Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and his Instagram influencer Kaia have been brought back down to earth with a ban on using their helicopter like a family car.
Neighbors complained that the couple were constantly flying in and out of their semi-rural property in Virginia, 30km southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory.
But the Wrights insisted they had the right to do so because he noted his “existing use” and said he had not used his home as a “passenger terminal or helipad.”
“I have used helicopters as my primary means of transportation for myself, my family and friends for many years,” added Wright, 44.
“Similar to people with motor vehicles, I fly in and out of our house in the morning and back again in the evening.”
The NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal has now banned the Wrights, two years after neighbors first protested about the noise, sparking a lengthy legal battle.
Outback Wrangler star Matt Wright and his Instagram influencer Kaia have been brought back down to earth with a ban on using their helicopter like a family car
Neighbors complained that the couple were constantly flying in and out of their semi-rural property in Virginia, 30km southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory
In 2021, two formal complaints were lodged with the NT Development Consent Authority (DCA), accusing the Wrights of using their home as a landing zone without permission.
They claimed return flights had increased and the Wrights were now using the house for their tourism business. The DCA ruled in favor of the neighbors in May.
“There is no dispute that Matthew Wright is using an area of the property as a landing or take-off area for helicopters,” the DCA ruled, NT News reported.
“The applicants have breached, are breaching and will breach the Planning Act.”
The couple insisted they bought the property in 2017, two years before a new law changed the rules for landing sites.
They claimed that they were allowed to continue to do so because they had been using the property for the helicopter flights before the law change.
“As the helicopter use was not a separate use of the property, the existing use provisions of the Planning Act do not apply as there has been no change in the residential use of the property,” they said in defence NT News reported.
However, the DCA rejected the Wrights’ claims, saying the “existing use” was irrelevant as planning laws still needed to be followed.
The Netflix reality TV star, who is facing criminal charges over the death of his best pal Chris “Willow” Wilson, who died while collecting crocodile eggs in 2022, referred the case to NTCAT earlier this year.
The Wrights insisted they were entitled to fly their helicopters (pictured) because of his proven “existing use” and said he did not use his home as a “passenger terminal or helipad.”
However, last Friday, the NTCAT found the family had broken the laws by continuing to fly off their property despite the change in rules.
After eight months of hearings, NTCAT president Mark O’Reilly rejected the Wrights’ claim that the DCA notice unfairly penalized them.
He confirmed the DCA’s flight ban and added: “A legislator is always free to make something illegal that was previously legal.”