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David DeBattista v Shoalhaven City Council

Land and Environment Court – Conciliation Conference – 7 December 2017

We refer to the appeal to the Land and Environment Court (“the Court”) brought by David DeBattista (“the Applicant”) against Council’s refusal of the development application RA17/1000 (“the RA”) for the Masterplan for the sites located on Anson Street, St Georges Basin (“the Proposal”). 

Conciliation date and venue - The Court has ordered that the conciliation conference take place on 7 December 2017, commencing at 10.30am at the St Georges Basin Country Club auditorium. 

The Court’s Conciliation Conference Policy (“the Policy”) (a copy can be located at ) provides guidance with respect to the conduct of the parties, observers and submitters during conciliation conferences.  Conciliation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, are assisted by an impartial conciliator, to identify the issues in dispute, consider and develop alternatives and endeavour to reach agreement.

The Court generally requires parties to development appeals to participate in a conciliation conference prior to the matter going to hearing. 

Residents’ submissions - A maximum of 6 residents may address their concerns to the parties at the conciliation conference.  This is referred to as making submissions.

Submitters are to provide their full name and address when addressing the Commissioner and be mindful that their submissions may become evidence in the proceedings.  Submissions must be provided in the same manner as if they were being given in a courtroom and be truthful and helpful.  There should be no interruptions or interjections so that those attending the site inspection can fully understand the matters raised by the submitter.

Whilst submissions may be prepared in writing, they are to be given orally, addressing the main points of concern.  The full text of the written submissions may be made available to the parties during the confidential conciliation phase and tendered by Council as part of any determination phase of the proceedings.  

In the interests of providing for the “just, quick and cheap” resolution of the proceedings, the Court prefers that the number of persons making submissions on-site is limited to six.  The Court also requests that submissions are not repetitive and provides that it is sufficient for submitters to acknowledge that they hold similar views to previous submitters on particular issues.

In these particular proceedings, as there are a large number of residents who made submissions to Council on similar issues, we strongly recommend the residents nominate representatives to co-ordinate and deliver submissions on their behalf. 

If you are considering making submissions, it is important for you to be aware that:

  • Your opportunity to speak is limited to your formal presentation and that it is not appropriate that further comments be made during the site inspection unless requested by the Commissioner, agreed by the parties or as part of an explanation of your submission;
  • You may be questioned on your submission by the Commissioner, the parties or their legal representatives.

Confidential Conciliation Phase - Following the conclusion of the residents’ submissions the parties to the proceedings will undertake confidential conciliation discussions facilitated by the Commissioner.  Participation in those discussion is limited to the parties, their legal representatives and experts.  

Please note the residents will not be entitled to be a part of these confidential discussions.

If you need further information about this matter, please contact Samantha Neilson, General Manager's Group on (02) 4429 3545 or by email

Posted in: Community
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