Schafer v Bacon [2022] QDC 60

The applicant was convicted of an offence of contravening an enforcement notice under the Planning Act 2016 (Qld), after moving two shipping containers and connecting utilities to them without council approval. An enforcement notice was issued and she failed to comply with it. 

At the mention she refused to enter a plea, challenging the jurisdiction of the local authority to prosecute the complaint and summons against her, “…being a subject of the Queen in the UK or as a “natural-born subject”. At the trial the evidence led in support of conviction was largely unchallenged, save repeated objections.

Over 10 months later, she filed a Notice of Appeal and a Notice of Application for Extension of Time in Schafer v Bacon [2022] QDC 60, delayed as she had brought judicial review proceedings in the Supreme Court (which were dismissed) and a dozen applications to the High Court.

The applicant filed documents which Clarke DCJ considered “largely indecipherable”, largely repetitive of material filed originally alleging constitutional issues which are said to emerge following the abolition of the Upper House of the Queensland Parliament in 1922, an inconsistency of local government laws with the Australian Constitution, or the Queensland Constitution, or both, and the “lawfulness” of the Queensland Governor and the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. The documents contained case summaries, article extracts, a letter from Rodney Culleton of the Great Australian Party to the Governor-General calling on him to stand down, and a claim of $40,000 for damages to health, $10,000 for defamation of character, plus costs.

While agreeing with the analysis of the evidence and the making of findings of fact which led to the guilty verdict, Clarke DCJ stated: “The appellant seems to have simply randomly picked some provisions of the Australian Constitution and the Queensland Constitution which have absolutely nothing to do with this case.” and concluded the appeal was incompetent and did not enjoy a viable prospect of success. The application for extension of time was refused, and the appeal was dismissed.