management Services.
CCO is aware that there is unease among Councillors as to how the proposed raising of the England Road Landfill walls as suggested by consultants Gilbert&Sullivan fits in with any wider waste management strategy. Or indeed if such a strategy even exists.
Additionally there is also consternation that numerous Council motions over the past eight years approximately have been delivered on and made operational. To say that there may be concerns as to the veracity of managerial advice on waste management would seem to be an understatement.
Tomorrow night’s Council meeting could get interesting when the agenda item to raise the landfill walls is discussed.
The Daily Telegraph/ Coffs Coast Advocate story of Wednesday 9 June 2021 referenced above can be found behind the paywall at; https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/coffs-harbour/waste-dispute-legal-bills-remain-secret-despite-coffs-councillors-query/news-story/d92a36f4285c8859d6197e4a3de099ee