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2 September, 2021

Veteran top gun to pursue legal proceedings against Council

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council.

By Michael Warren

Long time pilot Richard Rudd says he intends to start legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council. He’s pictured here inside the controversial hangar. INSET: The bed Council suggested indicated permanent residency at the hangar.

A LOCAL MAN who won his recent Supreme Court case battle which ruled he can continue to store and work on his beloved planes inside a local hangar says he now plans to start immediate legal proceedings against Mareeba Shire Council. 

Richard Rudd, whose story captured recent national attention says the hangar lockout saw one of his planes fall into a state of un-airworthiness and as such he couldn’t provide the upkeep and maintenance it required to stay in the air. 

As such the 82 year-old who has been flying planes for the past 66 years said when his immediate health improves his priority is to recoup the losses he’s absorbed from being locked out of the hangar for nearly 12 months. 

“Because I’ve been locked out I haven’t been able to put the oil through the engine or run the engine, the (Boeing Stearman) plane’s battery is also ruined and needs replacing. “As such my intention is to start legal proceedings against Council. 

“I’m happy I won the case but it’s been nearly 12 months of sleepless nights, financial worries, stress and hurt, which has actually damaged my health, and I’ll be seeking further compensation.” 

Mr Rudd who first worked on planes as a 15-year-old reiterated the bed inside the hangar is for convenience purposes only and not in any way for permanent residency reasons. 

The bed inside the hangar was a contentious issue as MSC suggested its presence indicated the long time pilot was potentially living on site. 

“Again the bed is here to rest between works – sometimes I drop my wife at work at 9am and I’m here at the hangar until 9pm until I pick her up, so as an 82 year-old man, sometimes I’ll have a quick nap, but by no means do I live here at the hangar.” 

Mr Rudd said he feels vindicated by the recent Supreme Court decision. 

“I was initially somewhat shellshocked by the Council’s decision to take the case forward, but I always knew the truth, and that came out in the judge’s ruling,” he said. 

“My message to Mareeba Shire Council is this; whenever they take action against a person, they better make sure they get it absolutely right. 

"By that I mean legal, spelling wise, wording, and everything else, because this has been the most disgusting exercise I’ve ever come across in my life.” 

A spokesperson for Mareeba Shire Council advised “it was not aware of any action that Mr Rudd intends to take.”


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