Chopper pilot wins helipad court fight against greenies
A CHOPPER pilot who claims he's had guns trained on his aircraft by upset locals and fists shaken at him by naked irate neighbours has won a battle to build a helipad on his property.
And he's let fly at what he calls a 'Rainbow 4' alliance of green-leaning local councillors who tried to stop him.
Matt Karlos took the Tweed Shire Council to court after it knocked back his application for the helipad on his family property at Bilambil, south of the Gold Coast.
He claimed his Bell Ranger helicopter was 'like a family car' to him and wanted to be able to fly to and from the property
But neighbours opposed the application, saying the chopper would be noisy, adversely impact native fauna and was 'not consistent with the rural landscape' of the area.
The Greens-dominated Tweed council rejected his application but Mr Karlos appealed to the NSW Land and Environment Court which recently ruled in his favour.
The court approved a six-month trial, finding that 'the proposed helipad is permissible with consent in the zone, the acoustic impacts are acceptable, and there is no evidence of any other unacceptable impacts'.
Mr Karlos hailed the victory, saying he had been subjected to a long-running 'campaign of harassment by greenies' aimed at ruining his family's water extraction business on the property.
He alleged guns had been trained on his helicopter by upset locals and one neighbour regularly ran out of his house shaking his fists at the chopper while it was in the air.
"If it wasn't so serious, it'd be comical," Mr Karlos said.
"The Rainbow 4 Tweed councillors (Mayor Katie Milne, Deputy Chris Cherry, Ron Cooper and Reece Byrne) are completely protected by the system to abuse the planning process and destroy people's business and lives.
"There is a zero merit-based planning system in the Tweed Shire under this Rainbow 4 regime of terror.
"If your application isn't suitable to their political agenda, you are destroyed by them at all costs and against all recommendations for approval and all planning merits."
Under the trial approved by the court, Mr Karlos is allowed to fly his chopper to and from his property a maximum eight times a week.