…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Outback Wrangler and Wife Engaged in Legal Battle Over Helipad Usage at Their Home
Matt Wright, widely known as the Outback Wrangler, and his wife Kaia are currently entangled in a legal dispute with the Northern Territory (NT) planning officials regarding the use of a helipad on their residential property.
This ongoing three-month conflict involves the NT’s Development Consent Authority (DCA) and centers around the couple’s Virginia property, located just south of Darwin, which is designated as a rural living area.
Zoning Law Violation Allegations:
According to documents from the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT), the DCA became involved after receiving two formal complaints about helicopter activities on the Wrights’ property during four days in 2021.
The DCA issued an enforcement notice, claiming that the couple’s use of the property for helicopter operations violated zoning laws.
Dispute Over “Existing Use” Rights:
In response, Matt and Kaia Wright asserted that they have the “existing use” rights to operate helicopters on their extensive property.
They argued that since they purchased the property in 2017, before the tightening of landing site regulations in 2019, and the primary purpose of the property remained unchanged as rural living, they were not in violation of the Planning Act.
DCA’s Stance and Legal Proceedings:
The DCA, however, dismissed the couple’s argument, deeming it “irrelevant” and emphasizing the need to comply with the changes introduced by the Planning Act.
The matter has now reached the NTCAT, with both sides preparing to present their cases during a two-hour hearing scheduled for June or July.
The Wrights are also seeking to have their legal costs covered if they emerge as winners, a request that the DCA opposes, citing multiple prior opportunities for resolution outside of tribunal involvement.
Separate Legal Battle:
It is worth noting that Matt Wright is currently involved in another legal dispute related to a fatal helicopter crash.
The incident occurred during a crocodile egg collection expedition and involved an aircraft piloted by a contractor registered under his company Helibrook.
The legal battle between Matt and Kaia Wright and the Northern Territory planning officials revolves around the usage of a helipad on their residential property.
The couple claims “existing use” rights, while the DCA argues for compliance with updated regulations.
As the case proceeds to the NTCAT, the outcome will determine the fate of the Wrights’ helicopter operations on their property.
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