Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

‘Secret hostel’ owner ordered to pay council costs

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

‘Secret hostel’ owner ordered to pay council costs


Mansion owner must pay council investigation and court costs after losing Supreme Court appeal

Do you have a news tip? Click here to send to our news team.

Local women who helped style the rich and famous

Two local women who helped dressed rock stars and a First Lady will give their insights into the world of fashion at a special More

Court backs beachfront units, but blinds must close

Residents have failed in their legal bid to stop a multimillion-dollar apartment complex going up on the beachfront at Buddina after a judge dismissed More

Rooftop tennis court must go as judge finds Coast builder defied order

A prominent Sunshine Coast builder will have to remove a tennis court from the rooftop of his Minyama Island mansion and awaits a further More

A waterfront mansion owner who illegally used the monstrous home as an “accommodation building” has lost an appeal in the Supreme Court and faces a hefty legal bill.

In January this year, Sunshine Coast News revealed the owner of a 17-bedroom, 17-bathroom property at 9 Fortitude Pace, Birtinya, had been slapped with a range of enforcement orders.

These included removal of extra kitchens and separate water and power metering installed in each bedroom, as well as replacement of internal doors fitted with keyed locks.

The court action against owner Michael Gavin was launched by Sunshine Coast Council after neighbours complained about the number of people coming and going from what was described as a ‘secret hostel’.

Planning and Environment Court Judge Glen Cash QC found Mr Gavin had contravened regulations in the residential zoned area.

He restrained him from using the residence for anything other than a “dwelling house’’.

As well as barring the owner from “letting or advertising for lease individual rooms, apartments or levels”, he ordered a number of rectifications.

Judge Cash ordered that within 30 days the respondents must pay Sunshine Coast Council’s investigation costs of $21,666.51 and costs of the court proceedings “on the standard basis’’. While this amount was not detailed, it is understood such proceedings can cost as much as $10,000 a day.

On January 14, the respondents filed a notice of their intention to appeal Judge Cash’s decision.

They also sought a stay of any orders requiring changes to the building until finalisation of proceedings in the Court of Appeal.

On February 12, Judge Cash agreed to allow Mr Gavin 45 days instead of the original timetable of 30 to complete the work, citing the current difficulty in securing qualified tradespeople.

However, he ruled against putting rectifications on hold.

The Court of Appeal heard that the central contentions advanced to challenge the original orders were that they were beyond the power of the P&E Court.

In their ruling handed down on October 8, Justices Hugh Fraser, Philip Morrison and David North found this was not the case.

They ordered Mr Gavin to pay the respondent’s costs.

The view from one of the bedrooms in 9 Fortitude Place, Birtinya.



Popular Coast highway stop named as ‘exposure site’

A public health alert has been issued for contact tracing locations in Glass House Mountains and Bundaberg Central. Queensland Health has added the Caboolture South More

School vaccination blitz: how Coast responded to call

Pop-up vaccination clinics at Sunshine Coast schools were among the most well-attended in Queensland. The Super Saturday blitz was aimed at boosting rates among young More

Australia’s vaccine rollout to get a massive booster

As Australia edges towards a national 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccination rate, preparations are being made for the booster program. The latest figures show 73.4 More