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Two men in Islamic guild illegally cleared rural land in Sydney’s northwest

The NSW Land and Environment court has found two men involved in an Islamic guild illegally cleared land at a property in Sydney’s northwest.

Hawkesbury City Council alleged Dr Mustapha Kara-Ali and Diaa Kara-Ali illegally cleared land and built fences, driveways and gates at a rural property in Colo without development approval.

Council officers attended the site on “many occasions” to issue notices, with their first visit being in October of last year.

They say the illegal construction and clearing continued despite their orders.

A court heard, on one occasion, an officer requested police attend the property with them because of safety fears.

The Kara-Ali’s, who are involved in a religious guild Diwan Al Dawla, claimed action being taken against them violated their “religious freedoms”.

Hawkesbury City Council launched civil action against the two men, who didn’t show up to court on Monday.

The pair has been ordered by the court to submit plans as to how they’ll restore the land within 42 days.

They must also get the necessary permits before they use the Colo property for religious purposes.

In a statement to the Ray Hadley Morning program, Hawkesbury City Council states if the court’s orders aren’t complied with, they’ll “have the matter brought back before the Land and Environment Court” (see full statement below).

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Full statement from Hawkesbury City Council:

Hawkesbury City Council has successfully prosecuted Mustapha Kara-Ali, Diaa Kara Ali and Southern Chariot Stud Pty Ltd at the Land and Environment Court with the Orders of the Court handed down on Monday, 27 August 2018. The full Orders of the Court are attached.

The Orders of the Court will be served upon the respondents by the Land and Environment Court due to their lack of attendance at the Court on Monday, 27 August 2018.

Council officers attended the Colo site on many occasions with the initial visit being in October 2017. Officers issued several Notices and Orders under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act for development carried out without consent. However, the owners continued to carry out earthworks, land clearing and building on the property.

Due to the lack of regard for planning legislation and the scale and high environmental impact of the illegal works undertaken at the property, Council sought to prosecute the property owners at the Land and Environment Court.

At the Land and Environment Court on Monday, 27 August 2018, the Orders of the Court were that:

  • All further works earthworks, building works, fencing, and other works cease
  • All works that have been carried out are to be either removed/demolished or restored; this includes all buildings, flag poles, fencing, gates, sheds, boat ramp and works by the river, septic tanks and demountable buildings
  • Engineering, landscape and revegetation plans from qualified experts, for the restoration and rehabilitation of the site, to be provided to Council
  • The Respondents are to pay Hawkesbury City Council the cost of legal proceedings.

The Court Order has requested that these works are complied with, within certain timeframes, and Council Compliance officers will monitor these actions to ensure that they are complied with. If the orders are not complied with, Council will seek additional legal advice to have the matter brought back before the Land and Environment Court for further determination.

Image: NSW Courts

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