Resigned: Amanda Duncan-Strelec. Photo: Paul Jones
Ferrari-driving Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate has a taken a break from his battle with marauding bikies to take up the cudgels against former Albury mayor Amanda Duncan-Strelec.
Ten days ago, Cr Tate obtained an injunction from Justice Michael Ball of the NSW Supreme Court ordering Ms Duncan-Strelec to stop publishing an offensive website that contains ''highly defamatory'' material about the Gold Coast mayor.
In granting the injunction, Justice Ball said Cr Tate was ''a well-known public figure in the Gold Coast community'' and that the website ''is capable of doing irreparable damage''.
Won legal battle: Tom Tate. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
However, Ms Duncan-Strelec, 57, who has failed to turn up to court three times in relation to this matter, has ignored the court's order.
In June last year, after more than two decades on Albury City Council, Ms Duncan-Strelec cited ill health and financial reasons for her sudden resignation.
What she did not say was that a fortnight earlier she had been bankrupted by Cr Tate. Ms Duncan-Strelec had failed to pay Cr Tate $305,513 in court costs after she and her ex-husband, David Strelec, lost a legal battle against Cr Tate, a property developer.
In 2010, the couple took action in the NSW Supreme Court against Cr Tate, claiming he had breached an alleged joint-venture agreement relating to land they were planning to develop into 120 housing blocks near Albury. Ms Duncan-Strelec had previously helped Mr Tate in an unsuccessful bid to become Gold Coast mayor in 2000.
Justice Ball heard that Ms Duncan-Strelec has retaliated by setting up the offending website, which the court heard is ''obviously designed to expose him to hatred, ridicule and contempt''.
Ms Duncan-Strelec was a divisive figure on council. Two years ago, she was forced to admit she was responsible for sending an anonymous abusive letter to a retired accountant, accusing him of being a ''recreational serial pest'' and ''bitter and twisted''.
Ms Duncan-Strelec also sent an offensive email to a former councillor suggesting he was ''a fat, lazy hypocrite'' and that he should ''grow up, get a life and go on a diet while you are at it''.
Ms Duncan-Strelec recently sent an email to Justice Ball's associate saying she could not come to court because of ''lack of funds''.
''I am a bankrupt, as Mr Tate is well aware as he is the person who succeeded in having me declared bankrupt,'' she wrote.
''I have repeatedly advised Mr Tate's solicitors that I am not the author of the Tom Tate website.''
However, on the website is a letter Ms Duncan-Strelec sent to Cr Tate's lawyers saying that she would take down the website if Cr Tate paid money to third parties.
''If and when, and only when, your client has followed through with all of the above will I be prepared to take down the website,'' she said in her letter.
The matter will be return to court on Tuesday.