Canberra's teepee man William Woodbridge has taken his fight to stay on Lake Ginninderra to the Supreme Court.
Local Ngambri elder Shane Mortimer lodged an interlocutory injunction with the court yesterday on the 21-year-old's behalf to stop what Mr Mortimer labelled an ''unlawful forced removal'' from the floating home.
Speaking exclusively to The Canberra Times, Mr Woodbridge said he intended to defy orders by the ACT government to relocate.
''Shane's intervention has given me solid grounds for an appeal and I will be appealing the government's decision to have me moved off,'' he said.
The ACT government had given Mr Woodbridge until today to remove his homemade raft and teepee from the lake, where he has been living for the past two months. His unconventional housing is in violation of the ACT Lake Act 1976, which prohibits the use of a boat as a houseboat or place of living in a lake area.
The penalty for breaching the act is a maximum of $3300, however government officials had previously said he would not be fined if he left by the agreed date.
Mr Woodbridge said he'd had no further communication with the government since being given orders to move on, but was willing to stand by his decision to stay.
''I would like the ability to move off the lake when I find accommodation that I find suitable,'' he said.
''The government is looking for accommodation for me in the form of community housing, but I would much rather move off the lake at my discretion.''
The cost of student accommodation in the capital was the motivation behind Mr Woodbridge's venture.
While media attention has highlighted the issue, Mr Woodbridge said some of the feedback he'd received through online forums had been offensive.
''I do have a job, I do work hard,'' he said. ''I am not trying to jump the queue on anything by doing this … I'm trying to raise some fairly serious issues about student accommodation and unfortunately, it takes longer than six weeks to do that.''
Mr Mortimer said said it was not surprising the issue had led to the Supreme Court. ''It's the way you have to do things if you want to fight and support a person,'' he said.
''The application to the Supreme Court is a serious question of law.''
Mr Mortimer has previously issued an ''authorisation certificate'', stating that Mr Woodbridge was ''authorised to occupy Lake Ginninderra or any other lake estuary or wetland'' in Ngambri Country. The certificate was issued by Mr Mortimer on behalf of ''elders past and present''.