The Revolve saga continues....
From The Canberra Times online.
BY NATASHA RUDRA AND PETER JEAN
16 Apr, 2011 12:00 AM
The lack of any Aboriginal involvement was just one of the flaws in recycling operator Revolve's failed bid to avoid eviction with a native title claim, ACT Supreme Court Master David Harper said yesterday.
Master Harper said the case, which attempted to prevent an eviction and did not involve any Aboriginal person or group, was ''scarcely a suitable vehicle'' for determining native title. He described the application as ''not entirely intelligible'' and said the claim of native title was ''misconceived''.
''If I understand the argument sought to be put to the court, its acceptance would cast doubt upon all grants of Crown leases by the Commonwealth in the Australian Capital Territory over almost a century,'' he wrote.
He dismissed the application and ordered Revolve to pay the ACT Government's costs.
While the court dismissed Revolve's attempt to halt eviction from its disputed Hume site, Master Harper gave the business another two weeks to leave the premises.
The Government has been trying to evict Revolve from its leased site in Hume since March 2010 and there have been protracted disputes over the eviction and the payment of $101,880 in rent.
The Supreme Court had previously decided that the territory should take vacant possession of the site, Revolve should pay outstanding rent and the recycler would stop taking donations of second-hand goods.
In February, Revolve filed an application to stop the eviction, arguing that the territory had no right to grant the land at Hume in the first place because it had not addressed ''common law native title''.
Revolve was represented in court by the organisation's president Gerry Gillespie.
Mr Gillespie said the organisation tried to raise ''common law native title'' because the issue had not been resolved in the territory's courts. ''It was not raised to waste the court's time. It is a very serious constitutional issue which we need to resolve in the interests of the entire community,'' he said.
''Common law native title is the fundamental basis of traditional title claims for private property which have existed in common law for centuries.''
Department of Land and Property Services chief executive David Dawes said the Government welcomed the decision and said he hoped it would mark an end to legal battles between the two parties. ''This is just the latest in a number of court decisions about the Hume site that have gone against Revolve and I trust that this will be the end of the legal proceedings brought by this organisation,'' Mr Dawes said.
''The ACT Government is the landlord for hundreds of community organisations and all of them are expected to pay their rent on time.''
Mr Dawes said Revolve had to accept the court's decision to vacate the Hume site and should also pay the Government its outstanding rent.
Revolve is involved in two other legal cases over its recycling operations and returns to the Supreme Court on April 28.