Farmer tired of fighter jets roaring over her property charges Air Force $ 15.3 million for ‘trespassing’ and claims planes can drop pests and disease
- Julie Steepe gave RAAF a cease and desist for flying over her NSW farm
- Billed $ 167,000 for each time a plane was sighted or heard over the premises
- Claimed jet fighters could carry vermin and disease that would harm the ‘ethical’ farm
- The case went to court and was quickly thrown out with Mrs. Steepe to pay for the legal costs
A sheep farmer has failed to convince a court that the RAAF owes her $ 15.3 million for flying jets over her property.
NSW woman Julie Steepe issued a series of bills in 2020 after the Air Force failed to comply with its “ hold up and hold ” announcements.
The latest notice, issued July 30, stated that the Air Force had seven days to show what legal authority it had to “violate” its farm in Bulahdelah, 50 km northeast of the RAAF base in Williamtown.
“A violation of the boundary … will incur a fee of $ 167,000, plus an additional $ 167,000 for each subsequent violation,” the message said.
This is damages for violation of my legitimate right to peaceful enjoyment of my property, as well as my legitimate right to dispose of my property from the Crown.
“The limit of my property extends to the center of the earth and to the vastness of the universe.”
A Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 Taipan helicopter takes off from Royal Australian Air Force Base Williamtown, Newcastle
Dissatisfied with a squadron leader’s explanation of the legality of the flights, Ms. Steepe took the Air Force to the NSW Supreme Court, asking them to pay the bills totaling $ 15.3 million.
She also sought injunctions to prevent further plane diversion and demanded damages for violation of her privacy.
Ms. Steppe, who says online that she farms ethically, regeneratively and free of chemicals, also claimed that the plane may be carrying pests and diseases and is therefore in violation of the NSW Biosecurity Act.
Justice David Davies dismissed the case on Thursday.
Ms. Steepe had put considerable emphasis on a judge’s reasons in a 1923 Supreme Court ruling on mineral rights and a remark about land “expanding imaginatively indefinitely.”
But Justice Davies said the common law position was that a landowner had no right whatsoever to prevent aircraft from flying over their property, “ provided it is at an altitude higher than necessary for normal use and enjoyment. ” of the land and the structures on it ‘.
In addition, flights over the site were duly authorized under the Airspace Act and the Airspace Regulations.
“The plaintiff does not demonstrate the right to prevent the flight of the RAAF aircraft over her land,” said the judge.
Steppe is ordered to pay the costs.