Wagners, council face off in multi-million dollar dispute
A MULTI-million dollar dispute between power-house company Wagners and Toowoomba Regional Council over infrastructure charges will soon see the two face-off in court.
Wagners chairman Denis Wagner said the company had been issued with infrastructure charges notices and had appealed to the Planning and Environment Court.
He said while the company had no issue paying charges, they needed to be commensurate with the infrastructure provided.
The charges levied so far are in excess of $1 million. Mr Wagner said if extrapolated across the Wellcamp Business Park the charges would add up to between $30m and $40m for stormwater infrastructure alone.
He said there was a lot of stormwater infrastructure built on site at Wagners' cost including detention basins and the work would not adversely impact on the nearby creek.
"The stormwater doesn't flow through one council pipe," Mr Wagner said.
He said if the issue of infrastructure charges was not resolved it would stifle development in the region and cost jobs.
It's not the first time Wagners and the council have faced off it court.
Wagners appealed against infrastructure charges levied for the Wellcamp airport, with the two parties coming to an agreement, but only after significant legal costs were incurred .
He said the proceedings could take six to 12 months and cost both parties more than $400,000.
Mr Wagner suggested a negotiated outcome between the two parties would be far more beneficial for all concerned.
"We have had to appeal through the Planning and Environment Court because we have been issued with an infrastructure charges notice from the council."
Cr Chris Tait said he had been informed that Wagners had filed an appeal in court.
"I haven't seen them, I presume they've served council's legal officers with those appeals."
He confirmed it was the council's intention to contest the appeal.
He said the council levied charges on its network and developers were asked to provide stormwater drainage within subdivisions.
Cr Tait said the charges related to trunk infrastructure which dealt with the effects of stormwater and declined to comment further.