Environment and Planning – Application – where
applicant sought for appeal to be dismissed for want of
Facts: This was an application by the Logan
City Council (Council) to have an appeal dismissed for want of
prosecution. The subject appeal, which was filed by Mark Sorraghan
(the Respondent to the application) on 13 August 2010, was against
the Council's decision to refuse a development application for
a material change of use. Since that time, the Respondent had not
taken a step in the proceeding since 10 August 2011 and had failed
to comply with numerous orders of the Court, including orders
requiring nomination of its expert witnesses, attendance at a
without prejudice conference, production of individual expert
reports and had failed to attend Court on 12 separate
The Respondent did not dispute these facts, and contended that
the reason for his failure to comply with the orders and progress
the appeal was because of a number of health issues (including
depression) and the fact that he was essentially impecunious.
Decision: The Court held, in allowing the
The health and financial state of affairs of the Respondent
were relevant considerations. However, in this case, they were not
sufficient to explain the unsatisfactory conduct of the Respondent
to date. The appeal was characterised by periods of delay that were
wholly attributable to the Respondent. It was also a significant
consideration that the Respondent accepted that there was no
prospect of him taking any meaningful step in the proceeding in the
The Respondent's concession (and the Council's
acceptance) that the appeal should be dismissed on the basis that
Council did not pursue cost orders and that the parties conduct
further without prejudice discussions (despite the appeal being
dismissed), was a matter to be taken into account by the Court but
it was by no means decisive in relation to the orders made.
The appeal should be dismissed.
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