Developers who illegally destroyed a Melbourne pub and then allegedly carted dangerous asbestos through the city have been labelled “a bunch of rogues” by the state opposition.
The Corkman Irish Pub was knocked down without a permit 10 days ago and now the Environment Protection Authority says rubble containing asbestos has been taken to a property in Cairnlea in Melbourne’s northwest.
“I think the book needs to be thrown at people,” Opposition Leader Matthew Guy told reporters on Wednesday.
“You can’t have a bunch of rogues running around the city demolishing heritage buildings.”
EPA metro manager Daniel Hunt says a tip-off from a member of the public allowed the authority to find the asbestos-containing waste that had been transferred from Carlton to Cairnlea.
Those responsible could be fined more than $750,000.
The EPA will now issue a notice to the owner of the Cairnlea site requiring them to cover the waste to prevent dust impacting nearby residents.
The owner must also erect signs advising asbestos is present and wet the waste to prevent potentially deadly fibres leaving the site until a cover is installed.
The dodgy developers have already been fined $7500 for failing to adequately cover the debris at the Carlton site where the heritage-listed Corkman previously stood.
Numerous authorities are investigating the unlawful demolition including Worksafe, the Victorian Planning Authority and the Melbourne City Council.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has said developers Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri could potentially face fines of more than $1 million.
Mr Guy on Wednesday said they should be forced to rebuild the facade of the original pub.
“Any planning permit in the future must guarantee the full heritage rebuild of that facade,” he said.