The big guns are lined up in the battle over public access to the Hobart waterfront, with a former governor of Tasmania and chief justice, Sir Guy Green, taking action in the Supreme Court in Hobart against the Hobart City Council.
Sir Guy is seeking compensation for a strip of land compulsorily acquired by the council. He lodged an application for compensation in the Supreme Court on Friday, under the Land Acquisition Act 1993.
The application was lodged on his behalf by law firm Toomey Maning and Co. It was also lodged on behalf of Ken Hosking and Patricia Hosking, for an adjacent waterfront property
The Greens live in a waterfront property in Battery Point with a rare title to the low-water mark. The Hosking property also has a title to the low-water mark.
After protracted negotiations stalled, the Hobart City Council last month compulsorily acquired the rock shelf between the high- and low-water marks, to facilitate public access to the foreshore.
Sir Guy and the Hoskings wanted a total of $720,000. The Hobart City Council, under Lord Mayor Rob Valentine, allocated a total of $80,000. The final compensation for acquisition has not been revealed.
Sir Guy, AC, KBG, CVO, was chief justrice of Tasmania from 1973 to 1995, governor of Tasmania from 1995 to 2003, and administrator of the Commonwealth in 2003 when the office of governor-general was vacant. He has been president of the Tasmanian Bar Association, chancellor of the University of Tasmania and chancellor of St John Ambulance Australia.
Sir Guy is chairman of the board of trustees of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, chairman of the board of Tasmania’s ‘Ten Days on the Island’ cultural festival, a board member of the Menzies Foundation, chairman of the steering committee of the International Antarctic Institute, honorary Antarctic ambassador for Tasmania and honorary professor in the Antarctic Ecosytstems Co-operative Research Centre.
Dr Hosking, an engineer, is president of the Battery Point Sullivans Cove Community Association and vice-chairman of Friends of the Foreshore. The committees of both groups are predominantly waterfront residents, and oppose a built walkway along the foreshore of the historic, inner-city suburb.
Sir Guy and the Hoskings have chosen to apply under Section 42 1 D of the Act, for a court determination of their entitlement to compensation. Because Sir Guy is a former chief justice of Tasmania, the case will have to be heard by a judge from interstate.