Dairy farmer facing $180,000 fine after battle with council 

A dairy farmer hoping to save his struggling family farm is facing a huge $180,000 fine after a battle with the local council over opening up his scenic backyard to holiday campers.
The Sunshine Coast Council issued the fine to Shane Paulger for not complying with council regulations or getting his campsite approved.
Mr Paulger told A Current Affair he was just trying to save his farm and pass it on to the next generation, a task made very difficult by the poor state of the dairy industry.

“It’s life or death for us,” he said.

“The kids want to farm and I’m very lucky they do.”
The property, at Kenilworth on the Sunshine Coast, has been in Mr Paulger’s family for 60 years.
Mr Paulger said they had started letting people camp by the river about 30 years ago, with the only advertising being word of mouth.

But when the bottom fell out of the dairy industry, the family decided to ramp up the camping business.
They put up a sign at the front gate and set up a website – finally catching the attention of the Sunshine Coast Council.

After 12 months of back-and-forth with the council over regulations and complaints from neighbouring campsites, the Council demanded Mr Paulger comply with regulations or face fines of up to $183,000.
Mr Paulger labelled it a “money grab”.
“We have asked for nothing from Council, not one bin.”

‘They just want to smash us…unfortunately the council now want to jump on our necks and squeeze all the air out of us and fine us $180,000,’ Mr Paulger said.
He revealed in an emotional plea that his sole intention is to maintain the family business, so he can one day pass the farm down to his children, who are proud to continue the family tradition. 

However Mr Paulger has claimed his farm has been welcoming campers for over 30 years and believes the latest move from the council is a ‘money grab’ while reminding them he hasn’t requested anything from them during his latest endeavor.

Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer said he sympathised with Mr Paulger’s desire to save his farm, but said he needed to comply with regulations like other campsites in the area.
“What Shane is doing on his property up in Kenilworth is operating a business that doesn’t have approval,” Mr Dwyer said.
“The sooner Shane realises that he’s got the rules to follow like every other person in Queensland…the better for everybody.”

Source: http://trib.al/fpLUln4

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Kerryn Hill says:

    Please leave good people alone to enjoy their lives in the great Australian outdoors. This is utterly ridiculous.
    Destruction of Urban Street food and now this? Councils need to spend their time more efficiently with what WE, the residents want and become more responsible with their money grabbing tactics.


  2. Liz says:

    Shame on you all


  3. jane smith says:

    just comply with all regulations mr Paulger..that way you keep the farm and you save $180000..its your farm noone can tell you what to do..just register your business or whatever you need to do..and all will be well…..coz if anything happens to campers out of your control you could be sued but if you have all the paperwork done then noone can..do it now so you dont get that heavy fine ..then you can continue to have your farm for your family ..and future generations..but at same time we all know what they are likeand too many farms are being targeted for greed or not wanting us to have the pure foods that so many farmers give to our communitys..Fantastic Farmer Mr Paulger .we support your quest and keep fighting we applaude you ..next time we are in sunshine coast we will look for your camping grounds ..sounds great….our prayers ARE WITH YOU ALL AND ALL OUR FARMERS HERE..where theres good theres evil so pray too for your farm and lands and family.ok…and the good Lord loves those that help others and looks like you are..maybe have a lil farm experience for kiddys too..and a lil restaurant to help you out ..love word of mouth..anyway God bless..let us iknow how you get on….my hubby was brought up on a lil farm yay for farmers….


    1. Janis says:

      More than likely they won’t give him what he needs to be approved and if so they are going to want alot of money for it. They are greedy snobs!


  4. Joan Cook says:

    This is so sad that we cannot help this poor farmer when he is trying to save his farm for his family ,surely his local council can waver this huge fee for sometime untill he gets on his feet!
    it is very un australian to kick someone when they are down and out!


  5. Norman Guy says:

    Council probably want to claim the farmer’s land so they can sell it to the chinese!

    Sent from Outlook



  6. Jenny says:

    Shame shame shame on you greedy horrible council.


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