18 June 2014

Noosa tollbuster Bob claims fees are not consitutional

TOLL WOES: Bob Jarvis beats Motorway toll as the case against him is withdrawn from court.
TOLL WOES: Bob Jarvis beats Motorway toll as the case against him is withdrawn from court. Geoff Potter
NOOSA fish and chip shop owner Bob Jarvis may be the ultimate tollbuster after two charges of non-payment for using the Gateway Motorway were withdrawn.

Mr Jarvis maintains the method of payment for tolls is unconstitutional and was planning to argue his case in court when the Department of Transport and Main Roads emailed him to say that they would be offering no evidence and would request the court formally dismiss the charges.

This ex-Noosa councillor and shrewd "bush lawyer" believes the state backed off prosecuting him because he knows the Australian Constitution "backwards" and had them dead to rights.

The Noosa News points out that Mr Jarvis's arguments were not tested in court so this is not a legal precedent.

If Mr Jarvis's arguments hold any legal water then millions of dollars of revenue from tolls could be at stake unless the toll operators go back to the old system of charging via onsite toll booths.

Despite Mr Jarvis's written requests, the department legal officer handling his case has not revealed why the toll charges were withdrawn.

The alleged toll breach stemmed from a tollway trip he made on the Gateway Motorway on July 11 last year.
Mr Jarvis was issued with a court summons in March for unpaid toll movements at the Murrarie South and Heathwood West toll points and on December 20 last year he was issued with a demand to pay $140 for failing to comply with a toll demand notice.

Mr Jarvis elected for a court hearing which was set down in the Holland Park Magistrates Court for September 21 this year.

"I thought because they had so much evidence - photos with my number plate on it, everything - I thought if I'm going to go to court I'm really going to have to fight," he said.

"I told them in my letters that 'you must have a copy of the Australian Constitution with you' and 'you must have a copy of Chapter 5 The States Section 115 and you must read it'."

He argues that section which states: "A State shall not coin money nor make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payments of debts" means the only legal tolls are those that allow for coin payments.

"I just don't pay tolls. I just don't believe they're legal," Mr Jarvis said.

"I mean I used to pay tolls when there were coin baskets there, but now they've actually added on to the toll fees a video fee.

"They are actually charging you for the cost of operating the toll cameras on top of the toll fee.

"I reckon if nobody from now, never paid a toll, if they all just said 'go jump in the lake' then all of that toll system would be abandoned. It's too hard to go back to the old system".

Mr Jarvis asked the department legal officer to respond to his view that under the constitution: "you can only get money for a service at the start, during, or at the end while using a commodity, or service, or purchasing goods at the point where that is occurring".

"You can't send them somewhere else to pay for that service," he said as is the case with etoll payments.

"In other words you can only make that person pay a toll when they start on the toll way, during their journey on that toll way or at the end of their journey.

"The thousands and thousands of dollars they spend on cameras could be then spent on upgrading the roads."

A Department of Transport and Main Roads spokeswoman said the department cannot disclose information about infringement notices for privacy reasons.

 However it has communicated its reasons for the decision to discontinue the charges with Bob Jarvis, denying the toll charges were under a legal cloud.

 "We can advise the reasons for withdrawing the charges were not related to the constitutional law issues alleged by Mr Jarvis," she said.

 "The department maintains the ability to charge tolls and how they are charged is lawful and consistent."

noosanews.com.au 1 Nov 2012

Another fraud committed by businesses.

This fraud is also current for Victoria.

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