A Tasmanian man has boldly billed his local council $183,000 for having a footpath on his property.
Michele "Mike" Mauceri, 62, was frustrated for more than a year after discovering that a public footpath, bench, power poles and Telstra pits had been put on his land at 24 View Rd, Burnie.
What's more, such is the location of the pits and poles that he is unable to drive into his own driveway, and has to go through the neighbour's one to reach his own.
However, his pleas to the council went unanswered.
Out of desperation, Mauceri decided to charge the Burnie City Council for use of his land, and even backdated the payment to when he first purchased his property in February 2019.
On May 27 this year, he sent them an invoice for a whopping $184,041 – or $219 a day. Every month since, he's sent another invoice, with the extra month's fees lumped on.
"I've made an assumption of the amount of land occupied by the council, with the amount of money I could have made on car parking (in that space). It's an estimate," Mauceri told news.com.au.
"$1 an hour for X amount of cars. That's how I came up with that figure."
Mauceri purchased the 2671sq m block two years ago with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast establishment and a cafe.
Council red tape has so far got in the way of making this dream a reality.
Formerly from Melbourne, the 62-year-old has been working in the travel and hospitality industry for most of his life.
However: "I'm (experiencing) big financial hardship," he said. "I used to earn $158,000 a year, that's dropped to zero."
When Mauceri purchased the property, the public footpath and bench were already there.
However, the TasNetworks, TasWater and Telstra facilities were installed while he was the landowner without any discussion with him.
When he asked them to remove the Telstra pit, they warned he would have to pay for it if they did.
"In December 2019 I engaged a private surveyor to peg out my boundaries," Mauceri said.
It was then that he discovered all of that was within the boundaries of his property.
"When I purchased the property, all those services on my property were not registered on my title," he said.
After not hearing back from the council for several months, he ramped up his threats – warning that he was going to fence off the public footpath.
Mauceri's property is on the bend of a busy road, which would force pedestrians onto the road if he puts up the fence.
He doesn't want to do it, but he also wants the council to come to the negotiating table with him.
"On my first initial invoice, there was a cover letter that said I'd like to settle this issue amicably without going to court," he said.
"I want them to come to me.
"The ratepayers are just rubbish to them.
"I'm trying to make jobs in the area, politics is stopping me from doing this."
He never expected to get a A$183,000 lump sum, but was hoping he would draw attention to himself and cause something to change.
Last week, the council responded to Mauceri by flat-out refusing to pay the bill.
"The invoice that you have sent does not constitute a lawful demand for any amount owed you by the Burnie City Council," Burnie City Council director of works and services Gary Neil wrote on July 20.
"The invoice will not be paid and we request that you desist from sending such notices."
News.com.au reached out to council for comment on Friday afternoon.
In a statement the council said: "Council has responded to Mouceri and we cannot publicly discuss an issue between Council and a private resident."
However, several hours later Mauceri received an invite to meet with council staff members.
"I would like to say we offer to meet with you at your property next week at a time to suit both parties," Rowan Sharman, of Burnie City Council's Manager Engineering Services, said in an email seen by news.com.au.
Later on in the email, Sharman added: "You do not have a legal right to erect a fence or any other structure or obstruction that prevents use of the View Rd footpath irrespective of where your property title boundary is located.
"Should you propose to undertake any works of any nature that extend on or beyond your existing fence line, onto Council infrastructure, then a permit to undertake works within the Road Reserve is required.
"Please contact me should you wish to meet with Gary Neil and myself next week."